Posts Tagged ‘US Constitution’

My newest column is up over at TheNorthlandPost.com.

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by Gretchen Logue of Missouri Education Watchdog

The following written testimony by Mark Garrison, Ph.D. was entered to support MO SB 210 and HB 616 and end the implementation of Common Core State Standards:

EXPERT TESTIMONY OF MARK GARRISON, PH.D., IN OPPOSITION TO THE
COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS INITIATIVE (CCSSI).

March 3, 2013

Based on my research, I have concluded that the CCSSI should be opposed for four reasons.*
They are:

1. There is no evidence that the CCSSI will improve the quality of education, reduce
inequalities, or ensure students are prepared to contribute to society or engage in
higher learning. For example, researchers have compared states with higher standards
to those with less challenging ones, and found that the existence of higher, better or
clearer standards did not result in demonstrably better results on the National
Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) or other international tests. There is,
however, a great deal of research that suggests the CCSSI will further narrow
curriculum, further mechanizing teaching. It needs to be understood that the architects
of the CCSSI mean to vastly increase the amount of testing (tests controlled by one of
the two private testing consortia created with federal funds). Testing will include
computer scoring of student essays, which raises a host of issues that I am certain
parents will be very concerned about. Finally, after review of many CCSSI documents,
I have come to the conclusion that the entire project treats students as “products” or
“things” and not human beings. If parents knew the whole truth about what the CCSSI
has in store for their children, I believe their opposition would be swift and
unanimous.

2. Despite the name of the initiative, there is little evidence that the effort was “state
lead.” Many state officials signed on to the CCSSI before the final standards were
even written. The former commission of education in Texas, Robert Scott, has
publically stated he was pressured by reformers to sign the Common Core Standards
MOU. There is evidence that governors in other states compelled their education
leaders to rubber stamp the CCSSI. As the legislatures of each state have been largely
absent from the process, it is impossible that legislator constituencies were involved,
making empty CCSSI advocates claims to have “parent support”. Few parents even
know about the CCSSI or that their schools are now being restructured to meet the
demands of the CCSSI.

3. The process by which the CCSSI has been adopted and implemented violates basic
principles of the United States Constitution and the laws of the United States. The
framers of the Constitution worked to construct a political system to avoid tyranny,
which meant that governmental power could not be consolidated in one office or
branch. Thus, framers insisted on the separation of powers between the legislative,
judicial and executive branches, and a weak central government. Importantly, the right
to operate schools was reserved to the States or the people themselves. Education was
envisioned as one means to block tyranny through the force of “enlightened public
opinion”. But education cannot serve this function if people lose control over their
schools. The federal Department of Education, an executive branch, has nonetheless
acted to make laws with its Race to the Top (RttT) initiative and its waivers to
provisions of No Child Left Behind Act. While executive waivers have legal
precedent, Secretary Duncan’s use of RttT funds and NCLB waivers as “incentives”
for states to adopt the CCSSI, which is not rooted in existing law, is in fact a form of
law making. Taken in conjunction with 1979 law prohibiting the Department of
Education from having “any direction, supervision, or control over the curriculum”
(section 103b), the CCSSI adoption process is unconstitutional and violates existing
federal law as well. And, how many legislatures know that the MOU for entry into one
of the two Common Core assessment apparatuses (Missouri is a member of the
Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium) required alteration or elimination of any
state laws that might interfere with the operation of the assessment consortia!

4. While the federal Department of Education is in violation of the law, the CCSSI
represents something worse than a “federal power grab.” In fact, the illegal power of
the federal government has been used to remove public power over education at the
local, state and federal level and place it in the hands of four private (501c3)
publically unaccountable corporations, who have strong connections to test publishers
and the big private philanthropies secretly driving education reform. They are: the
National Governors Association (NGA), the Council of Chief State School Officers
(CCSSO), and the two assessment apparatuses, the Partnership for Readiness for
College and Career (PARCC) and Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC).
Most telling is that the Common Core State Standards, standards that now govern
curriculum, instruction and assessment across the country, are jointly “owned” by the
NGA Center for Best Practices and the CCSSO! Both federal and state legislatures,
not to mention local school boards, are complete removed from having a say.

Received this from Paul Hamby, Missouri Co-Coordinator of Campaign for Liberty, I thought it worth sharing.

The USDA tyrannical attack on the Dollarhite family is a story that is creating outrage across the country.

Numerous blogs and newsletters have picked up the story about massive fines for the backyard rabbit raising project. I have received more than 100 messages asking ‘what can I do?’

Read on to find out what you can do next.

The Dollarhite battle is much bigger than one family vs the USDA.

It involves jurisdiction of the USDA, state sovereignty and the 8th amendment of the US Constitution.  The 8th amendment states in essence that a punishment should fit the crime. “Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.”  A 93,000 fine (with 3.9 million penalty) for not having a federal paper license to raise rabbits, would be equivalent to you losing your house because you drove to the store in a car with expired license plates.  I am not implying that the Dollarhites are guilty of anything, but clearly the fine imposed by USDA is not in line with the charges.

The 8th amendment was adopted in 1791 and came directly from English law dating back into the 1600’s.  Will it be abandoned in 2011?

How often is the USDA using this intimidating strategy of excessive fines on other Americans?

Senators Blunt and McCaskill have already become involved.  Their response was in direct proportion to so many of you calling and asking them to stand up for the Dollarhite family.

One mystery to me is why the Dollarhite’s own congressman has not yet publicly commented on the USDA tyranny.   I personally called his Washington office Tuesday.  I was told that the congressman is aware of the situation but will not make a public statement because it is a private matter.   Ok, I can accept his policy of not discussing this individual case, but as a matter of policy, the congressman needs to go on record.   Congressman Billy Long and his congressional colleagues fund the USDA bureaucrats who created this policy.

Does newly elected Congressman Billy Long think federal tyranny is OK?

Does he respect the sovereignty of the state of Missouri and understand the original intent of the interstate commerce clause?

Does he believe the 8th amendment no longer applies to the constitution he took an oath to defend?

Is he just another big government Republican?

Here are 2 things you can do to make a difference for the Dollarhite family and to protect the liberty of all Americans;

1.  Call Congressman Billy Long’s office at 202.225.6536 and ask him to interpose on behalf of the Dollarhite family.  Ask the congressman to force USDA to stop intimidating Missourians.

2.   Attend a rally on Thursday June 2, asking Congressman Billy Long to stop the USDA power trip.

Congressman, silence is implied consent of federal tyranny!

For details on the rally read this message from the local patriot group;

 

From: We Are Change Branson

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Protests Resume Thursday as Dollarhite Family Faces USDA Fine for Selling Bunny Rabbits

BRANSON, Missouri (May 31, 2011) – This Thursday protesters will again gather to protest this unconstitutional action by the United State Department of Agriculture.  Last Wednesday 50 protesters rallied outside the USDA Service Center in Ozark MO in a courageous show of strength, resolve and support of the Dollarhites. This Thursday protesters will gather outside of United States Congressman Billy Long’s Springfield office.

We Are Change Branson has moved their protest from the USDA office to Billy Long’s congressional office because it has become clear that action from our elected representatives will be necessary to push the USDA to drop all fines and allegations against the Dollarhite family.

The protest will include speakers from the Feed Missouri First Coalition.

Despite Senator McCaskill joining the protesters by phone last Wednesday to assure them that this matter would be resolved and the Springfield News-Leader report that “McCaskill intervention yields deal for offender”, the USDA has not dropped the fines and allegations against the Dollarhite family, and this issue is not over. It has not been resolved.

We Are Change Branson organizer, Sam Garner said “The USDA has no jurisdiction and thus no right to fine or terrorize citizens of our great state of Missouri for sales that are completed legally within the borders and laws of the state of Missouri. We will not allow the Dollarhite family to be targeted by federal invaders who violate Missouri’s state sovereignty.  As proud citizens of the United States of America and the Sovereign State of Missouri, we are fierce in defense of our sovereignty, and we will not be tread upon.”

Protest Time and Location:

Thursday June 2nd 4:30 to 6:00 PM

Congressman Billy Long’s Springfield Office

3232 E. Ridgeview St.

Springfield, MO 65804

(p) 417.889.1800

Please call your elected representatives and let them know that you will be there on Thursday, if you can’t make it, let them know that you are upset about this situation!!

 

Billy Long: (202) 225-6536

Roy Blunt: (202) 224-5721

Clair McCaskil: (202)-224-6154

 

This story has been featured on Drudge Report, Fox News, Glenn Beck, Andrew Breitbart’s Big Government, Natural News, Bob Mccarty, and Bungalow Bills’s Conservative Wisdom Blog….. It’s only fitting that Ky3, KSPR, Kolr10, and KSGF cover this, help us get the word out.

Finally and Gratefully we request that you call the following media outlet’s and let them know about the protest…

KY3

417-268-3201

newsalerts@ky3.com

 

KSPR

417-447-0750

Switchboard 417-831-1333

news@kspr.com

 

KOLR10

417-862-6397

news@kolr10.com

 

KSGF New Talk 104.1

417-447-6397

 

Facebook Event Page

 

WeAreChangeBranson

 

 

Event Media Contact:

Michael Mikkelsen

(816) 806-9389

 

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 Thanks to Campaign for Liberty members Sam Garner and Michael Mikkelson for organizing this protest.

 
If you are not yet a member, please join us at www.campaignforliberty.com    
Contact Information

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Paul Hamby

Missouri Co-Coordinator, Campaign For Liberty

 

816 632 0602 cell   http://www.facebook.com/missouri.paul.hamby

 

 

Our mission is to promote and defend the great American principles of individual liberty, constitutional government, sound money, free markets, and a noninterventionist foreign policy, by means of educational and political activity.

 

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