Thomas More Law Center Creates Online Form For Parents Who Wish To Exempt Their Kids From Common Core

Parents Taught How To Get Kids Out Of Common Core – WorldNetDaily

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The Common Core school standards imposed on teachers by Washington bureaucrats have been rejected by multiple states, targeted by lawsuits and criticized as more indoctrination than education.

Now parents are being given a turn to take a whack at the one-size-fits-all program that relegates George Washington to a half a sentence and compares the Declaration of Independence to a high-school romance breakup letter.

The Michigan-based Thomas More Law Center is urging parents to opt their children out of the restrictive regulations and requirements, providing forms to make the process easier.

“The opt-out form is based on the constitutionally recognized fundamental right of parents to direct the education of their children and on federal statutes which were designed to protect student privacy,” said Richard Thompson, the chief counsel for the organization.

“Our Founding Fathers recognized the dangers to our freedoms posed by centralized control over public education. However, today, all but a handful of state governments, enticed by millions of dollars in federal grants, are voluntarily inviting the federal government to take control of our public schools, imposing untested educational standards and obtaining personal information on children and their parents which would make any totalitarian government blush with envy,” he continued.

“We must ever keep in mind, ‘The philosophy of the classroom in one generation will become the philosophy of the government in the next.’ Clearly, Common Core is a threat to individual privacy and liberty, and to our constitutional republic,” he said.

His group has posted online a sample form to help parents meet the requirements of Michigan state law, where Thomas More is located. The group suggests it can be used as a template by attorneys preparing similar forms in other states.

The form, above a line for a parent’s signature, states “in accordance with the fundamental constitutional rights of parents and legal guardians to determine and direct the care, teaching and education of their children, and the relevant state and federal statutes, I hereby request my child… be exempted and excused for the school year… from the following check marked activities.”

There are options to exempt a student from “any and all standardized testing or activities required by law, under which individual student data are collected and/or shared with the federal government or other entities outside of the local school district; or are used for the purposes of school, student, or teacher accountability, including but not by way of limitation to, academic, achievement and annual tests, state-wide performance assessments and Common Core State Standards aligned assessments and pilots, computer adaptive testing and assessments designed by Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) or Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC).”

There’s also an exemption from “tests, assessments, or surveys not limited solely to proficiency in core academic subjects.”

Other checkbox options include tests that measure “values, attitudes or beliefs” as well as “any survey, analysis, or evaluation that reveals information concerning my child, myself or other members of my family.”

Such information could relate to “political affiliations or beliefs,” “mental or psychological problems,” “sex behavior or attitudes,” “legally recognized privileged or analogous relationships, such as those of lawyers, physicians, and ministers,” “religious practices” or “income.”

It forbids: “The collection, tracking, housing, reporting, selling, or sharing with any party outside of the local school district, of non-educational related information on my child or my family, including, but not limited to: religion, political affiliations, biometric data, psychometric data, and medical information. Biometric data includes fingerprints, retina and iris (eye) patterns, voiceprint, DNA sequence, facial characteristics, handwriting, and any other unique physical identifying traits. Psychometric data includes, but is not limited to: personality traits, attitudes, abilities, aptitude, social and emotional development, tendencies, inclinations, interests, and motivations. ”

See the form.

Thomas More noted the flood of criticism against the federal administrative program.

For example, the Cardinal Newman Society, an organization promoting “faithful Catholic education,” said Common Core is “nothing short of a revolution in how education is provided, relying on a technocratic, top-down approach to setting national standards that, despite claims to the contrary, will drive curricula, teaching texts, and the content of standardized tests.”

“At its heart, the Common Core is a woefully inadequate set of standards in that it limits the understanding of education to a utilitarian ‘readiness for work’ mentality,” the Cardinal Newman Society said.

The standards were created under the sponsorship of the National Governors Association, the Council of Chief State School Officers and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

While the stated goal is to make educational standards consistent across the nation, problems include political and “inappropriate assignments,” links to for-profit corporations, advertising inside of tests and the elimination of input from local school boards.

A major concern is the development of a database detailing private information on every student. The 400 individual data points for each student include health conditions, religion, voting status, income, likes and dislikes.

The information,”through a complicated network of contracts and agreements, can then be shared with the federal government, contractors, researchers and other outside agencies.”

“Testing corporations can then analyze the test data, produce recommendations for how to ‘remediate’ student weaknesses, and then sell that information back to states and school districts,” the law firm said.

The Truth in American Education blog is endorsing the opt-out effort.

“Now is the time for parents to protest this intrusion by opting their child out of Common Core for the 2014-2015 school year,” the blog said. “Congress did NOT pass legislation requiring Common Core standards to be implemented nor did Congress require that standards, curriculum, and tests be aligned.

“If parents allow the U.S. Department of Education to force policy upon the public as if that policy were law, the parents will be surrendering more than parental involvement to the federal government. How soon will it be before all parental rights are ceded to the federal government?”

Opposition to the federal mandates has come from the Heartland Institute, the Home School Legal Defense Association, Eagle Forum and others.

Fox News has reported Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal filed a lawsuit against the Obama administration in federal court over the issue.

The allegations are that the Department of Education illegally manipulated grant money and regulations to force states to adopt the Common Core standards.

WND reported this week one of North Carolina’s largest school districts condemned the College Board’s new Advanced Placement history curriculum, which has direct ties to Common Core, calling it a deeply biased, inaccurate and revisionist version of American history.

The New Hanover County Schools Board of Education adopted a resolution Aug. 19 that calls for a one-year delay in the course‘s implementation.

David Coleman, known as the architect of the Common Core national standards and its chief pitchman, is the president of the College Board, a private company based in New York that owns the SAT and ACT exams as well as the Advanced Placement, or AP, exams and curriculum.

“Coleman is now re-writing every College Board product to align with Common Core,” said Meg Norris, a retired public-school teacher in Hall County, Georgia, and an anti-Common Core activist in that state.

The College Board not only owns the AP curriculum but it administers the AP standardized tests nationwide to K-12 students, measuring their readiness to attend college. Coleman’s ties to the controversial Common Core national education standards and the AP course’s new take on American history has come under fierce criticism.

National Review reported the College Board under Coleman is “politicizing” the teaching of American history.

Officials in North Carolina reported last week that in light of the Common Core influence, home schools in the state rose 14.3 percent. The state reports there are 98,172 homeschoolers in the state.

Governors in Oklahoma, South Carolina, Indiana and Louisiana have taken steps to distance themselves from Common Core, either by working with their state legislatures or by taking unilateral action.

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Most Corrupt Attorney General In History Concocts Yet Another Crooked Scheme

Holder Cut Left-Wing Groups In On $17 Bil BofA Deal – Investors Business Daily

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Extortion: Radical Democrat activist groups stand to collect millions from Attorney General Eric Holder’s record $17 billion deal to settle alleged mortgage abuse charges against Bank of America.

Buried in the fine print of the deal, which includes $7 billion in soft-dollar consumer relief, are a raft of political payoffs to Obama constituency groups. In effect, the government has ordered the nation’s largest bank to create a massive slush fund for Democrat special interests.

Besides requiring billions in debt forgiveness payments to delinquent borrowers in Cleveland, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Oakland, Detroit, Chicago and other Democrat strongholds – and up to $500 million to cover personal taxes owed on those checks – the deal requires BofA to make billions in new loans, while also building affordable low-income rental housing in those areas.

If there are leftover funds in four years, the settlement stipulates the money will go to Interest on Lawyers’ Trust Account (IOLTA), which provides legal aid for the poor and supports left-wing causes, and NeighborWorks of America, which provides affordable housing and funds a national network of left-wing community organizers operating in the mold of Acorn.

In fact, in 2008 and 2009, NeighborWorks awarded a whopping $25 million to Acorn Housing.

In 2011 alone, NeighborWorks shelled out $35 million in “affordable housing grants” to 115 such groups, according to its website. Recipients included the radical Affordable Housing Alliance, which pressures banks to make high-risk loans in low-income neighborhoods and which happens to be the former employer of HUD’s chief “fair housing” enforcer.

BofA gets extra credit if it makes at least $100 million in direct donations to IOLTA and housing activist groups approved by HUD.

According to the list provided by Justice, those groups include come of the most radical bank shakedown organizations in the country, including:

• La Raza, which pressures banks to expand their credit box to qualify more low-income Latino immigrants for home loans;

• National Community Reinvestment Coalition, Washington’s most aggressive lobbyist for the disastrous Community Reinvestment Act;

• Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America, whose director calls himself a “bank terrorist;”

• Operation Hope, a South Central Los Angeles group that’s pressuring banks to make “dignity mortgages” for deadbeats.

Worse, one group eligible for BofA slush funds is a spin-off of Acorn Housing’s branch in New York.

It’s now rebranded as Mutual Housing Association of New York, or MHANY. HUD lists MHANY’s contact as Ismene Speliotis, who previously served as New York director of Acorn Housing.

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CBO “Revises” Its 2014 GDP Forecast, Hilarity Ensues (As Always) – Tyler Durden

CBO “Revises” Its 2014 GDP Forecast, Hilarity Ensues (As Always) – Tyler Durden

The gross, in fact epic, incompetence of the Congressional Budget Office when it comes to doing its only job, forecasting the future state of the US economy, has previously been extensively documented here (and here and here and here). This incompetence is in the spotlight once again this morning with the CBO’s release of its latest forecast revision of its original February 2014 projection.

And while every aspect of the revised projection has changed, in an adverse direction of course, the punchline is the chart below: the CBO’s revised projection for 2014 GDP. It’s one of those “no comment necessary” visuals.

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Surprising? Hardly. After all the CBO is swarming with indoctrinated Keynesian cultists whose only achievement in life is to be wrong about everything (and then to blame the Fed for not “easing enough”). Here is how the CBO “explains” this 50%+ cut in its forecast in just 6 months:

CBO has lowered its projection of real growth of GDP in 2014 from 3.1 percent to 1.5 percent, reflecting the surprising economic weakness in the first half of the year.

Which as other Keynesian talking heads have already made quite clear was due to snow. That’s right: over $100 billion in forecast economic growth “evaporated” from the US economy because it… snowed.

The good news? The CBO refuses to forecast the “harsh weather” for the foreseeable future, and has kept all of its 2015 and onward GDP estimates as is. So when things go horribly wrong to the CBO’s forecast, which is 100% guaranteed to happen, the CBO can again blame “surprising economic weakness” because, well, everyone else is doing it.

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Those who wish to waste their time can find the source here.

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*VIDEO* Alfonzo Rachel: No, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Ferguson Isn’t The Rich’s Fault


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Nothing Nazistic About This At All…

Government To Track ‘False, Misleading’ Ideas On Twitter – Ricochet

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Nope, this isn’t unsettling:

The federal government is spending nearly $1 million to create an online database that will track “misinformation” and hate speech on Twitter.

The National Science Foundation is financing the creation of a web service that will monitor “suspicious memes” and what it considers “false and misleading ideas,” with a major focus on political activity online.

The “Truthy” database, created by researchers at Indiana University, is designed to “detect political smears, astroturfing, misinformation, and other social pollution.”

One G-man’s “social pollution” is another free man’s First Amendment right. The very term sounds like something out of a 1920s Italian fascist tract. And why is the federal government even deciding which ideas are “false and misleading,” let alone tracking them?

According to the project’s grant, the service “could mitigate the diffusion of false and misleading ideas, detect hate speech and subversive propaganda, and assist in the preservation of open debate.”

In 2004, dissent was “the highest form of patriotism.” A decade later, it’s called “subversive propaganda” and categorized as the lowest form of treason. Truthy would add a button to Twitter so that people could report their neighbors and family members for Thoughtcrime against the State.

Filippo Menczer (who sounds like an author of that 1920s Italian fascist tract) is Truthy’s lead investigator and closely affiliated with “non-partisan” groups like President Obama’s Organizing for Action, Moveon.org and Greenpeace. The software’s very name comes from ardent conservative hater Stephen Colbert.

It’s hard to denounce the more paranoid allegations of Obama’s opponents when his administration routinely goes beyond their wildest imaginings.

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Left-Wing Activist Judge Goes Out Of His Way To Prevent School Choice In North Carolina

One Judge Attempts To Block Thousands Of Students From Accessing School Vouchers – Daily Signal

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Last Thursday, North Carolina Superior Court Judge Robert Hobgood ruled the state’s school voucher program unconstitutional because the program “appropriates funds in a manner that does not accomplish a public purpose.” The Opportunity Scholarship Program was established last year and set to go into effect this school year, providing children from low-income families scholarships worth up to $4,200 to attend a private school of choice.

The ruling halts implementation of the program and suspends disbursement of scholarship funds.

In February Hobgood granted a preliminary injunction against the program, arguing that the vouchers were “likely” unconstitutional and halting applications to the program. But in May, the North Carolina Supreme Court issued a temporary stay against Hobgood’s ruling.

Hobgood declared the Opportunity Scholarships unconstitutional based on the state’s obligation to provide students a “sound basic education,” finding that the state could not “delegate this responsibility to unregulated private schools…”

The Institute for Justice has filed a motion to intervene in the case to defend the program.

“This decision from the judge was not unexpected, given his willingness to preliminarily enjoin the program last February. The Institute for Justice was successful in getting the North Carolina Supreme Court to stop that injunction and we hope to have similar success in stopping this one,” said IJ senior attorney Richard Komer. “We are moving quickly to try and get the program up and running again. We remain confident that the program is constitutional in all respects.”

According to Parents for Educational Freedom, over 5,500 families applied for the scholarship this year. The North Carolina State Education Assistance Authority, the organization managing the scholarships, notes that more than 1,800 of those students have already received their awards – and many of those students have begun their school year. It is now unclear whether those students will be able to attend their school of choice.

Darrell Allison, president of Parents for Educational Freedom in North Carolina, writes:

“Today’s ruling strikes at the heart of what thousands of North Carolina families have been fighting for over the past several months. With nearly 2,000 already enrolled and more than 300 private schools registered to educate these students, there is no doubt that the families, for whom this program is targeted, desperately desire this program. The Opportunity Scholarship Program is offering parents choices where none have existed before and is leveling the playing field when it comes to our state’s most disadvantaged children.”

Last year, North Carolina launched its first private school choice program, the Education Tax-Credit Program, while also adopting the Opportunity Scholarship Program. By doing so, North Carolina enacted options that could improve the educational landscape in the Tar Heel state for some of the most vulnerable students.

As the school choice march continues across the country, this ruling causes thousands of North Carolina students to wait, their educational futures on hold.

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Corruption Update: Wisconsin John Doe Investigation Was Full-Blown Anti-Conservative Fishing Expedition

Revealed: Wisconsin John Doe Investigation Was Full-Blown Anti-Conservative Fishing Expedition – Legal Insurrection

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We’ve covered the abusive anti-conservative Wisconsin “John Doe” proceedings many times before.

The short story is that two separate proceedings were commenced under the auspices of Democratic District Attorneys in order to try to take down Scott Walker.

John Doe No. 1 concerned Walker’s time as County Executive and ended without finding any wrongdoing by Walker himself.

John Doe No. 2 concerned Walker’s time as Governor and recall election. Both a state court judge and a federal judge found that even if everything the investigators claimed was true, it was not illegal. This John Doe No. 2 resulted in a federal lawsuit by two of the targets alleging that the investigators violated the targets’ constitutional rights.

Some documents released Friday by the federal Court of Appeals reveal just how abusive this John Doe No. 2 was.

The investigators conducted a widespread fishing expedition through the otherwise private records of numerous conservative activists, as described by M.D. Kittle of Wisconsin Reporter, who has followed the case more closely than anyone (h/t Instapundit):

‘Retaliation’: Docs show state prosecutors’ launched mini-NSA probe of state conservatives

Conservative targets of a Democrat-launched John Doe investigation have described the secret probe as a witch hunt.

That might not be a big enough descriptor, based on records released Friday by a federal appeals court as part of a massive document dump.

Attorneys for conservative activist Eric O’Keefe and the Wisconsin Club for Growth point to subpoenas requested by John Doe prosecutors that sought records from “at least eight phone companies” believed to serve the targets of the investigation. O’Keefe and the club have filed a civil rights lawsuit against John Doe prosecutors, alleging they violated conservatives’ First Amendment rights.

Subpoenas also demanded the conservatives’ bank records, “emails from every major private email provider” and other information in what some have described as a mini-NSA (National Security Agency) operation in Wisconsin.

“In fact, Defendants’ submissions confirm and expand upon the scope and intensity of retaliation previously demonstrated,” O’Keefe’s attorney wrote in documents ordered unsealed by the 7th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.

The documents raise serious concerns about the tactics of Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm, two of his assistant DAs and others involved in the investigation targeting dozens of conservatives.

We are in a dangerous place when prosecutors can identify the target first, and then try to find a crime.

Hey Wisconsin conservatives. You’re not paranoid, Democrats really are out to get you.

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