PHOENIX – I vehemently oppose the adoption and continued imposition of the Common Core machine on our state by two non-educators, Gov. Jan Brewer and Superintendent of Instruction John Huppenthal.

commoncoreappleMy anti-Common Core position is well- informed and is based on my 10 years as a public school teacher, my 5 years working on every aspect of our state’s standardized test (the AIMS test), and my experience as a Common Core insider working on the Common Core/PARCC test on behalf of our state’s Department of Education over the last year.

According to Huppenthal, the “chief educator” in our state, that makes me a “barbarian at the gate.” He said this this at a recent panel in Phoenix. By extension, that also makes the countless other teachers, parents, and concerned citizens of our state who disagree with Common Core “barbarians” as well.

Do we really want a Superintendent of Instruction that speaks with such disdain toward parents and educators who disagree with him? Arizonans deserve better.

Brewer, in exchange for millions of federal dollars back in 2010, adopted the Common Core standards and installed an NSA-like data suctioning systems (SLDS) in our state to send all manner of personal data from our children to the U.S. Department of Education. without parent notification or permission. Arizonans deserve better.

We elected Huppenthal and Brewer to protect our children, but instead they let the Common Core beast and its data predators through the gate, and somehow we are the barbarians? Arizonans deserve better.

Huppenthal is currently perpetrating the charade of accepting bids from six testing companies vying for the contract to create and implement Arizona’s Common Core test. The list of bidders includes Pearson Testing and the Partnership for Assessment of College and Career Readiness (PARCC) group. Arizona’s Common Core test will be selected by the state board of education, of which Huppenthal is a member.

Huppenthal sits on the governing board of the PARCC group, where each member state has already agreed “to participate exclusively in PARCC and will administer the assessment system statewide during the 2014–15 school year.” That very same governing board just awarded Pearson a lucrative contract to develop the PARCC/Common Core Assessment.

Huppenthal went on a whirlwind tour of China and Brazil back in 2011 to study their education systems, a trip paid for by Pearson. He then came back to Arizona to extol the virtues of the centrally controlled, homogenized Communist Chinese education system.

Due to this conflict of interest, Pearson and PARCC should immediately be disqualified from bidding on Arizona’s Common Core assessment contract. Huppenthal is either ignorant of this conflict of interest or he is willfully participating in this charade of “objectively” looking for the best testing company. Either possibility is unacceptable. I have a feeling this charade is happening in other PARCC states as well

In an Arizona newspaper, only a few short months ago, I spoke on behalf of many teachers and parents when I penned a commentary opposing the Common Core in our state. Days later I received a call in my classroom from a highly placed official in Huppenthal’s Department of Education attempting to intimidate me into silence.

I registered a complaint about this intimidation at a voters’ forum put on by Huppenthal here in Tucson. With a great show of sincerity, Huppenthal agreed that no one from his office should be attempting to intimidate me. He assured me that he didn’t know the official that I identified, but agreed to look into the matter and “make it right”.

I followed up on our conversation with an email. That was almost two and half months ago and I have not heard from Huppenthal since.

I have been to candidate forums and listened to Huppenthal speak, using the same tired generalities and talking points, He rarely demonstrated even a superficial understanding of education policies in general and of the Common Core in particular. Yet he castigates those of us who oppose the Common Core from a position of knowledge and experience?

I have also listened to Diane Douglas, who is running for the Republican nomination to oppose Huppenthal in this year’s general election. Douglas, a veteran educator, spoke in depth about Arizona’s education policies. She spoke with great specificity about the detrimental effect that the Common Core machine is having on our children and the usurping of Arizonan parents’ role as their children’s chief educators and protectors.

The contrast could not be greater between the two candidates for superintendent of instruction. One non-educator believes we are the “barbarians at the gate,” while the other candidate, speaking with authority grounded in knowledge and experience, recognizes the dangers of a “one size fits all education system. Arizonans deserve better, and now we have a choice.

While Huppenthal lives in Ignoramus, Arizona, population of one, he has clones with different names in every state around the country ruining public education with their lack of knowledge concerning the Common Core’s devastating effect on education and our children’s minds.

Common Core fight is as much local as it is national. Make sure to vet your local candidates and put them on record as being for the complete removal of the Common Core machine from your state, not just pausing it or reworking its “botched” implementation. Arizona deserves better, your state deserves better, and our country deserves better.

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