Homeschooling under assault

December 29, 2013

Ohio Democrat legislator introduces massively intrusive bill

The Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) — an advocacy group defending the constitutional right of parents to direct the upbringing and education of their children and to protect family freedoms —  is hard at work in Ohio.

We might well need their services here in Arizona.

As the federal overreaches contained in the Common Core curriculum gain more exposure, parents have balked to the point that John Huppenthal, Arizona’s Superintendent of Public Instruction, with enthusiastic approval from Gov. Jan Brewer have attempted to dupe the public by slickly changing the name “Common Core” to “Arizona College and Career Ready Standards.” The duo are shamefully pushing policies intended to cede control of every facet of our education system to federal bureaucrats, undermining local control.

As Arizona’s 2014 legislative session gets underway Monday, January 13, we need to remain vigilant.  Ohio parents who opt to alternatively homeschool their children are already under legislative assault.

With the recent introduction of Senate Bill 248, by Democrat State Sen. Capri Cafaro, Ohio has suddenly become a frontline in the battle over homeschooling freedom. HSLDA describes SB 248 as “breathtakingly onerous in its scope.” It requires all homeschooling parents to undergo a social services investigation which would ultimately determine if homeschooling would be permitted. Social workers would interview parents and children separately, conduct background checks and be the sole determiner as to whether or not to recommend homeschooling for each individual family. If it is not recommended, parents would have to submit to an “intervention” before further consideration of their request to homeschool.

SB 248   (read it here) is a ham-handed response to a child abuse tragedy which ended in the death of a 14-year-old boy at the hands of his mother’s boyfriend. The crime would not have been averted had this bill been enacted and in effect at the time the crime occurred. While a student in public school, his ongoing abuse was reported by teahcers to authorities who did not intervene. His mother removed him from the school under the guise of homeschooling him, when in fact she wanted to ensure no prying eyes would intrude on the dysfunctional family.

The Ohio bill unjustly targets homeschooling, removing the focus from the state — which did nothing to protect the boy when the vicious abuse he suffered was reported — and attacking families making educational choices for their children. The “mother” and her boyfriend are now where they belong — in prison.


Laura Ingraham is the bear in Matt Salmon’s stream

October 29, 2013

In this scathing piece, Arizona Congressman Matt Salmon (AZ CD-5) is exposed as an amnesty waffler who did little other than waver, evade and reverse himself  in his discussion with syndicated talk show host Laura Ingraham. He is described as “revealing his naiveté to both the political realities facing the House, and the market realities which confront struggling American workers.”

Read “Laura grills Salmon on his support for going to conference on immigration reform.”

It’s a stretch to believe that Salmon is naive regarding congressional machinations. Before being elected to represent the East Valley district in 2012, he previously served as U.S. Representative from 1995 to 2001 He knows the drill.

Listen as Ingraham opens with a brief June discussion with Marco Rubio and then moves to this interview (audio) with Matt Salmon. Ingraham begins by warning Salmon he is in a “cliché free zone” — meaning no “system is broken,” “people need to come out of the shadows,” “we can’t deport 12 million people.”

Despite the still too high American unemployment, Salmon continues to push for H-1B guest workers, “I’d like to get something done,” he tells Ingraham. When questioned about whether it would be reckless to flood the labor market with additional workers given the already exorbitant rate of unemployment, Salmon was flippant, saying. “There are so many people in our country who would rather sit on public assistance than work.” Ingraham pointedly asked Salmon whether he was calling  American people lazy. Salmon dodged, trying to reconfigure the comment. But Ingraham continued to press him on the issue, highlighting the flaws in his argument and explaining how such assertions, especially when expressed by politicians who are supposed to be advocates of the people, serve only to threaten the well-being of hardworking Americans.

Currently American citizens with college degrees in fields requiring specific technological skills are seeking work in record numbers. More educated young adults than ever before are still living with their parents.  Why would Matt Salmon think it necessary to import foreign competition?


Educrat unions oppose keeping criminals out of public schools

October 24, 2013

Who do you think might oppose bi-partisan federal legislation that would prevent public schools across the country from hiring convicted rapists and other sex offenders, murderers, kidnappers and pornographers?

Shockingly, the answer is, the leaders of our nation’s major teachers unions, the National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers — who strenuously object to barring such predators from working around school children. These unionists claim the measure might “jeopardize workers’ protections under union contracts.”

In the U.S. House, 212 Republicans and 190 Democrats passed the legislation by a simple voice vote — including the entire Arizona delegation — excluding Raul Grijalva, (D-CD3), who did not vote.

In a an appalling breach of their responsibility to protect the children in their care curing the school day, teachers unions are more concerned with the contractual “protections” afforded the worst criminal element. The steady stream of dues is also a consideration. Additionally, the NEA is reportedly concerned that minorities, who make up a disproportionately high percentage of criminals, would be “excessively impacted” by the bill.

Over the years, Seeing Red AZ has written about the rampant and alarming problem in Arizona schools involving sexual predator teachers, which we call the “Endless Parade.”  This post contains links to a sampling of previous reports involving sexually exploitive teachers, criminally abusing their positions of trust as they prey on students.

In numerous cases involving teachers or administrators, union officials have negotiated separation agreements with employers, allowing offenders to quietly leave their positions with a letter of recommendation — enabling them to secure jobs in unsuspecting districts — as well as taking away a hefty payout as they leave.

This is an example of the far left indoctrination teachers get from the NEA — one of the nation’s largest unions. Listen closely as the list of the group’s accomplishments are ticked off. You won’t hear a single word about students or standards. But the national membership did vote to increase their own dues in order to provide greater funding to Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign.

For an excellent in-depth report on this outrageous union action intended to protect criminals over our children, read Unions oppose bipartisan effort to keep criminals out of public schools, by Victor Skinner writing for EAG News.


Shutdown? GOP U.S. Reps still working to backdoor amnesty

October 2, 2013

Why are GOP amnesty hustlers disregarding the  plight and concerns of American citizens, as they aid Obama’s scheme for increasing Democrats?

As our attention is diverted by the government shutdown of “non-essential services” in the wake of an attempted defunding of Obamacare — all great media fodder — something else is simmering behind the scenes.

ABC News carries the AP report that House Republicans are still hard at work on amnesty. You might not have heard the word mentioned lately as the federal overreach into our healthcare has taken center stage, but that illegal immigration overhaul legislation, craftily called “comprehensive” by its proponents is alive and well.  As the nation is sidetracked, those GOP members we elected are toiling to bring in competition for our jobs and our kid’s university placements.

Those folks we helped put in their cushy offices along the Potomac need to hear from us. (Contact information under link) Obamacare is large scale and unsustainable socialism that will alter our health care delivery in unimagined ways and with disastrous ramifications, such as age restricted care.

Amnesty will legitimatize criminal behavior, ultimately rewarding upward of 25 million illegals with the gift of American citizenship.  Yet that doesn’t appear to deter its supporters.

“I would think that would be the next agenda item in the queue after we’re done with this mess,” said Texas Republican Congressman Mike McCaul, referring to bitter divisions over the health law, the level of government spending and the growing federal debt.

Arizonans know this farce all too well. With our southern border the major portal for the invasion of foreign nationals, and having been sold out by the original architects of so-called “Comprehensive Immigration Reform” — Sen. John McCain and former Sen. Jon Kyl.

 Jeff Flake who succeeded Kyl has long been solidly onboard this train wreck.  During his years in the U.S. House, he partnered with Illinois Rep. Luis Gutierrez on this maneuver. In this article, “The Numbers Are On Our Side,” written for Progress Illinois, radical liberal Gutierrez credits Flake for his assistance in turning more red states blue.

Why would Republicans be aligning with Democrats to import millions more Democrats to ensure the demise of the GOP? How are unemployed or underemployed American citizens well served by a massive surge of new workers competing for still scarce jobs?  How do native-born American students benefit when illegals cunningly described as “DREAMers” vie for university placements and ultimately for a limited number of jobs?

It’s time to once again marshal our forces and remind our members of congress that we helped put them where they are and we will work to return them home. They are called representatives because they are supposedly representing the citizens of their state.


Educrat trio: Huppenthal, Brewer, AZ Republic

September 27, 2013

Striving for a bold approach and strutting its leftward stuff, the Arizona Republic has outdone itself in editorially supporting Obama’s attempt to nationalize the American education system. Reacting to the ham-handed dual efforts of Gov. Jan Brewer and Superintendent of Public Instruction John Huppenthal to magically re-christen Common Core as “Arizona’s College and Career Ready Standards” — hoping no one will notice — the newspaper now advises them to “Go ahead, say Common Core.”

Although the Arizona Republic recently provided Huppenthal ample space for a “My Turn” column titled: “Why Common Core needs a new name,” — in which he actually acknowledges the deceptive rebranding — the editorial board has had a change of heart.

The latest editorial claims the name change is a mistaken effort to “pacify the far right,” showing the disconnect the paper has with concerned citizens and alarmed parents. With the back of its inky hand, the newspaper and its cohorts have clearly dismissed us as the tin foil hat brigade.

Brewer and Huppenthal have come to the conclusion that Arizonans and Americans across the nation (video) have figured out that Common Core, when fully implemented, will place control of our school system in the hands of unelected Washington bureaucrats. But deceptively attempting to alter the name of this federal overreach is the least of the problems AZ’s Common Core proponents have.

Superintendent of Public Instruction John Huppenthal is out of step with Arizona parents and teachers who are united in opposition to Common Core. The obvious dangers of the implementation of Common Core by Obama/Duncan Department of Education are just the tip of the iceberg. As with all federal programs, the full extent of the collateral damage will best be viewed in retrospect. Concerns about the demise of our nation from the pre-eminent leader of the world to second class status are not limited to the “far right.” Americans of every political persuasion care about their children and understand the basic concept of retaining local control of public schools.

Conservative political commentator and syndicated columnist Michelle Malkin has pledged to devote her energies to exposing the federal overreach that is Common Core. Some of her articles can be read here.


Gov. Brewer, AZ SPI Huppenthal, partner on education deceit

September 24, 2013

Shocking and intentionally misleading double-talk is the order of the day in Arizona when it comes to the Obama education standards known as Common Core.

First we have this Sept. 20, 2013 press release from Governor Jan Brewer touting her issuance of an Executive Order regarding the contrived federal takeover of our schools, Common Core.

But wait a minute! Nowhere do the words, “Common Core” actually find their way into her order, which is cunningly crafted into a “Reaffirmation of Arizona’s authority to set [its] own education policy.”

Be aware that what she refers to as “Arizona’s College and Career Ready Standards,” is nothing short of the renaming of the rotten to the core Common Core curriculum so despised by alarmed parents and concerned teachers.

Keep your eye on the ball, folks. Today, Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction (SPI) John Huppenthal, Gov. Brewer’s ally in this education deception, is given ample space on the editorial page of the far-left Arizona Republic. His “My Turn” column titled: “Why we dropped Common Core name on reforms,” actually acknowledges the deceptive rebranding. The online version carries the handle, “Why Common Core needs a new name.”

Last week when speaking before the Rodel Foundation, a liberal think tank, Huppenthal said he was changing the name but keeping the materials provided by Common Core. In today’s editorial, he dances that back.

If every Arizona student must take this national test to pass, then the state has to write standards that align with the federal mandates. Say goodbye to local control of education.

Scroll through the Rodel Board of Directors and read their bios. The listing includes such liberal notables as Obama pal Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton, and Louis A. (Chip) Weil III, retired chairman, president and CEO of Central Newspapers, Inc. — more commonly known as the Arizona Republic.  What a surprise.

But there is honor among the ranks of Republican governors. Today, the Miami Herald reports Florida Gov. Rick Scott directed the state Education Board to withdraw from the national consortium creating tests to accompany the new Common Core State Standards — known as PARCC (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers.) Read Gov. Scott’s news release here.

These are previous SRAZ posts on this topic which are worth reviewing:

Huppenthal con job: Pushes renaming Common Core, Sept. 19, 2013

Common Core deception: In AZ it starts with Huppenthal, Sept. 22, 2013


Common Core deception: In AZ it starts with Huppenthal

September 22, 2013

Today’s “Weekend Reading Guaranteed to Make You Smarter” deserves its own headline

Conservative syndicated columnist Michelle Malkin’s recent post titled “Jeb Bush’s latest Common Core snit fit,” is a must read. Additionally, it dovetails well with our Thursday post “Huppenthal’s con job: Pushes renaming Common Core,” revealing the underhanded tactics being used by John Huppenthal, Arizona’s Superintendent of Public Instruction.

The Republican turned Obamacrat, is facing opposition from openly defiant parents over what he misconstrues as simply a “politically charged name.” Thinking Arizona voters can be easily duped, Huppenthal’s dishonest solution as he faces knowledgeable conservative challenger Diane Douglas, is to simply rebrand the liberal scheme. Presto!  “Common Core” will become “Arizona College and Career Ready Standards,” if he is able to slip this grotesque deception through. He admits that nothing other than the name will change in his Obama-influenced vision for Arizona classrooms.

As we previously noted, Huppenthal claimed conservative credentials as a candidate, but is now cozying up to Obama’s education point man Arne Duncan as the duo recently made the rounds of the state. Now, rather than protecting Arizona’s Constitutional requirement for local control of our district schools, Huppenthal is shamefully pushing policies intended to cede control of every facet of our education system to federal bureaucrats.

Scroll down through Malkin’s Jeb Bush article to click on the myriad exposés of Common Core. This critical topic is one that conservative Malkin pledged to devote considerable energies to illuminating, and she has remained true to her word with her “Rotten to the Core“ series.

Then watch this shocking video of a father merely questioning the implementation of Common Core getting hauled out of the meeting by security — and arrested!  Malkin’s accompanying post is chilling:  Parents, you need to question these people!:” Shock video of dad arrested at school meeting after challenging Common Core. The left is in this for the long haul and will go to any lengths to silence dissent.

Common Core is serious business and America‘s children are the pawns in the alarming game of federal overreach. As happens too frequently, those we trusted are attempting to hoodwink us with catchy jargon and glib name changes. Now as a worried candidate facing angry parents, Huppenthal is hard at work — reconstructing the name but keeping the rotten core of Common Core. 

 Our education house is made of cards. It’s time to rebuild with a solid foundation

.


Janet Napolitano’s new bungalow rates zero local press

September 20, 2013

If you’re looking for news about Janet Napolitano’s opulent new living style in California, don’t expect to find it in the pages of the Arizona República.  Stories abound of the onetime Arizona governor and Obama’s former Homeland Security chieftain being hired on as the University of California president. But nary a word about her lavish new digs — a mansion being restored by the nearly bankrupt state of California at a cost estimated up to $6 million. In 2008 the costly renovation was ditched when the estimates came in at $8 to $9 million. The historic Blake House has been home to university presidents for decades and the now vacant property — which sits on 10 acres of Mediterranean gardens —  is in need of updating.  In UC lingo, the showplace is needed to “accommodate essential entertainment functions.”

The deluxe residence overlooking the bay, is quite a leap from the more humble walk-up condo at Renaissance Square in downtown Phoenix where Napolitano previously hung her hat. The never married Napolitano will presumably be rattling around the grand expanses solo.

While the renovation is underway, she will reside in a 3,500 square foot rental in Oakland with a mere $10,000 monthly price tag — thoughtfully provided by the university system.

Since Napolitano’s base annual salary is reportedly $570,000, plus an additional $142,500 in moving expenses. It seems she could kick in a buck or two toward the rental.

The University of California is hardly in a position to gush such generosity since budget cuts have caused student tuition fees to double and teachers to be sacked. Yet despite the reductions, The San Francisco Chronicle reports that the UC regents’ buildings and grounds committee voted unanimously Tuesday to begin the renovations to the three-bedroom, seven-bath residence. Plans include adding a laundry, kitchen and upgraded bathrooms, along with roof repairs to the 4,300-square-foot private living quarters in the 13,269-square-foot mansion. 

Even the UK’s Daily Mail’ has a complete report including photos, which can be read here. The República’s report? Don’t hold your breath.

H/T to SRAZ reader and commenter Saguaro Sam


Huppenthal’s con job: Pushes renaming Common Core

September 19, 2013

AZ Education Superintendent tries to fool parents and voters

John Huppenthal, Arizona’s Superintendent of Public Instruction, is doing a first-rate imitation of Punxsutawney Phil.  According to tradition, each February 2 groundhog Phil emerges from his burrow. A cloudy day welcomes an early spring. But if the sun is shining brightly and Phil sees his shadow, six more weeks of icy winter is in store.

Unfortunately for Arizona, Huppenthal’s recent emergence from the education abyss will not give him six weeks of winter. Instead the devious policies he is advocating will bring decades of a barren winter landscape for Arizona students.

Alarmed by the voices of angry voters, parents dedicated to protecting their children and facing Diane Douglas, a knowledgeable conservative challenger in the 2014 election, John Huppenthal has decided the most advantageous scheme is to try to dupe the public by slickly changing the name from “Common Core” to “Arizona College and Career Ready Standards.”  He acknowledges the term has become “politically charged.” It has also become difficult to sell the leftist standards — long in multiculturalism, self esteem and social justice and short on actual education — to the groups he is addressing. “Unwavering“ in his commitment to Common Core, Huppenthal admits outside of the rebranding, nothing will actually change in his Obama-influenced vision for Arizona classrooms. 

Instead of protecting Arizona’s Constitutional requirement for local control of our district schools, Huppenthal is pushing policies that will cede control of every facet of our education system to federal bureaucrats. Conservative syndicated columnist Michelle Malkin has written extensively about what she calls “Rotten to the Core.”  “Obama’s War on Academic Standards,” is an excellent place to begin.

This shocking video shows a teacher’s training session on Common Core math. The trainer explains how getting the wrong answer is perfectly acceptable. FrontPage Mag exposes the shocking Common Core ‘Exemplars’ and the Daily Caller reveals graphic sex and the praising of Communist Castro. Opponents of such garbage are being categorized as part of the tin foil hat contingent. Read some of this and make your own judgments.

Huppenthal’s transformation is confounding. Here is a man who claimed conservative credentials as a candidate, now cozying up to Obama’s education point man Arne Duncan as the duo recently made the rounds of the state.

The biggest irony, however, is the fact that Huppenthal was the author and prime sponsor of Senate Bill 1038 in 2005. This bill dramatically lowered graduation standards for Arizona students. Now, eight years later, the same John Huppenthal is using the scare tactics that our state standards are too low as the reason for embracing Obama’s Common Core.

At 29 years of age Huppenthal began an unbroken 30-year record of feeding at the public trough. During those years he has become a recognized establishment hack. It’s time to retire him.


Biggs, Burges ace Goldwater legislative report card

August 25, 2013

Arizona’s 51st Legislature, First Regular Session 2013

The Goldwater Institute has released its 11th annual Legislative Report Card.  It analyzes 328 votes taken by the Arizona Legislature in 2013 — 165 in the Senate and 163 in the House of Representatives, out of the 1,252 bills introduced overall. The Report Card separates legislative votes into four categories: education, constitutional government, regulation, and tax and budget

The highest overall score was that of Senate President Andy Biggs and Sen. Judy Burges, both at 74 percent. Freshman state Rep. Darin Mitchell received the highest score in the House: 72 percent. Be sure to read through the various categories to see how your own district legislators rated.

Table 12 on page 38 highlights the top-five scoring legislators in all score categories.

Table 13 on page 39 shows the lowest-five scoring legislators in all score categories.

“After redistricting, and with the battle over Medicaid expansion producing unusual anti-liberty coalitions, it appears the pro-liberty gains of past years have been blunted,” said Nick Dranias, Goldwater Institute Director for Policy Development and the author of the report. “Hopefully, this will prove to be a temporary phenomenon. There is reason to hope because, while average scores are lower, most median scores are higher, indicating that more legislators have improved their scores than otherwise.”

Click here to read the report card.


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