Wisconsin Groups: Congrats, Legislature. You Own Common Core.

A coalition of Wisconsin over 40 education activists and groups sent a letter to every Wisconsin legislator and to Governor Scott Walker.


Congratulations. You Own It.

An Open Letter to Wisconsin State Elected Officials on the Full and Imminent Implementation of Common Core State Standards

April 23, 2014

At the beginning of April, the Wisconsin State Legislature concluded its 2014 floor sessions. Yet, Common Core State Standards (CCSS)—the single most prominent issue of the last year in Wisconsin politics—remains unaddressed. As leadership has announced that the legislature will now take a nine-month hiatus, CCSS is unlikely to see any serious opposition at the state level until at least January of 2015.

With CCSS presently retaining status as official state standards, and Smarter Balanced assessments scheduled to roll out this fall for the 2014-2015 school year, the legislature’s failure to act means that total implementation of CCSS is now imminent in Wisconsin. Smarter Balanced assessments are the enforcement mechanism that will be used to ensure compliance with CCSS and aligned curricula.

Because Smarter Balanced assessments have not been in place in Wisconsin up to now, our state has not yet experienced the full reality of CCSS. This fact has allowed several individuals in key positions on both sides of the aisle to tout the standards’ alleged benefits in a manner that few in Wisconsin currently have the experience or the courage to refute. The haze created by this well funded and heavily marketed campaign of misinformation has resulted in confusion, inaction, and even active pro-CCSS entrenchment on the part of many state legislators, district and school administrators, the business community, and even some parents and teachers. Meanwhile, the informed parents, teachers, and taxpayers who have explored CCSS beyond the superficial talking points have been championed only by a small but dedicated coterie of legislators. Those legislators who did understand and make an effort to jettison or undercut CCSS found themselves effectively sidelined by those with greater influence and higher positions of authority.

Well done, then, to Wisconsin’s state-level CCSS advocates. You’ve won this round. You successfully convinced many that rejection of CCSS was just an issue of the “fringe” Tea Party. Despite the wishes of constituents, you ensured that a true CCSS kill-bill never saw the light of day. You ensured that other legislation that might help to undermine CCSS was watered down, marginalized, or killed outright. CCSS will proceed on schedule. Kudos to you.

But be careful about celebrating this victory.

Everything is about to change.

With the deployment of the Smarter Balanced assessments, the rosy CCSS talking points upon which you have relied are about to be exposed for what they are. CCSS is going to cause pain in this state. And in the blame game that ensues, those who have facilitated CCSS either actively or by their inaction will quickly become vulnerable.

Congratulations. You own it.

What exactly do you now own?

  • You own the unhealthy and as yet unimagined degree of pressure that will shortly be placed on Wisconsin children to perform on an unending stream of standardized assessments with little validity. http://bit.ly/tests-hurt
  • You own the fact that even students previously considered high achievers are likely to fail the Smarter Balanced assessments in droves, providing a false measure of both performance and underperformance. http://bit.ly/unending-tests
  • You own the inaccurate labeling of “underperforming schools” and the subsequent school closings that CCSS and the Smarter Balanced assessments have, in part, been engineered to ensure. http://bit.ly/underperforming
  • You own the injudicious use of student performance on Smarter Balanced assessments to judge wrongly and misleadingly the quality of teachers. http://bit.ly/teacher-quality
  • You own the shredding of the art of teaching—the reduction of teachers to proctors in their own classrooms—by means of extensive embedded pedagogy within CCSS that doesn’t just demand compliance from teachers concerning what to teach but also how to teach it. http://bit.ly/kills-creativity, http://bit.ly/demoralize-teachers
  • You own the convoluted and bizarre teaching methods embedded within CCSS pedagogy and the ways in which they will cripple many students’ ability to understand and learn. http://bit.ly/cripple-students, http://bit.ly/not-teaching
  • You own the distress of parents as they realize they can no longer assist their children with homework because not even as competent adults can they understand the methods by which their children are now being taught. http://bit.ly/parents-dont-understand
  • You own the rejection of individualism that is part and parcel of the CCSS mandate to teach the same and yield the same, regardless of the unique character, learning styles, circumstances, and aspirations of each child. http://bit.ly/different-styles
  • You own the fact that the for-profit charter schools intended to replace “failing” public schools will likewise be CCSS-based widget factories, enriching no one but the people who collect the tuition. http://bit.ly/ccss-for-profit
  • You own the fact that, under CCSS, students who want to reach farther will only be prepared for a two-year non-selective college, not a four-year university. http://bit.ly/non-selective
  • You own the coming anger of local taxpayers who will soon realize that you have essentially pushed them into an unfunded mandate—CCSS infrastructure and training costs that will likely exceed the expectations and budgets of most school districts. http://bit ly/ccss-high-cost
  • You own the additional taxpayer anger that will result when they discover that all of the spending you helped to push them into was for an initiative doomed to failure from the outset. http://bit.ly/ccss-doomed
  • You own the invasion of student and family privacy that CCSS furthers through its data gathering, data storage, and data mining components. http://bit.ly/ccss-privacy
  • You own this initiative’s disregard of the U.S. Constitution, which gives the federal government no authority over education, as well as the its disregard of at least three federal laws forbidding the federal government from involvement in school standards and curriculum. http://bit.ly/ccss-unconstitutional
  • You own the undercutting of Wisconsin children’s ability to determine their own unbounded future. http://bit.ly/biz-demands

And much, much more…

And the saddest part about this long and troubling list of items you’ve just owned?

It was all avoidable.

Apparently, it is not enough for Wisconsin to learn from the experiences of others. Instead, we must have the full experience—sacrificing the education and mental wellbeing of children, breaking the trust of parents, demoralizing teachers, and picking the pockets of taxpayers.

Even a modicum of honest research should have revealed to you precisely what we and many others have found—that despite the billions spent on marketing spin, CCSS is nothing new. It’s merely a doubling-down on every failed education reform of the past thirty years; truly the lipstick-clad pig.

Just a glance to the east would have revealed that full implementation of CCSS has already been a complete train wreck in states like New York and Kentucky, causing massive public outcry from parents, teachers, and taxpayers alike.

Conservatives and progressives are fighting CCSS hand-in-hand in those states and elsewhere, as they increasingly will be here. Are you aware that they’re taking names and working to remove people from office in New York and elsewhere over this “education” fiasco? Do you think that same thing won’t happen in Wisconsin? Do you think it hasn’t already begun?

Don’t say we didn’t warn you.

Common Core State Standards are all yours now.


Eric Shimpach Wisconsin State Coordinator Young Americans for Liberty

Morgan Gianola Young Americans for Liberty – Carthage College Kenosha, WI

Dustin Hwang Young Americans for Liberty –  Marquette University Milwaukee, WI

Madelyn Winter Young Americans for Liberty –  UW Green Bay Green Bay, WI

Savannah Bartel Young Americans for Liberty – Madison, WI

Charles Hunt Young Americans for Liberty – University of Wisconsin UW Oshkosh Oshkosh, WI

Matt Haase Young Americans for Liberty – UW Stout Menomonie, WI

John Linné Young Americans for Liberty – UW Superior Superior, WI

Michael Cummins Dane County Campaign for Liberty Madison, WI

Alan Scholl Executive Director FreedomProject Education Appleton, WI

Duke Pesta Academic Director FreedomProject Education Appleton, WI

Mary Black Student Development Director FreedomProject Education Appleton, WI

Tina Hollenbeck The Educational Freedom Coalition Green Bay, WI

Kristi Lacroix Parent Kenosha, WI

Tracie Happel Teacher & Parent Onalaska, WI

Dan Curran Eagle Forum of Wisconsin Dodgeville, WI

Sandi Ruggles Eagle Forum of Southeast Wisconsin Menomonee Falls, WI

Jane Carpenter Suburban Republican Women’s Club Milwaukee, WI

Charles Brey United in Freedom Beaver Dam, WI

Joana Briggs Greendale Tea Party Greendale, WI

Kip Ertel We The People Sheboygan, WI

Michael Hintze Tea Party Patriots Wisconsin

Earl Hoffman Clark County Tea Party Greenwood, WI

Jackie Johnson Concerned Citizens of Dane County Madison, WI

Sidney Johnson Central Wisconsin Tea Party Marshfield, WI

James Leist Manitowoc County TEA Movement Manitowoc, WI

Andrea Lombard Sauk County Tea Party Baraboo, WI

Darin Danelski Lake Country Area Defenders of Liberty Oconomowoc, WI

Karl Koenigs Wisconsin TEA Party Committee on State Sovereignty Peshtigo, WI

Steve Welcenbach Separately for each:

Conservative Insurgency &

Menomonee Falls Taxpayer Association Menomonee Falls, WI

Ed Willing FoundersIntent.Org Caledonia, WI

Jennifer London SpotOfTea.Org

Pete Platt Columbia County Freedom Coalition Portage, WI

Ronald Zahn Northeast Wisconsin Patriots DePere, WI

Richard Parins Member of The Brown County Taxpayers Association Green Bay, WI

James Murphy Green Bay TEA Party Green Bay, WI

Greg Luce The La Crosse Tea Party La Crosse, WI

Georgia Janisch Rock County Voter Education Forum Janesville, WI

David Stertz Fox Valley Conservative Forum Appleton, WI

Kim Simac Northwoods Patriots Eagle River, WI

Joanne Terry Ozaukee Patriots Mequon, WI

Marv Munyon Rock River Patriots Fort Atkinson, WI

Kirsten Lombard The Wisconsin 9/12 Project Madison, WI

Edward Perkins Fox Valley Initiative Appleton, WI

Jeffrey Horn Prairie Patriots Sun Prairie, WI

PFOL: No, Three Million Young Adults Are Not Newly Covered By Their Parents’ Insurance

(from Pocket Full of Liberty)

The Obama administration and its lapdog media have been saying that three million previously uninsured adult “children” are now covered by their parents’ insurance. It’s not true, according to two separate analysis by health policy experts.

David Hogberg of the National Center for Public Policy Research and Avik Roy of the Manhattan Instituteeach looked at the data in different ways, and discovered that the administration had been using fishy numbers from the start.

Hogberg showed that the HHS numbers the administration used were part of a “back of the envelope” calculation, and not the kind of study on which we’d like to base budget decisions. Doing the same back of the envelope calculation using updated numbers (something the administration could have done, but didn’t), Hogberg found that at most 2.2 million young adults were now covered on their parents’ policies.

Roy did a deeper dive using Census data, and found that there had been no net change in the number of insured people between the ages of 19 and 25. That is, while anyone in that age group must now be covered on their parents’ insurance, just as many lost coverage through their employment as have gained it under Obamacare.

If we pretend that Obamacare had no other effect on the economy, the best you can say is that something less than a million young adults are on their parents’ plan who would otherwise not have been insured.

Roy also notes that there’s no such thing as a free lunch:

By the way, the ‘slacker mandate’ costs $160-480 for every other family

There’s another point to bring up. Obamacare’s under-26 mandate isn’t free. It’s a great deal for those families with “children” aged 18-25 who don’t have their own coverage elsewhere. But it’s a bad deal for pretty much everyone else with family coverage, because every family that doesn’t have children in that age range will pay higher premiums in order to subsidize the cost of adding these individuals to the insurance pool.

Once again, Obamacare drives up insurance prices for nothing.

Reggie Phillips for State Rep in Illinois 110th District

There are three candidates vying for the Republican nomination for State Representative in Illinois’ 110th District:

  • Reggie Phillips of Charleston. Phillips owns and operates Unique Homes in Charleston, a residential construction company.
  • Darrell Cox of Ashmore. Cox is Coles County Sheriff. He’s pretty good at selling seized guns, and does gun business with his own county. I like guns, but I don’t like my state reps profiting from their position in government.
  • Kevin Garner of Hazel Dell. Garner is the Parts Manager at LD Mechanical in Charleston. 

    At the Cumberland County Republicans’ Lincoln Day dinner, Garner refused an interview, saying I’d written things about him that weren’t true. As far as I know, this post from 2012 is the only thing I’ve written about Garner.

Reggie Phillips is the best candidate for the job.

Illinois Review has a candidate profile and survey he answered.

I asked the candidate what he thought about House Speaker Mike Madigan’s (D-Chicago) proposal to cut the corporate tax rate in half.

“I think Madigan’s is an excellent idea and we should do it,” said Phillips, “but we need to cut the personal income taxes back, too. There’s $3.6 billion paid in corporate taxes to the general fund. So $18 or $19 billion comes from personal taxes. So more people are affected by the personal, because a huge percentage of the corporate taxes are ma and pa businesses, just like us.”

Phillips stressed that he wants the 67% increase not to be extended when it sunsets next year.

“But you understand that’s $4 billion a year, and they have had $19 billion over the past three years,” Phillips continued. “And what have they done with the $19 billion? So the issue is, if that sunsets, they have been spending that $4 billion, and have not decreased the amount of money that’s still owed at the end of the year. $7.5 billion in unpaid bills, including Medicaid, and all the other sources” of unpaid bills, Phillips said.

Phillips said it would take leadership to deal with the intolerable level of corruption and the double-dealing on the budget.

Phillips is for term limits, and says none of the other candidates are. “I believe in two terms I should be able to do what I set out to do.”

Workman’s compensation reform is his biggest priority, Phillips said. “I’ll tell you a little story about a plastics company in our district. It’s got 30 employees. The owner said ‘If you could cut workers compensation rate down to what Indiana is, I could add 17 more employees without any extra expense. That would pay for the 17 employees, the owner said, and I could grow my business.’”

“We don’t let free enterprise work. We always try to inject government into it,” — Reggie Phillips, Illinois 110th District.

Whichever candidate you support in the 110th district race, please vote. Primary elections without a presidential race on the ticket are usually very low turnout, so your vote carries more weight.


Covered California Grants $37 Million To Push Exchange

Covered California, the state’s Obamacare health insurance exchange, announced on May 14 that it had awarded $37 million to promote the implementation of the health insurance law.  Unsurprisingly, many of the groups selected to receive grants have a similar political bent — or vested financial interest in selling health care services.

See the rest at FreedomWorks.