Friday, April 26, 2013

A Vicious Attack on Parents Seeking Their Children's Best Interest - Indiana HB 1427 Common Core

Yesterday I went to the Indiana State House with a dual purpose – a rally in support of HB 1427 related to the Common Core Educational Standards and to say goodbye to legislators and staff – which is a near must for a 60 mile round trip bicycle ride. The Common Core Educational Standards, which I call the “Wal-Mart Standards” are a federally designed training criteria that are intended to reduce the range of student aptitudes. In effect chopping off the ends of the Bell Curve to produce a more homogenous workforce incapable of out-thinking an inefficient operational schema. For once something out of Washington is appropriately named. Notice it's not “Excellence Core”, “High Achievement Core” or anything evoking a feeling of superior opportunity for our children. Apparently the marketing professionals with the psychology degrees employed by legislative services to craft these names and do the focus group research were furloughed. Actually it is all out-sourced to private firms.

I likely don't need to provide details of the problems with Common Core as you apparently can read and thus already understand it. Briefly though the stated rationale for this initiative is "These standards are designed to ensure that students graduating from high school are prepared to go to college or enter the workforce and that parents, teachers, and students have a clear understanding of what is expected of them. The standards are benchmarked to international standards to guarantee that our students are competitive in the emerging global marketplace." Interestingly the stated rationale is not to “provide a benchmark” but instead the noun “benchmark” is transformed into the clumsy verb form “benchmarked” which is unfortunately gaining acceptance. Oh what do I know about language, I'm just a no college, high school flunky. Gobbledygook aside here is what that stated rationale says;
The Common Core Educational Standards are designed to bring uniformity to instruction of students in the United States so they can go directly into the service sector workforce or be prepared for more specialized trades training making them viable to work in US based operations competing with manufacturing facilities in China, Singapore, Brasil and India. The Common Core is a response to high fuel prices that make the trans-oceanic shipping of manufactured goods more costly.

My post could end here if the Indiana General Assembly had just gone along with the federal presumption. Instead some parents examined the standards and determined that they wanted to have schools that would provide opportunities for their children to flourish and attain higher levels of knowledge and aptitude. With that drive they contacted their legislators. Representative Ronda Rhodes and Senator Scott Schneider sponsored legislation for Indiana to opt-out of the Common Core Standards.

These parents availed themselves of the great opportunities that we all have – to petition our elected officials for a redress of our grievances – which I have written about previously. While at the state house I took the opportunity to exchange pleasantries with legislators and the myriad of staff. Some of the staff include legislative assistants [LA's] who do just as their name entails – assist legislators. A conversation that I have had many times in the past was repeated again. The LA's are pleased to have visitors as are the legislators. The reason being is that it is a rarity.

Every election period brings forth the same comments from the pundits about low voter turnout and apathy. Little is ever spoken of voter apathy. While I may only have about 2-3 votes at the ballot box [based upon a proportional representation of eligible voters] when I get to the state house I have hundreds or thousands of votes. My opinion carries great weight. Not based upon financial backing, brokering deals or who I know. Rather, it is because I am there and provide and idea or desire with a story to support it. That is all it takes.

But as I said I have already written about that and there is little need to rehash it. I suspect that one reason more people don't directly involve themselves in the process is because of a false perception that corporations control our legislative houses. The corporations only control what the people have allowed. The Common Core battle aptly illustrates this point. Some corporations which I will name engaged in a coordinated vicious media campaign attacking the character of these parents who sought the best opportunities for their children and also the legislators who supported them. It is one thing to attack a position or idea but the assault on these parents was vile.

With all the financial resources of these corporations – provided by their customers – they were apparently too greedily trying to capture more financial gains to bother making an appearance at the state house to support their position. But concerned parents and advocates did show up and the result was that the following corporations don't get their wish of dumbing-down our children into factory ready automatons. Take particular note of who is near the bottom.

Rethink Possible [formerly AT&T]
Duke Energy
One America
Allison Transmission
Ball State University
Barnes & Thornburg LLP
Beacon Health System
BP America, Inc.
Caesars Entertainment, Inc. - Horseshoe Casinos
CNO Financial Group, Inc.
Community Health Network
Cook Group, Inc.
Cummins, Inc.
DePuy Inc., a Johnson & Johnson Co.
Dow AgroSciences
Faegre Baker Daniels
First Financial Bank
Honda Manufacturing of Indiana, LLC
Ice Miller LLP
Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance Companies
Indiana Michigan Power
Indiana University
Indiana University Health
Jayco, Inc.
The Kroger Co.
Lincoln Financial Group
Lutheran Health Network
Marsh Supermarkets, LLC
Old National Bancorp
Parkview Health
Purdue University
Red Gold, Inc.
Roche Diagnostics Corporation
Sallie Mae, Inc.
St. Vincent Health
Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Indiana Inc.
Wal-Mart Stores Inc.
Zimmer, Inc.

If you are involved in child custody litigation and would like to ensure the best outcome for the parents and the children then please visit my website and contact my scheduler to make an appointment to meet with me.

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More information about child custody rights and procedures may be found on the Indiana Custodial Rights Advocates website.

©2008, 2013 Stuart Showalter, LLC. Permission is granted to all non-commercial entities to reproduce this article in it's entirety with credit given.

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