Active support of an idea or cause etc.; especially the act of pleading or arguing for something!

Common Core State Standards

David Cox and Christel Swasey, joined Emmett McGroarty of the American Principles Project and Sherena Arrington in a discussion about Common Core State Standards. The show was excellent, the only way it would have been better was if Glenn had more time. If you would like to watch the entire show, sign up for a free two week trial on Glenn’s website and look for the episode from today (3-14-2013). Here’s a few clips from the show.

Data Collection

Math & Freedom Issues

Christel blogs here:

In an effort to reach out to Utah legislators, Utahn’s Against Common Core prepared a 16-page booklet packed with the truth about Common Core and put relevant comics from the Weapons of Math Destruction series on each of the pages. These booklets were passed out to members of the Utah legislature today along with a copy of an op-ed from the Deseret News regarding HJR 8.

I encourage ALL parents to get a copy of the booklet entitled, “What the State Office of Education Isn’t Telling You About Common Core”. Once you are done reading it, ask yourself if you agree that Utah should get out of Common Core.

To get a copy of this booklet, click this link to open it up.

Thank you for your email. It appears that there has been some misunderstanding regarding possible action to be taken by the State Board of Education this Friday. The Board is not looking at any changes to FERPA – we do not have the power or authority to change FERPA law.

The Board members I’ve spoken with feel strongly about protecting students’ privacy. Unfortunately, the Legislature has passed legislation requiring classroom level student performance data be made public. As is always the case with bills passed by the Legislature, the State Board of Education is required to make “rules” that conform to the Legislature’s intent. The rule we are reviewing on Friday is our attempt to comply with legislation (as we are required to do) while still protecting student data. If you take the time to read through the rule I believe you’ll find we are earnest in the desire to protect students’ privacy.

If you have concerns about releasing student data, I would recommend that you contact your legislator.



Tami Pyfer

Pearson Publishing Stands to make millions of dollars off of our children’s education. In fact, they have already been making millions of dollars. I believe there is a place for business in education, however, when secret combinations come together to high-jack education we need to seriously reconsider funding them at all.

Sir Michael Barber is the Chief Education Advisor at Pearson PLC. He’s an outspoken Common Core and global common standards promoter. I’ve watched his speeches on YouTube this week and have attached links to these seminars and interviews below.

While some on the Utah State School Board have said that “Utah can get out of Common Core anytime we like,” Sir Michael Barber emphasizes an aim of “irreversible reform.”

“If you want irreversible reforms, work on the culture and the minds of teachers and parents,” Barber says.

He says this is important to avoid parents or traditionalists who might repeal progressive reforms because of a “wish for the past.”

He defines “sustainable reform” as “irreversible reform” and aims to “make it so it can never go back to how it was before.” I find this creepy.

At last month’s British Education Summit, Barber gave a speech entitled “Whole System Revolution” in which he taught principles from his book, “Deliverology 101″.

John Seddon, British management guru and president of Vanguard, has a series entitled “Why Deliverology Made Things Worse in the UK.” (“Deliverology 101,” Barber’s book, was written specifically for American education reform.)

“I don’t go around the world bashing Deliverology, but I think I should,” said Seddon, who defines Barber’s “deliverology” as “a top-down method by which you undermine achievement of purpose and demoralize people.”

Seddon says “deliverology” imposes arbitrary targets that damage morale.

But in Barber’s view, top-down education reform is necessary, a “global phenomenon,” no longer to be managed by individuals or sovereign countries; education reform has “no more frontiers, no more barriers,” he said at the August summit on education.

Barber showed a chart during his summit speech, displayed at 12:06 minutes, which he calls a goal of “whole system revolution,” pinpointed as the sum of the following addends: systemic innovation + sameness of standards + structure + human capital.

Sir Michael Barber said: “We want data about how people are doing. We want every child on the agenda.” (6:05) He specifies that “every child” means every “global citizen.”

In another clip, Barber praises Common Core (CC) at a Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) interview.

In yet another interview –also with the CFR– Barber says, “Can I congratulate the CFR for getting into this issue? I think it’s great to see education as an issue of national security and foreign policy as well as economic and domestic policy.”

But as we all know, under the U.S. Constitution, education in the U.S. is to be state-led, not a federal or internationally-determined, issue.

Then there’s the BBC interview.

In this clip, on the BBC show Hardtalk, Barber outlines the benefits of “private and public partnership.”

Pearson “invests,” says Barber, by purchasing cheap schools in developing countries in partnership with governments.

Pearson works hand in hand with both nongovernmental agencies (NGA and CCSSO) and with governmental agencies (U.S. Department of Education) to promote global education and Common Core. Because he sees global control of education and U.S. Common Core as one and the same.

Evidence of the push toward ultimate loss of control over local education? Look at 6:05 on–the August Summit speech.

Barber says that every person in every country should have exactly the same definitionof what it “means to be good at maths”.

At 4:00 he says that “citizens of the world” including every single child, “all 9 billion people who will be alive in 2050″ must know E(K+T+L) –which stands for (Knowledge + Thinking + Leadership) multiplied by “ethical underpinnings.”

Then Barber explains that the “ethical underpinning” is “shared understanding” of earth and “sustainability” that every child in every school around the world will learn. Ethics, to Barber, have nothing to do with individual liberty, the Constitution, or the Golden Rule. It’s about the global collective.

Pearson is very successful in selling Common Core curriculum, online assessments, teacher professional development, and technological resources nationwide.

Common Core is very big business. The Wall Street Journal quotes Pearson’s CEO on Common Core as a financial goldmine:

“‘It’s a really big deal,’ says Peter Cohen, CEO of Pearson’s K-12 division, Pearson School. ‘The Common Core standards are affecting literally every part of the business we’re involved in.’”

When the BBC interviewer accused Sir Barber of leading Pearson to take over nations’ sovereign educational systems, Barber said, as a defense, “I worked for government. I love government. I think government is a really important, a big part of the solution.”

Advising governments from the U.S. to Pakistan on how to implement nationalized education is Barber/Pearson’s specialty.

As the UK Guardian writes:

“…Barber and his graphs have gone global. As McKinsey’s hubristically titled “head of global education practice”, he has set up a US Education Delivery Unit (albeit as a private sector rather than government venture), co-authored books that claim to identify what makes national education systems successful, and taken the joint chairmanship of a taskforce in Pakistan to establish “national standards” in basic subjects. Now he’s becoming chief education adviser to Pearson, owner of Penguin Books and the Financial Times and also, in its own description, “the world’s leading learning company“, with interests in 70 countries…”

Pearson has long been partnered with Achieve Inc., which is alarming because Achieve, Inc. happens to be a co-author of Barber’s “Deliverology 101″ andAchieve also happens to partner “with NGA and CCSSO on the [Common Core] Initiative, and a number of Achieve staff and consultants served on the [Common Core] writing and review teams,” in Achieve’s own words.

These incestuous combinations of NGOs, the Pearson company, and the Federal Government, appear to literally be taking over educational decision-making.

I want to thank Christel Swasey for her in depth research and for the time it took her to put the info in  concise and easy to read manner.


Most Pearson consumer publishing is done by the Penguin Group, which includes international imprints such as Allen Lane, Avery, Berkley Books, Dial, Dutton, Dorling Kindersley, Grosset & Dunlap, Hamish Hamilton, Ladybird, Plume, Puffin, Penguin, Putnam, Michael Joseph, Riverhead, Rough Guides, and Viking.

As a mother who has had to fight for her special needs child, I understand that we will not all see things the same way. I am okay with that. What I do not appreciate is being ignored, lied to, or gossiped about. Utah’s school board while good intentioned in their decisions is unwilling to back up their actions with evidence. If you look up our state history and read how we are different from most states in how we run our state office of education, you will see that the governor gets to appoint our state school board members. We the people do not get to, however, we are their constituents and they have a duty to us. Here is the latest in the Common Core saga…

Dear State School Board,

A Heber citizen, Anissa Wardell, contacted the Utah State School board this week to ask whether Utah will still be able to exercise her freedom to get out of the Common Core (and write our own standards, using University input, an option also known as ESEA option #2) –after the waiver deadline of September 6, 2012.

Rather than answering the question, state school board member Tami Pyfer told her constituent that she had no intention of freeing Utah from Common Core and then she proceeded say that evidence proving that Common Core was free of federal strings had “been presented in a variety of public forums numerous times.” This is simply not true.

1. Most people don’t even know what the term Common Core even means, according to a recent poll by Achieve, Inc. (Does your neighbor? Do teachers know– other than knowing there are different education standards this year– do they know vital truths such as: the standards are under copyright and can’t be amended by us; they dumb down college readiness to a lowest common denominator that matches vocational/tech schools, and they were never validated by the only math professor (Milgram) and were also rejected by the English professor (Stotsky) on the official Common Core validation committee? And they remove the cognitive tool of cursive? And they minimize the importance of classic literature and narrative composition? And the piloting of Common Core 9th grade math was a disaster in Wasatch District this year. But nobody knows these things. Why? Because the USOE and the Dept. of Education thinks that if they repeat the lie “these standards are so good” often enough, they’ll be good. A lie is a lie no matter how much you want to believe it isn’t a lie.

2. The one and only public forum put on by the USOE about Common Core was held two years after the state school board signed us up for Common Core. That forum was at the Granite School District last spring. The first 45 minute speech, praising Common Core (without any documentation or evidence) was given by the USOE, followed by 2 minute testimonials from impassioned parents and teachers and politicians from both sides of the issue: hardly fair or thorough or timely. And nope, evidence was not shared there, to prove federal strings were not attached. (Incidentally, Professor David Wiley told this exact same lie, just as publically, when he was debating FERPA regulatory changes done illegally by the Dept. of Education this year.) The bypassing of the public and of legislators in pushing Common Core on us all, is something the proponents of Common Core are willing to lie about. Or do they really not understand? Have they really not seen the documentation of lost autonomy?

3. The statement: “Common Core is federal strings-free” is not true. The Department of Education is micromanaging the common tests, the testing consortia, and is demanding that consortia synchronize their efforts and give the Dept of Education access to data collected thereby. Evidence:

Even if we get out of the SBAC, which we might, tomorrow, if the school board votes that way, we are still federally controlled by Common Core. Look at this definitions page from the Dept. of Education’s website: . It says: “A State’s college- and career-ready standards must be either (1) standards that are common to a significant number of States; or (2) standards that are approved by a State network of institutions of higher education, which must certify that students who meet the standards will not need remedial course work at the postsecondary level.” So you either have to do common core, or write your own university approved standards. But the deadline for that second option appears to be ending Sept. 6th, so perhaps after that, the only option will be common core. How are we free? We aren’t. Wish I lived in Virginia or Texas right now. Utah not only doesn’t have educational freedom anymore, but we collectively don’t even seem to be capable of realizing it’s actually gone.

The Dept. of Education has mandated in the waiver, in the original RTTT application which our Governor and board signed, and in the assessments RTTT that Washington state, our contracted fiscal agent, signed us up for and which we are responsible to obey as long as we are in the SBAC, that we can’t take anything away–nothing– and we can not add anything beyond the 15% speed limit to these standards. How can anyone call this federally string-free? How? It is an absolute falsehood.

I implore the board to vote to get us out of SBAC in the meeting tomorrow.

We will not be string-free, even then, but it’s a huge step in the right direction of maintaining Constitutional principles: of limiting government’s power over local decision making, of holding on to the principle of representation, and of holding on to the principle of the sovereignty of the people. I promise I will sing your praises and will thank you most sincerely if you vote to get us out! You can quote me on that.

Lastly, so that I don’t repeat the error of others, of not giving solid evidence for my claims, below are the emails that Anissa Wardell has given me permission to share.

Thank you for listening.

Christel Swasey

Utah State Board of Education

Dear Governor & Board,

It is my understanding that there is a way for Utah to get out of Common Core so that we are free of any strings attached. The ESEA flexibility request window shuts down Sept. 6, 2012. Does this mean we have to resubmit our waiver request before then, or lose the option of doing loophole option 2 forever?

Is the Board considering this? Now would be the time to decide. Please discuss this at this Friday’s meeting. Please respond to me with more information.


Anissa Wardell

Tami Pyfer []
Sent: Wednesday, August 01, 2012 3:26 PM

Personally, I have no intention of unadopting the new math and ELA common core standards. We are already “string free” and it’s unfortunate that some groups feel otherwise.

Tami Pyfer


If we really are string free, would you kindly show proof of that? I have done a great deal of research on my own, outside of those you refer to and from what I can see, we are not string free. The math standards are horrible! I am going to have to pay hundreds of dollars this year alone for my 6th grader so that she will be ready for Algebra. Utah’s math standards were already better and were more understandable than what we have just adopted.

While I have this audience, I also want the Board (and everyone else on the list) to know that as a parent I want cursive writing to stay in our state curriculum.

Please provide all of us evidence to back up your understanding.

Thank you,


From: Tami Pyfer []
Sent: Wednesday, August 01, 2012 5:53 PM

I appreciate your passion, but the “evidence” has been presented in a variety of public forums numerous times. Your disagreement with the facts does not change them. I will continue to respond to my constituents who are truly looking for answers to their questions regarding our core standards.

Tami Pyfer


Well thank you Tami. You have not answered my question, and if there is proof I honestly would like to see it. You incorrectly assume that I do not want true answers. If there is this information and it has been provided many times, please tell me where I can find it.
It is answers like yours that are frustrating for constituents. I will continue to ask for answers. I never said we have to agree, I am searching for answers and because you are a board member and you have been entrusted with the mantle to ensure high quality curriculum standards and instruction, and because you are supposed to represent your constituents, I expect you to live up to that.


Original post written by Christel Swasey about this issue can be found here:

If you are in the Park City vicinity, there is a meeting this Thursday night, August 2nd, at 7 PM.


Wasatch Bagel C Café
1300 Snow Creek Dr, Park City, Utah 84060

Le Societe Deux Magots Presents a Panel Discussion on The Common Core State Standards Education Initiative
The Common Core has been adopted by the Utah State Office of Education. We are pleased to have three members of the Utah State Legislature to discuss the program and how it will impact school funding, local education control, and curricular concerns in our Park City Schools. The legislators are all members of the House Education Committee, and represent both the Republican and Democratic caucuses.

Joel Briscoe (D, SLC)

Francis Gibson ( R, Mapleton)
Chairman House Education Committee

Kraig Powell (R, Summit/Wasatch)

This Friday morning (8/3/12) is the State School Board meeting beginning at 8:15 AM

Some state board members have said Utah will exit the SBAC this Friday. We will see if that actually happens or not. All are welcome to attend and it would be wonderful if a bunch would show up and let the board see the interest in the issue.
Utah State Office of Education, Board Room/Conference Rooms, 250 East 500 South, SLC. See the agenda:

Common Core Symposium Agenda for August 7, 2012

Rep. Kraig Powell has put together a massive symposium for all interested in Common Core. Check out the link below to see how massive a list of questions will be addressed.
All are welcome to attend.

Representatives from Utahns Against Common Core will be on the panel and others from the USOE.
Tuesday, August 7, 2012
9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Rocky Mountain Middle School
Heber City, Utah