I have found there is an interesting phenomena with people who do not know how to handle an individual who is putting information on the table to be considered. The information may run counter to the main stream or contrary to popular belief. I am learning at my older age, most people value conformity over divergence. We are to do and believe exactly what those in charge tell us to do and believe. Anyone who asks the hard questions, researches, and looks underneath the surface… running counter to the “group think”… are often deprecated.
Albert Einstein once said, “Question everything.”
To question is to think.
To follow blindly in order to respect “authority” will not improve the world or promote change. When the Jews were being slaughtered by Hitler, who risked their lives and stood against him? When the blatant discrimination swept our nation forcing human beings to sit at the back of buses, drink from different fountains, and go to separate schools, who raised their voice to stop the inequity? When people have been enslaved, who fought to free them?
When our school system is putting practices into place harming the most innocent of all, who has the moxie… the courage… and the voice to crusade against the malpractice?
Recently, I was on a discussion thread in Washington’s Paramount Duty, a group fighting for full funding of our public schools. An individual asked if I was worried about the cost of “microchips inserted into kids brains to measure their biometric rhythms” and followed up to reassure me this was already considered in the cost of the assessment.
Obviously, the sarcasm bled through the screen and was meant to vilify my questions and contributions to the discussion thread.
Interestingly, this individual is the Policy Director of the Washington Round Table and Partnership for Learning. Both of these organizations are funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and promote common core and the high stakes tests. As I looked further into his past it was found his history included working for:
- Data Recognition Corporation
- Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction
- Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Consider his motivation, as I asked questions and presented my findings on the discussion thread, for denigrating my contributions. He basically pulled the “Conspiracy Theorist” card and tried to paint me out as some wacko doodle.
Later, he also defamed Dr. Wayne Au, University of Washington Professor. Dr. Au is a well renown researcher regarding standardized testing and publishes many articles and authored a book exposing the discriminatory nature of the one hundred year history of testing.
Most recently, the “Conspiracy Theorist” card has been pulled by some of my colleagues. They’ve accused me of aligning with a crazy legislator and buying into all of his “conspiracy theories”.
Let me set the record straight.
There are nine legislators serving the Spokane Region. Three are in the Spokane Valley, three serve the bulk of the middle section of the city, and three others the district I live. I write to all nine legislators. (I actually write to legislators statewide). I’ve asked to meet with all nine legislators. I have had the opportunity of speaking personally with five of the nine. Currently, one is being scheduled with a sixth.
I think of the song played often on Saturday mornings when I was growing up, “I’m only a bill.” This song has been instrumental in teaching many young people the process of getting laws changed. Thus, my motive to write my legislators and meet with them.
One of the legislators in particular, has been called a “looney” and a “wack job” by same colleagues. I was questioned as to why I would meet with him.
Soooo… why, by me meeting with him last summer for an hour and a half to share my concerns about common core and the high stakes tests, does this imply I’ve aligned with him and become a “Conspiracy Theorist”? (I appreciated this legislators time. Many give only 10 minutes with their constituents or none at all).
For the record. I’m bi-partisan and pretty disenfranchised currently with the two largest political parties. As John Sheffield, New York teacher said, “I’m beholden to no group except to the children of (my state).”
So… since the accusation of me becoming a “Conspiracy Theorist” is now on the table, let me take some time to share all the “Conspiracy Theorists” I’ve aligned myself with:
- Joint Statement of Early Childhood and Health Professionals on The Common Core Standard Initiative
- Common Core Standards: Ten Colossal Errors, Anthony Cody, National Board Certified Teacher and author of Living in Dialogue.
- Save Maine Schools, Emily Talmage, 4th Grade Teacher
- Peg with a Pen and founder of United Opt Out, Peggy Robertson, ELA Coach and Reading Interventionist
- EduResearcher, Dr. Roxana Marachi, Educator, researcher, and youth advocate with 15 years of experience connecting research findings in the fields of educational and developmental psychology, cognitive neuroscience, social development, and school safety with practical applications for improving learning, motivation, and behavior.
- Four Seattle Teachers Declare, “We Refuse to Give the Test”, The four teachers of conscience are Julianna Krueger Dauble, Judy Dotson, Susan DeFresne, and Becca Ritchie.
- More Than a Score, Jesse Hagopian, high school teacher, author, and crusader against high stakes tests.
- Parents and Educators Against Common Core Standards, 22,000 members strong.
- Over 100 Education Researchers Sign Statement Calling For Moratorium on High-Stakes Testing
- The Smarter Balance Common Core Mathematics Tests Are Fatally Flawed and Should Not Be Used, Steven Rasmussen, SR Education Associates
- Dr. James Milgram – Common Core Forum Baton Rouge, former NASA Mathematician, the ONLY mathematician to serve on the validation committee of the common core, refused to sign validation document of common core math standards. Dr. James Milgram bio. Google his name and there are many presentations made by Dr. Milgram across the United States.
- Dr. Sandra Stotsky, the ONLY ELA representative on the validation committee of the common core. She, too, refused to sign the validation document of the common core ELA standards. Dr. Sandra Stotsky bio. Google her name and there are many presentations made by Dr. Stotsky across the United States.
- About This Testing, Denis Ian, veteran teacher
- A Chronicle of Echoes: Whose Who in the Implosion of American Public Education, Dr. Mercedes Schneider, teacher, researcher, EduBlogger, and author.
- Dr. Diane Ravitch, educator, author, worked for National Education Department.
- Dr. Gary Thompson, Early Childhood Psychologist
There are many other educators who I could place on this list.
It is a growing list. More and more of us are coming to realize the truth behind common core and the common core tests. Trying to discount those of us willing to speak up and out for children, by throwing out the “Conspiracy Theorist” card, exposes the person’s fears and unwillingness to do their own research and seek out the truth.
I personally will not remain a compliant conformist when witnessing children being harmed through the current education reforms. I want to scoop them up and hide them in my “attic” so the “Testing and Accountability Regime (TAR)” can not touch them. This Regime is definitely “TARring” many children as the blackness covers their hearts and minds.
Throwing out the “Conspiracy Theorist” card is typically an attempt to defame, slander, disparage, insult, denigrate, deprecate, vilify, and assassinate the persons character and point of view.
Those of us giving up hours of our time for children, teachers, and public schools are far from “Conspiracy Theorists” or “Helicopter Moms”. We have growing evidence exposing the flaws in the common core standards and the invalidity of the common core tests.
So next time, before anyone pulls the “Conspiracy Theorist” card, they may do well to offer their perspective to the conversation respectfully with peer reviewed research… rather than tossing out words vilifying others.
RAZ ON FIRE