Pancake Breakfast Fundraiser – Saturday 10/19

PANCAKE BREAKFAST FUNDRAISER

On Saturday October 19th, 2013 from 8:00am – 10:00am, you are invited to join the Cape County Tea Party for a Pancake Breakfast at Beef O’Brady’s Restaurant.  Tickets are $6.00 and may be purchased at the door or from a Tea Party member.

For those who like to ‘Shop Triumphantly’, there will be a Silent Auction of some Halloween and general items.

A portion of the proceeds will go to “Love INC” and “Options for Women” organizations.

Please come out and support these three great organizations!

Beef O’Brady’s
1812 N Kingshighway, Suite 101,
Cape Girardeau, MO 63701

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Contact
- Web Site: www.CapeCountyTeaParty.org
- E-mail: CapeCountyTeaParty@yahoo.com

The Individual as Property

By Timothy Birdnow

In 2011 a woman named Sharrie Gavan beat a man with a baseball bat. Now, this is not all that unusual, as domestic disputes, home invasions, and overheated arguments sometimes end with an act of assault, but this particular case is different. In this instance the woman took a baseball bat to the drug pusher who was gleefully destroying her 20-year-old son with heroin. Mrs. Gavan was recently convicted of the assault and faces up to a year in prison.

This story seems destined to die a dull death, although there are locals in the St. Louis area who have cheered the actions of this woman. But when looked at in a larger context this story speaks volumes about the fundamental changes that have occurred in our culture and in our thinking.

What is the nature of the relationship between the citizen and the State? America was founded on principles found in the Bible and in the writings of 17th century philosophers such as John Locke.

John Locke pointed out in his First Treatise on Government:

Though the Earth… be common to all Men, yet every Man has a Property in his own Person. This no Body has any Right to but himself.

So, all men have first and foremost the right to own themselves.

This is of critical importance because it is this most fundamental principle that the modern Left and Right part company over. Liberals do not believe this basic assertion, preferring to believe that we as a collective own each other. This distinction is absolutely critical, because it informs our beliefs in terms of actions.

The English Philosophers Hobbes and Hume argued that property was a creation of the State, and were not held in high regard by the Founders of the United States. If property is a creation of the State, then one can argue that the State has sovereignty over the individual.

And of course later philosophers came to dismiss the view of self-ownership as illusory. Rousseau believed individuals enter voluntarily into a social contract which creates a “sovereign”, a sort of group entity, a collective. Rousseau was extraordinarily influential on later leftist thinking, as was Karl Marx who disdained the concept of personal sovereignty, as did Benito Mussolini. As in communism and fascism, the entire undercurrent of modern liberalism is anti-individualism. Even the Anarchists, though they may seem to be radical individualists, ultimately seek the collectivization of property as a means to grant themselves the individualism they seem to believe in — making them as statist as any other leftist branch. Without property rights one cannot have individual rights.

It is no surprise that the general degradation of property rights should coincide with the rise of statism and the devaluing of the individual. Either we own property — including ourselves – or we do not.

From such a belief system comes abortion; the right to life is subject to the granting of permission by the collective.

Gun control is another example; the Left hates guns because they empower the individual over the collective. A man with a gun does not need the protection of the State but can deal with violations of his rights by himself. The man with a gun can, if need be, do without the collective. This chafes at liberal sensibilities, as they are absolute in their determination to make us all not just our brother’s keeper but his master. There can be no right to self-defense in a world where one does not own even himself. The State is master and it is a usurpation, an act of rebellion, to defend yourself. It is even more an act of treason to defend yourself against the State. This is why there is such anger in the Progressive community against “bitter clingers” holding onto their guns; what right does any individual have to take the power of the State?

It affects religion, too. The Judeo-Christian religions believe in the duty of the individual to govern himself first and foremost. The Progressive thinking is that nobody has a right to govern himself, so Christianity and Judaism are rebels, antithetical to the cause of community and the idea that “it takes a village”. Islam, on the other hand, is both a handy tool to use against them and is a system where there is no division between the State and the Faith, and the individual must submit to the larger collective.

Almost any position held by the Progressive Left can be understood if one thinks about it in terms of property rights.

The liberal view has largely emerged triumphant in our modern era. The case of Mrs. Gavan is illustrative of that.

Not sixty years ago Mrs. Gavan would not have been arrested, nor tried, nor convicted. She had gone to the police like any good citizen and was told there was nothing that could be done, so, in desperation, she took very modest steps to protect her family. Please note the pusher was not seriously harmed — merely warned away with a couple of bruises. The Founders would have shrugged at that.

But not the modern python state; laws have become nooses around the necks of the citizenry while leaving the predators (who follow no law but their own) free rein. Society will not allow a person to defend himself. Now if a crime victim shoots an attacker he is the person in trouble (ask George Zimmerman). Now any action outside of official channels is punished because it is considered an act of rebellion. It is the reason why the Obama administration keeps pushing this “right-wing domestic terrorist” shibboleth; they are frightened of anybody outside of their control, outside of the Borg Collective.

And so a decent woman protecting her family may go to prison for the sake of upholding the right of the State over the individual. This is not just an elitist-Progressive thing, either; ordinary citizens and minor officials in Jefferson County, Missouri pursued, charged, tried, and convicted this woman. This mindset is now a part of the American psyche.

And it won’t change, not without enormous social, educational, and informational changes in this country. We have to remember who we once were, and that means the schools need to teach, the arts need to remember, movies and television need to change, an entire culture has to be revamped. The prognosis for a restoration is grim.

But not impossible. As long as there is a spark of liberty in the individual there remains hope. We have to teach our children. We have to remember who we once were.

Timothy Birdnow is a St. Louis-based writer. Read more from Tim and friends at www.tbirdnow.mee.nu

Page Printed from:

http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/../2013/05/the_individual_as_property.html

CCSSO Releases C3 Framework for Social Studies State Standards

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Earlier this month the Council of Chief State School Officers released the draft of the “College, Career and Civic Life (C3) Framework for Social Studies State Standards.  I just got my hands on a copy yesterday and skimmed through it.

It focuses on civics, economics, geography and history.  States involved in the project are: Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, District of Columbia, Georgia, Hawaii, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio, Utah, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

It is unclear what state involvement in the creation of Social Studies standards means for future implementation.  I’m not certain whether these states signed an Memorandum of Understanding similar to what they did with the Common Core State Standards.  You can see that some of the same players are involved as associate members, such as, Pearson.  It is heavily tied into the Common Core ELA standards which was expected.

Having skimmed through this my primary concern is the encouragement of civic and political activism.  While on its face that isn’t a bad thing, but I have to wonder what is encouraged.  I saw where potential indoctrination could occur within the Civics section.  I have little hope from what I’ve seen from progressive elements within public education that this won’t be the case.  The task force of professional organizations related to this gives me little hope for ideological diversity and I  while I don’t know for certain looking at the writing team (pg. 8) I am doubtful it exists there as well.

I noticed that on pg. 29 it is mentioned we live in a constitutional democracy when in fact we live in a constitutional republic.  It is troubling that those writing this document couldn’t get something as basic as that right.

Pg. 18 points out their definition of an “active and responsible citizen” which appears to be what they hope the “product” of these standards will be:

Active and responsible citizens identify and analyze public problems; deliberate with other people about how to define and address issues; take constructive, collaborative action; reflect on their actions; create and sustain groups; and influence institutions both large and small. They vote, serve on juries, follow the news and current events, and participate in voluntary groups and efforts. Teaching students to act in these ways—as citizens—significantly enhances preparation for college and career. Many of the same skills that are needed for active and responsible citizenship—working effectively with other people, deliberating and reasoning quantitatively about issues, following the news, and forming and sustaining groups—are also crucial to success in the 21st century workplace and in college. Individual mastery of content often no longer suffices; students should also develop the capacity to work together to apply knowledge to real problems. Thus, a rich social studies education is an education for college, career, and civic life.

Discussion of “Applying Civic Virtues and Democratic Principles” (pgs. 31-32) also raise a red flag for me.  They define Democratic principles in their glossary on pg. 70 as “the fundamental ideas and ideals expressed in the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and other early influential documents.”

That’s fine, but then one of the goals is “describe democratic principles such as equality and fairness.”  Also what do they consider a “human right” that isn’t a “constitutional right”?

Anyway, my intent here is not to provide an in-depth review, but share a couple of thoughts after skimming through this document.  I’m sure many questions will be asked and the final product will look different.  Please take the time to read through the framework below and share your thoughts.

Shane Vander Hart is the Editor-in-Chief of Caffeinated Thoughts, a popular Christian conservative blog in Iowa. He is also the President of 4:15 Communications, a social media & communications consulting/management firm, along with serving as the communications director for American Principles Project’s Preserve Innocence Initiative.  Prior to this Shane spent 20 years in youth ministry serving in church, parachurch, and school settings.  He has taught Jr. High History along with being the Dean of Students for Christian school in Indiana.  Shane and his wife home school their three teenage children and have done so since the beginning.   He has recently been recognized by Campaigns & Elections Magazine as one of the top political influencers in Iowa. Shane and his family reside near Des Moines, IA.  You can connect with Shane on Facebook, follow him on Twitter or connect with him on Google +.

Is the Common Core in Trouble?

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That is a question asked by Valerie Strauss at the Washington Post’s Answer Sheet blog.  She writes:

Education Secretary Arne Duncan recently met with Chamber of Commerce leaders and urged them to be more vocal and forceful in defending the Common Core State Standards. Why?

Duncan made the appeal, which was reported by Education Week, because the initiative — a set of common standards adopted by 45 states and the District of Columbia designed to raise student achievement — has come under such withering attack in recent months that what once seemed like a major policy success for the Obama administration now looks troubled.

A handful of states (including Indiana, Alabama, South Dakota and Georgia) are either pulling back or considering it, and core supporters fear more states will too.  A growing number of educators are complaining that states have done a poor job implementing the standards and are pushing core-aligned tests on students too early. And parents have started a campaign to “opt” their children out of the Common Core-aligned high-stakes standardized tests.

She then mentions the RNC resolution  which helped resurrect an Alabama bill,  See also mentioned Senator Grassley’s move to defund the Common Core and that it has bipartisan opposition.

Just today the Michigan House just voted to defund the Common Core.  The Indiana Senate passed a measure to slow down the implementation (twice actually!).  The Indiana House and Governor Mike Pence are under pressure to act.

All of this must have lead the Indiana Chamber of Commerce to act with this smear campaign for a blog post.

Two moms from Indianapolis, a handful of their friends and a couple dozen small but vocal Tea Party groups. That’s the entire Indiana movement that is advocating for a halt to the Common Core State Standards. No educational backgrounds. No track record of supporting education reforms or any other past education issues. And worst of all: A demonstrated willingness to say just about anything, no matter how unsubstantiated or blatantly false, to advocate their cause.

Meanwhile, the policy that they are attacking was implemented by former Gov. Mitch Daniels, then State Superintendent Tony Bennett, the Indiana Education Roundtable and the State Board of Education. To date, 45 other states have also adopted it. Common Core has been supported by superintendents, school boards, Indiana’s Catholic and other private schools, principals, teachers unions, the Indiana PTA, various education reform groups, higher education and more. The business community is actively engaged, including strong support from the Indiana Chamber, Eli Lilly, Cummins, Dow AgroSciences, IU Health and many others.

Can you say elitist snob?  Perhaps many educators are not speaking out because they are encouraged told not to.  They also fail to mention the person who unseated Tony Bennett – Glenda Ritz – has stated opposition to the Common Core.

Also I’d love to know exactly what they claim to be blatantly false?  See we are pretty good at referencing our claims about the Common Core.  Those who advocate for it, not so much.

Also while we are on the subject of truth then the Indiana Chamber of Commerce should tell the truth about who is funding the Common Core and the reviews of it – the Gates Foundation.

Sad.  The Common Core is in trouble and Arne Duncan, and it would seem the Indiana Chamber of Commerce, are getting desperate.

Shane Vander Hart is the Editor-in-Chief of Caffeinated Thoughts, a popular Christian conservative blog in Iowa. He is also the President of 4:15 Communications, a social media & communications consulting/management firm, along with serving as the communications director for American Principles Project’s Preserve Innocence Initiative.  Prior to this Shane spent 20 years in youth ministry serving in church, parachurch, and school settings.  He has taught Jr. High History along with being the Dean of Students for Christian school in Indiana.  Shane and his wife home school their three teenage children and have done so since the beginning.   He has recently been recognized by Campaigns & Elections Magazine as one of the top political influencers in Iowa. Shane and his family reside near Des Moines, IA.  You can connect with Shane on Facebook, follow him on Twitter or connect with him on Google +.

Why Common Core Will Fail: Hippos and Tomatoes.

No matter how big the tomatoes get, they are not what the communities need.

And this is why Common Core will fail.

Watch Ernesto Sirolli in this TED talk on Want to help someone? Shut up and listen!  and see if you agree that the education reformers are akin to the aid workers planting tomatoes where they shouldn’t be planted.  This type of approach didn’t help Sirolli in helping impoverished African communities.  Why would the same methodology be successful in solving the “crisis in education” we’ve been led to believe we have in the US?

Everything I do, and everything I do professionally — my life — has been shaped by seven years of work as a young man in Africa. From 1971 to 1977 — I look young, but I’m not — (Laughter) — I worked in Zambia, Kenya, Ivory Coast, Algeria, Somalia, in projects of technical cooperation with African countries.

I worked for an Italian NGO, and every single project that we set up in Africa failed. And I was distraught. I thought, age 21, that we Italians were good people and we were doing good work in Africa. Instead, everything we touched we killed.

Our first project, the one that has inspired my first book, “Ripples from the Zambezi,” was a project where we Italians decided to teach Zambian people how to grow food. So we arrived there with Italian seeds in southern Zambia in this absolutely magnificent valley going down to the Zambezi River, and we taught the local people how to grow Italian tomatoes and zucchini and … And of course the local people had absolutely no interest in doing that, so we paid them to come and work, and sometimes they would show up. (Laughter) And we were amazed that the local people, in such a fertile valley, would not have any agriculture. But instead of asking them how come they were not growing anything, we simply said, “Thank God we’re here.” (Laughter) “Just in the nick of time to save the Zambian people from starvation.”

And of course, everything in Africa grew beautifully. We had these magnificent tomatoes. In Italy, a tomato would grow to this size. In Zambia, to this size. And we could not believe, and we were telling the Zambians, “Look how easy agriculture is.” When the tomatoes were nice and ripe and red, overnight, some 200 hippos came out from the river and they ate everything. (Laughter)

And we said to the Zambians, “My God, the hippos!”

And the Zambians said, “Yes, that’s why we have no agriculture here.” (Laughter)

“Why didn’t you tell us?” “You never asked.”

I thought it was only us Italians blundering around Africa, but then I saw what the Americans were doing, what the English were doing, what the French were doing, and after seeing what they were doing, I became quite proud of our project in Zambia. Because, you see, at least we fed the hippos.

You should see the rubbish — (Applause) — You should see the rubbish that we have bestowed on unsuspecting African people. You want to read the book, read “Dead Aid,” by Dambisa Moyo, Zambian woman economist. The book was published in 2009. We Western donor countries have given the African continent two trillion American dollars in the last 50 years. I’m not going to tell you the damage that that money has done. Just go and read her book. Read it from an African woman, the damage that we have done.

We Western people are imperialist, colonialist missionaries, and there are only two ways we deal with people: We either patronize them, or we are paternalistic. The two words come from the Latin root “pater,” which means “father.” But they mean two different things. Paternalistic, I treat anybody from a different culture as if they were my children. “I love you so much.” Patronizing, I treat everybody from another culture as if they were my servants. That’s why the white people in Africa are called “bwana,” boss.

I was given a slap in the face reading a book, “Small is Beautiful,” written by Schumacher, who said, above all in economic development, if people do not wish to be helped, leave them alone. This should be the first principle of aid. The first principle of aid is respect. This morning, the gentleman who opened this conference lay a stick on the floor, and said, “Can we — can you imagine a city that is not neocolonial?”

I decided when I was 27 years old to only respond to people, and I invented a system called Enterprise Facilitation, where you never initiate anything, you never motivate anybody, but you become a servant of the local passion, the servant of local people who have a dream to become a better person. So what you do — you shut up. You never arrive in a community with any ideas, and you sit with the local people. We don’t work from offices. We meet at the cafe. We meet at the pub. We have zero infrastructure. And what we do, we become friends, and we find out what that person wants to do.

The most important thing is passion. You can give somebody an idea. If that person doesn’t want to do it, what are you going to do? The passion that the person has for her own growth is the most important thing. The passion that that man has for his own personal growth is the most important thing. And then we help them to go and find the knowledge, because nobody in the world can succeed alone. The person with the idea may not have the knowledge, but the knowledge is available.

So years and years ago, I had this idea: Why don’t we, for once, instead of arriving in the community to tell people what to do, why don’t, for once, listen to them? But not in community meetings.

Let me tell you a secret. There is a problem with community meetings. Entrepreneurs never come, and they never tell you, in a public meeting, what they want to do with their own money, what opportunity they have identified. So planning has this blind spot. The smartest people in your community you don’t even know, because they don’t come to your public meetings.

What we do, we work one-on-one, and to work one-on-one, you have to create a social infrastructure that doesn’t exist. You have to create a new profession. The profession is the family doctor of enterprise, the family doctor of business, who sits with you in your house, at your kitchen table, at the cafe, and helps you find the resources to transform your passion into a way to make a living.

I started this as a tryout in Esperance, in Western Australia. I was a doing a Ph.D. at the time, trying to go away from this patronizing bullshit that we arrive and tell you what to do. And so what I did in Esperance that first year was to just walk the streets, and in three days I had my first client, and I helped this first guy who was smoking fish from a garage, was a Maori guy, and I helped him to sell to the restaurant in Perth, to get organized, and then the fishermen came to me to say, “You the guy who helped Maori? Can you help us?

And I helped these five fishermen to work together and get this beautiful tuna not to the cannery in Albany for 60 cents a kilo, but we found a way to take the fish for sushi to Japan for 15 dollars a kilo, and the farmers came to talk to me, said, “Hey, you helped them. Can you help us?” In a year, I had 27 projects going on, and the government came to see me to say, “How can you do that? How can you do — ?” And I said, “I do something very, very, very difficult. I shut up, and listen to them.” (Laughter)

So — (Applause) — So the government says, “Do it again.” (Laughter) We’ve done it in 300 communities around the world. We have helped to start 40,000 businesses. There is a new generation of entrepreneurs who are dying of solitude.

Peter Drucker, one of the greatest management consultants in history, died age 96, a few years ago. Peter Drucker was a professor of philosophy before becoming involved in business, and this is what Peter Drucker says: “Planning is actually incompatible with an entrepreneurial society and economy.” Planning is the kiss of death of entrepreneurship.

So now you’re rebuilding Christchurch without knowing what the smartest people in Christchurch want to do with their own money and their own energy. You have to learn how to get these people to come and talk to you. You have to offer them confidentiality, privacy, you have to be fantastic at helping them, and then they will come, and they will come in droves. In a community of 10,000 people, we get 200 clients. Can you imagine a community of 400,000 people, the intelligence and the passion? Which presentation have you applauded the most this morning? Local, passionate people. That’s who you have applauded.

So what I’m saying is that entrepreneurship is where it’s at. We are at the end of the first industrial revolution — nonrenewable fossil fuels, manufacturing — and all of a sudden, we have systems which are not sustainable. The internal combustion engine is not sustainable. Freon way of maintaining things is not sustainable. What we have to look at is at how we feed, cure, educate, transport, communicate for seven billion people in a sustainable way. The technologies do not exist to do that. Who is going to invent the technology for the green revolution? Universities? Forget about it! Government? Forget about it! It will be entrepreneurs, and they’re doing it now.

There’s a lovely story that I read in a futurist magazine many, many years ago. There was a group of experts who were invited to discuss the future of the city of New York in 1860. And in 1860, this group of people came together, and they all speculated about what would happen to the city of New York in 100 years, and the conclusion was unanimous: The city of New York would not exist in 100 years. Why? Because they looked at the curve and said, if the population keeps growing at this rate, to move the population of New York around, they would have needed six million horses, and the manure created by six million horses would be impossible to deal with. They were already drowning in manure. (Laughter) So 1860, they are seeing this dirty technology that is going to choke the life out of New York.

So what happens? In 40 years’ time, in the year 1900, in the United States of America, there were 1,001 car manufacturing companies — 1,001. The idea of finding a different technology had absolutely taken over, and there were tiny, tiny little factories in backwaters. Dearborn, Michigan. Henry Ford.

However, there is a secret to work with entrepreneurs. First, you have to offer them confidentiality. Otherwise they don’t come and talk to you. Then you have to offer them absolute, dedicated, passionate service to them. And then you have to tell them the truth about entrepreneurship. The smallest company, the biggest company, has to be capable of doing three things beautifully: The product that you want to sell has to be fantastic, you have to have fantastic marketing, and you have to have tremendous financial management.

Guess what? We have never met a single human being in the world who can make it, sell it and look after the money. It doesn’t exist. This person has never been born. We’ve done the research, and we have looked at the 100 iconic companies of the world — Carnegie, Westinghouse, Edison, Ford, all the new companies, Google, Yahoo. There’s only one thing that all the successful companies in the world have in common, only one: None were started by one person.

Now we teach entrepreneurship to 16-year-olds in Northumberland, and we start the class by giving them the first two pages of Richard Branson’s autobiography, and the task of the 16-year-olds is to underline, in the first two pages of Richard Branson’s autobiography how many times Richard uses the word “I” and how many times he uses the word “we.” Never the word “I,” and the word “we” 32 times. He wasn’t alone when he started. Nobody started a company alone. No one.

So we can create the community where we have facilitators who come from a small business background sitting in cafes, in bars, and your dedicated buddies who will do to you, what somebody did for this gentleman who talks about this epic, somebody who will say to you, “What do you need? What can you do? Can you make it? Okay, can you sell it? Can you look after the money?” “Oh, no, I cannot do this.” “Would you like me to find you somebody?”

We activate communities. We have groups of volunteers supporting the Enterprise Facilitator to help you to find resources and people and we have discovered that the miracle of the intelligence of local people is such that you can change the culture and the economy of this community just by capturing the passion, the energy and imagination of your own people.

Thank you. (Applause)

Think about the creation/adoption/implementation of Common Core:

Did David Coleman, Bill Gates, Jeb Bush, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon, and other education reformers ask the communities what they wanted?

Are these reformers paternalistic or patronizing?

Do the reformers respect the taxpayers or have they even asked for their respect?

Are they respectful of what the communities want in schools?

Are the reformers servants of local passion, or are the taxpayers the servants of the education reformers?

Is the passion from the reformers for student personal growth or for data?

Have the education reformers ever listened to the community and its needs?

Is the structuring of education and time consuming assessments into a “one size fits all” approach the death of individualism and entrepreneurship?

Do you believe that private companies who have crafted standards that are copyrighted and cannot be altered/modified in any manner care about the passion, energy and imagination of teachers and students?

Do you believe the reformers have planted tomatoes that serve no purpose except for the reformers’ needs?

They’ve never asked the communities what they wanted and they have given us what we don’t need.

Right to Work

***Warning***

The violence shown in this video is 100% factual and may be disturbing for some. Viewer discretion is advised.

Dear Concerned American,

I was shaken.

When I tasked my staff with creating this video, I knew it would be compelling, but actually seeing it was a moving experience.

You see, Big Labor often resorts to despicable acts of violence and intimidation to force their way into the workplace, but it’s never been documented like this before, trust me.

And now that it’s released, Big Labor is scrambling to shut down our video exposing the ugly side of union organizing.

Watch it now before Big Labor shuts it down.

Sincerely,

Mark Mix
President, National Right to Work Committee

Facts About the Missouri State Board of Education

http://dese.mo.gov/stateboard/stateboard.html#majorduties

According to the Missouri Constitution, “The supervision of instruction in the public schools shall be vested in a state board of education …” (Article IX, Section 2a). This provision gives the State Board of Education general authority for public education, within limits set by the General Assembly.

The Board is made up of eight citizens appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Senate. Members serve staggered, eight-year terms so that one term expires each year. No more than four members of the Board may belong to the same political party. No more than one member of the Board may reside in the same county or Congressional district. When terms expire, members continue to serve until being replaced or reappointed. The Board elects its own officers each year. Members receive $25 for each day of an official meeting.

The Board’s duties and responsibilities range from preschool to the postsecondary and adult levels. The Board does not have direct authority over higher education institutions. However, the Board sets standards for and approves courses and professional programs for teachers and school administrators in Missouri’s public and private higher education institutions.

Under federal law, the Board serves as the state-level governing body for career and technical education programs provided by local school districts, community colleges and four-year institutions.

The Board has no authority to regulate or accredit private, parochial or home schools in the state.

The Board’s major duties include:

MISSOURI STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION

PRESIDENT

  • Peter F. Herschend, Branson, was first appointed to the State Board of Education in December 1991. He was re-appointed for new terms in November 1999 and October 2007. He is founder and co-owner of Herschend Family Entertainment Corp., which owns Silver Dollar City and other entertainment properties. Before his appointment to the State Board, Mr. Herschend served 12 years on the Branson Board of Education.

VICE PRESIDENT

  • Michael W. Jones, St. Louis, was appointed to the Board in March 2011. He is a senior policy adviser to the county executive in St. Louis County. Mr. Jones has more than 30 years of experience specializing in public policy development and implementation. A St. Louis native, he holds a bachelor’s degree in secondary education from the University of Missouri-St. Louis.

MEMBERS

  • Deborah L. Demien, Wentzville, was appointed to the State Board in March 2006. She is director of marketing for Demien Construction. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English and history from Southwest Missouri State University and a master’s degree in education from the University of Missouri-St. Louis.
  • J. Michael Ponder, Cape Girardeau, was appointed to the State Board in March 2009. Mr. Ponder is a partner in the Cape Girardeau law firm of Cook, Barrett, Maguire and Ponder.  He is a 1990 graduate of the University of Missouri School of Law.
  • Charlie W. Shields, St. Joseph, was appointed to the State Board in August 2012. He is Chief Operating Officer of Truman Medical Center (TMC) Lakewood. Mr. Shields joined TMC in July 2010, after serving 20 years in the Missouri General Assembly as part of the House of Representatives, a Republican member of the Senate and most recently as President Pro Tem. He earned his bachelor’s degree in marketing and his master’s of business administration from the University of Missouri.
  • Russell C. Still, Columbia, was appointed to the State Board in April 2010. He is a graduate of the University of Michigan and the University of Missouri School of Law. He has been a classroom teacher and a PTA president. Mr. Still also was a member of the Columbia Board of Education (1996-2005). He is a partner in the law firm of Harlan, Harlan & Still.

The Truth Isn’t Mean, It’s The Truth

Excellent video from Pat Condell! Defines the difference between liberals and progressives, and how this is playing out across the globe. As Andrew Breitbart said – “The truth isn’t mean, it’s the truth.”

Re-posted from Right Reason

http://right-reason.com/2013/04/21/the-truth-isnt-mean-its-the-truth/

Facts About the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education

http://dese.mo.gov/overview.html

The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) is the administrative arm of the State Board of Education. It is primarily a service agency that works with educators, legislators, government agencies, community leaders and citizens to maintain a strong public education system. Through its statewide school-improvement activities and regulatory functions, the Department strives to assure that all citizens have access to high-quality public education.  DESE does not regulate, monitor or accredit private, parochial or home schools.

The Department’s responsibilities range from early childhood to adult education services. The Department employs about 1,700 people throughout the state and has a total budget of about $5.4 billion. About 96 percent of the budget consists of state and federal funds that are distributed to local school districts and other agencies.

Duties of the Commissioner

The Commissioner of Education directs the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and fulfills other duties as prescribed by law (Section 161.122, RSMo). The law states that the Commissioner shall “seek in every way to elevate the standards and efficiency of the instruction given in the public schools of the state.”

In addition to the Commissioner of Education, the Department organization reflects functions under two divisions, Financial and Administrative Services and Learning Services.

Division of Financial and Administrative Services

This division is responsible for distributing all federal and state funds to local school districts and other agencies that provide education-related services.  The division assists local school officials with budgeting, audits, and the reporting of financial statistics, both state and federal.  The division also provides assistance with school administrative and governance issues.  Other personnel in this division administer the federally-funded school lunch and breakfast programs.  This division also manages the department’s internal business operations, such as accounting and procurement, budget, and human resources.

Division of Learning Services

This division is responsible for all of the department’s activities related to educational success of students, educators, and schools. The division includes offices which manage quality schools, college- and career-readiness, special education, educator quality, early and extended learning, adult learning and rehabilitative services, and the data system management.

A primary function of the Office of Quality Schools is to manage the Missouri School Improvement Program (MSIP), the state’s accreditation system for public school districts. This office also administers a wide range of state- and federally-funded programs that assist local schools (Title I, Title III and other federal programs), charter and other innovative schools, as well as developing a statewide system of support for schools, communities and families. Schools also are provided assistance on federal and state-developed improvement initiatives which are coordinated with other state and regional services.

The Office of College and Career Readiness provides technical assistance to local school personnel in the adoption and adaptation of the state’s performance standards, and curriculum development/adoption of all content areas — math, science, social studies, English/communication arts, health/physical education, fine arts; as well as the career and technical content areas of agriculture, food and natural resources; business, marketing and information technology; family consumer sciences and human services; and technology, health and skilled technical sciences; and guidance and counseling. This office also assists schools and career centers with the administration of the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act and Missouri career and technical student organizations.  In addition, this office is responsible for the development and oversight of the Missouri Assessment Program, consisting of the annual, grade-level assessments for grades 3 – 8 and the end-of-course high school assessments, as well as the administration of NAEP (National Assessment on Educational Progress).

The Office of Special Education administers state and federal funds to support services for students and adults with disabilities. This office works with other state and local agencies to coordinate the Missouri First Steps program, which provides early intervention services for infants and toddlers with disabilities and their families. The office works with local school districts in developing and improving special education services for students (ages 3-21) with disabilities. It also provides financial and technical support for all approved sheltered workshops in the state. Sheltered workshops provide employment for adults with disabilities.  This office also oversees the operation of three school systems administered by the State Board of Education. These are the Missouri School for the Blind, the Missouri School for the Deaf and the Missouri Schools for Severely Disabled. Through their outreach programs and consulting services, these school systems assist local school personnel and families throughout the state in meeting the needs of children with disabilities.

The Office of Educator Quality is responsible for evaluating educator preparation programs offered by Missouri’s higher education institutions. The Office of Educator Quality also issues certificates (licenses) to all professional personnel who work in the state’s public school systems, as well as assisting with the review of certificate-holders who are charged with misconduct.  This office is responsible for development of innovative professional development programs for educators (teachers and administrators) at the state level.  It also assists in the development of teacher, principal and administrator standards, as well as development of evaluation models for school personnel.

The Office of Early and Extended Learning is responsible for the overseeing the department’s efforts to expand and improve early learning opportunities for children and providing supports for teachers, programs, parents and families of young children. Staff administers the Missouri Preschool Program and the Child Care Development Fund Grant. The office is also responsible for the development of early learning standards.
Extended learning (afterschool) programs provide a safe, caring and nurturing place for extended learning, social, recreational and personal life skills development for students during non-school hours (before- and/or after-school). Grant programs administered by this office include the 21st Century Community Learning Centers grants, School Age Community grants, and the Afterschool Retreat Reading and Assessment Grant program. The programs foster partnerships among the schools, parents/families and communities.

The Office of Adult Learning and Rehabilitation Services administers statewide adult education services, including adult education and literacy, the high school equivalency-testing program (GED®) and veterans education.
Rehabilitation Services provides specialized services to adult citizens with disabilities to help them achieve employment and independence. Offices are maintained across the state to provide convenient services to clients. Rehabilitation Services personnel provide individualized counseling, training and other services to help clients achieve gainful employment or independent living. Rehabilitation Services is supported primarily with federal funds.  The office currently funds Independent Living Centers across the state. These centers provide counseling, advocacy, personal care, and training in independent living skills for adults with disabilities.  The Disability Determinations program is part of this office and operates under regulations of the Social Security Administration. Located in offices across the state, Disability Determinations personnel adjudicate claims from Missouri residents seeking federal disability benefits.

The Office of Data System Management is responsible for the development and implementation of the Missouri Comprehensive Data System (MCDS) which will include the student-level record system, Missouri Student Information System (MOSIS); Core Data, a web-based data collection system of education-related statistics; and the Electronic Plan and Electronic Grants System (ePeGs) , an instrument provided to schools to assist with federal grant applications and program planning. The MCDS also maintains the P-20 longitudinal data system utilized for tracking and research of student progress and achievement, postsecondary and workforce preparation, adult learning and GED completers, etc. The Office of Data System Management also coordinates school district data team training and certification regarding the use of data to improve classroom instruction. In addition, the office collects and generates data to meet federal reporting requirements and compliance, as well as provide data utilized in research and analysis that impacts policy decision-making.

Common Core’s Political Agenda

http://www.eagleforum.org/publications/educate/apr13/common-cores-political-agenda.html

The Common Core State Standards are standardizing student learning and performance nationwide and will gauge achievement using national tests. The standards were called for and created at the behest of the federal government. Although the word “state” is commonly used in the program description, no state produced the standards. Rather, committees created them for all states. Governors were enticed to sign on before the standards were even completed. Forty-six states are teaching to the English Language standards and 45 have adopted the math standards. Common Core national standards are currently being developed for science and social studies. National testing will begin in 2014.

The standards are available online. Many have called them confusing and complicated. Detailed goals for each grade level are offered, as well as means of measuring achievements. Books, poems and informational reading are suggested in “text exemplar” sections of Appendices.

Critics and some English teachers object to the emphasis on “informational texts” and the move away from literature that is necessitated to include those assignments.

Although there are no hard and fast rules for using the texts suggested in the Appendices of the Common Core Standards for English Language Arts, it would make sense for teachers to adopt those suggested rather than choosing other readings. They will be teaching to a test so why would they deviate from what the testers suggest?

Examination of two of the English Language “text exemplars” for high school students shows they have definite political agendas. “The Cost Conundrum: Health Care Costs in McAllen, Texas,” written by Atul Gawande and first appearing June 2009 in the New Yorker magazine, is at its heart a call for universal, government-run health care. “Executive Order 13423” is a presidential mandate that all government agencies become “sustainable” entities. It promotes controversial scientific ideas and purports them as factually accurate in a way that could unduly influence students.

Health Care Text Exemplar

“The Cost Conundrum” consists of attacks on both medical doctors and hospitals as greedy profiteers. The heroes of the analysis are doctors who accept salaries from hospitals, rather than determining their own fees. Doctors are accused of ordering too many tests and doing unnecessary surgeries to line their own pockets. Gawande describes one physician CEO he met with as aloof and having a “let’s-get-this-over-with” attitude, and then dismisses as ludicrous the doctor’s suggestion that the government’s involvement in health care has caused some of the problems in health care.

I asked him why McAllen’s health care costs were so high. What he gave me was a disquisition on the theory and history of American health care financing going back to Lyndon Johnson and the creation of Medicare, the upshot of which was: (1) Government is the problem in health care. “The people in charge of the purse strings don’t know what they’re doing.” (2) If anything, government insurance programs like Medicare don’t pay enough. “I, as an anesthesiologist, know that they pay me ten percent of what a private insurer pays.” (3) Government programs are full of waste. “Every person in this room could easily go through the expenditures of Medicare and Medicaid and see all kinds of waste.”

Many knowledgeable critics of the current health care “crisis” make the link, as the McAllen doctor did, to decades of government interference. It cannot be easily dismissed. In fact, many would say his analysis is quite astute. Plus there are predictions that ObamaCare is further interference that will affect “the health care market in many new and profoundly destructive ways.” (Reason, 03-13-2013)

Promises to “make health care coverage more affordable” fall flat in the face of evidence. The Associated Press reports:

Some Americans could see their insurance bills double next year as the health care overhaul law expands coverage to millions of people. The nation’s big health insurers say they expect premiums — or the cost for insurance coverage — to rise from 20 to 100 percent for millions of people due to changes that will occur when key provisions of the Affordable Care Act roll out in January 2014. Mark Bertolini, CEO of Aetna Inc., one of the nation’s largest insurers, calls the price hikes “premium rate shock.” “We’ve done all the math, we’ve shared it with all the regulators, we’ve shared it with all the people in Washington that need to see it, and I think it’s a big concern,” Bertolini said during the company’s annual meeting with investors in December. (03-13-13)

Will high school teachers submitting Common Core’s slanted informational texts to students be qualified to dissect the politicized text assigned? Opposing viewpoints are easy to find, but will a high school teacher select and present other views to students? If not, this article is indoctrination.

Gawande goes on to say in this text exemplar:

Advocates of a public option say government financing would save the most money by having leaner administrative costs and forcing doctors and hospitals to take lower payments than they get from private insurance. Opponents say doctors would skimp, quit, or game the system, and make us wait in line for our care; they maintain that private insurers are better at policing doctors. No, the skeptics say: all insurance companies do is reject applicants who need health care and stall on paying their bills. Then we have the economists who say that the people who should pay the doctors are the ones who use them. Have consumers pay with their own dollars, make sure that they have some “skin in the game,” and then they’ll get the care they deserve. These arguments miss the main issue. When it comes to making care better and cheaper, changing who pays the doctor will make no more difference than changing who pays the electrician. The lesson of the high-quality, low-cost communities is that someone has to be accountable for the totality of care. Otherwise, you get a system that has no brakes.

Gawande’s article is an assertion that there is no one better to be “accountable” for the “totality of care” than the federal government. But the truth is that it is far from clear that a taxpayer-funded system in which decisions are removed from patients, doctors, and the people actually footing the bill has the “brakes” he points out that we need. Who is putting the brakes on our runaway federal budget and our many other bloated and ineffective federal programs?

Sustainability Text Exemplar

Another informational text suggested by Common Core is “Executive Order 13423 of January 24, 2007: Strengthening Federal Environmental, Energy, and Transportation Management.” This document, signed by President George Bush in 2007, is a sweeping call for sustainability, greenhouse gas control, use of renewable resources, and recycling at all federal agencies. It incorporates green standards, such as renewable energy generation projects on agency property for agency use, meaning wind and solar.

The Executive Order states that ‘‘‘sustainable’ means to create and maintain conditions, under which humans and nature can exist in productive harmony, that permit fulfilling the social, economic, and other requirements of present and future generations of Americans.” Sustainability
is also a leftist buzzword and rooted in the United Nations Agenda 21, which calls for developed nations to decrease energy usage. It aims to control the West, especially the United States, economically and politically. Another interpretation of Agenda 21 would be, “from each according to their ability, to each according to their need,” as stated by Karl Marx.

The executive order also mandated creation of a new job at each federal agency: a senior civilian officer to be responsible for implementation of environmentalist requirements. These government employees at the CIA, the FBI, the Department of Education, and every other federal agency, are paid at level IV of the Executive Schedule, which was $155,500 in January 2012. These individuals obviously require a sizeable staff to implement the changes, oversee their success, and file the required reports to multiple other agencies. The order requires compliance at each agency, by all contractors outside the government with which the agency does business, by tenants or concessionaires, and even makes provision for standards to be met in foreign locations.

If educators or parents object to students being indoctrinated at school in the leftist environmentalism and sustainability represented by this reading, it will surely be pointed out that it was a Republican president who signed this order.

A better decision in this time of economic uncertainty, the massive burden on taxpayers, and our unprecedented national debt to foreign countries such as China, would have been to appoint an overseer of cost effectiveness at each department. This person could approve “sustainable” activities only when feasible and cost-effective.

A critical reading of this executive order could lead more astute students to realize the federal government’s propensity for wasting money and complicating everything. Since it was precisely this disregard for cost that allowed government interference in health care to create the inflated system we had before ObamaCare, it is questionable whether the massive and definitive takeover of healthcare by the federal government is the right direction for America — but students given scanty information from a skewed perspective are very unlikely to question it.

As Ronald Reagan said in 1964, “outside of its legitimate functions, government does nothing as well or as economically as the private sector of the economy.” Will students, parents, and citizens also question whether the massive and definitive federal takeover of education that Common Core represents is the right direction for America?

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