What's in Those Public Records Anyway?


Some of the records the PDC cited in its Report of Investigation
regarding Spokane Public Schools and bond/levy and other elective campaigns

Some of the other records sent to the PDC regarding
Spokane Public Schools and bond and levy campaigns.

PDF of March 1, 2014, article:
Legislature should look into PDC's investigation of Spokane Public Schools


CCSS and RTTT: Nationalizing public education

Please watch this excellent series of five videos on the Common Core State Standards.

The current federal education agenda includes national standards (also known as the common core state standards, or CCSS), national tests, and national curricula. Attendent in this federal agenda are increasing costs, increasing federal requirements and restrictions, and increased federal control over the classroom and education policy. These initiatives represent a de facto nationalization of public education.

If you think this federal agenda will improve the classroom, you should know that both Washington State and Massachusetts had better math standards than the national standards. And yet, Massachusetts adopted the weaker national standards in July 2009. Washington adopted them in 2010.

Washington State policymakers wanted to adopt the national standards before they were even written, but - foiled by a mandated legislative review - they went ahead and "provisionally" adopted the national standards almost immediately after they were publicly released. Unless WA State legislators developed legislation that specifically prohibits or delays the adoption of the CCSS, Washington State would permanently adopt them.

Some legislators tried to pass legislation to delay the adoption, but Representative Sharon Tomiko Santos (D) prevented that legislation from getting to the floor for a vote. Hence, legislators in Washington State never had an opportunity to delay these standards. Adopted "provisionally" last year actually meant adopted for good. But there are no data to support them. None. Following on their heels are untested, unproved tests, and untested, unproved curriculum. Spokane Public Schools already is planning millions of dollars of expenditures for untested, unproved, unfunded standards, tests and curriculum.

This is how business is now done in public education. And the people's voice, needs or desires means nothing.
If you think this federal agenda will amount to improved accountability, you should know that the process of building, promoting, and adopting the standards was done largely away from the public eye and despite much concern and opposition from math advocates.

If you think it's hard to be heard now over the clamoring self-interests that run public education, just wait until everything you want to say about what your children or grandchildren are learning has to be said to shadowy suits in Washington, DC. -- or to business interests that stand to make money off of this federal agenda. I have asked questions of organizations that were involved, and I've been ignored. I've asked questions of the U.S. Department of Education about its role in these standards, finally filing a FOIA request in 2009. As of March 2013, despite repeated requests, that federal FOIA request remains unresolved.

Betrayed articles:

June 9, 2009: National standards, national curriculum dangerous

July 12, 2009: Common Core State Standards: Secretive, expensive and wrong

July 26, 2009: Federal control expands despite the rules

Feb. 13, 2010: RTTT, SB6696 dangerous; administrators, lawmakers support them

May 10, 2010: On May 12, tell school board to vote no to RTTT

Oct 13: 2010: WTM: WA legislators should vote against CCSS adoption

Nov. 12, 2010: Common sense reform, evidence and faith-based education - guest article by J.R. Wilson

Jan. 21, 2011: CCSS: Ask legislators to BLOCK permanent adoption of CCSS

Jan. 28, 2011: Argument Against CCSS; Feb. 4 hearing on HB1443

Feb. 14, 2011: Democracy denied (so far) on HB1891 - guest article by Bob Dean

March 1, 2011: Public education slipping out of our hands. We must fight to get it back

March 5, 2011: CCSS: Ask legislators to vote to delay the adoption of the CCSS

March 23, 2011: Because of CCSS, district not replacing math materials for two more years

May 6, 2012: Common Core research just another piece of misleading advocacy - by Ze'ev Wurman

June 10, 2012: School district budget forums showcase half-truths, contempt for the public

July 17, 2012: Several school leaders refuse to say why district is adopting unproven CCSS products on top of already failed products; board president points to the state

Nov. 16, 2012: Please watch this excellent series of five videos on the Common Core State Standards.

Nov. 25, 2012: Political indoctrination replacing academics as the mission of K-12 public education

Jan. 9, 2013: Fatal flaws in Common Core standards for ELA beg the question: Which way for Indiana (and other states)?

Jan. 23, 2013: Common Core leading districts to adopt unproved math programs and failed approaches

May 6, 2013: Legislature and lawsuit help public education go in exactly the wrong direction. Again.

May 24, 2013: How we could fix public education, and why it won't happen

June 6, 2013: Public education's "culture of power": Small minds, thin skins, fragile egos

June 16, 2013: Children are key to America's future. The government wants control of that key.

December 9, 2013: District finally admits math curriculum problem, but - to align with the Common Core - adopts another unproved curriculum


Other pertinent information:

A plethora of other articles, papers, and editorials on the national standards, federal agenda, and Race to the Top "grant" initiative can be found on
Mathematically Sound Foundations and
Truth in American Education and
Utahns Against the Common Core


Oct. 15, 2009: "How to improve math scores" - Bruce Fuller, professor of education and public policy; Lance T. Izumi, Pacific Research Institute; Holly Tsakiris Horrigan, parent; Richard Bisk, math professor; Barry Garelick, U.S. Coalition for World Class Math


March, 2010: "Fair to Middling: A National Standards Progress Report" - R. James Milgram and Sandra Stotsky

March 2010: "A Blueprint for Reform: The Reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act" - The Obama Administration. Notable quotes from the report:
President Obama: "My Administration’s blueprint for reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act is not only a plan to renovate a flawed law, but also an outline for a reenvisioned federal role in education."
p. 11-12: "Beginning in 2015, formula funds will be available only to states that are implementing assessments based on college- and career-ready standards that are common to a significant number of states."

May 11, 2010: "Do you believe us now?" - Donna Garner, on Pearson's release of its Common Core State Standards for Literacy and for Mathematics package

July 2010: "Common core standards still don't make the grade: Why Massachusetts and California must regain control over their academic destinies" - Sandra Stotsky and Ze'ev Wurman

July 2010: "The 'Common Core' standards initiative: An effective reform tool?" - William J. Mathis

July 17, 2010: "AL state school board member on national standards" - Betty Peters

July 21, 2010: "Common Core" school standards roll on without supporting evidence" - William J. Mathis

July 29, 2010: "Stotsky on the Common Core vote in MA" - Sandra Stotsky

July 31, 2010: "Common core: A commissioner's dissent" - Ze'ev Wurman

August 12, 2010: "Honey, when did the Feds take over the kids' school?" - Neal McCluskey, Cato Institute

Nov. 3, 2010: "Can you hear me now?" - Bob Dean, Washington State teacher

Nov. 4, 2010: "Race to the Top's hidden price tag" - Robert Holland, Heartland Institute

Nov. 12, 2010: "The Lone Star State's good reasons for going it alone on education standards" - Heritage Foundation

Nov. 21, 2010: "Questioning the convergence on national standards" - Jim Stergios, Pioneer Institute

Nov. 24, 2010: "Schools chief returns Race to the Top money: For his teachers" - Valerie Strauss, The Washington Post

March 7, 2011: Bipartisan group backs common school curriculum - Sam Dillon, The New York Times

March 23, 2011: Education Revolution ... Without the People? - Emmet McGroarty

July 27, 2011: Heritage Foundation/Pioneer Institute video -- Presentation and panel discussion regarding the federal plan for public education - Robert Scott, Texas Commissioner of Education; Sandra Stotsky, Endowed Chair in Teacher Quality, Department of Education Reform, University of Arkansas; Theodor Rebarber, CEO of AccountabilityWorks; Ze’ev Wurman, Business Leader, Silicon Valley, California; Williamson M. Evers, Research Fellow and Member of the K–12 Education Task Force, The Hoover Institution; James Stergios, Executive Director, The Pioneer Institute (Moderator)

June 14, 2012: STOP the federal takeover of education - Preserve Innocence - join the coalition

Sept. 1, 2012: USOE + Common Core = Death of Math (from Utahns Against the Common Core)

Sept. 11, 2012: Federal education plan puts students' personal data and family privacy at risk - J.R. Wilson

Jan. 9, 2013: Fatal flaws in Common Core standards for ELA beg the question: Which way for Indiana (and other states)? - Sandra Stotsky

Jan. 23, 2013: Common Core leading districts to adopt unproved math programs and failed approaches

April 24, 2013: High school math teacher exposes the high-stakes testing myth

May 6, 2013: Legislature and lawsuit help public education go in exactly the wrong direction. Again.

May 24, 2013: How we could fix public education, and why it won't happen

June 6, 2013: Public education's "culture of power": Small minds, thin skins, fragile egos

June 16, 2013: Children are key to America's future. The government wants control of that key.

Nov. 26, 2013: Secretary of Education displays arrogant, bigoted, anti-parent sentiment over the Common Core

December 9, 2013: District finally admits math curriculum problem, but - to align with the Common Core - adopts another unproved curriculum