Wakeup 09-10-17

Lynn Taylor, known as “Common Core Diva,” was a special guest via Skype. Lynn lives in Mooresville (near Charlotte), North Carolina. She spent 23 years homeschooling her 3 children. Lynn is admired and respected by Kim Fink, and her CCTA Public Education Committee.

Rick asked Lynn if what’s going on in education here and what’s going on in the UN have any relationship. She said they are related, and the key to understanding it are the notions of “collectivism” and “sustainability,” and goals built around the idea of being “green.” The idea is that “technology saves trees,” and “we can’t be one big happy world if we’re not all connected digitally.” NC has been among the first to hook up to global efforts for education and data sharing. Lynn also says FERPA (the “Family Educational Rights and Privacy Right Act of 1974”) has been gutted by an Executive Order by President Obama. She pointed out that data can be collected (without permission) in students’ homes by their school provided devices.

This change was accomplished by a publication of the US. Department of Education which states in part: “High quality data and robust data systems will help us measure our progress towards President Obama’s goal for us to be first in the world in college completion by the year 2020 and better meet the needs of parents, teachers, and students. … the U.S. Department of Education (Department) has begun several initiatives to provide technical assistance to States, districts, and schools to protect the privacy rights of students, promote the responsible use of data to inform education policy and practices and empower parents, teachers and students to use this information to advocate for their rights and improve their educational outcomes.”

NC Open Meeting Law and Craven County Board of Commissioners

Watchdog Report

Craven County Board of Commissioners meeting, September 5, 2017

This meeting was another one that was strange to me.  It was conducted strictly in accordance with NC’s Open Meeting Laws.  Could it be that our commissioners are aware now of the lawsuit that citizens in Beaufort County have filed against the Board of Commissioners there for violations of those laws?  Of course, merely speculation on my part.

The first inkling I had of it was when citizens making petitions to the Board were instructed to hand all materials they wanted the Commissioners to see to the clerk.  Chairman Mark said that they were not allowed to accept materials.  As far as I know commissioners did not look at any of the materials that had been provided by citizens during the meeting.

In the past I have complained abut County Manager, Jack Veit’s passing printed materials out to the Commissioners without providing copies for citizens in attendance.  At this meeting he showed everything he presented to the commissioners with a projector.

The net effect of all this was to make the commissioners even more distant from the citizens.

I was one of the petitioners.  I told the commissioners about a meeting that Raynor and I have been invited to attend with staff at the NC Treasurer’s office on local debt.  I asked if the Commissioners would like me to deliver any comments that they would like to make on the subject to the people in attendance at that meeting.  I also read the amount of each class of debt that the county has that I obtained from the NC Treasurer’s website and asked that if current debt was significantly different, I would like to be informed of that.  I made no comment other than that about the debt.

Commissioner Tyson was the first commissioner to give a report just before the close of the meeting (they each give a report at the close of all their meetings).  Commissioner Tyson stated that, in spite of reports by one individual (meaning me), the sky is not falling.  That the county is in excellent financial condition, tax rates are among the lowest in the state, and the debt was for the water system that had been mandated by the State.

At his opportunity, Commissioner Dacey said that someone (surely me) had complained that the county budget is always growing.  He asserted that the reason is that the county is always providing more for the citizens.  He said citizens could go on his website and see a list of all agencies that are making contributions to the well being of Craven’s citizens and how to get in touch with them.  He also stated that growth in the budget was largely federal and state money, and that whoever doesn’t like it could complain to Congressman Jones and our state representatives.

The meeting was well attended by citizens, most of whom were there to urge the Commission to support the adoption of the proposed Equal Rights Amendment to the US Constitution.   As we were leaving, Commissioner Tyson followed me out and yelled at me about “fake news” etc.  I just ignored him and continued to walk.

Fighting federal intrusion, data gathering, and student indoctrination

We at CCTA have had several opportunities recently to continue our battle against the intrusion of the federal government into local education and the indoctrination of children in socialism and globalization.

The Craven County Republican Women’s Club had the new NC Secretary of Public Instruction, Mark Johnson, as a speaker. Several CCTA members were present. Mr. Johnson invited one on one discussion after his talk. I showed him a document with the portion of the Common Core Educational Standards that require fourth graders to “discuss the effect of discrimination in our American culture,” and he agreed that they are age inappropriate, and he asked if he could keep the copies I had with me. I gave them to him.

At a recent meeting of the Craven County Board of Commissioners, a request made by Craven School Superintendent, Megan Doyle, to lease I-Pads for the use of each student and teacher in the county (K though 12) was approved. That resulted in a 3 year renewable lease for I-Pads at an annual cost of $986,789. This is a significant increase in “capital funding,” and the cost of the I-Pads was not mentioned in the presentation, nor was the fact that some child development specialists are saying that introducing young children (K through 2) to electronic devices interferes with their motor skill development and actually retards brain development. However, a meeting has been scheduled with Dr. Doyle to address CCTA’s concerns about the school system and to address her concerns about some of CCTA’s assertions.

Education was also discussed on our last CCTA “Wake- Up Call” radio show. Rick arranged for Lynn Taylor, known as “Common Core Diva,” to be a special guest via Skype. Lynn lives in Mooresville (near Charlotte), North Carolina. She spent 23 years homeschooling her 3 children. Lynn is admired and respected by Kim Fink, and her CCTA Public Education Committee.

Rick asked Lynn if what’s going on in education here and what’s going on in the UN have any relationship. She said they are related, and the key to understanding it are the notions of “collectivism” and “sustainability,” and goals built around the idea of being “green.” The idea is that “technology saves trees,” and “we can’t be one big happy world if we’re not all connected digitally.” NC has been among the first to hook up to global efforts for education and data sharing. Lynn also says FERPA (the “Family Educational Rights and Privacy Right Act of 1974”) has been gutted by an Executive Order by President Obama. She pointed out that data can be collected (without permission) in students’ homes by their school provided devices.

This change was accomplished by a publication of the US. Department of Education which states in part: “High quality data and robust data systems will help us measure our progress towards President Obama’s goal for us to be first in the world in college completion by the year 2020 and better meet the needs of parents, teachers, and students. … the U.S. Department of Education (Department) has begun several initiatives to provide technical assistance to States, districts, and schools to protect the privacy rights of students, promote the responsible use of data to inform education policy and practices and empower parents, teachers and students to use this information to advocate for their rights and improve their educational outcomes.”

We don’t believe a word of that publication, and you shouldn’t either. You’ll see why if you listen to that installment of “Wake-Up Call” which you can do by going to http://cctaxpayers.com/series/wakeup/. The program ends with ideas about how we can help fix this mess!

Wakeup Call 09-03-2017

We had Lynn Taylor, known as “Common Core Diva,” as a special guest.  Lynn lives in Mooresville (near Charlotte), North Carolina.  She spent 23 years homeschooling her children, and the last one graduated in 2015.  Lynn is admired and respected by Kim Fink, CCTA’s Public Education Committee Chairman for several years as we fought Common Core in Raleigh, and Kim was on last night’s panel, too.  (As were Bob and Mary Griswold, Diane Rufino, and Hal and I.)

Rick introduced the program by saying we were going to talk about technology in the classroom, and he mentioned the fact that Craven County is leasing I-Pads for all its students and teachers in kindergarten through 12th grade, and said the quick reaction of a lot of people will be, “That’s good,” but is it really?  Perhaps there’s another side to it.

Rick asked Hal to give a little background about what Craven County is doing, and Hal did so.  He mentioned something really odd about the process at the Board of Commissioners’ meeting.  The lease costs almost

$1 million dollars per year, but neither the presenter nor any of the commissioners mentioned the cost of the lease.  (Hal knew the amount because the lease itself was among the pre-meeting items posted on the county’s website.)

Lynn added that in 2015, North Carolina increased funds for digital learning with the intention of using the digital mode for learning and for assessments.  In addition, ESSA (Every Child Succeeds Act) provides federal funds for digital learning which the states must compete for. Part of that is to provide money to get wi-fi into the home of each student so that he or she can have access 24/7.

Rick asked Lynn to comment on an article called “Technology: Poison in the Classroom.”

Lynn said there is a move to have technology start in pre-school (from almost when a child is born), and then to kindergarten and on up.  Lynn says that stunts brain development!  (Most of us had heard an early childhood development specialist testify before the Academic Standards Review Commission who spend an hour or so saying the same thing.)

Lynn said that another problem is the massive amount of data that is being stored from youngest student years through joining the workforce via the use of technology, and she mentioned that Apple has the largest data storage east of the Mississippi here in NC.

Rick asked Lynn if what’s going on in education here and what’s going on in the UN have any relationship.  She said they are related, and the key to understanding it are the notions of “collectivism” and “sustainability,” and goals built around the idea of being “green.”  The idea that “technology saves trees,” and “we can’t be one big happy world if we’re not all connected digitally.”  NC has been among the first to hook up to global efforts for education, and NC data is being shared pretty globally; schools share with state agencies, federal agencies, approved vendors, researchers, and more.  Lynn also says FERPA (the “family protection” law) has been gutted by an Executive Order by President Obama.  And she pointed out that data can be collected (without permission) in students’ homes by their school provided devices.  (Is it 1984 yet?)

Lynn was asked why educators seem to be on board with all of this, and she discussed that aspect, but also added that some recent education major graduates are miserably unhappy because they are not encouraged to innovate, but are instructed to “teach to the test.”  She added that there is a huge corporate lobby spending huge sums of money to influence federal and state laws relating to education.  And Lynn said that “psychological intervention systems” are being used in schools, and teachers are having to handle it themselves; psychologists are not being hired.

Lynn says that homeschooling and private schools are going to be dealing with all the things that are going on in traditional public schools that are problematic very soon.  She was asked, “Why???”  She said that one of the ways is by the use of assessments.  She said she had fought and fought to keep the definition of homeschooling as it had been in NC. She said previously homeschooling had 100% freedom, but not so now.  She said it was a conscious effort to “blur the line” between homeschools and “traditional” public education.

Lynn says that ESSA says that “all education must be aligned to one set of standards,” and each student (homeschoolers as well) has a “unique identifier number,” and with nationally normed assessments and that unique identifier, parents can be convinced that their child is “going to be left behind.”

The bright spot in all of this is that there is a campaign going on to get President Trump to resend President Obama’s Executive Order and restore FERPA.  To find out more about this work, parents are advised to go to childabuseintheclassroom.com (child abuse in the classroom).  Lynn advises parents who care about their children to pay attention to that and to pay attention to what’s going on in their child’s school!

To share more of Common Core Diva’s wit, wisdom, and knowledge, go to www.commoncorediva.wordpress.com

BBQ Fundraiser

CCTA BBQ FLYER

CCTA Wake Up Call- August 27, 2107

Rick opened by opining that the “main stream” media and Hollywood are responsible for the divide in our country, and explained how “cord cutting” is reducing their cash flow.  Cable and satellite providers forward some of the monies subscribers pay them to each of the channels the subscriber can get (regardless of whether the subscriber ever watches that particular channel or not).

Rick said that, in the first quarter of this year, 750,000 subscribers discontinued their subscriptions to cable and satellite TV.  In the next quarter, about 1 million subscribers did the same, and Rick said that this is beginning to really rattle the likes of CNN (which has fewer than 1 million viewers), ESPN, NBC, and the like.  They cannot operate on their advertising revenues alone, so they have a growing fear that “cable cutters” (conservatives voting with their pocket books) will put them out of business.  Rick suggests that conservatives do a search for “cord cutters” in order to learn how to keep up with the news and get entertainment on your TV without the “cord.”  He also suggests that the search be done on a search engine that keeps you anonymous like www.duckduckgo.com instead of using google since google has begun censoring conservatives.

Next, Hal gave us the facts about, and we discussed the fact that on Monday the Craven County Schools requested that the Board of Commissioners give them a sizeable amount of money for them to lease I-Pads for every student and teacher in kindergarten through 12th grade.  Several interesting things emerged.  The amount of the request was never mentioned (it was in the online agenda).  The money was to come from the county’s “capital account” (taxpayer monies set aside for bricks and mortar projects) even though it’s to be an on going annual expense.  (This kind of thing is happening in Beaufort County, too.)  And the I-Pads are to be provided for kindergartners and first and second graders in spite of the fact that CCTA members who were on Kim Fink’s Public Education Committee and attended all of the Academic Standards Review Commission hearings in Raleigh heard an early childhood development specialist who testified say that beginning to use electronic devices too early retards the development of a child’s motor skills and is counter productive in the early grades.

We also got into a discussion of the place of real books in addition to electronics which led to a brief mention of the effects of an EMP event and how the likes of North Korea (among others) would love to cause such a thing in America.

Hal mentioned the feed-back we’ve gotten from Scott Harrellson (Craven’s Public Health Director – I think that’s the right title) on our website about what we’ve said about the Federally Qualified Healthcare Centers (FQHCs) in Craven, and he read Mr. Harrellson’s full statement.  Then, by way of contrast, he talked about what Mr. Harrellson said when he was selling the idea of the first FQHC in Craven.  (He was able to do that because he’d saved a hard copy of the power-point Mr. Harrellson used at the time.)

We next got into what the General Assembly is up to, and this includes hearings on new General Assembly districts (NC House and Senate) conducted in locations around the state this past Tuesday (8-22-17).  Hal and I participated in the one held in Washington, NC.  There were a total of 7 locations including one at the Legislative Building in Raleigh, and all locations were tied together via cameras and video.  Rep. David Lewis conducted all the meetings from the Raleigh location, but there were members of the General Assembly and Sargents-at-Arms in each location.  All citizens who signed up had an opportunity to talk.  It began by 2 or 3 people speaking in one location, then moving to the next location, and the next, etc.  Before it was over, it was obvious that not everyone would get to speak using that format, so the connections were shut down, and each location finished as an individual meeting.  Representative Michael Speciale, Senator Norman Sanderson, and Senator Harry Brown were in the Washington location.  Although there were a sizeable number of Republicans in attendance, citizens who spoke seemed to be predominantly members of the NAACP and Democrats who were upset about gerrymandering.  Republicans offered varied suggestions.  Hal’s and my “hot button” was the fact that two truly conservative Representatives (Pittman and Ford) have been double-bunked in Cabarrus County while a much less conservative Representative will have a district all to herself in the same county, AND there is a third district in the same county as well.  Also, Senator Bill Cook (another conservative) will have a new district which is thought to be inhospitable to him.

We talked about “crowd sourcing” (do another duckduckgo search) and how that is developing a large body of information about the subjects that wikileaks leaked.  We didn’t so much discuss the pros and cons of wikileaks actions as what having that information in the public realm has lead/is leading to because of the crowd sourcing approach.  Mary mentioned that both The Daily Caller and Gateway Pundit have good information online on the topic, too.

The last 5 minutes or so is an interview Rick did with Jerry Schill, Chairman of the God & Country Christian Alliance, one of their meetings Rick attended which featured Deborah Dewart (author of Death of a Christian Nation), and the Christian Alliance’s upcoming God & Country Banquet to be held starting at 6:30 p.m. at the Havelock Convention Center on September 18 featuring Judge Paul Newby as the keynote speaker.  Tickets are $20.

Wakeup 08-27-17

Rick opened by opining that the “main stream” media and Hollywood are responsible for the divide in our country, and explained how “cord cutting” is reducing their cash flow.  Cable and satellite providers forward some of the monies subscribers pay them to each of the channels the subscriber can get (regardless of whether the subscriber ever watches that particular channel or not).

Next, Hal gave us the facts about, and we discussed the fact that on Monday the Craven County Schools requested that the Board of Commissioners give them a sizeable amount of money for them to lease I-Pads for every student and teacher in kindergarten through 12th grade.  Several interesting things emerged.  The amount of the request was never mentioned (it was in the online agenda).  The money was to come from the county’s “capital account” (taxpayer monies set aside for bricks and mortar projects) even though it’s to be an on going annual expense.  (This kind of thing is happening in Beaufort County, too.)  And the I-Pads are to be provided for kindergartners and first and second graders in spite of the fact that CCTA members who were on Kim Fink’s Public Education Committee and attended all of the Academic Standards Review Commission hearings in Raleigh heard an early childhood development specialist who testified say that beginning to use electronic devices too early retards the development of a child’s motor skills and is counter productive in the early grades.

We also got into a discussion of the place of real books in addition to electronics which led to a brief mention of the effects of an EMP event and how the likes of North Korea (among others) would love to cause such a thing in America.

Hal mentioned the feed-back we’ve gotten from Scott Harrellson (Craven’s Public Health Director – I think that’s the right title) on our website about what we’ve said about the Federally Qualified Healthcare Centers (FQHCs) in Craven, and he read Mr. Harrellson’s full statement.  Then, by way of contrast, he talked about what Mr. Harrellson said when he was selling the idea of the first FQHC in Craven.  (He was able to do that because he’d saved a hard copy of the power-point Mr. Harrellson used at the time.)

We next got into what the General Assembly is up to, and this includes hearings on new General Assembly districts (NC House and Senate) conducted in locations around the state this past Tuesday (8-22-17).  Hal and I participated in the one held in Washington, NC.  There were a total of 7 locations including one at the Legislative Building in Raleigh, and all locations were tied together via cameras and video.  Rep. David Lewis conducted all the meetings from the Raleigh location, but there were members of the General Assembly and Sargents-at-Arms in each location.  All citizens who signed up had an opportunity to talk.  It began by 2 or 3 people speaking in one location, then moving to the next location, and the next, etc.  Before it was over, it was obvious that not everyone would get to speak using that format, so the connections were shut down, and each location finished as an individual meeting.  Representative Michael Speciale, Senator Norman Sanderson, and Senator Harry Brown were in the Washington location.  Although there were a sizeable number of Republicans in attendance, citizens who spoke seemed to be predominantly members of the NAACP and Democrats who were upset about gerrymandering.  Republicans offered varied suggestions.  Hal’s and my “hot button” was the fact that two truly conservative Representatives (Pittman and Ford) have been double-bunked in Cabarrus County while a much less conservative Representative will have a district all to herself in the same county, AND there is a third district in the same county as well.  Also, Senator Bill Cook (another conservative) will have a new district which is thought to be inhospitable to him.

We talked about “crowd sourcing” (do another duckduckgo search) and how that is developing a large body of information about the subjects that wikileaks leaked.  We didn’t so much discuss the pros and cons of wikileaks actions as what having that information in the public realm has lead/is leading to because of the crowd sourcing approach.  Mary mentioned that both The Daily Caller and Gateway Pundit have good information online on the topic, too.

The last 5 minutes or so is an interview Rick did with Jerry Schill, Chairman of the God & Country Christian Alliance, one of their meetings Rick attended which featured Deborah Dewart (author of Death of a Christian Nation), and the Christian Alliance’s upcoming God & Country Banquet to be held starting at 6:30 p.m. at the Havelock Convention Center on September 18 featuring Judge Paul Newby as the keynote speaker.  Tickets are $20.

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