Yesterday, I gave you a first look into the 2 Democrats running for NC Superintendent of Public Instruction. One candidate is known nation wide for her PRO CCSS/CTE/CCR stance. The other candidate appears to be on the pro CC side as well. However, as I stated, it was a first look. Today’s Monday Musings will focus on the 3 Republicans also running for NC Superintendent of Public Instruction.
Let me state that the purpose of these two articles is point out that any race impacting education in this day and age of illegally based national education reform is important! We MUST know who is running in these races! We must know if they are going to continue the path of educational destruction. Or, will they ride the fence (so to speak) and watch it continue?
Will any of them be strong enough to state from the start that they are against Common Core and all that goes with it? As voters, we have a right to know!
(**Please note, since this article is specific to NC in most of the information, I haven’t left the rest of America out. I will share information from other states as it can point to any concerns or related information for all of us.
As always, this is done to provide you with as much information as we can find. Knowledge is power, votes are power. Combined and used in the correct applications, we can begin to climb out of the educational straitjacket the CCSS Machine has placed us in.)
In case you missed yesterday’s look at the candidates, here is the link to it:
J. Wesley Sills’ Campaign:
You can find Mr. Sills’ website: http://www.jwesleysills.org/home/
According to his personal background, it is widely varied, just like all of ours. I would like to point out, however, that the “About Me” page has me musing. What do I mean?
1) While he did become a fully licensed NC teacher in 2015, his grammar is lacking (at least on this page) While everyone of us makes grammatical errors (including myself), I would certainly hope AND expect my Superintendent to have excellent grammar skills. I would certainly hope AND expect my child’s teacher to have excellent grammar skills, too!
2) According to his website, he became FULLY licensed in 2015. The Raleigh News and Observer (The N & O) stated he graduated in 2012 (has been teaching since) from UNC-Wilmington.
Both sources share he has been teaching since 2012. To see the
N & O feature (which I will refer to again, below): http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/politics-columns-blogs/under-the-dome/article50074500.html
So where does he stand on the issues involved in education?
Some of his views appeared in an article by the N & O: ““I believe in the mission of public education and will work tirelessly to eliminate the endless bureaucratic policies that do not promote student learning, reign (sic) in all this testing, and make public schools a parent’s first choice in their student’s education,” he said in a prepared statement.” The blog writer for the N & O went on to share this, “A press release announcing his candidacy said Sills “looks forward to a spirituous campaign focused on the issues of educating our children.”Usually, the best voters can hope for in Council of State primaries are spirited campaigns, so a spirituous campaign (one infused with alcohol) would offer a new twist.””
Again, the grammar skills! But I digress..
Other views Sills’ has can be found:
In a nutshell, he wants to increase ‘rigor’. Here is an excerpt, “The difference between increasing rigor and just making things “harder” is similar to assigning fifty homework problems for the sake of length, when ten higher order problems could successfully reinforce the day’s lesson.”
Since he is an active teacher in NC, he does express a few valid concerns about learning. Here is one question I am sure many teachers ask, “Does anyone care about the learning or is the focus simply the scores?”
He also believes we should re-instate the Teaching Fellows Scholarships. (Not sure if those are Common Core tied? See: https://www.nccivitas.org/2011/teaching-fellows-a-closer-look/ NEA (National Educators Association is a huge pro CCSS group!)
Now, let me pause from looking at NC here, as I know many of you don’t live here.What are some of the other states doing with their Teaching Fellows? Are their Teaching Fellows programs tied to Common Core? You bet!
In NY, their Teaching Fellows openly embrace not only Common Core, but STEM as well. See: https://www.nycteachingfellows.org/fellowship_experience/schools_students.asp
In Washington state, have been collaborating for a couple of years with districts and the state level education departments to align Fellows to CCSS.
If you want to learn more about Teaching Fellows, legislation created to support it, which states serve as models, etc. See: https://aacte.org/policy-and-advocacy/state-policy-and-legislation/433-teaching-fellows-program-act (Be sure to note the pro CCSS groups involved like the AFT, NEA, and others)
Let’s pick up where we left off, shall we? Be sure to read the rest of Sills’ positions on Testing, Federal Funding, the importance of reading and writing, how the high school one size fits all is wrong (sorry, Mr. Sills, it happens way before high school), and teacher pay.
Mark Johnson’s Campaign:
His campaign website: http://www.remarkableschoolsnc.com/
Johnson is from Forsyth County, NC. He states on his website he serves on the United Way Board for his area. (United Way is also pro CCSS, see: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/02/27/fom-collective-education/)
His stance on education as stated on his website includes that he acknowledges the failure of CCSS in NC (which is great), BUT he is all for college and career readiness (not great, as ‘CCR’, college and career readiness, is among the new names for the same ole Common Core)
Johnson has laid out 3 top priorities for how he would serve:
1) “Reform the System of Testing Created and Supported by the Incumbent”
2) “Better Professional Development for All Teachers and School Leaders”
3) “Smart, Measured Use of Technology”
He has Teacher Recruitment, Retainment, and Rewards under “Other Top Priorities”, the College/Career Readiness immediately follows this.
This has my musing mind in gear. Does he knows what the ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act) has in store for NC (as well as the other 49 states)? Does he realize his stances, as stated, will only continue the educational demise of the state NOT lessen it! Common Core runs the tests now! Companies may millions off the data collected during these assessments! Teacher/Leader develop is chock full of ways to become aligned to all things Common Core, not LESS! Does he know that College and Career Readiness is the ‘new’ Common Core?!
To see all of his solutions for the above, see: http://www.remarkableschoolsnc.com/how
If you have followed my blog long, you may remember I have pointed out aligned communities across America which are part of the Strive Together Network. Forsyth County is among this network! It is called ‘Forsyth Promise’. The danger (as well as the CCSS tie) is the entire network has the ‘cradle to career education’ component. I am sharing my articles about Strive Together (where you will see a map of the communities nation-wide already involved) so you can see how the ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act) will increase the aligned communities.See: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/?s=StriveTogether
Dr. Rosemary Stein’s Campaign:
You can find her website at: http://drrosemarystein.org/
Of the Republicans, Dr. Stein’s biography includes not only the most organized biography, but it is much more impressive (education wise) than is being publicized by most sources.To see her biography, http://drrosemarystein.org/about.html
Unlike her opponents, she sees the damages of Common Core (and all that goes with it) from the health care side of our students and teachers. I have heard her speak out against these criminal-like activities at least twice.
Dr. Stein, among the candidates, has been the only one to contact me directly to learn all she can about how Common Core impacts not only traditional K-12 public schools, but in the post-secondary environments, the homeschool community, and more.
Here is her Common Core position, as stated on her website, “COMMON CORE: All citizens can agree that our children should be taught the correct, factual information during their K-12 education. We have had common testing in our country for decades. Unfortunately, Common Core is not a common set of standards and testing. Common Core is primarily a curriculum that teaches English and Mathematics in a manner that is not conducive to the learning development of children. The change from a phonics based English education to the sight or block word memorization is one of the primary reasons that our children are struggling in school. It prevents our kids from making the transition from learning to read to reading to learn. The new mathematics curriculum, that few parents can understand, is also not the best way to teach our children mathematics.”
Dr. Stein openly states that she is in full support of a classical model of education! What a breath of wisdom. See the rest of her stances on education, http://drrosemarystein.org/positions.html
Personal note: As being so anti CCSS, I am thrilled to see there is one person running for office who is also against CCSS enough to want to learn all she can so she can stop it in its tracks. I am honored that I am among those she has contacted to investigate just how far, wide, and deep CCSS is in NC! We have even shared a speaking event earlier this month in the mountains of NC. While Dr. Stein addressed the early stages of learning and how toxic CCSS is, I was able to point out toxicity in all the other areas in education and how every school choice is impacted!
All the Candidates:
I do not know each candidate’s schedule of appearances between now and the upcoming March 2015 Primary.
But, I do know that on January 23rd, 2016, in Kinston, NC there will be an event where all 3 Republicans will debate and share more about themselves, what they have in mind for NC, and how they would serve NC during their term. If you live near there and wish to attend, the details are below:
Council of State Forum (Attorney General’s Office, Commissioner of Agriculture, Secretary of State, Secretary of Labor, State Auditor, State Treasurer, and State Superintendent of Public Instruction candidates)
405 New Bern Rd (‘The Kings’Restaurant)
Time: 11 am to 1 pm (EST)
It would be lovely (as well as fitting) to have 100 citizens in attendance.
Cost: meeting is free, lunch and dining is optional and is your responsibility.
I look forward to not only finding out and sharing with you more about those who will be vying for the office of NC Superintendent of Public Instruction, but I hope to bring you more information about HOW they would eradicate the abysmal CCSS Machine from NC (if they indeed plan to).
For those of us in NC, or wherever we live, we MUST know our candidates and their educational philosophies. I, for one, do not want to waste one more vote on a candidate who says one thing and does another when elected. Especially where education is concerned.
Please note that there will be no published articles 1/19 or 1/20, as I will be on the road speaking out against Common Core, College and Career Readiness (1/19), and participating in my usual media appearances on 1/20. I look forward to joining you for Tech Thursday!