Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Tracking From BIRTH to Career

With bogus claims that education reforms are "state led" the Obama administration is buying their way into twenty states and forcing them to adopt student tracking systems from BIRTH through career. My home state of Michigan will receive $10.6 million, Washington State will receive $17.3 million and Pennsylvania will receive $14.3 million of the $250 million in economic stimulus money to track students.

Arne Duncan shared his dream last year "“I want to be able to track every child throughout their educational trajectory, so we know what they are doing." He reiterated his vision again in a recent press release,
"Tracking student progress from birth through college helps teachers in the classroom, helps principals manage and improve their schools, and helps parents better understand the unique educational needs of their child,"

Thursday, May 20, 2010

A Candidate After My Own Heart

Rand Paul has captured the Republican nomination for Senate in Kentucky and the attention of the nation. Valerie Strauss of the Washington Post calls his views on education "extreme." based on his answers to an NEA questionnaire. The questions were all various forms of what do you think about federal involvement in education. His answers were spot on.
“Revenue for education should be local. Once you allow the federal government in, you lose control."

“There is no Constitutional enumeration for federal education. The Constitution allows states and cities to participate in education; period.”
And specifically in regards to parental rights and homeschooling Paul writes,
As the Federal Government has increased the size and budget of the Department of Education, test scores and scholastic performance have markedly dropped. More money, more bureaucracy, and more government intervention are eroding this nation’s educational standards. Meanwhile, home-schooled children continue to excel as evidenced by their test scores and rapidly growing admission rate into some of the nation’s most prestigious educational institutions.

Rand proposes to restore the parental right to be responsible in educating children. He supports reduced taxes so that parents can allocate more of their own funds to homeschooling, if they so desire. He seeks to prevent the Department of Education from regulating homeschooling and will fight to keep the Federal Government’s hands out of this promising alternative to conventional education. Rand recognizes the potential and scholarly prowess of homeschooling and will ensure that homeschoolers are allowed the freedom to compete alongside those who attend public and private schools.

His views don't sound extreme, they sound like someone who has actually read the Constitution! If I were in Kentucky he'd probably be getting my vote.

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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

ID Check!

Despite being elected President of the United States, Barack Obama has refused to publicly show proof of citizenship or his actual birth certificate. For the privilege of shaking hands with the president at their high school commencement next month ID is required - including citizenship status.
Seniors are being asked to provide their birthdates, Social Security numbers and citizen status to the Secret Service so background checks could be performed. Such a check is required for anyone who gets within an arm’s length of the president, students were told at their senior breakfast Friday.
I'm not a birther but golly gee whiz, don't you think the POTUS would at least be humble enough to do what he requires of those who are blessed to be in his presence?

In related news, In answer to a second grader's question on immigration, Michelle Obama said,
"that they have to make sure people living in the United States have the proper citizenship papers."
Everybody except President Barack Obama that is.

When my son joined the Marines they went waaay back into his history. They knew he had eye surgery when he was less than two years old and required documentation (costing us $150) to demonstrate it did not adversely affect his eye sight today. I also had to produce a letter authorizing that as parents we were allowed to home educate our son and I signed it! Yet to be Commander-in-chief of the military he didn't appear to show anything.

(HT: Drudge Report)

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Monday, May 17, 2010

Compulsory Service for Education

The New York Times repeats what I've also been saying for years....
“This administration’s education vision is a very activist, expansive role for the federal government,” said Terry W. Hartle, senior vice president at the American Council on Education, who has watched education policies evolve in Washington for nearly 30 years. “We’re never going to be like France, where the education minister can look at his watch and tell you what every fourth grader is doing. But inevitably, with more federal education initiatives, more federal money, comes more strings, more federal control.”
And according to Duncan no one is opposing this massive takeover of our child's mind.

“Zero,” he said. “And as hard as we’re pushing everybody else to change, we’re pushing the department to change even more. There’s just an outpouring of support for the common-sense changes and the unprecedented investments we’re making.”
And just what "common-sense" changes are they making with their "unprecedented investments"? Along with national standards and tracking children from cradle-to-career (including their weight), how about a plan to tie education at all levels to "voluntary" community service.

The Departments of Treasury and Education are currently studying the requirement to tie 100 hours of community service to a $4,000 tax credit, thanks to a provision in the stimulus package passed by Obama last year. And we don't have to guess as to what their findings will be.

Obama said in 2008,

"I am running to be that President. And that's why I'm proposing a comprehensive plan to give every American child the chance to receive the best education America has to offer - from the moment they're born to the day they graduate college. As President, I will put the full resources of the federal government behind this plan."
And in another speech said,
"So when I'm President, I will set a goal for all American middle and high school students to perform 50 hours of service a year, and for all college students to perform 100 hours of service a year. This means that by the time you graduate college, you'll have done 17 weeks of service."
Now, with "zero" opposition Obama's making good on his promise. We may never become exactly like Germany or France but it's looking less and less like America, the land of the free and the home of the brave, every day.

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Saturday, May 15, 2010

College and Career Ready

While I'm here looking at the INCH Homeschool convention chatting with parents about education and their vision for their family, Washington DC is dreaming about making our children "college and career ready" to compete in the global economy.

That phrase is often repeated by politicians of both parties; yet they're not really sure what it actually means.
"College and career ready?" asked Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.). "Or do you mean college or career ready? Do you mean every student goes to college?"

The issue goes back to a U.S. reluctance to "track" students, as European countries do, said Whitehurst, former director of the Institute of Education Sciences at the Education Department. German students, for instance, can decide at a relatively early age whether they're headed for academia or a trade school. That gives them an advantage, he said.
It's an advantage, all right...but not for the students. Children deciding at an early age what they want to be when they grow up is solely for the benefit of DC bureaucrats whose goal is to "track" our children from preschool through career (p-16). And the bogus"state-led" Common Core standards is the vehicle to make German style education a reality here in the US.

Parents do you really want your child's future determined by some DC bureaucrat?

I didn't give birth to a child just to have the state treat them as a commodity in the planned economy. My child's dreams will be determined by God as they follow Him, not the demands of the state as they follow my child from cradle to career.

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Thursday, May 13, 2010

Mom's On the Computer

I'm frantically getting ready for the INCH Homeschool convention in Lansing this weekend, but attendees at my workshop, iHelp for the eHome online at the Schoolhouse Expo have emailed and asked where they can get a copy of my poem, Mom's on the Computer that I read. I'll probably get a few more requests after this weekend, so I'll just repost it again. Here you go....

Mom's on the Computer (to the tune of Cat's in the Cradle.)

My computer arrived just the other day,
It came on the porch in the usual way
So many blogs to read and games to play
My child learned to walk, while I twittered away
And he was talkin’ for I knew it, as my friends list grew
He’d say I’m gonna be like you mom
You know I’m gonna be like you

And mom’s lost on the computer, lettin' dinner burn
Little boy wanders, he just wants to learn
When you getting off mom?
I don’t know when, but we’ll get together then
we're gonna have a good time then


My son turned ten just the other day
He said "thanks for the wii, mom, come on let’s play"
"Can you teach me how it works?" I said “Not today”
"I got a blog to write" he said “that’s okay”
And he walked away while the computer never dimmed
He said, “I’m gonna be like them, yeah”
You know I’m gonna be like them

And mom’s lost on the computer lettin' dinner burn
Little boy wanders, he just wants to learn
When you getting off mom?
I don’t know when, but we’ll get together then
We're gonna have a good time then


Well my son came home just the other day
iPod in his ears, while he texted away
"Son, I'm proud of you, can you sit for a while?"
He shook his head and he said with a smile
"I'd really like to Mom, but talkins' not my thing"
"Check my status, for what's happening"

And mom’s lost on the computer lettin' dinner burn
Little boy wanders, he just wants to learn
When you getting off mom?
I don’t know when, but we’ll get together then
You know we’ll have a good time then


Well my blog's retired and my Facebook out-of-date
My son texted, “Hey mom, I just can't relate"
I said, "I'd like to see you if you have some time."
He said, "I'd love to mom but skype if you don't mind."
"You see my website's down and my workload just grew."
"but it's nice texting with you, mom"
It's been sure nice texting with you."

And as I typed “c u later” it occurred to me
He'd grown up just like me
My boy was just like me

© 2010 SpunkyHomeschool All Rights Reserved

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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Rednecks clinging to our iPods

This past weekend, Obama hit on a major theme of my new workshop, iHelp for the eHome, in a commencement address at Hampton University,
"With iPods and iPads; Xboxes and PlayStations -- none of which I know how to work -- information becomes a distraction, a diversion, a form of entertainment, rather than a tool of empowerment, rather than the means of emancipation," he told a class of more than 1,000 graduates. "All of this is not only putting new pressures on you. It is putting new pressures on our country and on our democracy."
His point isn't unique. Long before Al Gore invented the internet, Neil Postman made the same observation in his book Amusing Ourselves to Death. And like most parents today, Obama might be wondering how to get a handle on the status of technology in his daughters' lives.

But what I don't understand is why Obama,the President who gave the Queen of England an iPod, is all of a sudden railing against technology and infotainment? Michelle Obama has a distraction device and it's not loaded with Obama's speeches of empowerment and emancipation but Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, Rihanna, Beyonce, Usher and Sting.

And despite his self-deprecating assertion that he doesn't know how to use an iPod, Obama revealed his playlist in 2008,
In an interview with Rolling Stone magazine, to be published this Friday, the Illinois senator said he had "pretty eclectic tastes".

The list of bands reads like the acts at a summer music festival, with the Rolling Stones, Sheryl Crow and Ludacris all in the mix.

Maybe Obama and his speechwriters think we're too distracted with our iPods or Xbox to actually Google his assertion but Obama is NOT dumb when it comes to modern technology. Before the election, Obama chastised Americans for clinging to their guns all the while he was clinging to his Blackberry. Shortly before the inauguration he told the New York Times, "They’re going to pry it out of my hands.”

His handlers even created an Obama app for the iPod Touch and the iPhone!

So what's up? Is Obama trying to gin up another "crisis" to control? He's put Michelle in charge of obesity so maybe this will be Biden's new gig? I don't know.

But I do know that I'm already emancipated and my freedom allows me to use an iPod for entertainment and empowerment or any other "ment" I want. Enough with the fatherly lectures. President Obama was elected to run the country not dictate our playlist.

--------------

My workshop iHelp for the eHome will be presented today at The SchoolHouse Expo which is sold out. But you can buy all the workshops for only $19.95 here. Or if you're in for a road trip, I'll be speaking at the INCH convention in Lansing, Michigan this weekend.

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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

They're getting suspicious

Due to an increase in the number of homeschoolers in Texas, experts are getting suspicious about who is really homeschooling.
Texas' lax documentation and hands-off practices make it impossible to know how many of these students are actually being taught at home. It also opens the door to abuse of the designation, which could help school districts avoid the sanctions that come with high dropout rates, experts said.

I've seen the similar dropout arguments made by legislators and educators in Michigan as well as in other states with "lax" regulation on homeschooling. But no matter what the claim or who's to blame, the proposed solution is always the same and results in increasing regulation or scrutiny of all homeschoolers.

Homeschoolers in every state should watch their own state's news headlines and thwart every attempt to equate homeschooling with the term dropout.

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Monday, May 10, 2010

I Pledge Allegiance...

Enough already!!!

When are parents going to realize that the schools are NOT on their side. Maybe it's time for teachers in our public schools to take some sort of an oath before they can serve in our nation's schools? After all it is this no good, rotten, totally offensive country that pays their salary.



Why parents keep sending their children to these institutions of indoctrination is something I'll never understand.

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Federal Money = Federal Control

Last week in a comment defending homeschoolers who accept government money to help pay for their educational materials a friend wrote on my Facebook,
"If my end game is to educate my children, be with them, teach them our values, allow them to learn at their own pace, protect them and prepare them to be in a world with an eternal view rather than temporal, than I don't see the damage in allowing the state to foot the bill for some materials. Afterall, taxpayers certainly pay for them."
My rebuttal was in part,
"Because just like you, the government has an "end game" as well. And they're willing to throw out a few freebies to some for the eventual control of all homeschoolers.
This isn't just hyperbolic speculation either. Federal money equals federal control.

Last week we had the absurd story a third grader punished with a detention for possession of a Jolly Rancher because school officials were worried about losing federal funding. And now we have a nursing home in Savannah, Georgia telling its seniors they can't pray before meals because Uncle Sam pays part of the bill,

Tim Rutherford, Senior Citizens Inc. vice president, said some of his staff recently visited the center and noticed people praying shortly before lunch was served. Rutherford said his company provides meals like baked chicken, steak tips and rice and salads at a cost of about $6 a plate. Seniors taking the meals pay 55 cents and federal money foots the rest of the bill, Rutherford said.

“We can’t scoff at their rules,” he said of federal authorities. “It’s a part of the operational guidelines.”

I guess it's time not only to get kids out of the schools but granny out of the nursing home. Oh and by the way, Uncle Sam now wants to buy your kids dinner after school. Any takers?

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Saturday, May 08, 2010

Let's Evict!

From the Wall Street Journal, Moms to the Barricade,
Forget "angry white men." In the male-dominated world of conservative politics, the tea party stands out as a movement of energized and organized women. In particular, moms....

Dana Loesch, talk host and co-founder of the St. Louis tea party, believes the tea party movement is the modern conservative version of "the personal is political."

"Motherhood itself has become a political act," says Ms. Loesch. "And the tea parties are an extension of our need as moms to protect the future for our children."
I agree with Loesch, motherhood has become a political act. And like the future of our children, we're also about protecting the future of motherhood. We're smart, active, and perhaps a little angry when someone invades our territory.

Michelle Obama grows a garden of arugula on the White House lawn and orders "Let's Move"and the nation jumps. But Michelle Obama doesn't make the food decisions in my house, I do. Her authority stops at the end of the White House driveway. And the same goes for Pelosi and her House too. The Tenth Amendment was written for a reason.

Just this week a third grader in Texas was given a one-week detention for possession of a Jolly Rancher! School officials feared that if they didn't follow the state guidelines they'd lose federal funding. Since when did an individual student's weight become a federal issue?

I say it's time to start a competing campaign, "Let's Evict" and get government out of our houses once and for all! It's time our elected officials started fearing momma.

Happy Mother's Day!

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Thursday, May 06, 2010

An Education in Tolerance

Teaching tolerance in America's public schools means students can't wear an American flag on Cinco de Mayo in California,
Galli says he and his friends were sitting at a table during brunch break when the vice principal asked two of the boys to remove American flag bandannas that they wearing on their heads and for the others to turn their American flag T-shirts inside out.

When they refused, the boys were ordered to go to the principal's office.They said we could wear it on any other day," Daniel Galli said, "but today is sensitive to Mexican-Americans because it's supposed to be their holiday so we were not allowed to wear it today."
but school administrators can exclude white students from participating in a field trip to hear an African American rocket scientist in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
According the elementary school principal, “The intent of our field trip was not to segregate or exclude students as has been reported, but rather to address the societal issues, roadblocks and challenges that our African American children will face as they pursue a successful academic education here in our community.”
Apparently, racial profiling is okay only when you're a white American student in an American public school. Welcome to Obama's post-racial America where discrimination against whites is social justice and an educational opportunity.

Update: The California principal apologizes to flag wearing students.

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Tuesday, May 04, 2010

What is a Teacher?

In honor of Teacher Appreciation Week, I'd like to dedicate one of my favorite posts to the dedicated mothers in America who sacrifice so much each and every day to home educate their children.

What is a Teacher?

A teacher is someone who can....

....Give a hug without getting arrested.
....Bandage a knee without calling the school nurse.
....Change a light bulb without calling the custodian.
....Make the children wash the bathrooms without union approval.
....Have a relationship with the principal without getting fired.
....Teach a child's mind while capturing their heart.
....Teach what they believe in and believe in what they teach.
....Meet the child's needs and not worry about meeting state guidelines.
....Commit to a lifetime of work without pay but receive rewards that last a lifetime.
....Pray in class, out loud, with the children and the ACLU can't say a word.

There is only one that can fill that job description...

....A teacher is a mom.

"Hear my son, your father's instruction, and do not forsake your mother's teaching."
Proverbs 1:8

The Old Schoolhouse Magazine has a free download Homeschooling 101 digital supplement featuring many of the speakers in next week's Schoolhouse Expo! It includes my poem Mom's on the Computer. You can download it all here.

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Saturday, May 01, 2010

Palin Thanks My Son

I was privileged to ask Sarah Palin the first question during a break out session this morning at the Defending the Dream Summit.

I asked her as the mother of a son in the military what advice she'd give to a mom whose son is about ready to leave for Marine Boot Camp? She gave me the same advice she said Cindy McCain gave her, "Spend a lot of time on your knees." praying for God's hand of protection. Then she told me to thank my son for his "selfless" service. This short video clip picks up the last portion of her remarks. Thanks for my young homeschool friend for capturing the memorable moment for me.



A very memorable moment indeed.

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Palin in Michigan (w/updates)

While Obama supporters and University of Michigan graduates are getting soaked in Ann Arbor, I'm comfortably waiting indoors for Sarah Palin to arrive at the Americans for Prosperity Defending the Dream Summit.

It's 8:15 now and Palin's scheduled to speak at 9:15 AM. Following her speech in the general sessions, Palin will give a special address to high school and middle school students.

Should be a fun event, I'm hoping to get some pictures up and blog throughout the day.

Update: 11AM.
Sarah gave her speech. It seems the same in person as she is in video. Very genuine and energetic. Her speech hit all the major themes that you'd expect, "We shouldn't be working for the government, government should be working for us."

She then gave a breakout session for the youth. I was able to sit up close and she didn't go on stage behind the podium, so it was very personal. I was able to ask her the first question. I asked what advice she'd give to a mom with a son about ready to go into the Marines. She gave me the same advice Cindy McCain gave her, "spend a lot of time on your knees." She thanked my son and me for his willingness to serve his country.

The second question addressed her pro-life stance and she took the opportunity to talk about the birth of Trig and her first grandson, Tripp. She was very gracious, personal, and humble. She was real.

She answered a few more questions and then stood around taking pictures and autographs. I was able to get a signature but my camera failed me. Not sure what happened. Oh well. I brought a few kids with me and I'll post their shots later today.

Update 12:30 PM - The Detroit Free Press has an article on this event with a very "interesting" picture of Sarah. She didn't come across as mean-spirited but this photo sure makes it seem that way.


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