The June 5, 2012 GPS Governing Board discussed and finally adopted in a 3-2 vote the new SpringBoard curriculum. With that, GPS shot itself in the big toe. Gilbert Classical Academy should forevermore be called the Gilbert Contemporary Socialist Academy.
This new, standardized, Common Core curriculum will be taught by teachers, in lockstep, to students in grades 6-9. The goal of GPS is to provide a uniform method of teaching reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language skills, to ensure that all students who graduate are college and career ready.
Here’s the Governing Board vote:
Yes: Helen Hollands
No: EJ Anderson
This meeting lasted 4 hours. The SpringBoard agenda item was introduced at 2.5 hours into the meeting. But before members of the public were allowed to speak, Ms. Barbara VeNard, Assistant Superintendent/Education Services, told us that the presentation on SpringBoard would “address concerns from the public, set the record straight, and clear up misunderstandings.” Things went downhill from there.
We listened and watched 68 minutes of administrative narrative along with PowerPoint slides about the wonders of SpringBoard. And then, parents, citizens, and teachers stood up and spoke. Some were glowing testimonials. The principal of Camp Verde High School ensured the Board that there was unanimous support for SpringBoard. He asserted that dissension now was nothing more than resistance to “change.” Perfectly normal.
The young, impeccably dressed “preeminent” representative from the “preeminent” College Board spoke of the “superlative” SpringBoard curriculum. It was clear that, to him, the ignorant fools who spoke out against the curriculum had no idea what they were talking about.
The problem is, if you listened very carefully to those who dissented, they knew very well what they were talking about. Not once did Team SpringBoard address the issue of blatant leftist topical discussions within SpringBoard: Celebrity heroes, Environmental heroes, Social Justice, etc.
Our K-12 educational system is so entrenched in Progressive, secular values, they believe they are mainstream. Anything else is radical extremism.
Before I go any further, Western Connections did excellent reporting on the SpringBoard issue. I urge you to take the time to read their analyses.
Hayley Ringle, reporter from Arizona Republic, did a good job of depicting serious concerns of the SpringBoard curriculum voiced by parents, citizens, and teachers in her article titled Gilbert School District Approves Controversial New Language Curriculum.
In addition to the above excellent articles, GilbertWatch wishes to emphasize the following:
1) Several Gilbert Public Schools teachers courageously spoke out against this curriculum. You will recognize them in the video provided by Western Connections. They’re the ones who said, “I’m taking a risk to say this….” They put their livelihoods on the line. In case you don’t know, there are Administrators within GPS who will take “corrective” action against these teachers unless we Conservatives vow to protect them!
2) SpringBoard was developed by the College Board. Here’s what you need to know about the College Board. It produces and administers the SAT. It also cashes in on the push for more degrees. “They’re a very profitable non-profit organization," said Brad MacGowan, college counselor at Newton North High School in Newton, MA. “They always seem to be coming up with a new product or service to push testing into younger grades or make states give the SAT to every student.”
Back in 2009, The Americans for Educational Testing Reform (AETR) gave the College Board a “D” rating for many reasons, including “the College Board is equally guilty of overcompensating its top executives. Furthermore, College Board spends more on political lobbying than ETS and ACT Inc combined – it expended a staggering three-quarters of a million dollars in efforts to directly influence legislators and government officials in multiple states.”
As stated in a recent article titled A Test for College Board, “The most recent records available from 2007 show a profit of $55 million, from which Caperton drew a near million-dollar salary. Americans for Educational Testing Reform, an organization that explores issues of fairness in standardized testing, writes that the College Board’s 9.5% profit “would be respectable for a for-profit company,” but that “when a non-profit company is earning those profits, something is wrong. AETR is hardly alone in its criticism of College Board—with these exorbitant profits, it has abused its tax-exempt status as a non-profit organization, and it has formed a monopoly out of the educational establishment such that consumers have no choice but to buy its product.”
3) Please read the verbatim statements following this article of a few of the people who spoke out against the SpringBoard curriculum. One of these was published some time back, from a student, Josh Smith, from the Gilbert Classical Academy. Others are from Lorell Morell, Julie Farnsworth, Julie Smith, and Anita Christy.
4) When you go to Western Connections (see above for links), you will see the videos of statements made by many others. Also, you will read the statements of teachers from other states who have taught this curriculum. Statements like, “SpringBoard has essentially broken my spirit and my love of teaching…”
Take action against SpringBoard and insist on better quality education! Send an email to the Governing Board at firstname.lastname@example.org asking them to please reconsider! Ask them to listen to the teachers! Give teachers time to collaborate across the district, using mentors where needed, instead of sitting through useless meetings!