They Did It!!!

This is the story of how a small, determined group of worried mothers and fathers stopped a train wreck, even after that train was barreling down the tracks.  It took these parents, neighbors, and their friends less than a month to stop a project they were told by Gilbert Town bureaucrats could not be stopped and that had been in planning and development for a year.  The developer and land owner of the project ignored them….at first.  The group started organizing in late March.  That’s when the Town had posted signs in their neighborhood on the site of a mental health facility to be completed in the Fall of 2014.  

That was the first that Pioneer Elementary parents knew what was in store for them.  In record speed, they launched one of the best organized, best mobilized grassroots community action efforts experienced by Gilbert since the effort to stop Prop 406 (sales tax increase).  

What turned a contented neighborhood into a battling army? 

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Heber-Overgaard Schools Governing Board Votes NO to Signing Common Core Declaration

Last Thursday, Oct. 10, the Heber-Overgaard School District Governing Board took a stand. They unanimously refused to sign the Common Core Declaration that was “required” of them by the Arizona Department of Education (AZDOE). Agenda Item 8.02 Approval of Declaration of Curricular and Instructional Alignment to the Arizona Academic Standards was not approved.

The room was full of parents, teachers, and other members of the community. Many spoke out against Common Core. Senator Chester Crandell (LD6) spoke about his concern that, with the exception of the Superintendent, all of the members of the State Board of Education are appointed by the Governor, not elected by the voters. That needs to change. He also voiced his concerns about PARCC testing, stating that he was in favor of college entrance exams.

The board understands that they still have to abide by the Common Core State Standards, because the state law requires it. However, this vote should send a message to the Administration, Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction John Huppenthal, and the AZDOE that the Heber-Overgaard Schools Governing Board and community are not in favor of Common Core.

You may think that this board vote was the big story. It isn’t.

The big story is what parents, teachers, and a governing board member had to say during this meeting.

 

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Payson TEA Party Presents $500 Scholarship Award to Savannah Grassel

As the publisher of both Gilbert Watch and Gila Watch, I believe it’s extremely important to share with readers of both blogs the inspiring stories of our young people. 

Some months ago, the Payson Tea Party voted to start an annual $500 Scholarship fund, to be awarded to a deserving high school senior. 

Last month, Ms. Darlene Younker, president of the Payson Tea Party, announced the recipient of the group’s first annual $500 scholarship award.  

“It is with great pleasure that the Payson Tea Party announces the award of our first ever Tea Party Scholarship.  Applicants submitted essays answering the question "Is the Tenth Amendment Relevant in Today’s Society?"  Our winner is Savannah Grassel. 

"Miss Grassel, a senior at Payson High School, is a two-year member of the National Honor Society and has been on the Principal’s Honor Roll since 2010.  She is currently the Student Body President.  Savannah is very active in sports having lettered in soccer.   She has also been the Captain of the girls basketball team, has played soft ball, and has participated in track and field.  In addition, Savannah holds several jobs.  This well-rounded young lady has been accepted into Barrett, the Honors College at Arizona State University, where she will major in Biological Sciences.  She would like to become a sports medicine doctor.  Congratulations, Savannah!”

 

Presenting the award to Savannah are Darlene Younker, president of the Payson Tea Party, and U.S. Representative Paul Gosar (CD4).  

Here is Savannah’s essay:

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Have Arizona Teachers Received Gag Orders to Not Oppose Common Core?

Some time ago, a Wyoming school teacher revealed that she had been told by her school district that she was not allowed to speak out against Common Core.  

There are many teachers in Arizona who are afraid to speak against Common Core, fearful of retaliation from their Superintendents, who could target them as first in line for a lay-off, or reassign them to an undesirable teaching position.  

I’ve spoken with teachers who hate Common Core.  They talk of children hating school, because of all the testing, testing, testing.    Even in the first grade, there is little time for anything resembling fun. Everything is uniform, and schools, more than ever before, are turning into "test prep factories."  

These teachers feel like slaves to an insufferable system that deadens the joys of teaching, and they are afraid to speak out publicly!  Please send Gilbert Watch your story.  I will not reveal your name!   Send to anitalchristy@gmail.com. 

Here is the article titled A Wyoming School’s Common Core Gag Order. 

The article begins "I received this email from a 6th grade teacher in Wyoming whose school placed a gag order on her regarding her opposition to the Common Core State Standards.  I’m withholding her name to protect her privacy (and career)."

Here is the email from the Wyoming teacher:

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Education is a System of Indoctrination of the Young: Noam Chomsky

Say what you will about Noam Chomsky, the Leftist-Libertarian-Socialist who dabbles in anarchy.  The fact is, he understands and articulates very well what America’s government schools are doing:  They are indoctrinating our children to be obedient to the State and to not question authority, their government, or bureaucratic "experts."  Think of this when your child attempts to present scientific evidence that refutes Global Warming and Darwinism.   Think of when you see otherwise thinking individuals such as Gilbert Town Council members who "struggle" to vote against their bureaucratic advisors and the ICC (International Code Council), even when an overwhelming number of citizens know that the codes are unnecessary.   

He has stated that "with regard to freedom of speech there are basically two positions: you defend it vigorously for views you hate, or you reject it and prefer Stalinist/fascist standards."  He has also stated that "Obama, first of all, is running the biggest terrorist operation that exists, maybe in history."

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Showdown in Show Low: Common Core State Standards

Karen Warnick, a reporter with the White Mountains Independent, featured an excellent article titled "Huppenthal Grilled on Common Core standards."  Click HERE for the link to the article. 

 

You may not be able to read the entire article, unless you subscribe.  So,here are some highlights.  

 

State Superintendent of Schools John Huppenthal heard from many parents and teachers on Arizona’s new educational standards during a meeting of the White Mountain Conservatives held at the VFW on Oct. 23.

 

Huppenthal and Janet Ryan, owner and operator of the East Valley Academy charter school, spoke on the Common Core Standards, or what is now called the Arizona College and Career Ready Standards. The name was recently changed by Gov. Jan Brewer at Huppenthal’s suggestion. The meeting was also Huppenthal’s idea.  About 80 people attended the meeting, most of them local parents and teachers of various mountain school districts.

“No American should be forced to accept national standards,” said Ryan. “The old standards are superior to these and there was no public discussion or cost analysis done.”

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School Administrators (aka “Gaggle of Nitwits”) at Ashton Ranch Elementary

"When teachers saw what happened, they hauled Eric into the principal’s office where he was forced to sign a document that labeled his actions “sexual misconduct.” Eric received detention as punishment.

"Martinez says she was not present for the meeting and not notified about the incident until after the fact."

Not mentioned in the article are the names of the principal and assistant principal, or their contact information.  So, here they are:

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East Valley Academy in Mesa Steadfastly Refuses Common Core and AZMerit!

Janet Ryan, principal of East Valley Academy, a public charter school for grades K-6, has better things to do than to administer AZMerit.  When you see some of those “better things" she’s doing, you’ll understand why.  Ms. Ryan states, “The writing portion of the AzMerit Test is completely age inappropriate, and there is much in the test that was hastily thrown together.” 

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