Christian Persecution: In Gilbert, Arizona

We imagine that persecution of Christians is remote. It happens "over there" in countries like Nigeria, as reported in World magazine, Standing with the Brethren. Not here. It can’t happen in America, much less in Gilbert. Nobody’s burning down our churches or shooting us as we attend religious services.

They don’t have to if we give up our core beliefs without a feeble whimper.

Have you ever wondered, "How does systematic persecution begin"? Would you recognize it if you saw it? Would you do anything to stop it?

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Letter to Arizona Senators Opposing HB 2047 Common Core Assessment

Senator,

First, thank you for your service to our State. Second, I’d like to share my thoughts on a bill coming before you this session: HB 2047 – Common Core Assessment.

Common Core (CC) was designed with good intentions, but has not been tested or validated.  Further, it unwisely hands to the federal government powerful controls on our school system. The best and only proven solution to improving education is to keep education local and close to parents.  This is not a partisan issue.

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Common Core Symposium – 10/30/2013 – 1 PM – Arizona Senate – Hearing Room 1

Please attend this very important symposium.  Four panelists will be giving presentations on why they disapprove/approve of Common Core including:  Jonathan Butcher (Goldwater Institute), Dr. Sandra Stotsky (Leading expert on Common Core/University of Arkansas), Jared Taylor (Heritage Academy) and John Huppenthal (Superintendent of Public Instruction). See attached flier for further details. Please forward this post and this Common Core Symposium flyer to your email list. 

 

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VIDEO: 10/30/2013 Common Core State Standards Symposium

Thanks to Carol Clesceri for obtaining this video.

On October 30, 2013, four panelists gave presentations on why they disapprove/approve of Common Core including:  Jonathan Butcher (Goldwater Institute), Dr. Sandra Stotsky (Leading expert on Common Core/University of Arkansas), Jared Taylor (Heritage Academy) and John Huppenthal (Superintendent of Public Instruction).

Click HERE for the video of this important forum on Common Core, which affects all of Arizona’s students, teachers, parents, and residents. 
 

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The Legislature’s Pyrrhic Victory? SB1416 Strips Superintendent of Power

If the Arizona Legislature succeeds in passing Senator Jeff Dial’s repulsive SB1416, this is what they will have accomplished:   

Turned Arizona’s only elected official within the Department of Education into a water boy kowtowing to the will of 10 unelected, historically incompetent and downright dangerous, wasteful members of the State Board of Education.

Arizona’s voters won’t be fooled into believing that this bill "merely clarifies statutes," as Dial states. The voters who put Ms. Douglas into office aren’t that stupid. 

This is what will be very clear to voters:   The Legislature has removed the Superintendent’s effective representation of the voter’s mandate.  The Legislature has devalued and dishonored the voters. The Legislature has told the voters to “stuff it.”   The Governor, if he signs it, will be signing one of the worst "anti-voter", anti-elected official" bills we’ve seen in a long time.

Historically, members of the State Board of Education, serving at the will of whichever Governor appointed them, love to wield power, without a shred of deliberation, debate, or accountability. (Recent Ducey appointees Jared Taylor and Chuck Schmidt are the exceptions.) Here are just a few of their thoughtless, costly, and downright dangerous actions: 

The SBE’s reputation for lowering standards.  "In 2005 the State Board, over the objections of state Superintendent Tom Horne, reduced the passing grade on the AIMS test from 72 percent to 59 percent for reading, and from 71 percent to 60 percent for math.  Even with the reduced passing threshold, and a math test that has gotten progressively easier, just 61 percent of the class has passed after three attempts."  Most State Board of Education members said lowering the scores would look as if they were lowering the bar and backing off high standards for high school graduates, but still they voted 9-1 to do it. And the Legislature, in their vast wisdom then as now, got into the act, allowing grades in class work to add as much as 25 percent to a student’s AIMS results. 

The SBE spent untold thousands of dollars developing new Math standards in 2008/2009, only to dump them for Common Core Math in 2010.  

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Vacancy on the Arizona State Board of Education’s Standards Development Committee

If you would like to play an effective role in replacing Common Core in Arizona, now’s your chance!  There’s a vacancy on the State Board of Education’s Standards Development Committee for a member who is a parent of a public high school student.  The Arizona Standards Development Committee includes representation from the Board, business community, deans of colleges, parents, classroom teachers, a school administrator, and a school district governing board member. The Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas is also a member of the Committee. Members of the Committee are an equal mix of those who have and have not participated in the standards development process in the past.

More information about the Arizona Standards Development Committee can be found HERE.   

Applicants are encouraged to complete the application and return the requested documents to inbox@azsbe.az.gov by May 31, 2016.   Click HERE to print out the application.  

According to State Board Member Jared Taylor, “It would be great to get some good parents of high school students to apply.”

Are you interested in reviewing some excellent K-12 standards that already exist?  See An English Language Arts Curriculum Framework for American Public Schools: A Model  and Mathematics Content Standards for California Public Schools Kindergarten through Grade Twelve: A Model

Two addenda could be added to the California standards referenced above that elaborate on the standards themselves and deal with pedagogical and organizational issues:  1) Mathematics Framework for California Public Schools, 2000 Revised Edition; and 2) Mathematics Framework for California Public Schools, 2006 Edition."

Please contact Gilbert Watch and let us know if you apply!

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Rep. Bob Thorpe’s Letter Regarding Transgender Bathrooms

Recently, Gilbert Watch published Arizona Joins Texas in Lawsuit to Stop Federal Overreach.  Arizona joined this lawsuit following a letter from Arizona lawmaker Representative Bob Thorpe (R-LD6).  Rep. Thorpe has provided the letter to Gilbert Watch, as well as the data for how the State, Local and Federal education funds break down for 2014-2015.  

Dear Arizona Superintendent of Schools Diane Douglas and Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich:

Legislators have been receiving numerous complaints from constituents who are very concerned with the threatening tone of the May 13, 2016 letter from U.S. Attorney General Lynch and U.S. Department of Education Secretary King.

The letter coerces our nation’s K-12 public schools and colleges to ensure that transgender students must be allowed to use the gender designated restrooms, changing rooms and locker facilities of their choosing, not necessarily that of their biological gender. It has been estimated that approximately 0.3% of U.S. individuals identify themselves as transgender.

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Georgia ACLU director resigns over transgender fight

Liberal compassion towards transgenders ends when…..it negatively affects THEIR kids.

"Maya Dillard Smith, the head of Georgia’s ACLU chapter, stepped down this week in protest of the civil rights group’s challenge of a controversial North Carolina law that critics see as discriminatory to transgender people."

“I have shared my personal experience of having taken my elementary school age daughters into a women’s restroom when shortly after three transgender young adults over six feet with deep voices entered,” she writes. “My children were visibly frightened, concerned about their safety and left asking lots of questions for which I, like many parents, was ill-prepared to answer.”

Want to know why those guys used that bathroom?  Because they can.  

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