, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

To begin, since it is such a tin foil hat idea to some, let’s get past the argument that Common Core is somehow a conspiracy or planned implementation of a National Education Curriculum with Progressive undertones and motives. I can come over to your level for a bit to have the discussion. So let’s set the “fundamental transformation” aside for a bit. I will set my tin foil hat aside if you will open your heart for a frank discussion.

FCAT official blue logo

FCAT official blue logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Let’s start here. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush urged for more emphasis on the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT) results during his two terms in office.

But Bush isn’t mourning the end of the FCAT when a new Common Core State Standards — and tests — fully take effect in the fall of 2014.

Bush says FCAT was never meant to test whether students were ready for college or the job market. What?

“The Common Core State Standards are higher; they’re fewer; they require more critical thinking skills,” Bush said, “and they will, unfortunately, at the beginning, they will probably show that close to two-thirds of our children are not college and career ready.

Bush isn’t worried that Common Core hasn’t been field tested, and he trusts experts who say Common Core more closely resembles international standards.

So am I to then surmise that the architect and proponent for FCAT is saying it was a failure therefore we should trust him on the new standards. If he was unable to orchestrate a successful State level centralized Educational system to effectively train and teach our children, what makes you think he has the answer for a National approach?  He said it, not me.

Further, am I to understand we are now measuring ourselves on International Standards instead of being exceptional at home? Since when do we as Americans not have the rest of the world’s nation’s measuring against our achievement?  Why should we bring ourselves down to their standards? We are America. We should be working towards better than International standards for ourselves. We are exceptional when we try.

I remember a day when educational standards were set at a District level and accountability was set locally. The further we march towards centralized education or anything centralized for that matter, we move further from success and accountability. Not to mention the level of control over our lives we give that centralized source.

Ok, so Jeb knows better than all of us. Well, at least Jeb knows the right experts that know better than him and he knows better than us what is good for our kids. I guess when you are a Progressive political elite you just know better. So we should accept that argument?

So, you are still not on board? Let’s look at this one. An elected Constitutional official in the State of Florida takes an oath to uphold the Constitution of The United States of America and of Florida. Is this a formality or a personal oath sworn before God?  I took the same oath as former Army service member. I know what it meant to me.

When the Constitution is blatantly misrepresented in Common Core teaching materials and American heroes like George Washington are drawn to parallels with Castro, what is your Constitutional duty and common sense tell you then?  Does it even pique a concern?

South Carolina high school, and possibly many others, are reportedly using a history textbook that also contains a highly questionable interpretation of the Second Amendment.

Additionally, the publisher of a separate controversial advanced placement history textbook, which acts as a study guide for the advanced placement U.S. history exam and seems to diminish the Second Amendment, is directly linked to Common Core standards.

The Second and Third Amendments — grant citizens the right to bear arms as members of a militia of citizen-soldiers and prevent the government from housing troops in private homes in peacetime,” the book’s summary reads. In a separate box on the same page it paraphrases the amendment as “the right to bear arms,” not the right to “keep” and bear arms.

I am sure I do not need to type the actual Amendment for you. I hope not anyway.

The first book, “United States History: Preparing for the Advanced Placement Examination,” not only contains a controversial summary of the Second Amendment, but it also compares the “American mobs” who fought in the Revolutionary War to the “guerrilla bans that fought in such countries as Cuba in the 1950s and Vietnam in 1960s and points out that the Boston Tea Party was “far too radical” for some.

There are lists of items like the one above that relate to common core related teaching materials used and provided to the States. A simple internet search will reveal them to you.

Of course you will be determining the curriculum, as long as you find Common Core text books that meet the Common Core standard like the mentions above.

Still not there yet?  Let’s try this one. If you take a thirty thousand foot look at the machinations of Federalization, Constitutional overreach and blatant efforts to “fundamentally transform” America, how can you say that Common Core is not a major component of that Transformation? And being such, how can you think for one minute it is good?

What if we rename Common Core, Affordable Care Act? That is another great nationalized initiative. We have nationalized healthcare and can see how that is going. Now we think it is a good idea to nationalize education?

Ok, still not convinced? Most elected politicians have a higher degree of ego than most. Not bad, just a fact. So let me try to appeal to your ego. Here goes, Washington D.C. is infringing on your power. That’s right; they are trampling the 10th amendment. That is where you have your power. And they are taking another piece of it away.

The real question is, when a state leaves and goes out on its own, what kind of a product do they get by working alone? That should be apparent. They get a major challenge. They get to retain control. They can build on past success and on past failure. They can use the talent they have to build a system tailored to their State. They can be one of 50 laboratories each sharing information and each using what is best for their State. What they do not get is a centralized and mandated approach to indoctrination and Federal control over one of the most important aspects of our life, our children’s education.

I now many of you by first name and have served with some on Boards, Political Committees and non-profits. I know you are not bad people. I also know how the game is played though. This is no time to being playing that game however.

To those with a vote in the legislature I say this openly. You and you alone must reconcile your decision with your conscience and your God. Your action on this matter will be a reflection thereof.

When the day comes for your constituents to reflect on your decision, be certain that a small army of patriots will be there to remind them of your choice. That is not a threat but a promise. For those that fight to preserve our Nation and State we will be there to herald your stance. For those that settle, acquiesce or are too damn stupid to know what is going on, we will be there to make sure your constituents know that as well.

It is time to act in the interest of this Nation and our State and in the interest of our children and their children instead of your own financial and political gain.

May God Bless you. May you open your heart and mind to the reality of what is today. May God show you the path to take. And may he grant you the courage to do what needs to be done.

Yours in Service,

Eric D. Miller