Friday, November 29, 2013

Common Core Campaign Progress Report

Our press release announcing our position against Common Core has been picked up by PR Log! The press release has garnered some attention, here's hoping it might get picked up by a major news outlet! Our petition for Bill HB237 has about 800 signatures to date, and growing day by day.

We are currently working with in publishing an article, as well. Ohio Senator Kris Jordan (good guy, I met him at church) has introduced the companion bill SB 237 to the Senate.

Another hearing on the bill had about 600 in attendance:

The fight has only started. 

Friday, November 22, 2013

The Valiant Defenders of Ohio Voices Support For Bills Repealing Common Core

The Valiant Defenders of Ohio Voices Support For Bills Repealing Common Core


 The Valiant Defenders of Ohio issued a statement today in favor of legislation HB 237 and SB 237, bills for repealing the Common Core State Standards in Ohio, from the House and the Senate, respectively.

Common Core State Standards, Race to the Top Initiatives, and Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) are federal standards of education issued by the Department of Education. Common Core has been already adopted in the state of Ohio, but opposition to the standards are represented by the two pieces of legislation.

The group has released an online petition ( to the House Education Committee and its Chairman, State Representative Gerald Stebelton. The Valiant Defenders of Ohio says that the fight against Common Core is non-partisan in nature, citing both Republican and Democratic opposition in other states. The Valiant Defenders attended hearings on HB237 to show their support in the State Capitol in Columbus.

"We youth know about Common Core," quips Samuel Garcia, the chairman. "It already has affected us as college students and our credit transfers."

The Valiant Defenders of Ohio is the Ohio state chapter of the Valiant Defender's Party. The Valiant Defender's Party is a national student leadership society.

Samuel Garcia

Friday, November 1, 2013

ALEKS and Common Core

One of the things that the implementation of the Common Core State Standards is doing is buying out all noteworthy educational institutions under a corporate duopoly so that the CCSS curriculum would become the only curriculum to teach from. This includes educational endeavors that was used by many to avoid the already defunct standards in public schools and the like; it proves that CCSS also wants to control private and home education.

The reality of the fact has impacted my fellow college students. Many of my peers (and fellow members of the Valiant Defenders, both local and national) take most of their math courses through a service called ALEKS, or Assessment and LEarning in Knowledge Spaces. McGraw-Hill, one of the education curriculum vendors of CCSS, has recently bought out ALEKS in order to change its courses to adhere to the standards.

As a result, the contract of ALEKS with the ACE (American Council of Education) expired, making many of my fellow students' college credit earning through ALEKS invalid to be transferred to a college of their choice. This has caused much headache, and also searching for alternate ways to earn the math credit, often through a state-approved, but also much harder and time-consuming way. In addition, the newer courses adhering to the standards have been either dumbed down or given a more cryptic treatment.

ALEKS is not the educational institution affected. Educational companies that were once the haven of free learning, such as the Khan Academy, are either being bought out or being much pressured to adhere to the standards.

We cannot stand aloof while this corporate domination of our education is happening. As a Valiant Defender of the new generation, it is my duty to fight for my future, and my fellow youth as well.

Help us to overturn Common Core in Ohio by signing this petition that we started. Contact your representatives and voice your concerns.

Friday, October 18, 2013

First Hearing For HB237

I attended the first hearing for HB237 in the Ohio State Capitol. Many people showed up to support the repeal of Common Core that we had to be ushered to the overflow room.

The fight has only begun!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Call Your Representatives!

From the HSLDA:

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends,
On October 9, 2013 at 3:00 p.m. in the State House, Rep. Andy Thompson will give sponsor testimony in favor of House Bill (“HB”) 237, which would repeal the Common Core and prohibit Ohio from taking any action in favor of the Common Core Standards.
HSLDA supports repeal of Common Core Standards. However, HB 237 as currently introduced is deficient because it does not sufficiently protect data privacy and gives too much power to state educational authorities to make decisions about curriculum and standards. CHEO’s legislative liaison is working with the bill sponsor to address these issues. HSLDA understands that the sponsor is open to addressing these important areas of concern.
It is important that the House Education Committee hear from you, because there are many on the committee who may not be familiar with the concerns about Common Core. We have also heard from some sources that there are legislators who are confused about the issue or simply ill-informed. Because it has been reported that the governor favors Common Core it is important for legislators to hear from you.
HSLDA is working with CHEO to support legislation that will repeal Common Core, protect educational freedom for parents, local school districts, and protect children from weak data privacy laws. Ohioans for Educational Freedom (“OEF”) is also working to support such legislation and has set up a database at their website where more information can be found and where individuals can post their interactions with members of the committee.

Action Requested

Please contact the members of the House Education Committee, particularly if the member is your representative, and give them the following messages in your own words:
“I support HB 237, which repeals Common Core Standards. Ohio has spent years preparing its own state standards; adopting untested, one-size-fits all standards and assessments, like the PARCC assessments, would nullify that progress. Better educational outcomes occur when education decision-making is closest to the student—at the local school board level and with parents. HB 237 will help return decision-making authority of what and how children learn to parents and elected local school boards. Please vote in favor of HB 237.”

The Ohioans for Educational Freedom are tracking responses from committee members. After calling you can log the response you get from the committee member on their website.
To find out who your representative is, you can visit the Ohio Legislature’s website.
To make our contacts as efficient as possible please contact the House Education Committee members based on the following:
If your last name begins with A-G please contact:
Representative Gerald Stebelton (Chairman)
(614) 466-6504
Representative Andrew Brenner (Vice Chairman)
(614) 644-6711
Representative Teresa Fedor (Ranking Minority Member)
(614) 644-6017
Representative Nickie J. Antonio
(614) 466-5921
Representative John Becker
(614) 466-8134
Representative Heather Bishoff
(614) 644-6002
If your last name begins with H-O please contact:
Representative Timothy Derickson
(614) 644-5094
Representative Denise Driehaus
(614) 466-5786
Representative Bill Hayes
(614) 466-2500
Representative Michael Henne
(614) 644-8051
Representative Matt Huffman
(614) 466-9624
Representative Stephanie Kunze
(614) 466-8012
If your last name begins with P-Z please contact:
Representative John Patterson
(614) 466-1405
Representative Kristina Roegner
(614) 466-1177
Representative Marilyn Slaby
(614) 644-5085
Representative Ryan Smith
(614) 466-1366
Representative Fred Strahorn
(614) 466-1607

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

It's Worse Than You Think

I attended a fellowship held by Dr. Mainous the II, the father of my pastor, Charles Mainous III. Dr. Mainous were one of the first people to fight for educational freedom for Christian schools and homeschools in the state and national levels back in 1975, a legacy that the VDP strives to honor and carry. He sat with politicians (particularly the current governor of Ohio, John Kasich, whom he presented a KJV Bible), written books, spoke at universities, and fought the IRS and won.

He preached the sermon "It's Worse Than You Think".

The United States is worse:
1. Politically
2. Economically
3. Morally
4. Educationally
5. Spiritually

He made several points, which were all interesting. He brings notice to the Chinese and Islamic encroachment of our nation, through foreign owned farms and Sharia Law. Dr. Mainous recalls prayer being taken out in public schools. He brought attention that we are indeed a constitutional republic, not a democracy.

With this call of action, we, the new generation, shall restore and revive.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Our Strategy

Weeks ago, I received a phone call from the father of one of our affiliates. He is a school board president and the vice president of a conservative school board leadership council here in Ohio. He gave me advice on how to handle this campaign and background on Common Core.

Our Common Core campaign is designed to target all of the populace at once, but focusing on our elected officials, because the so-and-so final decision is in their hands, instead of putting much of our focusing on school board officials.

The education committee of the Ohio House is our primary target:
Gerald L. Stebelton (R) Chair
Andrew Brenner (R) Vice Chair
Teresa Fedor (D) Ranking Minority
Nickie J. Antonio (D)
John Becker (R)
Heather Bishoff (D)
Timothy Derickson (R)
Denise Driehaus (D)
Bill Hayes (R)
Michael Henne (R)
Matt Huffman (R)
Stephanie Kunze (R)
John Patterson (D)
Kristina Roegner (R)
Marilyn Slaby (R)
Ryan Smith (R)
Fred Strahorn (D)
Andy Thompson (R)

We will be compiling profiles to determine the best possible way to sway our officials from the Common Core. We will then move to press releases and other media heavy actions afterwards.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Common Core: When an Adult Takes Standardized Tests Forced on Kids

View the Washington Post article here.

An accomplished school board member took a tenth grade level standardized test and got a grade of 62% or "D". He has a "bachelor of science degree, two masters degrees, and 15 credit hours to a doctorate". He says that the test is not applicable to experience and in careers.
“I won’t beat around the bush,” he wrote in an email. “The math section had 60 questions. I knew the answers to none of them, but managed to guess ten out of the 60 correctly. On the reading test, I got 62% . In our system, that’s a “D”, and would get me a mandatory assignment to a double block of reading instruction.
He continued, “It seems to me something is seriously wrong. I have a bachelor of science degree, two masters degrees, and 15 credit hours toward a doctorate.
“I help oversee an organization with 22,000 employees and a $3 billion operations and capital budget, and am able to make sense of complex data related to those responsibilities.
“I have a wide circle of friends in various professions. Since taking the test, I’ve detailed its contents as best I can to many of them, particularly the math section, which does more than its share of shoving students in our system out of school and on to the street. Not a single one of them said that the math I described was necessary in their profession.

“It might be argued that I’ve been out of school too long, that if I’d actually been in the 10th grade prior to taking the test, the material would have been fresh. But doesn’t that miss the point? A test that can determine a student’s future life chances should surely relate in some practical way to the requirements of life. I can’t see how that could possibly be true of the test I took.”
I took the practice test segment on the website. It is mostly fifth and sixth grade education level. The questions are purportedly taken from the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT). With only seven questions, I do not think it's an accurate picture of the actual test, having just got out of high school.

And I am right. Tom Sing writes:
I wrote Rick Roach an email about this after having read the Uncertain Principles blog about it - 

From his response - that he had algebra, geometry, and some calculus problems, and that basic arithmetic questions were not a part of the test he took - I don't think he actually took the 10th grade FCAT. I suspect it was some hybrid of the Algebra 1 and Geometry End of Course assessments; Florida requires Algebra 1 and Geometry to graduate (and will soon require Algebra 2 as well). It is still very disappointing to me that he was unable to answer a single question, but not so disappointing as when I thought he couldn't do arithmetic. 

I've encouraged Roach and Brady to correct the record. Valery, perhaps you could contact them and help clear up this issue.

Anyways, I did well, except for the palmettos question. In the actual test segment, the figures are much, much smaller, almost unreadable.

You got 6 correct out of 7.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Ohio School Board Leadership Council Common Core Panel

As being only a small group with limited resources, we are not above using what others have built before us. Common Core, while just somewhat a relatively recent intrusion compared to other federal programs, already has organizations fighting against it. This is the Ohio School Board Leadership Council's Common Core panel. 

Saturday, August 31, 2013

A Call To Action: Central Ohio Common Core Campaign

We are gearing up for our first campaign!

The goal of this campaign is to spread a thorough awareness of Common Core, its effects on education, and the ultimate reversal of Common Core legislation in Ohio. National attention is a secondary goal.

To start, I have been gathering advisers and counselors and building the campaign team. Zechariah Ong from; and Jessica and Warren Edstrom, co-founder of the Voices of America and Vice President of the Ohio School Board Leaders, are just a few of the advisers for the campaign.

What we need from any readers of this blog post are personal stories of how Common Core has affected you as a parent or student or educator. Please comment in the links to your story or please email me the story at:

We will soon be launching petitions, Youtube videos and podcasts, press releases, and writing letters to our politicians. Our resources are quite limited, so we are also seeking funding for this project, but with the technological innovations, we should be able to do most things without paying a cent.

We have already contacted a few school boards and waiting for their responses. We are building a list of those members that are running for re-election and whether they support Common Core or not.

Current Bill in the Ohio House to Repeal Common Core

Pray for us! This is probably the first time we ever campaigned in this magnitude. If you would like to donate to our cause, please visit this link.

Looking forward to working with all of you,
Samuel Garcia

Friday, August 30, 2013

Responses From Local School Board Concerning The Common Core Standards

The question: "What is your opinion on Common Core and how it will affect education on Central Ohio?" was postulated to members of the Worthington Board of Education in Franklin County, Ohio. Response from the board President:
I have no idea how it will affect education in Central Ohio since I am unfamiliar with what other local school districts are doing.
Based upon the curriculum presented to the Board of Education this past Monday, I am quite confident that Worthington has developed a plan of implementation that will certainly be beneficial, Common Core or no, to the vast majority of our students. The new curriculum is available on the website you visited. Thanks for the inquiry,
Board President, David A. Bressman
Responses from other board members:
I think the common core curriculum will help raise student achievement in central Ohio. It is a rigorous curriculum that helps develop 21st century skills. The internationally bench marked curriculum will help promote college and career readiness for all students, along with critical thinking skills. With our society being so transient, I think this will help students who move from one district to another as they should all be on the same page as far as grade level curriculum. Jennifer Best
Philosophically, I oppose standards based education.  As you know, the Common Core State Standards were a state initiative led by Republican governors such as George and Jeb Bush to improve education.  I think that the common core state standards may marginally improve learning in some of the under resourced schools in central Ohio, but I fear that they may undercut high level learning in some of our best schools.  Hope that helps. Wilson Charles
We have not received responses from the other board members yet, but according to the Re-Elect Marc Schare website:
My primary academic focus has been through my work on the district’s “Race to the Top” committee. The committee has representatives from our teachers and administrators and has had three primary focus areas. 1) The use of data to guide instructional practice 2) A methodology to fairly and objectively evaluate teachers 3) Implementation of a curriculum based on the Common Core State Standards
We will soon launch an educational campaign against Common Core in Ohio. Stay tuned.