WE BELIEVE IN TRUTH & TRANSPARENCY AT ALL LEVELS OF THE EDUCATION SYSTEM IN LOUISIANA
WE BELIEVE IN TRUTH & TRANSPARENCY AT ALL LEVELS OF THE EDUCATION SYSTEM IN LOUISIANA
Signed in as:
The Early Learning and Development Standards almost got away with it. Intrepid and dedicated activists alerted us to the fact that the proposed ELDS contains several areas of great concern. Our youngest learners deserve the very best. We hope you will take action today!
Please examine the documents, listen to the presentation, but more than anything TAKE ACTION.
ECCE AC - 2022 Agenda - 07.13.22 (pdf)Download
ELDS Review Committee - Agenda - 04.06.22 (pdf)Download
Files coming soon.
The Social Studies Standard is in place, now we need to be sure that the full truth is taught with hope and love. Our State could be a leader in showing the way forward. We must work to be sure that this process does not return to the halls of power and corners of secret alliances. The people benefit from transparency,
Beginning in late spring, the public slowly became aware of the growing influence that several radical organizations had acquired in the revision process for Louisiana's Social Studies Standard. A standard is like the guideposts, it isn't curriculum, it guides the selection of the curriculum providing a measuring stick for all curriculum choices that are made. It delineates what the curriculum must contain in order to meet the "standard" for that subject area. Standards apply for a seven -year cycle and this is why what they contain is so important. Over the past year various elected officials have weighed in, some have rolled up their sleeves and truly dug in, but NOTHING could have been accomplished if the average citizen hadn't participated. YOU made the difference. The normal process of rubber stamping outside influences was stopped in its tracks by YOU. This accomplishment must be celebrated and understood as a great victory of the citizenry. The GOP can't claim this victory, nor can any big organization!! We, the common man and woman, stood up and said HEAR US!! We were thoughtful and strategic, we had help from some great thinkers but at the end of the day, this was our victory. You deserve the credit Louisiana. You are amazing.
The New Louisiana Social study standards that the Department of education proposed have been adopted unanimously by BESE today. This is a huge victory for the children of Louisiana and the state as a whole. The last 3 years I’ve proposed legislation to require systematic teaching of The U.S. Constitution, The Declaration of Independence, and other Founding Documents as well as World War II and The Holocaust. If we are to remain a Representative Republic we must require a Patriotic Education teaching our young people the principles of America’s greatness, and all the history involved to make us this great nation. I am so grateful to State Superintendent Cade Brumley and Assistant State Superintendent Keith Leger for their hard work with BESE to put these standards in place. Thank you, BESE members. Congratulations, Louisiana!”
GREAT NEWS! The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) unanimously approved the Content Standards for our K-12 schools today. For those unfamiliar, content standards are the framework that are used for curriculum in the various disciplines in our schools (math, science, English, social studies, etc) BIG THANKS to our BESE Members Dr. Holly Boffy and Mr. Michael Melerine who voted for this important framework. HUGE thanks to Dr. Cade Brumley and his team at the Department of Education who worked with a steering committee then took inputs from the public to finalize what I believe is the gold standard for Social Studies in the United States. The information students will be taught is objective, it is balanced, and I believe it will be an accurate reflection of the history, civic structure, culture, and geography of these great United States and our beloved Louisiana. I put in a lot of time on this project and I will tell all who listen that this is a WIN for Louisiana. I paid VERY close attention to the accuracy and balance of what was offered up, and I firmly believe these standards will make Louisiana the leader in this area for the south and the country. Today is a good day for the students, families, teachers, and schools in Louisiana. This is a big win and a great step in the right direction.
Adoption of these new standards came about through the hard and great work of some constituents, colleagues, BESE members and the Superintendent...it is proof positive that grassroots efforts can change policy.
“I fell in love with the history of our country when at the age of 10 my parents took us on a two-week driving trip to Washington DC. We stopped in Warm Springs, Georgia to visit the Little White House of President Franklin Roosevelt. Then it was on to the Great Smoky Mountains and the Cherokee nation. We headed north and visited Thomas Jefferson‘s home at Monticello, then President Washington’s home at Mount Vernon and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Finally, we made it to Washington where we saw the Capitol building, the White House, the Smithsonian, the Washington Monument, the Jefferson Memorial, the Iwo Jima monument, and all the rest. What boy could have such an experience without its changing his life and his view of our country?” “Growing up as the son of a disabled veteran who told countless stories about his experiences during World War II, I learned of the sacrifice of our men and women who gave everything so that we could breathe free. I saw the pain he constantly experienced from the broken back and severe burns he received in combat. My dad taught me about our heritage as part Choctaw Indian and about our ancestors from Wales.” “In the ninth grade, my dad decided to start a restaurant in Saint Francisville, and we chose the building which had served as the Capitol of the Republic of West Florida. I spent a summer helping to renovate that historic building and bring it back to life.” “It wasn’t long until at the age of 23 I was elected to the Louisiana House of Representatives where I served for 28 years. I served in the Capitol building that Huey Long built which is so steeped in history. As an elected delegate to the Constitutional Convention, I had to study all of our state constitutions in Louisiana beginning in 1812 and was asked to write the Declaration of Rights for our current state constitution. Our home today is just a few feet from where the first casualty of the Battle of Baton Rouge fell, Lt. Alexander Todd, half brother of Mary Todd Lincoln.” “History is all around us and for me it is truly alive! In the legislature, I wrote the textbook review process and had occasion to serve on two textbook selection committees over the years. When this content review committee for social studies was created last year, I was honored to be named a member, and I wanted to be sure that our social studies courses in Louisiana truly reflected the history of our great state and nation. However, I was very concerned with the first draft of the new standards and strongly opposed them. When committee approved those standards 25 to 1, I was the only opponent and spoke against the draft. Fortunately, the public got deeply involved in the process and made more than 2,000 comments on the work. This led Supt Cade Brumley and his staff to make a great many revisions. As a result, the content standards which were ultimately approved by BESE removed all of the offensive language from the original proposal and added important new language. The final draft is a very positive step forward, not only an improvement on the work of the content review committee but considerably better than the current standards being used by the state. Hopefully, these new standards will serve to keep the true history of our state and nation alive for Louisiana students for generations to come.” “Congratulations to all those including the superintendent, the members of his staff, BESE, and all the members of the public who made a real difference in the process!”aving a big sale, on-site celebrity, or other event? Be sure to announce it so everybody knows and gets excited about it.
SOCIAL STUDIES SUCCESS! BESE has voted unanimously to approve new social studies standards. The standards went through several drafts over more than 12 months and the review process included plenty of input from the public. Many thanks to ALL who participated. The social studies standards that came out of today’s meeting are probably the BEST in the country!
How Did This Happen???
You can hear the buzz....You showed up and made a difference!!
They put us in another room, they had no audible audio, the masks made it worse. It didn't stop you! After this meeting hundreds of you submitted public comment!!! We will not stop, we will not give in, we will not quit.
Dr. Kelly Swan was a lead developer for the C3 Framework. In a video from a 2017 presentation, she proclaims that teaching the C3 framework is a “revolutionary act”.
bese-information-(social-studies-standards-review) (3) (zip)Download
committee-meeting-materials-(social-studies-standards-review) (2) (zip)Download
Public comment was such a success that State Superintendent Brumley asked for another extension of two months, in order to carefully consider all that YOU the public had to say. THANK YOU for your diligence and effort in commenting on the public comment portal. It wasn't easy but you stuck with it!!! Now we need to keep this effort in prayer and take every opportunity to remind anyone who has influence with the BESE board that we still mean business. WE WILL NOT TOLERATE ACTION CIVICS OR THE INQUIRY METHOD IN OUR SOCIAL STUDIES PROGRAM. It is CRT in disguise. Hang in there folks, being a #warrior isn't easy and battles are not won overnight.
The College, Career, and Civic Life Framework (C3) was created as a solution to the gaping hole left by the adoption of Common Core. As we all know, Common Core focuses on Math and ELA/Literacy while assessing students’ academic growth and teachers’ professional ability with standardized testing. This implementation inadvertently led to “teaching for the test” which led to Science and Social Studies taking a back seat to Math and ELA.
The following are highlights from The College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework for Social Studies State Standards: Guidance for Enhancing the Rigor of K-12 Civics, Economics, Geography, and History published by the National Council for the Social Studies.
C3 Framework link: https://www.socialstudies.org/standards/c3
· Introduction, page 5
“In the college, career, and civic life (c3) framework for social studies state standards, the call for students to become more prepared for the challenges of college and career is united with a third critical element: preparation for civic life. Advocates of citizenship education cross the political spectrum, but they are bound by a common belief that our democratic republic will not sustain unless students are aware of their changing cultural and physical environments; know the past; read, write, and think deeply; and act in ways that promote the common good. There will always be differing perspectives on these objectives. The goal of knowledgeable, thinking, and active citizens, however, is universal.”
*The language used is unassuming and pleasant which causes any person who may read it to think it sounds like a good idea. They even acknowledge the political spectrum and differing perspectives. What’s the problem? The concept of “preparation for civic life” and “common good” are subjective. The meaning of these ambiguous phrases will be interpreted however the reader sees fit.
**The United States of America is a Constitutional Republic not a Democratic Republic.
· C3 expands on Common Core Literacy Standards, pages 63-64
“Anchor Writing Standards 1–8 describe skills students need to construct arguments, explanations, and narratives. Writing Standards 4–6 focus on the production and distribution of student writing. Standard 4 describes skills related to the production of “clear and coherent writing” that is “appropriate to task, purpose, and audience”. Standard 5 explains the process writing skills that students should develop. Standard 6 establishes that students should use technology to publish and distribute their writing. Standard 7 focuses on “short as well as more sustained research projects based on focused questions”. Standard 8 calls on students to “gather relevant information,” “assess the credibility and accuracy of each source,” and “integrate the information” into the text while “avoiding plagiarism”. The C3 Framework builds on these anchor standards by setting forth expectations that students will construct disciplinary arguments and explanations for a variety of audiences both inside and outside of school, and then plan how to take informed action given the products of their inquiry.
*Teachers are already required to teach based on Common Core Literacy Standards. The only reason to include “Communicate arguments and explanations that feature compelling ideas and perspectives on issues and topics to reach a range of audiences, including venues outside the classroom using a variety of methods and technologies” is to keep the C3 Framework in the standards. Everything in C3 leads to “Taking Informed Action” aka “Action Civics”.
The following information is pulled from “Thermometers to Thermostats: Designing and Assessing Informed Action” which was published by the National Council of the Social Studies. The article was written by Mary Ellen Daneels and states that “C3 advocates the need for students not just to acquire and produce knowledge, but also to live a life of active engagement in the workings of our democracy.”
1. The Action is the Assessment: Start with a Good Question that Compels Learning The first part of thermometers to thermostats explains how one teacher used the inquiry method to address voter apathy. They started with the question “How does my vote count?” Her students were appalled by the apathy of their peers. They created a chart to address some of the reasons and formulated a plan of action for each cause.
2. The Action is the Assessment: Empower Student Voice, Student Choice The second part focuses on creating presentations to be delivered to an audience. The last line sums it up: “Students were provided an authentic experience of how local government works, how to identify agents of power, and how to tailor a message to various audiences.”
3. The Action is the Assessment: Build Administrative and Community Support The last part describes one particular project where students were encouraged to contact their politicians with concerns that were dear to them. Students were graded based on the letters that were sent.
*As we see in “Thermometers to Thermostats”, the action is the assessment. This just further the point that everything about C3 leads to “Taking Informed Action”.
EDUCATING FOR AMERICAN DEMOCRACY-THE LINK
If we jump to Educating for American Democracy, who had a hand in the creation of the proposed standards, we will find a similar project to the one from “Thermometers to Thermostats”.
Listed in the Teachers Resources for Educating for American Democracy is a Lesson Plan called “The Truth About Voting”.
Clicking the link will open a window that explains the lesson. To get the actual lesson, follow the link to LearningForJustice.org. Educating for American Democracy link: https://www.educatingforamericandemocracy.org/educator-resources/?sword=vote#popup-ead-post-4706 Learning for Justice link: https://www.learningforjustice.org/classroom-resources/lessons/the-truth-about-voting
Below is the lesson (meant for grades 6-8):
Start with a warm-up to get students thinking about the importance of participating in elections. Have students “vote” on any trivial debate—you might have them choose “Which is better: cats or dogs?” or have them choose between two movies or songs popular in your classroom. This activity will need to move quickly, so it’s important to offer students a low-stakes choice. Either they can “vote with their feet” by moving around the classroom, or they can raise right hands for one answer, left hands for the other. Those teaching remotely might ask students to change their display name to reflect their choice. No matter the results, tell students that you can’t declare a winner yet. Ask them to count off to five, so each student has a number one through five. Let students know they’ll need to remember their numbers for a while.
Tell them: Only 80% of Americans are registered to vote, so we should only count 80% of these votes. Ask all of the students in group #1 to sit (or lower their arms or change their display names back.) Repeat this process, letting students know: Even though 80% of Americans are registered, only 60% vote in Presidential elections. Ask all of the students in group #2 to sit (or lower their arms or change their display names). Ask students how they feel about the fact that, at this point, just over half of the class is making a decision for everyone. Ask them to suggest a few reasons why so few Americans might vote. Remind students: Some people aren’t allowed to vote. Voting is more difficult for some people than for others. And some people don’t believe that their vote matters. Explain the goal of the day’s lesson: We’ll be learning about some common myths about voting today, thinking through who these myths might benefit, learning why they’re wrong, and considering how we might ensure everyone has a chance to vote. Move into the main activity by having students divide into five groups based on their numbers from the warm-up. Ask them to go to the workstation (or shared document) that matches the number for their group.
They should read the myth and answer three questions: If everyone believed this myth, what would change? If no one believed this myth, what would change? Who benefits from this myth? Have each group choose a recorder who takes notes on the chart paper (or shared document) and labels the group’s responses with their group number. After 3-5 minutes, have each group move on to the next myth. Groups can spend 3-5 minutes on each station or document, rotating until each group has had a chance to respond to each myth. At the end, ask groups to return to their original myth—the one that shares their group number—and read through their classmates’ responses to decide whether they agree or disagree. Distribute the “Five Myths” handout. Give each group 2 minutes to present their findings to the class. Students should do three things: Read their myth aloud. Take a hands-up poll: How many have heard this myth before today? Share the truth about their myth from the “Five Myths” handout. After each group has shared, ask students to share their thoughts about who benefits from each of these myths and why. *To an American, this lesson is an abomination. The right to vote is also a choice. The teacher asked each student to vote then took away 20% of the votes that were cast to represent the people who choose not to register. She then took away another 20% to represent the people who choose not to vote in presidential elections. All of this theater to point out that just over half of the class is making decisions for the whole class. Then “Remind students: Some people aren’t allowed to vote. Voting is more difficult for some people than for others. And some people don’t believe that their vote matters.”
There is a big difference between having a vote where people can choose how much or little to participate and having a vote only to throw away almost half of them.
Dr. Kelly Swan was a lead developer for the C3 Framework. In a video from a 2017 presentation, she proclaims that teaching the C3 framework is a “revolutionary act”. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XrYyIHnnPAk&t=3137
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