USPIE Communications Director Testifies Against SC House Bill 3759

On Tuesday night USPIE Communications Director April Few, who is a South Carolina resident, testified against SC House Bill 3759 at the K-12 subcommittee meeting .

Watch the video to hear her remarks:

 

Visit USPIE.org and JOIN THE MOVEMENT to STOP FED ED!

 

Transcription:

“Good afternoon, my name is April Few and I am the Communications Director for United States Parents Involved in Education. USPIE is a nonprofit organization that began as South Carolina Parents Involved in Education and expanded into a national organization in 2014. The primary goal of USPIE is to return local control of education to parents and communities by eradicating federal intrusion.

USPIE has reviewed House Bill 3759 and is compelled to declare its utter disappointment in the bill you are set to consider.

The bill begins with a false narrative suggesting “a vibrant workforce is critical to sustaining and growing the economy of this State by servicing industry and attracting new industry …”

USPIE opposes all efforts to continue to convert American education into a workforce development system. USPIE also opposes the massive data collection of citizens, ESPECIALLY CHILDREN, facilitated and coordinated by the Federal government through the guise of workforce development education.

Another troubling theme in the bill is the emphasis on “Student Empowerment” — with no mention of empowering parents! In fact, in the proposed legislation, parents are stripped of their right to appeal a decision to retain their child after the third grade.

Research shows adolescents make all their decisions from the emotional part of their brain. It is not until around age 25 that the human brain achieves full cognitive maturity associated with judgement, seeing into the future, abstract thinking, and rational behavior and decision making. This bill is irrational and defies the science of brain maturation to “empower students” with a bill of rights, and give them a voice on the State Board of Education.

Obviously problematic is the way the bill throws teachers under the bus! The bill would hold teachers accountable for failed standards and initiates the distribution of teacher’s personal data from high school forward. If this bill passes, teachers become the next victim of privacy invasion through data collection.

According to a report by the State Department of Education issued shortly after Common Core was “supposedly” replaced, South Carolina’s standards were, and remain 90% aligned with Common Core. As you may recall, these standards are faulty on many levels. The bill’s harsh treatment of failing schools, and the evaluation and grading of teachers based on mandated, failed standards is immoral.

The Zero to Twenty Committee created in this bill is alarming by its name alone! This Committee is mandated to collect data as early as the government can get their hands it and spans into post-high school actions. It is so surreal to me that the sponsors of this bill don’t even attempt to disguise their desire to collect data on children from birth into adulthood and beyond. Does cradle to grave ring a bell?

And finally, the biggest eyesore of the bill is the fact that it creates a whole new politically-appointed committee — unaccountable to individual voters, and audaciously names the director as “EDUCATION TSAR”! As if the Education Oversight Committee weren’t bad enough, bill sponsors want to create another layer of politically-manipulated individuals who are owed political favors. The voters of South Carolina responded loud and clear to a constitutional amendment question last year signifying they want to elect those who decide education policy.

I leave you with four ways the Legislature can promote a statewide culture of excellence in education.

1. To restore local control and foster innovation, the State should wean itself off federal funds. This should begin with a cost analysis of federal regulation compliance. Only 8% of South Carolina education dollars are federal, but they control 100% of the classroom!

2. To enable local incubators for excellence, the State should remove most state-level mandates and bureaucracy. Cost savings should be returned to communities for local education needs.

3. To foster accountability and decentralization of education, the State should eliminate the Education Oversight Committee, and allow voters to elect State Board of Education members.

4. To achieve a statewide culture of educational excellence, the State should abandon the attempt to control the economy with workforce development education and return to evidence-based classical education.

USPIE stands ready to assist with creating policy that will implement these simple four steps.

Please visit uspie.org to learn more about the national movement to restore education authority to its proper local roots – to parents and communities.”

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Trump Administration Proposes Federal “School Choice” Program

 

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President Trump briefly announced a federal “school choice” proposal in his State of the Union address. Many Americans support parental rights in selecting educational options for their children. American parents are also frustrated that they pay high taxes in support of government schools and then pay out of pocket for private schools or homeschooling. The idea of a federally-supported program that allows parents to redirect their tax money to alternative government, private and home schooling options is very attractive.

USPIE suggests the term “school choice,” when thoughtfully considered, is inadequate to describe the proper emphasis of authority necessary to right the education ship. Parents are a child’s first teacher and should have absolute say in what and how their children learn. USPIE asserts families must restore parental authority over children’s education, and restore “parental choice.” Parental choice is not limited to choosing a building, a level of discipline, or a supplementary emphasis. Parental choice means curriculum choice where classical, technology-free, religious-based, non-Common Core curricula are available.

USPIE’s primary mission is to end the U.S. Department of Education and all federal education mandates returning local, community and parental control of education. Thereby, USPIE is opposed to ALL federally-regulated “school choice” options.

Many families who don’t trust government schools might benefit from a federal school tax credit that would allow them to retain more of their taxable income, afford for one parent to stay home to raise their children and homeschool, or afford a private school of their choice not limited by government funding regulations. There may be a way for parents to keep their own money to spend as they see fit to raise their children with no government involvement. We are anxious to be part of that solution.  But government-enabled school choice is not parental choice.

Please join USPIE in telling the Trump Administration to support true “parental choice.”

Please consider making a small donation to USPIE, a national, parent-led education policy group with the mission of ending the US Dept. of Ed and ALL federal education mandates. USPIE has 501(c)(3) non-profit status which makes all contributions tax deductible. DONATE TODAY!

Visit uspie.org to learn more!

Breaking: Special Education Report by The New American

The New American Special Report

The New American magazine has published a Special Report on Education. This report exposes the horrors taking place in government schools, the wonders of alternatives, and the need for parents to protect their children.

This will explain just about everything you need to know about education, including sex education which was birthed from the United Nations Education Science and Cultural Organization.

Eye-opening articles written by Alex Newman, Dr. Duke Pesta, and Israel Wayne NEED to be read by state and local education officials, legislators, teachers, moms and dads, pastors… there isn’t one person who wouldn’t benefit from this shocking information.

WE NEED YOUR HELP!

Alex Newman and Dr. Pesta are hoping to distribute 1 million copies of this issue and we need your help. You can place your order today at https://www.jbs.org/store/shoptna/tna-back-issues/tna-2019-back-issues/the-new-american-february-4-2019

You even save when you buy in bulk!

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Several USPIE Leadership members and PIE chapter presidents have already placed their orders and plan to disseminate copies across the country.

We need the grassroots folks’ help to get this into the hands of everyone you know!

Thank you for your help spreading this critical information, and God Bless.

ORDER YOUR COPIES NOW!

DeSantis signs executive order to abolish Common Core in Florida

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Ron DeSantis announced Thursday that he would sign an executive order eliminating education involving common core standards used in Florida’s education system.

He also stated he would “identify ways to make civics education a priority in Florida.”

USPIE just wants to make note that DeSantis does not have a replacement ready, that kids will still be taking the CC aligned assessments this year, and that he will focus on education for jobs in demand.

Watch the announcement video!

As reported by Fox 13 News, “DeSantis’ executive order directs Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran to develop a road map for a new way to educate the sunshine state’s students.

Florida moved to a Common Core-type system under former Gov. Rick Scott, a change aimed at matching standards for other students in the U.S.

State leaders made some tweaks to Common Core, and re-branded it as ‘Florida Standards’ but they remain very similar to Common Core.

State governors – not the federal government – developed Common Core and former Gov. Jeb Bush did everything he could to sell it as “fewer, higher expectations, critical thinking skills, benchmarked to the best in the world.”

Critics of Common Core, including Tea Party groups, said it would take away local control and dumb down our schools. Meanwhile, many parents had trouble understanding some of the teaching methods and found it confusing, particularly some of the math.

“One of the things we would constantly hear about on the campaign trail was a lot of frustration from parents in particular with this idea of Common Core,” said Gov. DeSantis. “When you complained… I heard you. I told you I’d do something about it. And today we are acting to bring promises to reality.”

DeSantis gave the order to replace Common Core-type standards with a new system that increases the quality of curriculum, and places a higher emphasis on teaching civics.

Florida education standards will not change this year. Gov. DeSantis said he and Commissioner Corcoran will seek input from teachers and parents, then present a reform plan to the legislature, to enact in 2020.

It wasn’t the newly-minted governor’s only education-related announcement this week.

Wednesday, at a news conference at Tampa Bay Technical High School, Gov. DeSantis announced an executive order he said would help Florida students get degrees and jobs through education programs focused on in-demand skills.

Wednesday’s order also called for a faster path to reach an associate’s degree at a state college or university.”

Don’t forget to visit uspie.org and Join the Movement to Stop Fed Ed!

Tell President Trump to VETO HR4174

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Congress just passed HR 4174- Foundations for Evidence-based Policymaking Act (FEPA). This is a massive data mining bill which enables data linkage, encourages data sharing between agencies, and expands data access.

Only 17 Representatives voted against this detrimental bill. THANK YOU: http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2018/roll484.xml

Tell President Trump to VETO HR4174!

Why? Because:

1) It’s flat-out creepy to mandate linked databases without informed consent of individuals whose pii is to be nationally accessed;

2)  the “fact sheet” for HR4174 is a deceit sheet; and

3) the bill’s so long, wordy, and was cheated out of any hearing or debate before being passed, that too many of the “good guys” wrongly voted for it.

USPIE Advisory Board member Christel Swasey makes a plea to President Trump in her latest letter regarding HR4174.

Please email and tweet President Trump and other people to ask him for a veto on HR 4174, Evidence Based Policymaking. They’re not taking calls because of the shutdown, but you can send an email: www.whitehouse.gov/contact.

How do I ask President Trump to veto the bill? https://www.whitehouse.gov/get-involved/write-or-call/?utm_medium=email&utm_source=sendpress&utm_campaign 

You can email the White House and use the free Twitter site. On Twitter you can use @realDonaldTrump @Potus @WhiteHouse and #VetoHR4174 and #VetoFEPA.

Thank you!

Be sure to visit USPIE.org and Join the Movement to Stop Fed Ed!

Let’s Celebrate a Worthy Cause!

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Dear Friend,

‘Tis the Season of Giving where we celebrate generosity to worthy causes.

USPIE is such a cause, and the reason is easy to explain: USPIE was founded in 2014 with the mission of returning control of education to parents and local communities by eradicating federal intrusion. We believe parents are a child’s first teacher and should have absolute say over where and how their child is educated.

State leaders from around the country who are fed up with being ignored on education policy have joined forces to abolish the US Education Department and put an end to ALL federal education mandates.

USPIE endeavors to inform Americans of the trillions of dollars wasted on federal education in the last 35 years with nothing to show for it but stagnant test scores and declining student academic achievement.

It is the goal of USPIE to return American education to its proper local roots and restore parental authority over their children’s education.

 

During this Christmas Season, would you consider supporting

U.S. Parents Involved in Education with a special gift?

 

Your gift will help increase our Newsletters and informative email circulation, allow us to send our Stop Fed Ed materials to legislators and influential education policy leaders, and much more!

If you believe these goals are worthy of support, please make your best, tax-deductible gift to USPIE today: https://uspie.org/donate

Thank you for your support of USPIE and parental rights in education, and for making USPIE a part of your end-of-year giving!

 

Merry Christmas and All the Best in the New Year to come!

 

Stop Fed Ed Horz Logo

EXCLUSIVE with Rep. Thomas Massie, Why the Department of Education Should be Shut Down

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In this exclusive interview with The New American, Congressman Thomas Massie (R-KY) exposes what he describes as the “Deep Swamp” operating in D.C. He also explains why the Constitution should be obeyed, why the Department of Education should be shut down, and much more. You won’t want to miss it!

(Video link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gc9-RM-y7ds&feature=youtu.be)

alex

Alex Newman is an international journalist, educator, and consultant. In addition to serving as president of the small media and information-consulting firm Liberty Sentinel Media, Inc., he writes for a wide array of publications in the United States and abroad. He has written for numerous newspapers and magazines such as the Gainesville Sun, Liberty magazine, Crisis magazine, The Diplomat magazine, and many more. Alex Newman currently serves as a foreign correspondent for The New American magazine and in 2014 published Crimes of the Educators: How Utopians are Using Government Schools to Destroy America’s Children with co-author Sam Blumenfeld. Mr. Newman also serves on the USPIE Advisory Board. 

Visit USPIE.org and JOIN THE MOVEMENT to STOP FED ED!

November 2018 Newsletter

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View the original Newsletter here

USPIE BACK TO SCHOOL PARENT SURVIVAL GUIDE

PART 3

GET INVOLVED- TAKE ACTION WITH USPIE

Join your state chapter affiliate of United States Parents Involved in Education (USPIE). We have a Facebook group for every state chapter (Ex: NYPIE= New York Parents Involved in Education ). This is a great platform for sharing experiences and ideas to advance our mission of eradicating federal involvement in local education.
Develop rapport with your Congressional and State representative and attend town hall meetings. Below are the USPIE Candidate Pledges. Please refer us any principled candidate who wishes to sign the pledge. For candidates who sign the pledge, USPIE will issue a formal press release on their behalf.
Promote   #StopFedEd   and support/monitor various pieces of legislation and trends. The goal is to end federal mandates. As of now, #HR899 shows some promise but we need more people joining the movement. We recently led a White House petition drive that yielded over 3,000 signatures nationwide!
Please be sure to read our Blueprint to Close USED that describes what it would take to abolish the unconstitutional US Dept. of Ed.
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USPIE LEADERSHIP TEAM REPORT

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USPIE Advisory Board Teleconference
The USPIE Leadership Team hosted a conference call on October 18th with the USPIE Advisory Board members. Participants included Sandra Stotsky, Alex Newman, Lily Tang Williams, Peg Luksik, Ze’ev Wurman, and Vicki Alger.
___________________________________________________________________________

IN THE NEWS

USPIE praises proposed end of Obama’s transgender ideology
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“National grassroots parents group U.S. Parents Involved in Education (USPIE) also praised the report, stating the Trump administration is ‘taking the initiative to correct
the flawed policies of the former administration that were forced onto
innocent young children who attend government schools.'”
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RESOURCES

Recommended Reading: The Story-Killers: A Common-Sense Case Against the Common Core by Dr. Terrence O. Moore
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ELECTION SEASON

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“Voting helps keep alive the traditions that have historically fostered an energetically involved populace. It bolsters a spirit of involvement and care amongst the American citizenry.” –The American Conservative, 2014
General Elections are fast approaching. It’s time to pressure candidates to
commit to returning education to parents and local communities.
Urge your candidates to sign the Stop Fed Ed Pledge!
USPIE will put candidates who sign the pledge on our website,
and also issue a press release on their behalf.
____________________________________________________________________________

DONATE TODAY!

If you are willing to support our mission, any contribution amount goes directly to our Stop Fed Ed campaign. There’s no better group than USPIE to lead this fight. USPIE is the ONLY national, parent-led education policy group with the mission of ending the US Dept. of Ed and ALL federal education mandates. The leaders of USPIE truly understand the problems with the progressive agenda being pushed in American public schools because they’ve all been in the fight for decades. All contributions are tax-deductible.

Will you make a small $10 donation today?

DONATE TODAY

 

SC voters should vote NO on constitutional amendment November 6th!

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By Sheri Few

Earlier this year, South Carolina’s Republican-led Legislature approved putting a state constitutional amendment on the ballot that if passed will provide for the State Superintendent of Education to be appointed by the governor – rather than elected by state voters.

The question on your November 6th ballot will be YES or NO to the following statement: “… the superintendent of education must be appointed by the governor, with the advice and consent of the Senate; to provide that the appointed superintendent of education shall serve at the pleasure of the governor; and to require the General Assembly to provide by law for the duties, compensation, and qualifications for the office.”

For many reasons, I will vote NO to this constitutional amendment!

The two primary reasons I will vote NO on the amendment are: 1) it is a move toward centralized government and away from accountability to voters, and 2) it will give authority to the Legislature to dictate qualifications for this office.

  • Move toward centralized government and away from voter accountability

The office of Superintendent of Education is afforded by the South Carolina Constitution and changes to the state constitution require a two-thirds majority of the General Assembly to adopt a ballot amendment, and then a majority of voters in a General Election – this is difficult, and for good reason!  Constitutional amendments alter the direction of the constituted body, and thereby should not be easy to achieve. Moving the state’s leading education position under the governor removes direct accountability away from those who fund government schools.

Elected officials abdicated their responsibility for deciding education policy by “letting voters decide” how we elect our state education policy leader and putting the centralized-government decision on the ballot for a largely uninformed populace. This is and was a Republican-led initiative. Shame on them!

  • Legislature to dictate qualifications for Superintendent

Constitutional offices have never required government-sanctioned educational attainment. In fact, the office of president of the United States does not require a college degree. Early drafts of the amendment language required State Superintendent appointees be a college graduate with at least a Master’s degree.

I am not a college graduate and I sometimes thank God that I escaped the liberal indoctrination of post-secondary education, which has been a breeding ground for socialists and communists for many decades. When I ran for State Superintendent of Education in 2014, and narrowly missed the runoff, 55,000 South Carolinians voted for me because they wanted a common sense leader that saw through the schemes of the left to run the State Department of Education. Requiring a college degree for Superintendent of Schools will only provide someone who is entrenched in College of Education philosophies, which is typically the most liberal of all colleges and schools that make up post-secondary education with very few exceptions.

Republicans and Democrats alike are ignorant to the problems and solutions desperately needed in government schools. The fight against the Common Core Standards, which resulted in a simple rebranding of the standards (Common Core is alive and well in SC schools) is a perfect example. Most recently, the SC House of Representatives with a sound Republican majority passed a bill to encourage more schools to adopt Competency-based education, which is a computer-based learning model that relegates teachers to facilitators and flies in the face of medical professionals’ warnings against too much screen time for children.

It may not be a popular position, but the truth is government schools have evolved into the intentional dumbing down, and liberal indoctrination of America’s children. Although all my children attended government schools, I never recommend a parent send their child to government schools today.

If freedom-loving Americans don’t wake up to the government school crisis, they will continue to lose freedoms they once enjoyed.  Socialists and communists have hijacked America’s government-run schools and are forcing their agenda with our tax dollars to change America’s form of government and they are making great headway.

Voters must keep the Superintendent of Education position as a constitutional office without educational requirements like every other elected position in the country!  Then voters must elect a person who understands the problems in government schools and has the will to take on the establishment to return to local control and a classical, liberal arts education for South Carolina students.

Sheri Few is the President of US Parents Involved in Education whose mission is to end federal intrusion in education and return local control to communities and parents.

Visit uspie.org to Join the Movement to STOP FED ED!

The Shameful History of Fed Ed

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Department of Education Organization Act

On October 17, 1979 President James E. Carter signed the Department of Education Organization Act. It replaced the
Office of Education with a department proper, and
installed a secretary at its head. 
On the Ed.gov website, they claimed the following purposes of the department:
  1. to strengthen the Federal commitment to ensuring access to equal educational opportunity for every individual;
  2. to supplement and complement the efforts of States, the local school systems and other instrumentalities of the States, the private sector, public and private educational institutions, public and private nonprofit educational research institutions, community-based organizations, parents, and students to improve the quality of education;
  3. to encourage the increased involvement of the public, parents, and students in Federal education programs;
  4. to promote improvements in the quality and usefulness of education through federally supported research, evaluation, and sharing of information;
  5. to improve the coordination of Federal education programs;
  6. to improve the management and efficiency of Federal education activities, especially with respect to the process, procedures, and administrative structures for the dispersal of Federal funds, as well as the reduction of unnecessary and duplicative burdens and constraints, including unnecessary paperwork, on the recipients of Federal funds; and
  7. to increase the accountability of Federal education programs to the President, the Congress and the public. (Section 102, Public Law 96-88)
In the 1860s, a budget of $15,000 and four employees handled education fact-finding.
By 1965, the Office of Education had more than 2,100 employees and
a budget of $1.5 billion. As of mid-2010, the Department has nearly
4,300 employees and a budget of about $60 billion.

So, what’s to show from the last 40 years?

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Results of U.S. Department of Education:

Despite dramatic increases in federal intervention and funding in the public education system since the 1960s, educational achievement has not improved. The most widely used measure of school achievement are scores from National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), which shows no significant change. Efforts to improve educational outcomes for low income children have also been expensive and unproductive. Even the federal college grant and loan programs have been ineffective for students. The evidence is inarguable, the federal government’s intervention in education has been a dismal failure.

 

WHAT CAN BE DONE?

Elimination of federal intervention can be achieved in five steps:
  1. Send all Program Management and Funding to the states including Pell Grants for college.
  2. Repeal all laws permitting federal intervention in K-12 education starting with ESSA.
  3. Privatize college loan programs through savings & loan institutions.
  4. Eliminate all offices and divisions in the US Department of Education and related spending.
  5. Reduce federal tax collection, shifting education revenue responsibilities entirely back to the states.

READ BLUEPRINT TO CLOSE USED

We urgently need a hearing on a bill to terminate the Department of Education, such as H.R.899. Contacting your elected officials is the earnest beginning of this conversation. Please contact your US Congressional Representative and ask if they will support H.R.899 to abolish the US Dept. of Ed.

HOW TO CONTACT ELECTED OFFICIALS

 

 

Stop Fed Ed Horz Logo

It is the mission of USPIE to restore parental & local control of education by eradicating federal intrusion. Although this experiment with federal control of local public schools has gone on for half a century now, it has failed. We need to stop treating children like guinea pigs in some social engineering laboratory & start embracing children as human beings to be supported and inspired to achieve their own dreams and aspirations.

DONATE TODAY!