Common Core Not Dead Pennsylvania Wise?

Joanne Yurchak has expressed skepticism regarding claims made by State Rep. Bill Adolph (R-165) to a contingent from the Delaware County Patriots, Aug. 28, about the death of Common Core in this state. Below is here letter to State Sen. Mike Folmer (R-48)

In our view skepticism is a very good thing and Common Core should be watched until it is buried with a stake in its heart

Thank you, Joanne.


Common Core not dead Pennsylvania Wise? Keep watching the banks of the Susquehanna.

West Chester, PA 19380
August 29, 2013

Senator Mike Folmer
Chair, Senate Education Committee
400 S. 8th Street
101 Municipal Building
Lebanon, PA 17042

Dear Senator Folmer:

I spoke to you briefly before the hearing on the Keystones at the
Valley Forge Middle School, expressing my extreme concern about the
implementation of Common Core in Pennsylvania. I told you that Iíd done a
great deal of research on this issue and you asked me to send you my
information. I am attaching some of my writings here. Please let me know
if you would like digital copies and I will send them to you.

Before continuing, I wish to express my genuine gratitude at the fair
and transparent manner in which youíve conducted the hearings. I
attended both the May 15 Common Core Senate hearing and the August 26
Keystone Senate hearing and was tremendously impressed with your
professional manner and respectful treatment of all presenters and
senators. The exceptionally well-organized hearings enabled me to
understand so many features of this complicated issue that I never would
have known had I not attended them. I also appreciate having the
opportunity to view the proceedings in their entirety on your web site.

Although I feel that I now am quite knowledgeable about Common Core, I
continue to be confused and extremely disturbed by information and
opinions that are continually bandied about. For instance, just today,
the following report was stated on a reputable local blog:

Bill Adolph (R-165) told a† contingent from the Delaware County Patriots , this morning, Aug. 28,† that  Common Core is likely dead in Pennsylvania.
He said that a draft of Pennsylvania academic standards being
considered by the State Board of Education will specifically include the
wording ìThere will be no required reading lists and curriculum will
remain strictly a local decision by our school boards.

He noted the name of the standards will be changed to PA Core
Standards. He distributed a memo from State House Education Committee
Chairman Paul Clymer (R-145) that in the standards ëthere will be no
national tests or assessments, except if one is deemed necessary for
special education students and then only in consultation with parents,
teachers and other interested parties.

My understanding is that there were stipulations tied to the Race to the
Top money that we received from the Feds when the State Board of
Education, bypassing the State Legislature, signed on to the CCSS
initiative. Are we giving the money back? What is going on? Personally, I
think that whoever dreamed up changing the name to PA Core Standards
did it to confuse CCSS opponents. (Iím sure you weren’t involved in what
I think is likely a Machiavellian scheme.) As far as I’m concerned, a
pickle by any other name would taste as sour!

I speak from the perspective of a parent and grandparent who is a
firm believer in public education and also as an educator who has taught
in a public high school and also for decades in several local colleges
and universities. My two children were educated in the Rose Tree Media
School District and my four grandchildren currently attend elementary
and middle schools in Delaware County.

As more information comes to light regarding the CCSS, many
knowledgeable individuals believe that its implementation will
unquestionably have deleterious consequences, both fiscally and
educationally. Far more disturbing to me, however, is the fact that the
rightful influence of parents, teachers, and local school boards in
formulating educational decisions will be supplanted by bureaucrats in
WashingtonÖ an incontrovertibly egregious assault on individual
freedoms! It is essential that our legislators act IMMEDIATELY to put a
STOP to this federal power grab before its mandates become so entwined
in our educational system that we cannot disentangle ourselves from it.
With your ìpower of the purse,î you have the ability to STOP this. I
respectfully urge you to do so.

On its face, setting ìrigorousî educational standards and attempting
to hold students and teachers accountable by tying assessments to these
standards SEEMS like a positive effort. However, as always, the ìdevil
is in the details.î In the attachments included with this letter, I have
provided some information that has been helpful to me in understanding
this complicated and crucial educational issue. These include:
A summary of basic facts about the CCSS, including concerns of its opponents and my personal commentaries.
An eight page summary of basic information of the CCSS with personal commentary included.
A copy of an opinion article by Frances Fulton that was published in the
York Daily Record entitled: “Common Core State Standards: A Threat to
Our Values.”

This article mentions a letter that the CEO of Exxon-Mobil wrote to
Governor Corbett, “reminding him of the money that Exxon-Mobil brings in
to PA.” I have attached this letter as well. I find it reprehensible
that someone in Mr. Tillerson’s position would attempt to interfere in
PA’s educational system and hope that Governor Corbett is not influenced
by this inappropriate pressure. It makes one wonder what OTHER unknown
forces are pushing the Common Core agenda and WHY they are doing so.
A copy of an E-Mail that I sent to all West Chester School Board members
that contains information that indicates that implementation of Common
Core in PA will result in lessening or eliminating the influence of
parents and local school boards on the education of Pennsylvaniaís

It is unfathomable that our legislators would be so short-sighted and
fiscally irresponsible as to allow the implementation of a massive and
costly federally controlled educational initiative such as the CCSS when
there is no empirical evidence that it will improve our educational
system and student learning outcomes, and when there is almost a 100%
certainly that it will result in massive unfunded mandates and huge
fiscal burdens for our taxpayers at a time when PA is on the verge of a
fiscal crisis. I strongly urge you to do everything within your power to
reject the CCSS for PA, and stop its implementation indefinitely — not
just change the name! I also urge you to return the money that weíve
received from the federal government so that we are not obligated by
their mandates and regulations. Local districts and parents should be in
charge of our studentsí education — not bureaucrats in high places!

Very truly yours,

Joanne Yurchak

Common Core Dead, Pennsylvania Wise?

With State Rep. Bill Adolph (second from right) are Delaware County Patriots Bill Lawrence, Regina Scheerer and Maria Heider.

Common Core Dead Pennsylvania Wise?
State Rep. Bill Adolph (R-165) told a contingent from the Delaware County Patriots , this morning, Aug. 28, that Common Core is likely dead in Pennsylvania.

He said that a draft of Pennsylvania academic standards being considered by the State Board of Education will specifically include the wording “There will be no required reading lists and curriculum will remain strictly a local decision by our school boards.”
He noted the name of the standards will be changed to PA Core Standards.

He distributed a memo from State House Education Committee Chairman Paul Clymer (R-145) that in the standards “there will be no national tests or assessments, except if one is deemed necessary for special education students and then only in consultation with parents, teachers and other interested parties.”

He said the action was prompted by House Resolution 38 which passed unanimously.

Adolph, echoing earlier remarks by state Sen. Ted Erickson (R-26) said liquor-sale privatization will likely occur albeit the likely result will not be as strong as he had hoped.

He said he expects the legislature to vote next June to change the state’s pension system to a 401K-type defined contribution one from its present defined benefit one.

He said he expects, unfortunately, to see a transportation bill pass that will feature either gas tax increases or more roads tolled. He said the state roads and bridges are in that bad of shape.

Adolph said he had some confidence in the passage of reform to the state’s prevailing wage law — namely raising the exemption level of work from $25,000 where it has been since the law was passed in 1961 to $185,000 which is today’s equivalent taking into account inflation.
It’s a relatively minor reform but it’s progress.

He said Medicaid expansion will not happen unless Gov. Corbett can negotiate a lesser cost-per-recipient with the Obama Administration. As of now, Pennsylvania pays about $7,500 per recipient which is one of the highest in the nation. He said the state can’t afford to accept the expansion at that rate. He said hospital administrators have been lobbying hard for the governor to accept it.

He said he supported paycheck protection legislation that would end union dues be involuntarily deducted from workers paychecks, and that he supported bills banning teacher strikes.

Adolph said legislation will be presented calling for the impeachment of Attorney General Kathleen Kane, who has refused to defend the Pennsylvania’s law restricting marriage to members of the opposite sex. He said the action has her worried. He pointed out that her refusal to enforce a law with which she disagreed is subverting the rule of law.

Visit for another story on Common Core Dead Pennsylvania Wise?


Corbett Puts Brake On Common Core

Corbett Puts Brake On Common Core — Penn Delco School Director Lisa Esler reports that Gov. Tom Corbett has put the brake on the implementation of Common Core — a corporation-conceived national educational curriculum being pushed by Washington.

Good for the Governor.

Mrs. Esler also says that the below resolution will be proposed at the next Penn Delco School Board meeting:

The Penn-Delco School District
Aston, PA 19014

Resolution Opposing Common Core State Standards Initiative

May 2013

Whereas, a solid education of children is the responsibility of the parents, supported by the locally elected Penn Delco School Board based on a strong foundation of accountability and transparency, that is built by open communication about the policies, programs, curriculum and the funding of these education processes; and,

Whereas, the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) Initiative is not a state-led initiative, as it is being presented, but is instead a subpar and unproven experimental set of national standards lacking empirical data to support them, that are still in the early stages of development, and local school board members, school leaders, teachers and most importantly parents were not included in the discussion, evaluation and preparation of the Common Core; and,

Whereas, through a collaboration between three non-governmental organizations, National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers, both of which are Washington D C based trade associations with zero grant of legislative authority from states to draft national standards. The primary drafters, Achieve, Inc., is a non-profit progressive education group with a political bias based in Washington DC; and,

Whereas, Common Core State Standards Initiative was financed by private groups that stand to profit from the sales of textbooks and testing equipment to support these new experimental standards which by-passed our state legislature and impose these controls over the Pennsylvania Content Standards and Testing; and,

Whereas, Common Core State Standard Initiative binds us to an established copyright over standards, from which we cannot delete, replace or add beyond an additional 15% even if parents, teachers, and the local school board all agree, ignoring academic freedom, teacher autonomy, stifling creativity, innovation, eliminating  a laboratory environment & best practices; and,

Whereas,  General Educational Provisions Act prohibits federal authority over curriculum and testing; however, the U.S. Department of Education’s Cooperative Agreement confirms Common Core’s test-building and data collection is federally managed, thereby violating Federal Law; and,

Whereas, Common Core State Standards Initiative violates Constitutional and statutory prohibitions, pressuring states to adopt the standards, even before they were written, and tied financial incentives to “Race to the Top”. If States did not adopt the Common Core Standards they faced penalties, and loss of funds; and,
Whereas, the federal government is imposing an unfunded mandate on our state for unproven Common Core instruction, training, and testing platforms without any pledge of financial support from federal, state or local government; and,

Whereas, neither the Pennsylvania Secretary of Education nor the Governor of Pennsylvania are authorized by the Pennsylvania State Constitution to change public education standards and curricula without prior passage of legislation in the Pennsylvania General Assembly whose mandated responsibility in Article III, Section 14 is “to provide for the maintenance and support of a thorough and efficient system of public education to serve the needs of the Commonwealth.”; and,

Whereas, the CCSS requires collection and sharing of massive amounts of personal student and teacher data creating substantial risk of privacy breach; Now Therefore be it

RESOLVED, That The Penn Delco School District does not subscribe to a one size fits all top down approach to education and recognizes that CCSS as an inappropriate overreach of untested, experimental education standards that are not developed from the results based evidence of their efficacy nor on demonstrated best practices;

RESOLVED, that the Penn Delco School District rejects the collection of personal student data for any non-educational purpose without the prior written consent of a parent;

RESOLVED, That the Board of School Directors of Penn Delco School District hereby officially advises the State Board of Education, the Pennsylvania Secretary of Education, the Governor of Pennsylvania, the Senate and House of Representatives’ Education Committees and the Independent Regulatory Review Commission that it opposes the Common Core Standard Initiative.

Corbett Puts Brake On Common Core

Common Core Makes Your Child But A Number

The children of Pennsylvania have been assigned unique, irremovable numbers that will track them from pre-k through college and career, activist and educational expert Dr. Peg Luksik told a packed house at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Newtown Square.

The assigning was part of a Common Core plan adopted by the state Board of Education in July 2010. Every teacher has also been assigned a number she said.

“They can track down who’s doing and who’s not. There are repercussions for those that don’t,” she said.

Common Core is the attempt to impose a national education standard, usurping state authority and local control. Mrs. Luksik said that despite insistent claims to the contrary by its proponents it is a federal mandate — she noted the distribution of federal money is tied to its approval — and mandates a curriculum in the fields of English, math, biology, history and civics.

She said the mandates will include teaching population control ethics and unquestioning acceptance of man-made global warming.

“If you could pull your child out of public school, do it now,” she said. “If you are a teacher stay as long as you can in the system and fight it out.”

But she pointedly noted that those in private schools and charter schools and even homeschoolers will be eventually ensnared as well, since the GEDs required by the homeschooled
will be be based on Common Core as will school accreditation and teacher

She mocked how the new policy was being marketed noting the way its proponents used the word rigorous.

“When you use rigorous over and over again, it’s not accidental.”

She said the program was pushed by corporate titans such as Bill Gates and was designed to create workers rather than thinkers.

She said, however, this rather Orwellian concept can be defeated with a simple resolution passed by the state legislature, and hearings by skeptical committees have already started.

Mrs. Luksik’s talk was sponsored by the Delaware County Patriots. Joanne Yurchak of the group began the night describing how she attended one of those state committee hearings. She said that the Democrats seemed even more hostile to the plan than the conservative Republicans.


Common Core Makes Your Child But A Number

Common Core Makes Your Child But A Number

Sneaky New Fed School Policy Topic

Sneaky New Fed School Policy Topic — The Common Core State Standards Initiative, which is an attempt to  nationally unify state educational standards, will be the subject of a May 20 talk by Pennsylvania educational activist Dr. Peg Luksik.

Concerns that she will address include the transfer of the authority that state governments and local school districts have over education to the federal government.

The event will be held at The Knights of Columbus Mater Dei Hall, 327 N. Newtown Street Road (Route 252), Newtown Square, 19073. It starts at 7 p.m. and is sponsored by The Delaware County Patriots.

Call 610-572-3442 for  information or questions.


Sneaky New Fed School Policy Topic

Daily Times Perplexed About Concern For Obama Speech

Today’s editorial in the Delaware County Daily Times was an expression of perplexion and strange outrage at the many parents concerned that President Obama’s Sept. 8 address to the nation’s 7th through 12 graders is going to be more of an exercise in building a Third-World type personality cult rather than an inspiration for youngsters to learn.

Here are some questions the Department of Education is suggesting teachers ask their students as a classroom activity with regard to the speech.

Why does President Obama want to speak with us today?     

 How will he inspire us?    

How will he challenge us?   

What might he say?  

Do you remember any other historic moments when the president spoke to the  


What was the impact?    

Seems pretty Obama-centric. What happened to the stuff about “question authority”? It seems to have fallen out of fashion. 
The theme for the “last Kennedy brother” as some have called Obama, is ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for Obama.
Only a Maoist wouldn’t find it creepy.