Mr.

Blackwell and members of the committee – Thank you for taking the time to research Common Core, and thank you for allowing us the opportunity to exercise our rights here at the capitol today. My name is Karen Cuellar. I am a mother of three from Broken Arrow. I have been homeschooling my children for over 7 years now. I learned about Common Core a couple of years ago while doing some research, and the more I dug, the more concerned I became. I realized if I don't do something to stop it from taking over our entire education system now, it will soon be at my front door step threatening my freedoms as a homeschool parent. As a homeschool family, we sacrifice thousands of dollars each year to pay for our own curriculum, and to be a part of Classical Conversations. We do not get tax credits, or breaks - and in addition to covering my personal costs, I am forced to pay $2800 a year in property taxes, much of which goes to fund local schools that I am not using. The cost of Common Core will be added to that, and every property owner will see an increase in their taxes once we finally know exactly how much this thing is going to cost us to implement. Estimates are 1.6 billion, but like Obamacare, I’m expecting that number to rise considerably. Many of us screamed from the hilltops when Obama set forth with this mindset and plan to seize control of health care. Yet we seem to have taken it for granted that the government ought to control education. We don’t want any bureaucrat telling us what pills to take, but we’ll sure let them tell our kids what thoughts to think. We don’t want them controlling what we put in our body, but we don’t seem too intent on disabling their ability to control what’s put into our child’s mind. This failure to fundamentally question government education, is, itself, a major victory for government education. It’s also brought us into this mindless, numbing state where we generally approach every issue by arguing about the color of the leaves, and the lengths of the branches; yet we never discuss the tree itself, or dig down to look at its roots. The Prussians were on the forefront of compulsory government education. Horace Mann studied the Prussian model of education in the 1840′s, and came away quite impressed. In Prussia, State education was devised as a means to develop obedient soldiers, subservient workers, and subordinated citizens. Our own system works toward the same end, and with striking results. The folks behind Common Core even boast about doing just that using terms like human capitol and building the workforce. The system has had a goal from the beginning, and an agenda on how to get there. I believe Common Core is simply the final step needed. Education is supposed to be about, well, education. Have you ever looked up the definition of “education”? I have. Here it is: “the act or process of imparting or acquiring general knowledge, and developing the powers of reasoning and judgement.” Only in America (and other Socialist nations) could we look at that definition and think: “Hmmmm, that sounds like something that requires trillions of dollars and millions of bureaucrats!” Only in America (and other nations where the family structure is disintegrating) could we decide that parents are incapable of helping their children “develop the powers of reasoning and judgment.” In fact, in more primitive times, folks would have been crazy enough to think that ONLY parents are suited for that job. But the Obama Administration, and our own governor and state superintendent feel they, along with special interest groups, should be entrusted with such an important task. To be clear, Common Core has never been about raising standards, any more than Obama care is about caring for the health of individuals. It’s about control. Total control, just like our healthcare system. The control of curriculum and what every single child in America is taught. Imagine having that kind of influence and what it could do the in the wrong hands. Think back to what it has done in the wrong hands over the course of history. Rewriting textbooks to “adjust to the new standards” puts a dangerous amount of control into the hands of elitists, bureaucrats and our federal government. Who decides the new content, and its accuracy? School boards will be a thing of the past, and once fully implemented, parents and teachers that disagree with the content or methods used will have absolutely no say in changing any of it. Where’s the accountability once the people lose their voice?

Since Common Core requires teaching to the test instead of mastering knowledge, the kids must also perform and pass numerous tests or risk staying behind in school. This creates a horrifying learning environment and increased stress levels in teachers and students. Dr. Gary Johnson, the Director of Special Education Advocacy and Instruction, at the Early Life Child Psychology and Education Center in Utah, describes the environment Common Core creates as Cognitive Child Abuse. I could not agree more. Teachers must teach what they say, or the child fails the test, teachers lose their jobs. Total control from the top down. That’s not teaching - that’s “implementing” what you are told. A public system for youth-indoctrination shouldn’t exist in a supposedly free society. Period. There are many good teachers and honest people who work inside our schools, but that doesn’t change the fact that the State shouldn’t be indoctrinating our kids. Many teachers are waking up to this and speaking out as they have no control or leverage to stray from the content or teaching schedules that are handed down. But in doing so, they are being threatened by our governor that they will lose funding. They are being bullied into complying – this type of intimidation by our elected officials is totally unacceptable and disgusting. You might wish to think that, with proper reforms, the schools could be prevented from indoctrinating; restricted, instead, to simply educating. But indoctrination and education are dimensions of each other. Indeed, indoctrination can be defined as “teaching a doctrine, principle, or ideology, especially one with a specific point of view.” Doctrines and principles are inexorable parts of the process of passing on knowledge and information. The question before us is: who ought to be in charge of this task? Should Bureaucrats and private interests? They are the ones that will have the ability to manipulate and control the content of what is being taught – that’s the scary part. We’ve seen many examples of this from the re-writing of the second amendment, to a possessive noun worksheet cleverly asking students to rewrite sentences like: “the commands of government officials must be obeyed by all,” and “the wants of an individual are less important than the wellbeing of the nation.” This kind of progressive, liberal anti-american indoctrination can be expected to increase if we hand over our complete education system to a corrupt federal government to dictate, manipulate and educate our children in a way that most benefits the government, not the child. John Adams said, "The jaws of power are always open to devour, and her arm is always stretched out, if possible, to destroy the freedom of thinking, speaking, and writing." He must have had a future glimpse of common Core.

By rewriting curriculum, and the SAT and ACT to match the standards, private school children and homeschooled children will have a difficult time scoring high on those tests if they weren’t taught the information, including the new bizarre algorithms in math. This forces private schools and homeschoolers like me to comply or not get into college. Most of the homeschooling curriculum I usually purchase has now advertised that they have “Adjusted to the Common Core standards.” Saxon Math, Math-U-See and Shirley Grammar are among the most recommended homeschool curriculums available – and all of them have gone to “Common Core” even though I’ve been assured over and over by legislators and representatives that Common Core is only “standards.” No it’s not. That is a lie. It’s curriculum. Actual curriculum. There is a giant display of Common Core curriculum at Mardel, and shelves upon shelves of curriculum with big, giant words on the front that say, “Common Core aligned.” By limiting our choices, homeschoolers are being boxed in and forced to comply since there isn’t going to be much left for us to choose from. I addressed this issue with Superintendent Barresi at a Wagner County Republican meeting where she assured me it wasn’t curriculum, it was only STANDARDS. This kind of deception should not be tolerated, but its become quite the norm when you’re asking questions about Common Core. I have yet to get a truthful answer. I have many other issues with Common core - much of the material isn’t even accurate (this has been proven), much of the reading content is no longer classical literature and creative fiction – instead it’s technical manuals and non-fiction. The math is atrocious and experimental. The new algorithms are unnecessary, untested, unproven and expect elementary level students to be able to work critical thinking complex ideas that their brains are simply not ready for. Most importantly, Math has absolutes – except in Common Core.

Getting the correct answer is no longer the “right” answer. The 5 steps it takes you to get an answer that previously took 1 step is now what is graded. Common Core is sold as “Rigorous” yet there isn’t any Calculus in high school, and the Geometry standards have failed in other countries. Common Core also has a biased opinion on religion, morally-questionable reading material in high school, and much of the rewritten curriculum seems to lean toward encouraging a progressive-liberal worldview. There are many examples of this as I mentioned before, but don’t get lost in that fact alone. The real concern for me as a mother, as an educator and as a citizen of this country is handing over such control to our federal government and private interest groups. The information being collected and shared about individual children through data mining is very disturbing and should have every citizen up in arms. Private information, that belongs to each child and family – shared, stored and documented. Constitutional rights violated at every turn. With the recent NSA scandals, and the abuse of power by our executive branch by spying on innocent citizens, this should be a HUGE concern for every one of us. Why would we even consider implementing such things? The U.S. Constitution was established to protect people from the government and to allow government only the power to protect the freedom of the individual. Each elected leader swears an oath to protect and uphold it, yet they choke on this lie each time they pass legislation and make decisions for the people that are outside the boundaries of the constitution. Make no mistake, Common core is definitely outside the boundaries of the constitution. Instead of protecting my rights, and the rights of my children, representatives like Fallin and Barresi do the bidding of bankers, private interests and corrupt corporate groups. They lied their way into public office, and once there, they have only represented themselves and the beast of government. The love of money is the root of all evil, and both of these ladies have sold our children out for power and the love of money. Oklahomans are fed up with this. Many have already left their respective parties in disgust, seeing the political spectrum they are presented with for what it is, two sides of the same coin. From Obama, right down to Governor Fallin and Superintendent Barresi. Ask yourself why would two conservatives be implementing Obamacare for education? If one were to follow the money and origins of Common Core (and we have), you’d see it leads to elitists like Jeb Bush, Bill Gates, the NGA and the Council of Chief State School Officers. This shows exactly how government and big business are working together to form a structure of tyranny. As we have proven today, The NGA and the CCSSO are two private groups that are behind the implementation of CC in the states. Neither are accountable to the public, both serve private interests, and their meetings are not open to the public. I have a big problem with that. Fallin is now the Chair of the NGA, and Barresi is a member of the CCSSO. Both women are republicans, but are running against the RNC platform that has two pages of anti-common core language included in it. GOP leadership has not stepped up to hold either of the women accountable to the platform either, and this lack of accountability is causing a huge divide in the Republican base – the opposition to these women grows every day and will surely be the deciding factor in the upcoming elections. Common Core is a deal breaker for many Republicans, including myself, and both women refuse to listen to (or obey) the people. Barresi personally told me she does not answer to me, rather the legislature. I reminded her that I voted for her, that I am the master and she is the servant. Our leaders seem to have forgotten this – and if common core is implemented, the people will soon forget this too, if they are taught it at all. Barresi’s actions and mindset reminds me of our current president, and is proof both parties work together against the American people. It has been proven that Common core is a complete federal take-over of our education system from the top down. We can liken it to Obamacare, only in education. Our constitution does not give the federal government any control or authority to be in education in any way, and it should be left solely to the states to decide what is best for their citizens. Common Core should be rejected on that alone, but unfortunately, it isn’t. Why isn’t that alone enough? It should be? If you have taken an oath to uphold our constitution, this decision should be simple. If we allow this takeover of our education system, we will never recover, and our nation will never be same. Our country is on a path to shredding our constitution completely, and Common Core may be the last nail in the coffin. Knowing that day could come, Thomas Jefferson warned us when he said "In questions of power then, let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution." We have failed time and time again to use the constitution as our

measure for everything, and so we find ourselves in yet another fight for freedom, this time the battle is over total control of education. Its time to start asking ourselves, “What are the legitimate functions of government?” And, “is common Core one of them?” That would be striking at the root. Or, is this just another on a long list of abuses of power by the federal government? Where does it end? The belly of the beast has been exposed today and it is clear what Common Core is and isn’t. It wears different faces and is called by many different names, so whether its name is Race to the Top, No Child Left Behind, Common Core or Oklahoma Academic Standards, they are all one in the same, and all pose a dangerous threat to our liberties and to our future generations. We must not allow such a monster to move forward and be implemented in our state. The battle is truly tyranny v. liberty, with both major political parties working against our freedoms. Make no mistake, the battle lines are being drawn. It is big government versus the people, and neither side is backing down. If we lose the authority to control our own education, to teach the next generation as we see fit, or as we agree to as a free state, we can be assured that generations from now will not be free, we will pay the price of such authority and trust being placed in the hands of a corrupt federal government. Our society will bear the fruit of such tyranny, and we will forever lose another piece of our freedom - probably the most important piece since it molds and shapes the minds of future generations. Now more than ever before, the people are responsible for the character of their representatives. If that body be ignorant, reckless and corrupt, it is because the people tolerate ignorance, recklessness and corruption. If it be intelligent, brave and pure, it is because the people demand these high qualities to represent them in the legislature.... It is time to seek the truth. It is time to recognize that the dangers are not overseas in a far off land, but rather right here at home. It is time to stand together on the ONLY logical and constitutional decision to be made. It is time to recognize the dangers of Big Government Republicans like Fallin and Barresi and what they represent - they have led my party and our state astray for too long. It is time to demand honest and principled leaders and complete freedom from the federal government in education. It is time to strangle this government leviathan that is reaching into our homes from Washington and wrapping its tentacles around every aspect of our lives from healthcare to education. It is time to fight for our children and it is time to fight for our country. Enough is enough. Thank you for hearing us today, I pray that your eyes and ears be opened to the truth, that you seek wisdom from the Lord, that those in this room would hold our elected officials accountable and that you elected officials would uphold and fight for our constitution at any cost as you vowed to do when you took office. Sincerely, Karen Cuellar

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