VOICE OF THE COMMUNITY
November 20, 2013
COMMON CORE STANDARDS
Thank you for the report on the recent town hall meeting on Common Core. I believe Superintendent Sheldon was sincere and what she imparted was fundamentally accurate as far as it went.
Common Core, however, while appearing state led, was in fact developed by Washington D.C.-based Achieve Inc. and sold to the private, non-governmental lobbying group the National Governors Association. Claims of the standards being tested and benchmarked are unsubstantiated marketing fluff.
While our educators currently are enamored with the standards, I don't believe they understand what is coming down the pike. For example, Nevada has signed Memorandums of Understanding with at least two Consortia that are developing the tests, and in these Nevada has agreed that it has no autonomy, no rights to modify the tests to be provided.
They must be implemented without changes. Furthermore, the development of these tests has again been contracted out by the consortia to companies like Achieve Inc., and so far we are unable to find out who is actually developing the tests.
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So, when unacceptable content shows up in these tests, and student graduation and teacher compensation are tied to these high-stakes tests that are now outside of the control of CCSD and the state Department of Education, we will have a problem. My question now is who in the state government signed away our autonomy, and did they have legal authority to do so.
THE DENIGRATION OF THE AMERICAN SOLDIER
On the world stage of the United Nations, Nov. 6, 2013, Ambassador Samantha Powers made the following adulatory comment praising activist Jane Fonda: " … you know life has changed when you're hanging out with Jane Fonda back stage. There is no greater embodiment of being outspoken on behalf of what you believe in — and being 'all in' in every way — than Jane Fonda and it's a huge honor just to even briefly have shared the stage with her…."
The first few days of November, particularly the exact date of Nov. 11, is the short period of time set aside specifically for Americans to express our debt of appreciation to our military men and women for the sacrifices they make every day to protect America's freedom, which, but for them, would not exist. Given the price of their sacrifice — the loss of leisure, limbs and life — you would think that President Obama's ambassador to the United Nations could have picked a time to gush forth her fawning glorification of Jane Fonda that did not splash over onto the few days of appreciation for Veterans Day.
I am not about to believe that the timing of the praise Samantha Powers lavished upon Jane Fonda was accidental. Not only was it a deliberate intrusion upon Veterans Day, it was also intended to be a denigration of the American soldier in the presence of her "anti-war" heroine, "Hanoi Jane."
I am appalled to see the numerous, tacky signs posted around town on poles and trees.
I think when people or businesses do this, it gives the impression Fallon is a second-class city.
What's even more embarrassing for our area is when I leave NAS Fallon and turn on Wildes Road, numerous handwritten or painted signs greet the sailors. Tacky, tacky.
I would like to know if there are any city or county ordinances that prohibit the posting of these signs to advertise garage sales, karoke, haircuts, dinner, etc.
If any ordinances are on the books, then Mayor Tedford and the city council and also the county commissioners should enforce them. If not, let's get something passed sooner than later.
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