The Truth About Common Core

This is long, but it was sent to me by a very concerned parent friend of mine (CA) that is highly involved and educated on this issue. Read every word and you will understand the seriousness of this. It will take some time, but it will open your eyes to what is really going on with this Common Core policy push. I too am still learning alot. I’m just trying to make it easy for you to find what the media isn’t talking about.


Abraham Lincoln: “Philosophy Of Classroom In One Generation Will Be Philosophy Of Government In The Next”


To whom it may concern,

Why would parents all across the nation rise up to fight standards that will supposedly help their children in school?

Well, fact is that the standards that are now being implemented were created by bureaucrats, greedy corporations, and they did not have the best interest of our children at heart.

Why is it that over 2/3 of Americans have no idea what the “Common Core” is?

Fact is that these standards were created in secret behind closed doors; never have been tested, and are now being forced down our throats. In this email I have placed links and articles for you to research. Please do so! If we do not stand up for our children, then, who will? It is time to take our children’s education back!

Attention Politicians and School board  members– why have you subjected our children to these mediocre standards? Confusing, convoluted math that is age inappropriate, which has no rhyme or reason in the real world! As far as the ELA standards via CC—they, too, are weak and absolutely backwards.

Common Core is a race to the middle, not to the top. We parents are concerned, and are now all in agreement that you all either have not done your research, or are deliberately deceiving us.  We have voted you in, and trusted that you would have our children’s best interest at heart. We parents are very upset over this and have had absolutely no voice in regards to this implementation. We have attended a few CC informational meetings, and the same misinformed information comes out. They tell us that these standards are so GOOD!

Why would they tell us this? Fact is that CA standards are indeed higher than the CC standards in both Mathematics  and ELA –In comparison regarding grades: CA ELA got an A, and CC got a B+.  In Mathematics, CA got an A and  CC got an A- …why are we going backwards? Full report will be included.

We parents do not believe that you truly have not researched these standards, and are just taking in what you are being told. Shame on all of you for this! There are so many issues with the Common Core! Parents are mad! Many of us parents are now finding ourselves having to pull our children out of the public school system to now HOMESCHOOL.

This is a voting year; correct? Yes, it is….and we parents are not happy parents.

Seeing that you have not taken the time to research, we have put together a few important links for you…no excuses why you cannot research now. Oh, look, there are actually those who care and are taking notice!

“Building the Machine”, this documentary scratches the surface, but is a great introduction to the creation of the CC!

May the truth be told–

Should one man hold so much power over our children’s education?    Keep in mind that the cut off dates for these state applications were all before June 2nd, 2010 when the standards were finally released. So in other words, the states had to commit to accepting the standards before they even knew what they were. Almost like, “we need to pass the healthcare bill, before we know what’s in it.” Yes. EXACTLY!

Theses Common Core standards– “were written in a manner that violates the nationally and international recognized process for writing standards. The process by which they were created was so fundamentally flawed that these “standards” should have no legitimacy.American National Standards Institute (ANSI).” Diane Ravitch —

See full article–

ANSI web site–guidelines on protocol for –standards.standards/

The CC standards are NOT better than what we have in CA!

School boards must take action now!! Article below–

Research comparison on standards 60 page report– Refer to the white paper labeled–“Common Core Standards still don’t make the grade”–

How will our ELA be affected–Sandra Stotsky speaking–

Wait-What???? Convoluted math. No need for it!

When will we ever learn???


Common Core Standards are copyrighted- Many do not know this, but indeed they are. And guess what, if they fail, the creators cannot be sued! HUGE RED FLAG!

The Gates Foundation gave the Thomas B. Fordham Institute $1.4 Million, including $960,000 to review the Common Core Standards. “Is it any coincidence that Fordham gave the Common Core Standards (Math and English) high ratings?” but yet CA still is higher…interesting!…/SOSSandCC2010_FullReportFINAL…

Why do they want to hurt our children? Grave concerns arise– Child psychologist’s concerns:

I have shared the videos from this site, referring the site here for the blog information.

“Kindergarten has come a long way — too far, some say.
Way beyond the ABCs, crayons and building blocks. The city Department of Education now wants 4- and 5-year-olds to write “informative/explanatory reports” and demonstrate “algebraic thinking.”

Children who barely know how to write the alphabet or add 2 and 2 are expected to write topic sentences and use diagrams to illustrate math equations.”

DATA-MINING: You have no power over what is being shared, no matter how many fire walls you have. If the federal government wants it, they will have it! Why was FERPA–reshaped by the Obama Administration? This is a very valid question! Their reasoning is ridiculous! No one has the right to our children’s personal information. NO ONE!

Joy Pullman explains–

Why do they want data on our children? From the office of Education in Tech– YOU NEED TO WATCH THIS! Advancement in technology should never mean giving up our privacy! I do not want my children’s information shared. They tell you it is good for you.

This is disturbing!

Pearson’s vision —

You just cannot make this stuff up! ALL OVER THIS!

Oh, but wait!  The standards are not a curriculum!!!Ummm- that’s not what Bill Gates just said! And–he needs our children’s data, so it can create a powerful market! Oh, wow.

What is his true interest in this?

Do our children work off of Google apps? I know my 3rd grader works off of Google Chrome in class. Seeing that FERPA was “reshaped” now, our children’s personal data, whatever that may be, can be shared with whomever is considered a “School Official.”  Well, what a shocker. I did not realize that “Google” is now considered a “School official”. Looking at Googles terms of service- via Google apps for education… In their contract scroll down to 7.4 –

7.4 FERPA. The parties acknowledge that (a) Customer Data may include personally identifiable information from education records that are subject to FERPA (“FERPA Records”); and (b) to the extent that Customer Data includes FERPA Records, Google will be considered a “School Official” (as that term is used in FERPA and its implementing regulations) and will comply with FERPA.

There is a lawsuit against Google for data-mining students email. If our school sets up a Gmail for students and agrees to the contract with Google, it is doing so for our students without parental consent:

We parents urge you to review the researched information, and see for yourselves. This is bad for our children. The states are supposed to have control over their education. We have this right given to us via the 10th Amendment.

When you tell us there is nothing you can do, that your hands are tied, tell us taxpaying parents–you have ignored the 10th Amendment and have given your (our) power over to the Government. We do not have to adopt the CC standards.

California Education Code, section 44662(a) states, “The governing board of each school district shall establish standards of expected pupil achievement at each grade level in each area of study.”

And in section 60618 it reads, “(a)The academic content and performance standards adopted by the State… Board of Education pursuant to Section 60605 that are used as standards for the purposes of this article are to be considered model standards for any other purpose. (b) School districts may use these model standards as a guideline in developing district standards” (emphasis added).

I didn’t see anything there stating the district is required to adopt/teach the state standards, did you?

To the contrary, it specifically states that “each school district shall establish standards,” with the option of using the State Standards as a “guideline.” It’s called a “local control state,” and the fact is, California is one.

We need to remember that in the states where common core has already been fully implemented, there is much negative rather than positive.

Is this what we want for our children for our schools??? Will we soon be hearing stories such as this? A principal pulls his own child out of public school due to CC, and now will be homeschooling.

Teachers and administrators sharing their disgust over these CC standards–

An article I found that is very interesting, which touches on the concern that with these National Standards “Common Core”, will indeed strip us parents and school boards of our  local control in decision making. The goal is to do away with school boards and the idea of firing underperforming teachers. Thanks to the ignorance of many Governors, who seem to be following the money–The plan is in motion– Take a minute to read this article.

It sounds like they do not trust our school boards and teachers to do their jobs.

This is all so concerning. There is a huge picture here, and many are missing it. We parents can go on and on with the ongoing developing information on Common Core, but that would make this email super long. We parents are not only fighting for our children, but for our teachers as well.

Respectfully Submitted,

Concerned Parents


Summer 2014 Is Rockin’ & Rollin’ Too Fast

Wow. Is it already almost August? How is that possible.

Summer 2014. We already miss you. But we will enjoy these last few weeks before the craziness of fall commences.

So far we have had a busy one. We spent a week on the coast (Galveston that is…not some wonderful, expensive “coastal vacation” as some might think)…but still it was fun. Pleasure Pier was great as usual and mom and dad joined us along with my sister’s family.

After that it was crazy kid fun time. Church VBS, Hawaiian Falls and then Camp Thurman. Plus Camp Grammy and Papa out in Tyler and time at Nana and Poppys!.

Then came 4th of July festivities with lots of friends and the family, and finally a quick break for normal summer time stuff.

This week we head to our real summer vacay as we head to St. Louis! Our next stop on our tour of American cities. Lots of fun stuff to do there for kids…and we can drive. Road trip!

Plus, on the way, we stop in Tulsa, OK, for Korea Camp 2014! We missed last year as you may recall from Quinn being in the hospital. We will celebrate his 7th bday by the way!

Summer isn’t over, but man is it rocking and rolling right off the calendar!


Cowboys Training Camp

brady speers dallas cowboys training campThe 95th season of the NFL is less than two months away, and Dallas fans are ready. Sure, AT&T Stadium had a few thousand fans to watch the World Cup on a screen, but soon it’ll be packed with real energy. The question is, how will the Cowboys fare this year? Training camp is underway, and we’re starting to get information about the team and what they’re focused

First and foremost, fans want to know about Tony Romo. It’s been about half a year since he had surgery for a herniated disk, his second back procedure in under a year for the 34-year-old quarterback.

Romo says he’s doing very well. He wasn’t participating in team drills last spring, but he was present and active, throwing and taking snaps. The year before, he was idle in the spring, and was just getting moving in July. This means we have the potential for a great season for our starting QB. This summer he’ll be focusing on more fine-tuning. Considering his excellent season last year, we’re on a path that could lead to a really incredible season. There is a reason to be excited about this.

Then there’s linebacker Sean Lee. During offseason practice, he tore is left anterior cruciate ligament…he will be missing the entire season. The Cowboys don’t have another linebacker who can replace Lee in terms of performance, but they’re still opting to fill the spot with in-house players. This will be a hit to the defense.

There’s still time for the team to find a replacement, before the end of training camp. Analysts seem to think that an experienced veteran is what the team needs as a replacement. The team picked up two young linebackers in rounds 4 and 6 of the draft, DeVonte Holloman and Anthony Hitchens. Hitchens is still being developed and isn’t quite ready to start, Holloman suffered a spinal contusion in practice after a great performance late last season.

On strategy, the Cowboys have some goals for themselves. Last season they gained 4.5 yards per carry, the eighth highest in the NFL. DeMarco Murray rushed 1,000 yards, the first time the team has seen a running stat like that since 2006.

Despite these running stats, and others, the team really didn’t feature running plays. Dallas is still among the teams with the fewest carries per game (only Atlanta carries less). Scott Lineham, the new play-caller for the Cowboys, ran a pass-heavy game in Detroit over the past five years.

The team seems to be aware that there may be an advantage to running more. Consider this interesting stat – when DeMarco Murray runs the ball at least 20 times, the Cowboys were 11-0 last season. There’s a lot of running plays going on in training camp right now.

Over the course of the offseason, the team said goodbye to DeMarcus Ware and Jason Hatcher. Since then, the entire defensive line has been rebuilt. There are still a lot of decisions to be made about the lineup because of Henry Melton and Anthony Spencer. Each missed most of last season because of injuries. Melton is ready for training, and is expected to start in September.

Spencer is still recovering from knee surgery, an uncommon microfracture, a surgery that players rarely come back from. He’ll be present at training camp, but he won’t be participating for a while. Most are not expecting him to play in the first six games, at least.

Until we know the status of these two players for sure, the defense lineup won’t be set in stone.

Speers Tour America

We have a list of places and American cities we want to see as a family. I guess you could call it the Speers America Tour. So much to see and so little time to see it all.


We have a list we likely will never complete as a family, but who knows. For now we try and hit a few as we can afford to get away. We have been in the states of Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Colorado, Missouri, Illinois, Florida, and Georgia. So far we have check out Houston/Galveston, Atlanta/Stone Mountain, Orlando/Disney World, Denver (and other parts of CO), San Antonio, St. Louis, Tulsa (we will have to explain this one) and of course Dallas/Fort Worth (surprised how many haven’t truly done the stuff here).


We aren’t sure what’s next, but the list includes Austin, Phoenix/Arizona area, Branson MO, Tennessee, Boston, Seattle, San Diego, LA, Chicago, NY, San Francisco… just to name a few. Some will have to wait on funding and others will have to wait on the kids getting a little older. Not sure how many we will get to, but it’s a fun way to build memories together that we will all take with us for a lifetime.  


As we tour each place, I try and do a summary of our time and experiences. Hope it will encourage others to head out on the open road, or open air ways, and see America, this great nation we call home!

What You Don’t Know About Shooting Bridges

Ok, before any reports me to the NSA for this headline, let me quickly say that by “shooting” I mean, with a camera.

There, now that that’s all squared away…

As you may know, I like photography and I like bridges. Not sure why I like bridges, but I do. I like their purpose of getting someone over something, or of bridging one area to another. They also serve as a mental metaphor – sometimes to get where we want to go, there are things we must overcome. In other words, build a bridge….and get over it.

Since I travel the state of Texas working with retirees, I thought I would set out take photos of my favorites. My only rules being:

1. My bridges will focus on those that carried vehicles at some point in their past – no train or walking only ones

2. Texas bridges only

3. I either must have a story to go along with the bridge, or it must simply be one I like for some reason

In taking on this venture I started the Bridges of Texas facebook page and have since posted a few of my bridges.

But, this ain’t easy.

First of all, it’s hard to grasp the gravity of a large bridge without two views at my disposal. One, being from distance – meaning big bridges are awe inspiring as you come up on them from a distance, such as the Fred Hartman Bridge near Houston. But getting, a good photo from distance is as easy as trying to get a Cowboys playoff win. Two, aerial views. Yea, I don’t own a helicopter so everything I get is on foot or from the car.

Another challenge, is obvious – traffic. So many cool shots could happen if I simply could close down the road for about 30 minutes. Placed a call into DPS but haven’t gotten a reply yet…

But I have pulled of a few close ones and gotten some neat shots in the process. Forget all the camera settings and such. Just shoot and go is what happens alot of times.

Finally, Big Brother is always a concern. I remember taking photos of the Houston Ship Channel bridge one day – which by the way was nearly impossible to photograph. I was driving all over the place, getting out of the car, camera in tow, running here and there erratically, looking all around nervously for cars, criminals, etc. Jumping back in the car, spinning the tires and doing u-turns all over the place. I’m sure I am now on some watch list called “Potential Bridge Bombers”.

Bottom line is, some of my shots are great. Others, yea not so much. But you’re just on my journey anyway. I ain’t doing this for accolades or awards. It’s just something fun to make those Texas road trips a little more entertaining.

Thanks for joining me!