Great letter and explanation from Chris Quakenbush, the newest member of the Lee County School Board. Note how Chris’ reaching out to the “Elite” leaders of the school board, culminated in no response for over 5 months.
And I thought it was unique here in Brevard, for “Elitist” Superintendent Blackburn, for over 2 months,to completely ignore this parent’s multiple requests to be involved in the processes that directly impacts what my and other parent’s children are exposed to.
It is really deplorable that our Brevard School Board, as a whole, chose to remain silent for years concerning the unconstitutional, indoctrination called Common Core. It is time to remove all, including Mr Blackburn from the School Board.
“The Elites have proven time and again, exactly what they are made of. Polished with dishonesty and deceitful chicanery, coupled with the amoral and unscrupulousness desire, whether realized or unrealized, to topple America as founded, all for their own personal gain. In this quest; they say to hell with all other Americans, except those of the Elite Establishment.”
C Hamilton Boone
Dear Dr. Adkins and Dr. Ralph.
For the last six months we have heard the good news that you want the Lee County School District to be number one in the nation and that we need higher/better standards to get there. I immediately asked to help and be involved in the process. Five months later, with no communication from you, I accidentally discovered while serving on the CSI Committee that you had already hired the consultant to handle this task.
I had to do a FOIA request with your office to get the information about the contract you have with Kevin Baird because your office did not reveal this, nor present this in a board meeting for a vote in public. His estimated cost would be over $150,000. I talked with you and wrote to you expressing my concern and suggesting a real expert, Dr. Stotsky, who would even be available for less and I would even take care of her lodging. Despite this information, you have still not called her and proceeded instead with Kevin Baird.Here’s what experts say about Kevin Baird having reviewed his background:
Kevin Baird is not academically qualified to help with either math or ELA standards. He was a sociology/anthropology major at Carlton College in MN. Master’s degree in something global. He hasn’t published anything in a peer-reviewed journal in literature or mathematics or science. He has been a frequent speaker promoting Common Core but has no credentials in standards and no record of development work under true standards experts.
He sent you an example of what he considered a successful project: https://publish.gwinnett.k12.ga.us/gcps/home/public/parents/content/general-info/aks
So I checked with an expert friend in Georgia who wrote this: As far as I know, there’s nothing good going on in Gwinnett County. There had been some interest in using a Hirsch “Core Knowledge” curriculum (which despite its name isn’t connected to Common Core), but to my knowledge, that never happened, especially since the Gwinnett superintendent is/was Arne Duncan’s boy in GA and has always done whatever he’s told by the feds. The AKS described on the website you linked is Gwinnett’s curriculum aligned to Common Core (called “GA Standards of Excellence”). If AKS is “more rigorous” than Common Core, that would be news to all of the Gwinnett parents I know.
I don’t know anything about Baird or his outfit. But anything that uses the term “college and career readiness” is suspect, b/c that’s code for Common Core.
I suggested that Dr. Stotsky should be involved fully now. She is available and has not received any communication from your office, though you and Kevin Baird both publicly claimed she and James Milgram, true standards experts, were part of your standards project without ever talking with them. Having attended the first conference with Kevin Baird, I am even more deeply concerned about the process, timeline and potential outcome of the current plan.
If you really do want better and higher standards, working with the best standards experts is the only way to get there.
If you do not, please simply be up front and tell us you just want to rebrand our existing failed Florida standards to relieve public pressure right before the election. With only 53% on grade level in Math and 54% in English, a 23% drop in 4 years, it would seem urgent to make a real positive change.
The philosophy in the school room in one generation will become the philosophy of government in the next. — Abraham Lincoln