More Teachers, Parents and Citizens speak out against CCSS (from across the political spectrum mainstream media)

More Teachers, Parents and Citizens speak out against CCSS (from across the political spectrum mainstream media)

K Teacher of 20 years

I have been teaching for 191/2 years. I teach kindergarten. Most of my students are not ready for common core. When I read then a book and teach them a skill for example like predicting and ask them what I just taught them they would say you taught us about mice because that is what the story was about. Most of my students can’t even write their name or draw a picture. My principal asked me the other day why they are not writing sentences. All this goes on my evaluation and every parish can see what she think. It is not my fault my students are not ready. I do all I can do. I make my 20 in January. I may not return in Feb.

I don’t know what you can do. My students want to play. There is no more play just work work work.

Frustrated in K

Naturalized US Citizen (non-parent)

I praise you for your courage to take a stand on this very important issue.

I am not a parent, but every year I get my tax bill for schools in my area, which is ok, I don’t want ignorant kids around me.

I have decided to join the several parents that are starting to wake up about CCS because, as a foreigner (and American Citizen at the same time), the American Educational level has been an international embarrassment for the last three decades, and this new standards will set us below the poverty level worldwide, if an analogy like that could be made.

I also got involved because I believe in the Republic, I believe each state has to have its own sovereignty and I see this administration eroding that concept by leaps and bounds.

Question #42 of the Naturalization test study materials expresses clearly the responsibilities of the Sates as independent entities: a) Provide schooling an Education, b) Provide protection (Police), c) Provide safety (Fire Departments), d) Give a Driver’s License and e) Approve zoning an land use.

Question #41 establishes the responsibility of the Federal Government: print money, declare war, create and army and sign treaties, among others.

So, to me, it was more than clear who was in charge of the education in Louisiana, and it is us!! Why is the Federal Government interfering?

Because the states are so lazy to take care of it anymore?

Because we did sign our fate away by accepting this.

We can take our schools back as well and that is why several parents from the New Orleans/Covington area are going to go to the Baton Rouge Capitol this Saturday Sept 28 to demand Governor Jindal to do something about it. The media will be there… of course, that doesn’t mean anything if they decide to keep this in the can.

You are not alone. Please join us. Spread the word to other parents and teachers and concerned citizens.

And thank you for writing this. I tweeted to Jindal, Vitter, and some reporters.



Parent from Livingston Parish
My name is [redacted] and I live in Livingston Parish. I just wanted to say that as a parent I deeply appreciate and whole heartedly agree with you stance on Common Core!  I can’ tasty thank you enough for your efforts on behalf of teachers and parents in Louisiana! I read a lot of news stories, along with the comments sections, on the internet. I guess it was sometime over the summer where I read a comment on a news article where a parent said something to the affect of, beware if they try to implement Common Core! Well at the time I had no idea what that meant. Now since the implementation of it in Louisiana I have read PLENTY of article from across the United States about the horror story that is Common Core!! I, along with a few people I know, are going to stand and fight to have this indoctrinating tacking system removed from our children’s classrooms! There is supposed to be a protest this Saturday across from the street from the State board of Education office, I’m sure you’re aware, I’m going to make every effort to attend. I hope to see you there and again thank you.



Samantha Thibodeaux – You are my hero!…. and the hero for every public/private school child and teacher being tortured by Common Core, Arnie Duncan, Bobby Jindal and John White. I sat with you in that meeting my friend and was blown away by your passion for the TRUTH. Thank you Samantha – You are an inspiration to us all!


I have never been affiliated with the tea party. What I am is a ticked Republican who is very disappointed in the leadership in Louisiana. BTW, what difference does it make? The comparison between Obamacare and Common Core is leaders signing onto massive program without knowing the details. The standards were not completed or published. The cost has skyrocketed and this is before the testing component has been put into place. Riddle me this, how do you measure the effectiveness of cradle to career standards?

Non-conspiracy theorist J

Mr Cook says :”Incoherent, disorganized chaos dosen’t describe the LDOE as much as it describes the thinking and arguments of CCSS opponents/conspiracy theorists.”

wow. Mr. Cook, I am not a conspiracy theorists, yet I don’t agree with Common Core. Be careful how you lump people together, that is a drastic assumption on your part.


Thank you so much Jason for being part of this opposition to CCSSI – we know it is an INITIATIVE that has to be stopped. We are not misinformed, we know what the CCSS INITIATIVE is and we REJECT IT.


Why implement something they, themselves admit may not work. The system we have now works. It is evident because Governor Jindal, President Obama, the ones who made up Common Core and every other living American has gone through it. It fails when the student decides he or she does not want to study and the parent does not want to help their child progress. The blame cannot all fall on the teachers. This is America and yes all people are created equal, but people decide themselves when they give up equality when they stop trying or working to accomplish their goals. Life is to easy now because everything is given to them by the government. The Federal Government should have no right telling schools what and how to teach. Mr. Cook, you seem like an intelligent man…did you go to a secret school that implemented Common Core before it’s time or did you work hard for your education? The Federal and State is squeezing citizens so hard before long you will have no choice, but to depend and answer to them for everything. We do have a Constitution. It was put there for a reason. We are starting to see the reason now. No I’m am not a republican or democrat. I am independent. I look at what’s right, period….. Common Core is wrong by all accounts.

Full time Working mother of 3 from Ascension Parish

Common Core is so frustrating for parents. I now come home from a full time job, to three children in three different grades struggling with school work. Apparently, Common core automatically gave me a position as a substitute teacher. We are spending four hours each afternoon doing homework that should take us an hour. I am having to reteach my kids what they are learning in class to make sure they GRASP what they are being taught. Then they cry that I am not teaching them the way (or method) that they were shown in class. .If our students are moving so fast and don’t grasp what they are being taught, moving on is just setting them up for failure. After getting our first progress report this year, their confidence levels have dropped. My nine year old has always loved school. This year he comes home and tells me he is not smart. My twelve year old begs me to homeschool him. At the end of the day, instead of coming home to enjoy my family, I come home to tears and fits. I am not sure how many parents will continue to do this. They are going to give up!!! I believe we are setting them up for failure.

Grandmother raising grand kids

Our govt is destroying the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. This was the only thing on Obamas adgenda when he ran for president..
All the people that voted for him will soon learn they made a huge mistake………………………. All we can do is fight the govt and refuse this way of teachings. get back to the simple ways kids understand. When God was taken out of schools we started to lose our children. Look what is happening to our schools since prayer is not allowed. every crazy psycho that goes
coo coo wants to shoot up schools and teachers.
The govt needs to have better mental health care for people. Stop trying to dictate all of our lives. Everything I have seen happen since Obama has backfired and cost trillions of dollars. From education to healthcare to religion. We were a christian nation. Now they are trying to reform ev1 into muslim world and fighting tooth and nail to convert ev1 in the U.S.A. Until we all ( every state, town, city in AMERICA join together and say enough is enough.) we are doomed. Prayers for all. I am a grandmother raising grand kids and it is very difficult now days. Prayers for you and yours.


I feel so much better that I know Samantha is on our side (parents)!!!!! Thank you so much!!!!!!


“Parents have had no information regarding Common Core. No informational meetings, no written material sent home, no formal venue to be introduced to and ask questions about Common Core. Therefore, at first they made the assumption that it was in the best interest of their children. As homework began to come home, they realized they were less and less able to help. Just now are we seeing parents rising up and contacting their principals, administration, and school board members, asking to know what Common Core is, explaining how it is affecting their children.”

This quote speaks volumes – we got a flyer sent home 3 bullets about CC. That was it. My child has F’s in everything related to this CC stuff and there seems no way to right this ship. I have spent a fortune now to enroll her in Sylvan . I feel absolutely helpless and I have a child that is frustrated and has given up. We google the problems sent home to virtually no avail. Completely at a loss……

Baltimore Parent Arrested for Speaking Up at School Board Meeting

I don’t agree with all the comments related to black versus white racism, but it would appear they could have let the man ask his question and then move on. Most of the proponents of CCSS are not capable or prepared to defend them in an open and honest format, so they stage “open” meetings like this one, to pretend to be interested in hearing the opinions of parents and teachers. Many parents in Louisiana have had special invitation only meetings to theoretically discuss CCSS, only to be lectured for as many as 11 hours by officials bearing bizarre charts and unsubstantiated statements, assertions and quotes. Gates and the Feds bought many of our politicians and education leaders, but they did not do a very good job of selling this to parents. Now the leaders who were legally bribed into endorsing standards they did not understand are finding themselves on the hotseat, with only Jeb Bush riding to their rescue. If they arrest a large group of parents protesting this, you can consider CCSS over as well as the careers of many politicians. . . It will be interesting to see what happens this Saturday. . .

Diane Ravitch's blog

This comment came from a reader:

“Dear Diane,

Please see,0,7127220.story

My partner attended this Common Core parent forum on 9.19.13 in Baltimore County, MD, where we live, and she witnessed this parent being removed from the meeting by a security guard for standing up and voicing his concerns about Common Core. I have been a teacher in Baltimore City Public Schools for 22 years, and I am seeing first-hand many of the ill effects of education reform. But the fact that a parent was arrested for speaking up at a public meeting in the county where I live is chilling. Please post this video and article. Thank you!”

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Stop Common Core Rally info – Downtown Baton Rouge – September 28, 2013 (10-12)

Stop Common Core Rally info – Downtown Baton Rouge – September 28, 2013 (10-12)


Stop Common Core Coalition of Louisiana

PLACE: Dept. of Education BESE, 1201 N Third St., Baton Rouge LA

DATE: Saturday, September 28, 2013

TIME: 10:00am – 12:00pm

Concern(Ed) Parents Protecting the Dreams of their Children
announces a press conference and rally to bring awareness to all citizens of the insurmountable flaws of the Common Core State Standards Initiative (CCSSI).  This Initiative of reforms includes untested standards, privacy issues created through data mining, unconstitutional mandates for adherence to a national curriculum and a standardized test Partnership for Assessment for College and Career Readiness (PARCC).

All are in direct violation of the rights of parents in the State of Louisiana.  According to the Louisiana Children’s Code Preamble: “Parents have the paramount right to raise their children in accordance with their own values and traditions; that parents should make the decisions regarding the educational, moral, ethical, and religious training of the child.” The CCSSI is educationally unsound offering a limited view of education as preparation for college and the workforce without regard for the creativity and curiosity that engages students and produces life-long learners and innovative thinkers. The national curriculum produced for CCSSI is set up for a national standardized test (PARCC) which cannot evaluate complex thought, avoid cultural bias, or measure non-verbal learning. Nationalized standards are no longer a measure of performance but mandate a proficiency level that does not represent the individual potential of every child.

Our message is clear. We are not misinformed. We know what the Common Core State Standard Initiative is, and we REJECT it. Therefore, we are demanding that Governor Jindal and the State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education withdraw from the CCSI and its PARCC testing consortium.

The federal government and private organizations have imposed the Standards on the states. They have done so in a manner that denied the people and their elected legislators a meaningful chance to review the Standards and to consider the implications of participation in the Common Core Standards system, including assessments and data collection. The federal constitutional structure – a compound republic with a separation of powers – serves to protect our liberties and governance by the people. The Common Core Standards Initiative and Race to the Top misused that structure by taking the people’s money and forcing their elected representatives to decide whether to compete for a chance to get that money back, and did so without respecting the states’ responsibility to put the issue to their people. We are now coming to terms with some of consequences of evading the constitutional structure. Those consequences include national standards that – contrary to the creators’ claim of academic rigor – are of inferior academic quality, that rest on a philosophy of education contrary to our founding, that undermine state autonomy and parental involvement, that intrude on student and family privacy, and that will impose enormous costs on state taxpayers.

The final chapter of this story, we believe, will be a rededication to the principle of government by the people. The American people are now awakening to the reality that their states have surrendered control to “experts,” who are delivering a product that falls profoundly short of its billing. State elected bodies now have the chance to reverse this. They have the chance to reassert the people’s right to self-determination. For the sake of our founding principles, they should do so. – (Controlling Education From the Top Why Common Core Is Bad for America – A Pioneer Institute and American Principles Project White Paper by Emmett McGroarty and Jane Robbins)

STOP COMMON CORE IN LOUISIANA is a coalition of concern parents working together to bring awareness to this Federal overreach called The Common Core Standards Initiative. We are committed in Standing for Educational Freedom and will work tirelessly to Keep Education Local.


Parents and Educators against Common Core in Louisiana 

Catholic School Parents against Common Core in New Orleans

Stop Common Core in Louisiana




This is the speech I intended to give at the Southern Education Foundation Public Education conference this weekend. . . .

I intended to give this speech at the Southern Education Conference I attended this weekend, but as I was rehearsing and practicing it occurred to me there was in inherent irony in delivering a canned speech about interactive media. I was going to tell my audience that the difference between social media and traditional media and messaging is that social media is a two way conversation. With Social media you engage your audience and speak with them, not at them, and here I was creating a static delivery without allowing myself to be influenced by all the presenters and folks I had met while I was at this conference of talented, caring and committed folks. That seemed wrong on so many levels, so I winged it. I incorporated a few of my points and remarks, but cut out all the examples about myself and my accomplishments. (I think I did, but I don’t really remember since I just spoke from the heart and let my audience’s reactions guide where I went next.) I hope nobody minded, but in case anyone was wondering, this was my official speech (although I edited out a few things I don’t want the “bad guys” to see documented). Many folks told me this was more suitable for a blog entry than a live presentation anyways so now it is one. . .


I am known as the Crazy Crawfish. My real name is Jason France. I’m here today because of an education blog and persona I created called “Crazy Crawfish.” I use my blog to expose the wrongs and dangers of the privatization and education reform movement in my state and across the nation.

I’m also a father of two public school children, and a former Louisiana Department of Education employee. For the most part, I’m just an average person, but I’ve been able to harness the power of social media to champion public education issues in my state. I fill a void. I chose the name “Crazy” because I’m not afraid to fight mainstream thought, and “Crawfish” because everyone loves crawfish where I come from (usually for eating admittedly) – and I wanted something that was easy for folks to remember and hard for folks to attack.

Since launching my blog about 18 months ago I’ve been able to use it to establish a network of current and former state employees, researchers, teachers, parents, whistleblowers and fellow bloggers, who help with research and use blogs, tweets and Facebook shares for disseminating information and recruiting others to our cause. Right now I am coordinating with a dozen folks researching and documenting content for numerous future blog entries. [topics redacted]

I started my blog after leaving the Louisiana Department of Education. My role in the department was collecting, analyzing and reporting education data. When our new Superintendent, John White, was appointed in 2011 one of his first actions was to remove existing historical data. We came to learn this was done so he could tell us stories of triumph. In his stories public schools are always bad and privatization is always good. What he didn’t count on was us exposing his stories as just fairy tales.

Before John White came on board, the department of education accepted bad reviews and reports and tried to use them to identify problems and to improve outcomes for children. This openness was used against us by Reformers. With the new leadership, our mission changed. Our new mission was to suppress honest reporting and to encourage privatization at any cost. Results no longer mattered. All that was important was that we become unconditional cheerleaders for his policies and agenda. Many of my colleagues who stayed were fired.

I had a closer look at the data and the failures of these policies than most. I started my blog after reaching out to local media, legislators and government agencies to inform them of what I saw, and discovered no one was reaching back.

I’ve covered hundreds of topics, but like to give you some examples of how my blog has a made a difference.

Many of you may be familiar with VAM, or Value Added Modeling. This is a teacher evaluation system that uses student test scores to evaluate teachers’ performance. The data used for Louisiana’s system is fraught with errors. The premise behind the system is flawed. And as it turned out, Louisiana’s system was corrupted on the inside for political reasons.

One of my contacts secretly taped conversations between John White and a state legislator conspiring to rig the teacher evaluation system by awarding select teachers in his district “bonus points.” This was not a victimless crime as it intentionally skewed the formula in favor of politically connected teachers to the detriment of others. I worked with this staffer to release the tape through a more prominent blog in my state. This led to the issue being picked up by local reporters, White’s interrogation before the House, and resulted in the Louisiana House of Representatives voting to delay the implementation of teacher evaluations introduce legislation calling for an external audit and review of the process teacher evaluation process.

Through the blog I also exposed and explained how the restructuring of our state education funding formula took money away from disabled students and reallocated it to charter schools and vouchers. This formula was repeatedly rejected by our state legislature, and until it was finally determined in our courts that those changes were unconstitutional.

My blog has also exposed how national data collection companies like inBloom are weakening privacy protection for students. I explained how these companies have lobbied the US Department of Education to weaken FERPA to allow them to bypass federal student privacy laws and exploit this information for their own purposes. The blog helped unite people and led to many parents and students giving passionate testimony at our state board of education which attracted the attention of the local and national media.

Word of the reaction to inBloom in LA spread nationally and I was able to partner with Leonie Haimson of Parents Across America to use Louisiana’s decision to pull out of the inBloom to help start a national domino effect; one that caused many states to pull out and one that left very few states willing to admit publicly to a relationship with inBloom.

A mistake I made early on was thinking I could just write great content (or content I thought was pretty great) and people would magically find me and be blown away by my awesomeness. I had good intentions, a flair for putting words together, and snarky personality that amused but for the better part of year I had fewer than a few dozen followers. A good day for me was a page view total in the double digits. But “Social Media” is called social media for a reason. To get people really invested in you and your work, you have to interact with them on more than just a superficial level. (I don’t mean posting half-naked pictures of yourself on Instagram – You’re gonna have to just trust me on that one)Tell them part of your life story and why you believe the way you do, so you become a person not just a source.

It wasn’t until I started commenting on Diane Ravitch’s blog and supporting other people’s work with helpful comments and information that backed up their work that I really started draw attention to my own work. I see many foundations and groups that send out mass e-mails but never respond to me when I ask them questions or try to interact with them. If that’s what you’re using social media and e-mail for, to give but not receive, you might as well turn your info into a newspaper insert or post it on an office bulletin board. If you are using social media but you are not interacting with your followers and fellow bloggers, you’re doing it wrong, and they will not help you. It does not matter how many followers you initially attract or buy. If you don’t treasure them and respond to them, they will not respond to you when you need them and they will not stick around. While you don’t always have to agree, you need to listen and acknowledge what they are telling you. You have an advantage over traditional print, and TV shows. The advantage you have is something they can’t match: Empathy.

As I mentioned in the beginning, I’m just an ordinary dad and former DOE employee who decided to do what any other person can do – start a blog about things that are very wrong. As my blog following has grown, I’ve sometimes regretted choosing a silly sounding name for the serious issues I often discuss. However I’ve been told by my supporters, that they were glad I chose the “Crazy Crawfish” persona because it was accessible to them, catchy, fun and easy for them to find me or refer me to others.

I’ve discovered that social media can be the catalyst for uniting other people out there who may be fighting alone for a cause. The truth is none of us can do it alone. We are outnumbered and outspent by phenomenal amounts of money from special interest groups and individuals. This money is buying influence with our own local, state, and federal policy makers to work against our common interests.

Social media is a powerful tool. It’s fast, mostly free, and it can reach many people outside our normal social circles and backgrounds. With Social media we can expand our touch and influence beyond those that already agree with us and help us unite those that do. All of us can contribute to this fight with our voices, our passion and the truth – which money can’t buy.