Buyer Beware: School Choice and Voucher Programs Require Alignment With Common Core

Republicans are selling a false bill of goods when it comes to providing parents choices to escape Common Core and public education. Shannon Joy, host of The Shannon Joy Show and an expert on Common Core, joined The Glenn Beck Program on Friday to speak frankly on the matter.

"Republicans now are putting forth a false solution. They're coming out --- Donald Trump, Betsy Devos, some of our favorite conservative Republicans --- I don't know if they quite understand the nuance of this, but they're pitching to conservatives the idea of school choice vouchers and charters as a solution when that is not the case. In every piece of legislation and every state, including Texas which voted it down just recently because of this, every voucher program, every choice program requires that the user of that voucher or that choice education institution must be aligned with the federal standards. Those standards are Common Core," Joy said.

Mike Opelka, filling in for Glenn on radio, asked what parents need to know.

"I think we need to arm parents with information. If they're willing to go into battle against Common Core, we need to give them the ammunition. So what are the one or two things you as a parent can say when you're up there questioning these folks on Common Core?" Opelka asked.

Joy pointed out that education planners on the right and the left try to distract parents with the notion of students needing standards --- but that isn't the issue.

"Every parent wants a school to have high standards. That's obvious. The question isn't the standards, it's the curriculum," Joy said.

Common Core curriculum is infused with progressive ideologies intended to indoctrinate children to their way of thinking --- and the testing reinforces it. If a student's answer doesn't align with progressive teachings, the answer is wrong.

"The next generation science standards are essentially global warming and climate change sustainability curriculum. You have politics in the schools through the curriculum that must be put in place in order for the kids to achieve on the test that are supposed to judge the standards. So that's a red herring, it's a false choice. It has nothing to do with standards. It has everything to do with the curriculum. For example, the social studies curriculum, many of them that are Common Core-aligned are teaching children to be global citizens and are shaping the attitude behaviors and beliefs, right? So they're indoctrinating children into globalism and socialism and doing it in the guise of standards and curriculum," Joy explained.

Moreover, government officials are working to impose a system that makes it virtually impossible to escape these imposed belief system.

"I'm telling you, Mike Opelka, we don't have a single friend in the Senate, not one friend in the Senate or the House of Representatives that understands the nuance and the tentacles of Common Core. They are putting forth what they think are solutions, which are the school choice and voucher. Those are false solutions. What was once a great idea has been hijacked by progressives and is going to be entrenched in the federal government," Joy warned.

Charter schools and homeschoolers are in sights of legislators as well.

"Charter schools do not have a board of education, a democratically-elected board of education. They have a board of supervisors that appoints a parent as a liaison. So what you're going to have is charter schools all over the country that are directly tethered to the federal government. They are not controlled locally in any way, shape or form, and we will have even less of a voice than we do now with our current public education system. That's how important this is, this charter and choice battle. This is why in Texas, that bill was killed just a couple months ago, Mike. It was not by liberals. It was not by Democrats in Texas. It was by homeschool moms and dads and grandparents who saw the false choice, the false charter, the false voucher plan for what it truly was," Joy said.

Joy recommended several sources to stay informed and involved:

Truth in American Education

American Principles Project (Jane Robbins)

Cato Institute (Neal McCluskey)

You can also follow @shannonjoyradio on Twitter or The Shannon Joy Show on Facebook.

Listen to this segment from The Glenn Beck Program:

MIKE: About four years ago, I became aware of what Common Core was. The Common Core curriculum and how in the height of the financial crisis, the Federal Government swooped in with this idea to take over the education system on a local level. To come in and tell all of those counties and cities that were having budget crunches, especially in their education budget because of the huge financial crisis we were in that we have money for you, but we want you to do something for us. And we want to introduce this wonderful thing called Common Core. And the Common Core standards that they're only going to help the children. They're only going to make it better for everybody. And any time somebody comes to you and gives you money and then says you have to implement these programs, and it's just going to make everything better, I'm suspicious. Because any time something is going to make any life better, I usually have to pay for it. I usually have to purchase it, and I have to make -- it's incumbent upon me to make an educated purchase. As a consumer, I would like to know, well, what else could I have purchased? And is there something else with a better value? Not the case with Common Core. It was rammed down the throats that were in all states that were in financial trouble. So that would be 50 out of 50. And when we woke up and went hang on a second, this Common Core thing is not good. It's changing the way our kids are taught, it's changing the way our kids are tested, which is kind of like constantly. It's taking control of the education process out of the hands of the teachers, and we started fighting back. With Common Core like ObamaCare has deep tentacles that have gone inside of our educational system, and it's not just easy to go in and go all right, no more Common Core. And despite the fact that Donald Trump made that a campaign promise that he was going to get rid of Common Core, I don't know how realistic that is.

In order to understand it and to try to also realize that there's more going on in the world than the Jim Comey testimony, we've brought in a friend of mine who is also a radio person in up state New York. But she's a warrior on Common Core. Her name is Shannon Joy, and she's joining us this morning on the Glenn Beck Program. Hello, my friend. How are you?

SHANNON: Well, hello, Mike Opelka, how are you? Thank you so much for having me.

MIKE: You're welcome. Happy to have you here. I think I got the setup on Common Core right, didn't I?

SHANNON: You absolutely did, and I'm going to take it one step further for you and for your audience.

MIKE: Okay.

SHANNON: What was once a voluntary grant program, the rates in the program put in by the Obama administration, you know, that was the initial mechanism that brought common core into every school district in the United States of America. But it was the Republicans led by Lamar Alexander in a Republican-led senate and House of Representatives that passed the ESSA act, it was the every student succeeds act in 2015. That legislation, which was pitched to the American people and conservatives as a solution to Common Core was indeed the exact opposite. It codified into law that voluntary grant program that was put in by Obama. So not only do we still have Common Core in nearly every single school district in the United States of America today, it is even more deeply entrenched. In addition, Michael, your audience might not know is that through my research and through, you know, all of the research we've done over the years, I have not been able to find a single charter school in the United States of America. Not a single one that isn't fully and totally aligned with the Common Core. The way that you know if your school, your charter or private or public is aligned with the Common Core is simply by the testing. So for parents out there, if you want to know your school's aligned, what you have to do is figure out if they're taking the federally aligned Common Core test. You'll see the branding all over the test, and you'll see the Common Core insignia, the trademark logo all over as well.

If your school is administering those exams, those tests, they are aligned with the Common Core, and I have yet to find a single charter. So Republicans now are putting forth a false solution. They're coming out -- Donald Trump, Betsy Devos, some of our favorite conservative Republicans. I don't know if they quite understand the nuance of this. But they're pitching to conservatives the idea of school choice vouchers and charters as a solution when that is not the case. In every piece of legislation and every state, including Texas which voted it down just recently because of this. Every voucher program, every choice program requires that the user of that voucher or that choice education institution must be aligned with the federal standards, those standards are Common Core. So not only is it in our public schools, it's in our charters. And the Republicans are fixing to get it everywhere else.

MIKE: Shannon, you bring up a real scary reality that this thing has -- as I said, it has more tentacles than deep roots. But I want to ask you how we fight it. But I also -- I also want to ask what parents can do when they realize that their kids in a Common Core program, even if they put them in a charter school. And what does a parent say to an administrator, a school superintendent who says to them "Hey, what's wrong with having standards? These are standards that apply to all the kids around the country. What's your big problem with common core?" Because I think we need to arm parents with information. If they're willing to go into battle against Common Core, we need to give them -- we need to give them the ammunition. So what are the one or two things you as a parent can say when you're up there questioning these folks on Common Core?

SHANNON: Well, first of all, the issue isn't standards, and that's one of the red herrings that the education planners on the right and the left will use to distract people because no one wants their kid to be a snowflake; right?

MIKE: Right.

SHANNON: Every parent wants their kids to have high standards. Every parent wants a school to have high standards. That's obvious. The question isn't the standards, it's the curriculum. And what the standards do because of the testing and the evaluation is drive the curriculum. So what you have in a sense, you know, the next generation science standards are essentially global warming and climate change sustainability curriculum. You have politics in the schools through the curriculum that must be put in place in order for the kids to achieve on the test that are supposed to judge the standards. So that's a red herring, it's a false choice, it has nothing to do with standards. It has everything to do with the curriculum. For example, the social studies curriculum, many of them that are Common Core aligned are teaching children to be global citizens and are shaping the attitude behaviors and beliefs; right? So they're indoctrinating children into globalism and socialism and doing it in a guide of standards and curriculum. That's number one. What parents can do, every parent that is listening to my voice today if you're in a charter, a private, a public. Today you can make the commitment to refuse to allow your child to take the common core exams. The assessments and the tests, any of those exams, that is how the Federal Government and the state government get your school district and your teachers to implement those false standards. If parents across this nation refuse to allow their children to be guinea pigs to be tested by the Federal Government and education bureaucrats, Common Core will be gone tomorrow. That's as easy as it is. You have to take away the testing. And then we have work that you need to do on our federal officials, senators, I'm telling you, Mike Opelka, we don't have a single friend in the senate. Not one friend in the senate or the House of Representatives that understands the nuance and the tentacles of Common Core. They are putting forth what they think are solutions, which are the school choice and voucher. Those are false solutions. What was once a great idea has been hijacked by progressives and going to entrench the Federal Government. Here's the other dirty little secret. There's a reason that the union Randy Devos are so buddy-buddy. All over the United States of America they're going on speaking tours. That's because I believe they move to close down public schools and turn them into charter schools. What you're going to see happen is those charters are going to begin to unionize. It's going to happen very fast, and we're going to have the exact same problem we had with the public schools except one difference. Charter schools do not have a board of education. A democratically-elected board of education. They have a board of supervisors that appoints a parent as a liaison. So what you're going to have is charter schools all over the country that are directly tethered to the Federal Government. They are not controlled locally in any way, shape, or form, and we will have even less of a voice than we do now with our current public education system. That's how important this is, this charter and choice battle. This is why in Texas, that bill was killed just a couple months ago, Mike. It was not by liberals. It was not by Democrats in Texas. It was by homeschool moms and dads and grandparents who saw the false choice, the false charter, the false voucher plan for what it truly was.

MIKE: Well, Shannon, I'm glad you brought up Texas because Texas was the first thing that caught my eye with their CSCOPE program, which only changed its name, and now we're seeing Common Core is really just changing its name, but it's also sliding into or has slid into the charter school system and completely infected that system. I could dive into this and tear this apart all day long, and I'm not a guy with kids. I'm just a guy who cares about the country. What Shannon has pointed out here is that common core is not just about the testing, it's about what they're testing the kids for and knowledge. And they have preloaded this agenda, this global citizen agenda, this global climate change agenda, this everybody's got to be fair agenda. It's the snowflake agenda that's been preloaded into the system that they will test them to see if they know this. Shannon, I've got just about a minute left. In that minute, you used to have a site that you told me about where people could go to find out the testing in their area and where parents can find out how to opt out for their kids on these kinds of tests. Where do they go?

SHANNON: Sure, so parents go to one of my favorite resources. One of the best is truth in American education.com. That gives you all the updates on common core. Also Jane robins of American principles project, she has a fantastic voice on this. Neil from the Cato institute is wonderful. And duke. So if you Google any one of those, follow them on Twitter, follow them on Facebook. You can get up to date on what is happening with Common Core. But for every parent in America, you can refuse to take these Common Core exams. We just finished them up this year. But let me tell you, next year, you're going to have to take them again. They're probably going to change the name of Common Core. Look out for next generation standards or something like that. They're going to completely rebrand the Common Core to try to hide what they're doing. That's going to happen next year. But I can assure you all, the curriculum, the standards, the evaluations, the testing is all exactly the same.

MIKE: Thank you, my friend. Her name is Shannon Joy. You can follow her on Twitter @Shannonjoyradio. She knows this stuff inside out, and it's vital information. Have a great rest of your day. Thanks for being here.

SHANNON: Thanks, Mike.

Would Glenn make a better bounty hunter or a Jedi? You'll have to find out in a new episode of the Beltway Banthas Podcast, where Glenn goes deep on Star Wars with host Stephen Kent. In this 45 minute discussion, Stephen and Glenn explore the political themes of the Star Wars franchise, Darth Vader's redemption from Return of the Jedi, Glenn's earliest memories of seeing the films and even debate elements of the latest Star Wars films.

If you enjoy the pop culture and nerdy discussions that Glenn, Pat and Stu get into on the radio show, you'll love this! After you're through, you can also check out Stu Burguiere's appearance on Beltway Banthas to talk Star Wars. You can find that here.


It's never too early to start your Christmas, Hanukah, or Kwanzaa shopping. Or even birthday gift shopping. Especially if that special someone in your life is a Democrat. Because at last count, pretty much all the Democrats are now running for president. And that means there has never been a wider selection of official candidate merchandise to choose from. Whether you're into environmentalism, feminism, classism, socialism, or just plain love, there is a smorgasbord of classy items that you and yours will treasure forever... or at least until the next presidential election.

We have browsed each of the candidates' online stores, so you don't have to (it only took us three months). We have curated only the finest items from each of the Democrats running for president of the United States of America. Without further ado, here is your handy progressive gift guide – or maybe your what-not-to-gift guide.

First, the bargain basement options. Hurry! Time is running out to grab your Beto bandana, or your Delaney pack of golf balls, because at this point Stu has as much of a chance as these guys of getting the nomination.

Tom Steyer, for example – is he still in the race?


https://shop.tomsteyer.com/collections/frontpage/products/tom-2020-pattern-tee


There's way too much Tom here. That shirt's got more Toms than a Caucasian dentists' convention.

For the slightly more moderate Democrat in your life, perhaps they'd like to join the "Yang Gang"…

https://shop.yang2020.com/collections/bumper-stickers/products/yanggang-decal


Andrew Yang is a lock for Math Club president…


https://shop.yang2020.com/collections/apparel/products/math-hat


But for actual president? Well, I wouldn't make plans for how you're going to spend your $1,000-per-month Yang allowance just yet.

If you happen to be shopping for your dog, may I suggest this lovely "Dogs for Delaney" dog collar…


https://store.johndelaney.com/products/dogs-for-delaney-collar


John Delaney's definitely going to secure the canine vote with this kind of outreach. As for any human votes, that's another question entirely.

How 'bout this tastefully understated "Natural Canvas" Michael Bennet tote to remind you he's also still here?...


https://store.michaelbennet.com/michael-bennet-for-america-natural-canvas-tote/


Then again, it's a tote. So, it'll end up on the floor of your closet and you won't have it with you until that one random moment when you're out somewhere and you really need a tote bag. Just like Democrats will really wish they had a moderate when we're in the middle of the socialist nightmare of their creation.

Captain Planet himself, Jay Inslee recently dropped out of the race, but don't let that stop you from picking up what may be the greatest single item sold by anyone in this race…


https://store.jayinslee.com/elvis-the-elves-the-mystery-of-the-melting-snow-by-jay-inslee/


A children's book called Elvis & the Elves: the Mystery of the Melting Snow. Written and illustrated by Governor Jay Inslee. Talk about a whodunnit – how could that snow possibly be melting? Spoiler alert: it's because of evil, white, patriarchal capitalism. And Donald Trump.

Then there's the candidate who thinks you're a moron that can't pronounce his last name: Steve Bullock...


https://shop.stevebullock.com/collections/apparel/products/emoji-t-shirt


Get it? Bull. Lock. Oh, so that's how you say the name that sounds exactly how it's spelled.

There's another candidate who also thinks you need help pronouncing his last name…


https://store.peteforamerica.com/collections/apparel/products/boot-edge-edge-t-shirt


And he is definitely right about that. So, thank you, Pete "Boot Edge Edge." That helps.

Just outside the bargain bin section, but just barely, are candidates like Julian Castro and his "El Presidente" t-shirt…


https://store.julianforthefuture.com/julian-castro-loteria-card-white-tee/


When your last name's Castro, do you really want to go with a weird drawing of yourself as if you're a classic Latin American dictator on a postage stamp?

If you prefer a little "dark psychic forces" battling in your candidates, you'll love Marianne Williamson's "Turn Love Into a Political Force" rally sign…


https://store.marianne2020.com/collections/signs/products/love-rally-sign


"Turn Love Into a Political Force" would be an even better title for a Marianne Williamson album of 80s cover songs. And if you think I'm joking, then you haven't heard Bernie Sanders' classic 1987 folk album, We Shall Overcome. That's not a joke. Well, it is a joke, but it's also a very real thing.

Now, just a quick pause to consider the peculiar baby-wear that way too many candidates are selling…

…including Elizabeth Warren's trans-pride flag onesie. Let me get this straight – we can't force any gender on a child, because that's just cruel. But we can force a political advertisement on a baby? How do we know that baby is actually a Biden or Warren fan? The child may not even be a Democrat or a Socialist at all. That baby might self-identify as a Libertarian, or Republican, or even worse – a moderate Democrat.

Now to the premium items from the premium candidates. Elizabeth Warren – the candidate with the most honesty in her advertising…


https://shop.elizabethwarren.com/collections/apparel/products/impolite-arrogant-women-make-history-unisex-t-shirt

-AND-

https://shop.elizabethwarren.com/collections/drinkware/products/strong-american-unions-mug


Warren's merchandise reflects the woman herself – cold and humorless (watch her "This isn't funny" clip from the last debate here at the 4:27 mark). I'm sure she's really fun once you get to know her. Then again, maybe not.

Speaking of serious women, Kamala Harris wants to be president very badly for you, the people, as you can tell from her "For the People" poster…


https://store.kamalaharris.org/poster-for-the-people/


At $29.99 though, she's sure not charging "people's" prices. Of course, she might be having to pay royalties to a certain someone for riffing on their poster. Just saying.

For the race's number one socialist, there's a whole lot of capitalism going on in Bernie Sanders' campaign. He sells so many delightful items that it's hard to choose. But we did anyway. The most random item is this hundred-dollar, black, "Art of a Political Revolution – Artists for Bernie Sanders Coaches Jacket"…


https://store.berniesanders.com/collections/apparel/products/artists-for-bernie-coaches-jacket


Coaches across the land will be clamoring for this one. You know, since coaches are such a strong Bernie-socialist demographic.

If that's a little over your budget you might consider a "Feel the Bern" fanny pack, to help store all those government freebies you'll get from Bernie…


https://store.berniesanders.com/collections/apparel/products/feel-the-bern-fanny-pack


This is the only context in which you'll ever want to hear "feel the burn" and "fanny" in the same sentence.

And finally, from front-runner Joe Biden, we have this fine "Women's Fitted Biden Polo." Which is just about the best polo description ever…


https://store.joebiden.com/collections/apparel/products/biden-polo-womens-fit


It promises the kind of snug approach that Biden loves to provide women. Even when they don't ask.

This was one of the first homesteads in the area in the 1880's and was just begging to be brought back to its original glory — with a touch of modern. When we first purchased the property, it was full of old stuff without any running water, central heat or AC, so needless to say, we had a huge project ahead of us. It took some vision and a whole lot of trust, but the mess we started with seven years ago is now a place we hope the original owners would be proud of.

To restore something like this is really does take a village. It doesn't take much money to make it cozy inside, if like me you are willing to take time and gather things here and there from thrift shops and little antique shops in the middle of nowhere.

But finding the right craftsman is a different story.

Matt Jensen and his assistant Rob did this entire job from sketches I made. Because he built this in his off hours it took just over a year, but so worth the wait. It wasn't easy as it was 18"out of square. He had to build around that as the entire thing we felt would collapse. Matt just reinforced the structure and we love its imperfections.

Here are a few pictures of the process and the transformation from where we started to where we are now:

​How it was

It doesn't look like much yet, but just you wait and see!

By request a photo tour of the restored cabin. I start doing the interior design in earnest tomorrow after the show, but all of the construction guys are now done. So I mopped the floors, washed the sheets, some friends helped by washing the windows. And now the unofficial / official tour.

The Property

The views are absolutely stunning and completely peaceful.