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.

Carter Page, a former advisor to Donald Trump's 2016 presidential campaign, found himself at the center of the Russia probe and had his reputation and career destroyed by what we now know were lies from our own intelligence system and the media.

On the TV show Thursday, Page joined Glenn Beck to speak out about how he became the subject of illegal electronic surveillance by the FBI for more than two years, and revealed the extent of the corruption that has infiltrated our legal systems and our country as a whole.

"To me, the bigger issue is how much damage this has done to our country," Page told Glenn. "I've been very patient in trying to ... find help with finding solutions and correcting this terrible thing which has happened to our country, our judicial system, DOJ, FBI -- these once-great institutions. And my bigger concern is the fact that, although we keep taking these steps forward in terms of these important findings, it really remains the tip of the iceberg."

Page was referencing the report by Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz, which revealed that the FBI made "at least 17 significant errors or omissions" in its Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) applications for warrants to spy on Page, a U.S. citizen.

"I think this needs to be attacked from all angles," Glenn said. "The one angle I'm interested in from you is, please tell me you have the biggest badass attorneys that are hungry, starving, maybe are a little low to pay their Mercedes payments right now, and are just gearing up to come after the government and the media. Are they?"

I can confirm that that is the case," Page replied.

Watch the video clip below for a preview of the full-length interview:

The full interview will air on January 30th for Blaze TV subscribers, and February 1st on YouTube and wherever you get your podcast.

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On Wednesday's TV show, Glenn Beck sat down with radio show host, author, political commentator, and film critic, Michael Medved.

Michael had an interesting prediction for the 2020 election outcome: a brokered convention by the DNC will usher in former First Lady Michelle Obama to run against President Donald Trump.

Watch the video below to hear why he's making this surprising forecast:

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On Thursday's "Glenn Beck Radio Program," BlazeTV's White House correspondent Jon Miller described the current situation in Virginia after Gov. Ralph Northam (D) declared a state of emergency and banned people carrying guns at Capitol Square just days before a pro-Second-Amendment rally scheduled on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Jon told Glenn that Gov. Northam and the Virginia Legislature are "trying to deprive the people of their Second Amendment rights" but the citizens of Virginia are "rising up" to defend their constitutional rights.

"I do think this is the flashpoint," Jon said. "They [Virginia lawmakers] are saying, 'You cannot exercise your rights ... and instead of trying to de-escalate the situation, we are putting pressure. We're trying to escalate it and we're trying to enrage the citizenry even more'."

Glenn noted how Gov. Northam initially blamed the threat of violence from Antifa for his decision to ban weapons but quickly changed his narrative to blame "white supremacists" to vilify the people who are standing up for the Second Amendment and the Constitution.

"What he's doing is, he's making all all the law-abiding citizens of Virginia into white supremacists," Glenn said.

"Sadly, that's exactly right," Jon replied. "And I think he knows exactly what he's doing."

Watch the video to catch more of the conversation below:

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Ryan: Trump Louisiana Finale

Photo by Jim Dale

Part One. Part Two. Part Three.

At the end of Trump rallies, I would throw on my Carhartt jacket, sneak out of the press area, then blend in with everyone as they left, filing out through swinging doors.

Often, someone held the door open for me. Just 30 minutes earlier, the same person had most likely had most likely hissed at me for being a journalist. And now they were Sunday smiles and "Oh, yes, thank you, sir" like some redneck concierge.

People flooded out of the arena with the stupidity of a fire drill mishap, desperate to survive.

The air smacked you as soon as you crossed the threshold, back into Louisiana. And the lawn was a wasteland of camping chairs and coolers and shopping bags and to-go containers and soda cans and articles of clothing and even a few tents.

In Monroe, in the dark, the Trump supporters bobbled over mounds of waste like elephants trying to tiptoe. And the trash was as neutral to them as concrete or grass. They plodded over it because it, an object, had somehow gotten in their way.

It did not matter that they were responsible for this wreckage.Out in the sharp-edged moonlight, rally-goers hooted and yapped and boogied and danced, and the bbq food truck was all smoke and paper plates.

They were even more pumped than they had been before the rally, like 6,000 eight year olds who'd been chugging Mountain Dew for hours. Which made Donald Trump the father, the trooper, God of the Underworld, Mr. Elite, Sheriff on high horse, the AR-15 sticker of the family.

Ritualistic mayhem, all at once. And, there in Louisiana, Trump's supporters had gotten a taste of it. They were all so happy. It bordered on rage.

Still, I could not imagine their view of America. Worse, after a day of strange hostilities, I did not care.

My highest priority, my job as a reporter, was to care. To understand them and the world that they inhabit. But I did not give a damn and I never wanted to come back.

Worst of all, I would be back. In less than a week.

Was this how dogs felt on the 4th of July? Hunched in a corner while everyone else gets drunk and launches wailing light into the sky? configurations of blue and red and white.

It was 10:00 p.m. and we'd been traveling since 11:00 a.m., and we still had 5 hours to go and all I wanted was a home, my home, any home, just not here, in the cold sweat of this nowhere. Grey-mangled sky. No evidence of planes or satellites or any proof of modern-day. Just century-old bridges that trains shuffled over one clack at a time.

And casinos, all spangles and neon like the 1960s in Las Vegas. Kitchy and dumb, too tacky for lighthearted gambling. And only in the nicer cities, like Shreveport, which is not nice at all.

And swamp. Black water that rarely shimmered. Inhabited by gadflies and leeches and not one single fish that was pretty.

Full of alligators, and other killing types. The storks gnawing on frogs, the vultures never hungry. The coyotes with nobody to stop them and so much land to themselves. The roaches in the wild, like tiny wildebeests.

Then, the occasional deer carcass on the side of the road, eyes splayed as if distracted, tongue out, relaxed but empty. The diseased willows like skeletons in hairnets. The owls that never quit staring. A million facets of wilderness that would outlive us all.

Because Nature has poise. It thrives and is original.

Because silence is impossible. Even in an anechoic chamber, perfectly soundproofed, you can hear your own heartbeat, steady as a drum. A never-ending war.

I put "Headache" by Grouper on repeat as we glided west. We were deadlocked to asphalt, rubber over tarface.

And I thought about lines from a Rita Dove poem titled "I have been a stranger in a strange land"

He was off cataloging the universe, probably,
pretending he could organize
what was clearly someone else's chaos.

Wasn't that exactly what I was doing? Looking for an impossible answer, examining every single accident, eager for meaning? telling myself, "If it happens and matters the next year, in America, I want to be there, or to know what it means. I owe it to whoever cares to listen."

Humans are collectors and I had gone overboard.

Because maybe this wasn't even my home. These landmarks, what did they mean? Was I obvious here? When I smiled, did I trick them into believing that I felt some vague sense of approval? Or did my expressions betray me?

Out in all that garbage-streaked emptiness — despite the occasional burst of passing halogen — I couldn't tell if everything we encountered was haunted or just old, derelict, broken, useless. One never-ending landfill.

Around those parts, they'd made everything into junk. Homes. Roads. Glass. Nature. Life itself, they made into junk.

I cringed as we passed yet another deer carcass mounded on the side of the road.

As written in Job 35:11,

Who teaches us more than the beasts of the earth and makes us wiser than the birds in the sky?

Nobody. Look at nature and you feel something powerful. Look at an animal, in all of its untamable majesty, and you capture a deep love, all swept up in the power of creation. But, here, all I saw were poor creatures who people had slammed into and kept driving. Driving to where? For what reason? What exactly was so important that they left a trail of dead animals behind them?

So I crossed myself dolorously and said an "Our Father" and recited a stanza from Charles Bukowski's "The Laughing Heart"

you can't beat death but
you can beat death in life, sometimes.
and the more often you learn to do it,
the more light there will be.

Out here, nothing but darkness. Needing some light, by God. Give me something better than a Moon that hides like an underfed coward.

Jade told me about some of the more traumatic things she'd seen while working at the State Fair.

"Bro, they pull roaches out of the iced lemonade jugs and act like nothing happened."

"All right but what about the corn dogs?"

"You do not want to know, little bro."

She looked around in the quiet. "Back in the day, the Louisiana Congress refused to raise the drinking age from 18 to 21," she said. "They didn't want to lose all that drunk gambler money. So the federal government cut off funding to highways."

We glided through moon-pale landscape for an hour before I realized what she had meant. That there weren't any light poles or billboards along the road. Nothing to guide us or distract us. Just us, alone. And it felt like outer space had collapsed, swallowed us like jellybeans.

Like two teenagers playing a prank on the universe.

In the cozy Subaru Crosstrek, in the old wild night, brimming with the uncertainty of life and the nonchalance of failure, we paraded ourselves back to Dallas. Alive in the river silence that follows us everywhere.

New installments come Mondays and Thursdays. Next, the Iowa caucuses. Check out my Twitter. Email me at kryan@blazemedia.com