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.

Rapper Kendrick Lamar brings white fan onstage to sing with him, but here’s the catch

Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for American Express

Rapper Kendrick Lamar asked a fan to come onstage and sing with him, only to condemn her when she failed to censor all of the song's frequent mentions of the “n-word" while singing along.

RELATED: You'll Never Guess Who Wrote the Racist Message Targeting Black Air Force Cadets

“I am so sorry," she apologized when Lamar pointed out that she needed to “bleep" that word. “I'm used to singing it like you wrote it." She was booed at by the crowd of people, many screaming “f*** you" after her mistake.

On Tuesday's show, Pat and Jeffy watched the clip and talked about some of the Twitter reactions.

“This is ridiculous," Pat said. “The situation with this word has become so ludicrous."

What happened?

MSNBC's Katy Tur didn't bother to hide her pro-gun control bias in an interview with Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton in the wake of the Santa Fe High School killings.

RELATED: Media Are Pushing Inflated '18 School Shootings' Statistic. Here Are the Facts.

What did she ask?

As Pat pointed out while sitting in for Glenn on today's show, Tur tried to “badger" Paxton into vowing that he would push for a magical fix that will make schools “100 percent safe." She found it “just wild" that the Texas attorney general couldn't promise that schools will ever be completely, totally safe.

“Can you promise kids in Texas today that they're safe to go to school?" Tur pressured Paxton.

“I don't think there's any way to say that we're ever 100 percent safe," the attorney general responded.

What solutions did the AG offer?

“We've got a long way to go," Paxton said. He listed potential solutions to improve school safety, including installing security officers and training administrators and teachers to carry a gun.

Pat's take:

“Unbelievable," Pat said on today's show. “Nobody can promise [100 percent safety]."

Every president from George Washington to Donald Trump has issued at least one executive order (with the exception of William Harrison who died just 31 days into his presidency) and yet the U.S. Constitution doesn't even mention executive orders. So how did the use of this legislative loophole become such an accepted part of the job? Well, we can thank Franklin Roosevelt for that.

Back at the chalkboard, Glenn Beck broke down the progression of the executive order over the years and discussed which US Presidents have been the “worst offenders."

RELATED: POWER GRAB: Here's how US presidents use 'moments of crisis' to override Constitutional law

“It's hard to judge our worst presidential overreachers on sheer numbers alone," said Glenn. “However, it's not a shock that FDR issued by far the most of any president."

Our first 15 presidents issued a combined total of 143. By comparison, Franklin D. Roosevelt issued 3721, more than twice the next runner up, Woodrow Wilson, at 1803.

“Next to FDR, no other president in our history attempted to reshape so much of American life by decree, until we get to this guy: President Obama," Glenn explained. “He didn't issue 3000, or even 1800; he did 276 executive orders, but it was the power of those orders. He instituted 560 major regulations classified by the Congressional Budget Office as having 'significant economic or social impacts.' That's 50 percent more regulations than George W. Bush's presidency — and remember, everybody thought he was a fascist."

President Obama blamed an obstructionist Congress for forcing him to bypass the legislative process. By executive order, President Obama decreed the U.S. join the Paris Climate Accord, DACA, the Clean Power Plan and transgender restrooms. He also authorized spying in US citizens through section 702 of FISA, used the IRS to target political opponents and ordered military action in Libya without Congressional permission.

All of these changes were accepted by the very people who now condemn President Trump for his use of executive orders — many of which were issued to annul President Obama's executive orders, just as President Obama annulled President Bush's executive orders when he took office … and therein lies the rub with executive orders.

“That's not the way it's supposed to work, nor would we ever want it to be," said Glenn. “We have to have the Constitution and laws need to originate in Congress."

Watch the video above to find out more.

Six months ago, I alerted readers to the very attractive benefits that the TreasuryDirect program offers to investors who are defensively sitting on cash right now.

Since then, those benefits have continued to improve. Substantially.

Back in November, by holding extremely conservative short-term (i.e., 6-months or less) Treasury bills, TreasuryDirect participants were receiving over 16x more in interest payments vs keeping their cash in a standard bank savings account.

Today, they're now receiving over 30 times more. Without having to worry about the risk of a bank "bail-in" or failure.

So if you're holding cash right now and NOT participating in the TreasuryDirect program, do yourself a favor and read on. If you're going to pass on this opportunity, at least make it an 'eyes-wide-open' decision.

Holding Cash (In Treasurys) Now Beats The Market

There are many prudent reasons to hold cash in today's dangerously overvalued financial markets, as we've frequently touted here at PeakProsperity.com.

Well, there's now one more good reason to add to the list: holding cash in short-term Treasurys is now meeting/beating the dividend returns offered by the stock market:

"Cash Is King" Again - 3-Month Bills Yield More Than Stocks (Zero Hedge)
'Reaching for yield' just got a lot easier...
For the first time since February 2008, three-month Treasury bills now have a yield advantage over the S&P; 500 dividend yield (and dramatically lower risk).
Investors can earn a guaranteed 1.90% by holding the 3-month bills or a risky 1.89% holding the S&P; 500...

The longest period of financial repression in history is coming to an end...

And it would appear TINA is dead as there is now an alternative.

And when you look at the total return (dividends + appreciation) of the market since the start of 2018, stocks have returned only marginally better than 3-month Treasurys. Plus, those scant few extra S&P; points have come with a LOT more risk.

Why take it under such dangerously overvalued conditions?

If You Can't Beat 'Em, Join 'Em

In my June report Less Than Zero: How The Fed Killed Saving, I explained how the Federal Reserve's policy of holding interest rates at record lows has decimated savers. Those who simply want to park money somewhere "safe" can't do so without losing money in real terms.

To drive this point home: back in November, the average interest rate being offered in a US bank savings account was an insutling 0.06%. Six months later, nothing has changed:

(Source

That's virtually the same as getting paid 0%. But it's actually worse than that, because once you take inflation into account, the real return on your savings is markedly negative.

And to really get your blood boiling, note that the Federal Reserve has rasied the federal funds rate it pays banks from 1.16% in November to 1.69% in April. Banks are now making nearly 50% more money on the excess reserves they park at the Fed -- but are they passing any of that free profit along to their depositors? No....

This is why knowing about the TreasuryDirect program is so important. It's a way for individual investors savvy enough to understand the game being played to bend some of its rules to their favor and limit the damage they suffer.

Below is an updated version (using today's rates) of my recap of TreasuryDirect, which enables you to get over 30x more interest on your cash savings than your bank will pay you, with lower risk.

TreasuryDirect

For those not already familiar with it, TreasuryDirect is a service offered by the United States Department of the Treasury that allows individual investors to purchase Treasury securities such as T-Bills, notes and bonds directly from the U.S. government.

You purchase these Treasury securities by linking a TreasuryDirect account to your personal bank account. Once linked, you use your cash savings to purchase T-bills, etc from the US Treasury. When the Treasury securities you've purchased mature or are sold, the proceeds are deposited back into your bank account.

So why buy Treasuries rather than keep your cash savings in a bank? Two main reasons:

  • Much higher return: T-Bills are currently offering an annualized return rate between 1.66-2.04%. Notes and bonds, depending on their duration, are currently offering between 2.6% - 3.1%
  • Extremely low risk: Your bank can change the interest rate on your savings account at any time -- with Treasury bills, your rate of return is locked in at purchase. Funds in a bank are subject to risks such as a bank bail-in or the insolvency of the FDIC depositor protection program -- while at TreasuryDirect, your funds are being held with the US Treasury, the institution with the lowest default risk in the country for reasons I'll explain more in a moment.

Let's look at a quick example. If you parked $100,000 in the average bank savings account for a full year, you would earn $60 in interest. Let's compare this to the current lowest-yielding TreasuryDirect option: continuously rolling that same $100,000 into 4-week T-Bills for a year:

  1. Day 1: Funds are transferred from your bank account to TreasuryDirect to purchase $100,000 face value of 4-week T-Bills at auction yielding 1.68%
  2. Day 28: the T-Bills mature and the Treasury holds the full $100,000 proceeds in your TreasuryDirect account. Since you've set up the auto-reinvestment option, TreasuryDirect then purchases another $100,000 face value of 4-week T-Bills at the next auction.
  3. Days 29-364: the process repeats every 4 weeks
  4. Day 365: assuming the average yield for T-Bills remained at 1.68%, you will have received $1,680 in interest in total throughout the year from the US Treasury.

$1,680 vs $60. That's a 27x difference in return.

And the comparison only improves if you decide to purchase longer duration (13-week or 26-week) bills instead of the 4-week ones:

Repeating the above example for a year using 13-week bills would yield $1,925. Using 26-week bills would yield $2,085. A lot better (34x better!) than $60.

Opportunity Cost & Default Risk

So what are the downsides to using TreasuryDirect? There aren't many.

The biggest one is opportunity cost. While your money is being held in a T-Bill, it's tied up at the US Treasury. If you suddenly need access to those funds, you have to wait until the bill matures.

But T-Bill durations are short. 4 weeks is not a lot of time to have to wait. (If you think the probability is high you may to need to pull money out of savings sooner than that, you shouldn't be considering the TreasuryDirect program.)

Other than that, TreasuryDirect offers an appealing reduction in risk.

If your bank suddenly closes due to a failure, any funds invested in TreasuryDirect are not in your bank account, so are not subject to being confiscated in a bail-in.

Instead, your money is held as a T-Bill, note or bond, which is essentially an obligation of the US Treasury to pay you in full for the face amount. The US Treasury is the single last entity in the country (and quite possibly, the world) that will ever default on its obligations. Why? Because Treasurys are the mechanism by which money is created in the US. Chapter 8 from The Crash Course explains:

As a result, to preserve its ability to print the money it needs to function, the US government will bring its full force and backing to bear in order to ensure confidence in the market for Treasurys.

Meaning: the US government won't squelch on paying you back the money you lent it. If required, it will just print the money it needs to repay you.

So, How To Get Started?

Usage of TreasuryDirect is quite low among investors today. Many are unaware of the program. Others simply haven't tried it out.

And let's be real: it's crazy that we live in a world where a 1.68-2.09% return now qualifies as an exceptionally high yield on savings. A lot of folks just can't get motivated to take action by rates that low. But that doesn't mean that they shouldn't -- money left on the table is money forfeited.

So, if you're interested in learning more about the TreasuryDirect program, start by visiting their website. Like everything operated by the government, it's pretty 'no frills'; but their FAQ page addresses investors' most common questions.

Before you decide whether or not to fund an account there, be sure to discuss the decision with your professional financial advisor to make sure it fits well with your personal financial situation and goals. (If you're having difficulty finding a good one, consider scheduling a free discussion with PeakProsperity.com's endorsed financial advisor -- who has considerable experience managing TreasuryDirect purchases for many of its clients).

In Part 2: A Primer On How To Use TreasuryDirect, we lay out the step-by-step process for opening, funding and transacting within a TreasuryDirect account. We've created it to be a helpful resource for those self-directed individuals potentially interested in increasing their return on their cash savings in this manner.

Yes, we savers are getting completely abused by our government's policies. So there's some poetic justice in using the government's own financing instruments to slightly lessen the sting of the whip.

Click here to read Part 2 of this report (free executive summary, enrollment required for full access)

NOTE: PeakProsperity.com does not have any business relationship with the TreasuryDirect program. Nor is anything in the article above to be taken as an offer of personal financial advice. As mentioned, discuss any decision to participate in TreasuryDirect with your professional financial advisor before taking action.