Weekly Math Updates

August 29, 2007


  • ASD's Great Saxon Deception pt. 2 - A recipe to intentionally kill a program
  • City Council Members to Vote for (CRITICAL FOR OREM RESIDENTS)
  • Vern Henshaw's Apparent Love for Democracy Explained
  • Star Trek the Original Series Returns...made by fans and FREE to download
  • Media Articles - School suspends boy for SKETCHING gun

ASD's Great Saxon Deception pt. 2 - A recipe to intentionally kill a program

If you haven't read part one of the Saxon Deception, here's a link to the page where you can see the blatent attempt by the school district to flunk Saxon out of the running so that NO school could even have an opportunity to choose it.


Part 2 of this story now continues. I've waited months to share this with you...partly because I wanted this whole thing to go away and I hoped that the new state standards would be up to par.

If you do not recall, Barry Graff, in an effort to calm the citizens of Orem who wanted to split from the school district, stood in an Orem city council meeting about a year and a half ago and said every school would have a chance to choose from a traditional and standards-based math program. The problem was, he and the other representatives had no intention of letting that happen. They hand picked the teachers that served on the committee and picked the ones with strong constructivist leanings to review Saxon.

In documents obtained through a GRAMA request, here is the 6th grade evaluation performed in ASD. This individual scored it at only a 38% correlation to the state standards. Note her editorial comments on the last page of the evaluation:

6th Grade Saxon Evaluation in ASD - Click to download pdf

"Just drill and kill"
"No understanding - just definitions"
"Parents would see this book as 'easy' to teach from and help their children with at home."
"It has no conceptual relationships and no development of strategy!"
"No flow from lesson to lesson. Very disjointed."
"Explanations of concepts very brief."

Just what you would expect to see from someone fully indoctrinated in constructivist lies from a department of education.

The committee completely ignored the fact that 8 out of 10 of the top math schools in the state use Saxon and that the state has on file a correlation showing Saxon's 6th grade at or near 100% correlation with state standards.

Once again, ASD has shown they have no respect for parents. They are the "educators" and will be *darned in the extreme* if they don't tell us what's good for us and force us to swallow it as we saw a couple weeks ago when they passed out Investigations math teacher manuals and then had district-wide training to help all the teachers be very familiar with how to use it in the classroom with their Scott Foresman AW materials.


City Council Members to Vote for

I hope this helps motivate you to get very active for the next couple weeks. The primary elections are coming up and there are candidates that you need to support in Orem. You must get out and vote for these three and get as many of your neighbors to vote for them as well. If you go to the primary and vote you have an incredible chance to make sweeping change when hardly any people go vote. If everyone from the Orem School District list went out and voted for these people, there is a real chance you could knock out people from the council that voted to not let you decide if you wanted to split from ASD. The names are:

Carl Hernandez (http://www.carl4orem.com/)
[some names removed]

If you live in Lehi, please consider voting for Craig Laurence who has been a long-time supporter of our movement and is strong toward constitutional government.


Vern Henshaw's Apparent Love for Democracy Explained

I received an interesting set of links from one of our signers that may shed some light on why Vern Henshaw, ASD's superintendent, felt so strongly about pushing the phrase "Educating all students to ensure the future of our Democracy."

Vern is a member of the NNER, the National Network for Educational Renewal. Among the stated goals of the NNER we find:

    • educate the young for citizenship in a social and political democracy ("enculturation")
    • base teaching on knowledge of the subjects taught, established principles of learning, and sensitivity to the unique potential of the learners ("nurturing pedagogy");

I always wondered where Vern got that work "enculturating" when he used it in one of the newsletters ASD sent out. Among the operational goals of the NNER we read:

The NNER pursues the Agenda for Education in a Democracy and its implementation in member settings, with other educators and partnerships, and in policy arenas at the state, regional and national levels. The Network carries out this commitment through the following practices:

  • continuing to serve as a laboratory and proofing ground for implementing the Agenda and further testing its specific components for validity and application within varying contexts;
  • assisting member settings by facilitating fiscal support through external funding for work on the Agenda.

Looking into the "Agenda for Education in a Democracy" we find:

Why Do We Focus on Democracy?

Many different forms of government have tried to meet this challenge: fascism, socialism, communism, and democracy, to name a few.  Democracy, while certainly not without its flaws, seems to offer the best hope of enabling us to live together in relative peace and prosperity.  This is because democracy has a great virtue that the others generally lack: real democracy strives to ensure that everyone in a society contributes to the decision-making processes that affect their lives.

In other words, the NNER not only doesn't recognize our form of government, but actively promotes forms contrary to our Republic and actively works to subvert it.

Vern Henshaw served for a time on the Executive Committee of the NNER. From the minutes of a June 2006 meeting we read (link to minutes)

Ada Beth Cutler shared copies of an Op Ed that took a stand against a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage written by a BYU adjunct faculty member and a newspaper article about the firing of this faculty member for writing the Op Ed piece. She shared her grave concern about BYU’s action and policies that discriminate against homosexuals, given the principles of the Agenda for Education in a Democracy. She asked for discussion on the implications for the NNER and the mission of access and inclusion. Vern Henshaw responded, noting that he was reflecting only his perspective, not representing the larger partnership. He noted that the BYU partnership governing board does not have the authority to change policies at BYU, that the decision and policies do not reflect the actions at the partnership level. He indicated that the partnership co exists with the BYU policies and includes not only BYU but also public school districts that are not bound by the BYU policies.

Vern Henshaw's membership in this organization is both troubling and enlightening when viewed in light of events that have taken place in ASD. He shows his true colors on this issue when he and the district ignore the will of parents on math. There is no democracy in ASD, it's simple communism where the rulers tell us what to do in our homes (don't teach kids the times tables) and they'll indoctrinate, sorry, enculturate our children in schools as to what they need to do to understand the advantages of a socialist lifestyle.

Here are additional links should you wish to read more on this. It seems BYU was one of the first schools to sign on to this which may explain why so many people believe the education college there is overly liberal...or perhaps overtly liberal.



Star Trek the Original Series Returns...made by fans


Check this out.  Fans built a set and started making more of the original series episodes and big name help jumped in and it's all free to download. It looks pretty impressive with guest appearances from the actual Star Trek actors/actresses and music and special effects by pros all contributing to the effort. This is the key we've been missing in our math fight. The show that jump-started engineering careers for a generation is back. Now all we have to do is stream it into the schools and indoctrinate our children that their future is among the stars, pushing lots of colored buttons and dealing with those pesky Klingons.

If you click this next link, then click on the link to the news coverage to see what they've done.  Pretty cool. Even the news reporter got a cameo. Ahhh, the benefits of being in the news media. An admiralty commission without the hard work of moving up the chain of command....



Media Articles

School suspends boy for sketching gun (Mesa, AZ) http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070822/ap_on_re_us/brf_gun_sketch_suspension_1

Utah County School Revenues Up

Alpine business administrator Rob Smith said some of the new tax money is being used to build new schools, and to remodel and upgrade existing schools.

Three years ago, the district could build a school for $90-$100 a square foot.

"We're building schools now, I think with the high schools, $165-$175 a square foot," Smith said. "You'll never really know until you pay a final bill."

Criticism of math standards irks board

State Board of Education members say the standards are a significant improvement from before, and they didn't take kindly to a letter from lawmakers that was sent to board members Thursday urging them to reject the proposed new standards because they are not the "world-class" standards the committee set out to create.

Utah ACT scores beat U.S. average - but most students still short of collegiate standards

Utah students continue to outscore their peers on the ACT test, and the percentage of students in the state taking the ACT test remains on the rise, with substantial gains noted among Latinos, new data show.

Unfortunately the article missed reporting the demographic scores showing Utah is BELOW national average when comparing races to each other.

Marriage in California Could End?

In legal briefs submitted to the California Supreme Court regarding same-sex marriage, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Attorney General Jerry Brown both stated that a future legislature could abolish marriage and remove the rights now enjoyed by a husband and wife, a pro-family group charged on Monday.



Oak Norton

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