Yesterday, (9/12/13) the PA State Board of Education voted 13 – 4 to approve the “Keystone Exams” and adopt what the Board called “state-developed academic standards”. We heard the Secretary of Education Catherine Dumaresq tell us last night that what they adopted were NOT national Common Core standards, but state standards and that they included strict provisions against additional student testing above what PA currently has. Many opponents of Common Core question this, saying that these new standards are nearly identical to the national standards and that invasive testing will still occur.
Last Friday Marlin Stutzman (R-IN) sent a Congressional Letter to Eric Holder in support of the Romeike family. It was also signed by 26 of his colleagues, including Pennsylvania Congressman Joe Pitts. Remember the Romeike family had been persecuted in Germany because they were homeschooling their five children. They moved to the US, settled in Kentucky and received initial asylum. However, the Obama Administration through Attorney General Eric Holder, challenged it and the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals backed the Administration.
Today beginning at 1:00 p.m. the Senate Education Committee will hold just such a hearing where individuals for and against Common Core will testify. The chairman of that committee is Senator Mike Folmer who opposes Common Core.
The Romeike family is a German homeschooling family which moved to the United States in August 2008 seeking freedom to homeschool their children. It has been illegal to homeschool in Germany since Hitler’s time. When they left Germany, the parents were facing hefty fines and the government threat of a lien on their home simply because they wanted to homeschool. In January 2010 a federal immigration judge granted the Romeike’s asylum, however in May 2012 the Obama Administration revoked the asylum seeking to deport the family.
Thanks to the many who has contacted your State Senator and Senator Andrew Dinniman directly. Now for a couple updates.
Turns out the current homeschool law already addresses the issue of child safety – and to an even greater extent.
Senator Andrew Dinniman has introduced SB 32 which would require a school district to report to the county Children & Youth Services any children who are homeschooled or in a cyber school. Children & Youth Services, in turn, would be required to do a risk assessment in the home of all these children. This is being introduced as a means to protect children from abusive situations, but in reality it is just another way for the government to intrude into the lives of parents who do not want their children in public school. So . . . will Children and Youth be looking into whether the parents own a gun, whether there are “too many” kids in the home, will the government require each child have their own bedroom?? Just what will the nosy government agency be looking for?
The end of February the Chambersburg Area School District (CASD) board made the right decision and voted down a Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) club – the vote was 5-4. Since that time they have been under attack from the ACLU and the homosexual group Equality PA. In addition a petition has been started on George Soros-funded change.org by a 2010 graduate of CASD and it has garnered 6,000 signatures from around the country demanding that the board allow the GSA.
The American Family Association of Pennsylvania (AFA of PA), a statewide traditional values group, has contacted the president of the Pennsylvania State Education Association (PSEA) about that organization’s role as “funder” of the Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network (GLSEN).
Over the Christmas break condom dispensers were placed near nurses’ offices in 22 schools which have the highest rates of sexually transmitted diseases in the Philadelphia School District. Today the American Family Association of Pennsylvania (AFA of PA) faxed letters of concern to the principals of each of the 22 schools.
SPECIAL STATEMENT: “The PIHL has not banned the National Anthem. A badly worded statement went out to teams about the subject and it has since been clarified and corrected. We apologize for the misunderstanding, but the National Anthem has not and will not be banned.” -md