Barry Levinson on Common Core

Barry Levinson

Barry Levinson

To All OCBE Trustee Members: July 1, 2015

Last night at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in North Fullerton, Dr. Bidell spoke to a group of about 100 people. Every one of them was against Common Core for many very valid reasons as follows: For its reliance on computer testing, for its lack of parental access to those computers and what their kids are learning, to the attack on family privacy and the dumbing down of our children with new methods that have not been tested.

I asked Dr. Bidell would he vote with his two colleagues to sue the state over Common Core. He would not give me a direct answer. Then  when pressed some more he stated it would cost a million dollars to sue the state. Then it was revealed that the Pacific Justice Institute had already informed the board that it would legally represent the board for free. Still there was no answer to my direct question.

Let me put it bluntly to all 5 members of the board. You are our representatives and your failure to listen to parents who have kids suffering because of the arrogance and overreach of government at the federal and state levels, will not be tolerated.

Dr. Bidell’s failure to answer my question demonstrates in my view an arrogance that also will not be tolerated by his constituents unless he changes his position on Common Core.

The meeting accomplished nothing. Why? Dr. Bidell wasted over one hour presenting the most disjointed presentation I have ever listened to and worse no one who I talked to afterwards had any idea what he was talking about. After his speech he took questions. After listening to reason after reason, example after example, why Common Core is a disaster for our kids, he gave us nothing new. Dr. Bidell kept on repeating one phrase to questions addressed to him and that was “I got it”. Well based on his failure to respond to our specific problems with Common Core, he got nothing in my opinion.

He started with his stating he was going to write a letter about keeping the federal government out of Common Core. I have news for all of you. The federal government was the single driver of Common Core. You cannot be its author and then with a magic wand say that going forward the federal government will have no involvement.

We want Common Core out of our schools. We want the federal government out of our schools. Finally we will vote out any board member who does not understand the 200-year concept of locally controlled public and private schools that not only allows for but also wants parents input to the educational system.

Below its just another recent example of how this overreach is destroying our school systems.

The mother of an incoming kindergartner in Connecticut (a Common Core State) has persuaded officials to revise their school forms after speaking out about a question that she says got too personal. The inquiry: “Type of birth: Vaginal__ Cesarean__.”
Cara Paiuk was at an introductory event for her son’s upcoming kindergarten class at Aiken Elementary School in West Hartford when she and her husband were handed a packet of forms to fill out. As her husband began to answer questions, Paiuk says she noticed one particularly alarming request for information. The question, in a section about “birth history,” asked whether her son was delivered vaginally or via C-section. “I ripped it out of his hands and said, ‘You can’t answer that, it’s none of their business,’” Paiuk tells Yahoo Parenting. “This is kindergarten, and they want to know about my vagina! I don’t understand — there’s no correlation between the two for me.”
These are the types of things the OCBE must fight against. I want the OCBE to hire the Pacific Research Institute to sue the California Board of Education to remove Common Core from all Orange County schools, both public and private.
The proof is in and Common Core does not work for school children, for parents and for our democracy.
I hope all five trustees of the OCBE read this letter and take the time to respond to my many concerns about Common Core.

Barry Levinson
Fullerton, California

Please note these sad facts. There was not one board member from the Fullerton School District who attended this meeting. There was not one member from the Fullerton City Council (present or past) who attended this meeting. Finally, with the exception of yours truly not one person who has previously run for a Fullerton council seat was present at that meeting either.

Can anyone explain why so many of our leaders and want to be leaders did not think this meeting was worth their time? I will leave it to the readers to draw their own conclusions.

I report, you decide.

  1. #1 by Joe Imbriano on July 1, 2015 - 11:29 pm

    Great questions last night and here on this post. Will we get answers?

  2. #2 by Barry Levinson on July 2, 2015 - 2:42 am

    Common Core is one of the most important issues facing our society. Its attempt by the federal government to take over our local institutions of school education is rotten to the core. The types of questions asked about our private lives coupled with the change in English Language Arts which switches the reading from the classics to requiring 50% of all reading materials to be non-fiction demonstrates both the intrusiveness of the federal and state government but also its efforts to control what our children think through controlling their reading materials. This is insidious and must not be allowed to succeed against our most precious resource, our children.

  3. #3 by Please run! on July 2, 2015 - 1:00 pm

    Mr. Levinson,
    You should run for the city council again!

  4. #4 by Fullerton's Shameful City Hall on July 3, 2015 - 6:56 pm

    I know two people who should not run in 2016, Jan Flory and Jennifer Fitzgerald.

  5. #5 by Twilight Zone on July 4, 2015 - 1:01 pm

    How can a liberal secular Democrat and a fiscal and social conservative have almost identical voting records?

    I think the voters of Fullerton should be asking that question to both of them when they run for reelection in 2016?

    Fullerton City Hall is truly worthy of the title Twilight Zone City.

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