Connecticut Gov. Malloy Moves Forward with Common Core, Says Teachers Support Initiative

Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy (D-WFP) said he is moving forward with the Common Core standards in his state, despite the fact that more states are attempting to extricate themselves from the controversial education initiative that is the brainchild of political, educational, and corporate elites.

“There’s no going back,” Malloy said Thursday during a press conference in Hartford, according to Christine Stuart at CT News Junkie.

In fact, Malloy announced that he will be including additional funding for implementation of Common Core. The state education department will allot $2 million from its existing budget for professional development for language arts and math instruction, and an additional $10 million, to the $24 million already allocated, for school technology upgrades to support transition to the Common Core.

The $10 million for school technology upgrades will be added to the state Bond Commission agenda.

The press conference focus was the release of recommendations from the Common Core Task Force created by Malloy through an executive order. The task force never considered a halt to the implementation of Common Core or an exit from the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC), which is creating a test aligned with the Common Core standards.

Malloy is seeking a second term this year and has the reputation of following in lock-step with the Obama administration and the teachers unions on most issues. He was asked if he felt politically vulnerable moving forward with Common Core when other governors are running from the initiative.

“I’ve always felt vulnerable politically,” Malloy said. “My whole entire life. It goes with the fact that you run for office as opposed to not running for office. But if you’re asking does any of that shade in any way my commitment as a public servant to doing what’s right? The answer is, ‘no it doesn’t.'”

Malloy dismissed criticism of the Common Core as jargon and added that teachers he has spoken to support the standards because they say their students will be more prepared for college and careers. The governor said he believes Common Core is the best way to achieve these goals.

Diana Burns, a member of the Common Core Task Force, said there is a big misconception that Common Core is curriculum.

“It’s a framework, and teachers have the ability to teach it in any fashion they want to, so I think that it’s a public misconception,” Burns said. “Teachers are really supportive of it, and I just hope that’s really known.”

Burns also emphasized that Common Core should not be confused with teacher performance ratings being tied to the Common Core SBAC tests.

As Breitbart News reported in January, Malloy called for a slowdown of the new teacher evaluation program, that ties performance ratings to student scores on the SBAC tests, after the two teachers unions in the state complained.

A survey conducted in May of teachers from both the Connecticut Education Association (CEA) and the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) in Connecticut found that 82 percent were concerned about time available to “adequately learn, develop, and implement common core standards.”

According to CT News Junkie, AFT Connecticut president Melodie Peters said teachers are more concerned about other issues than Common Core.

“But we’re working our way through it. It is about educating people,” Peters said.

Describing opposition to Common Core as a “handful of folks across the country who have an agenda to undermine,” Peters said the task force and the stakeholders in Connecticut have proven they can make Common Core their own.

However, Jonathan Pelto, who is running for governor against Malloy on the Education and Democracy Party ticket, said, “[Malloy’s] support for the Common Core and its absurd, unfair, and costly Common Core testing program is undermining our public education system and wasting scarce public dollars.”

As Breitbart News reported Thursday, a newly released Rasmussen poll finds that support for the Common Core standards among American parents with school-age children has dropped dramatically.

The telephone survey of 1,000 adults conducted June 21-22 found that only 34 percent of American adults with children of elementary or secondary school age now favor requiring all schools across the nation to meet the same Common Core education standards, an outcome that Rasmussen observes is an 18-point drop from 52 percent in early November of last year.

The Common Core standards are a federally promoted education initiative introduced in the Obama administration’s 2009 stimulus bill through a competitive grant program called Race to the Top (RttT). States could apply and compete for federal grant money, as well as waivers from No Child Left Behind restrictions, as long as they adopted a set of uniform standards, and aligned curricula and testing, that allows for a greater role of government in education, student data collection, and teacher evaluations based on student performance on assessments aligned with the standards.

The state boards of education, most of them unelected, that signed onto the unproven Common Core standards did so with little, if any, public or media scrutiny, prior to even seeing the standards themselves.

At least 35 states now have had some form of legislation raised against the standards themselves, the aligned testing, or the associated student data collection.

The standards were developed by three private organizations in Washington D.C.: the National Governors Association (NGA), the Council for Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), and progressive education company Achieve, Inc. All three organizations were privately funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and none of these groups are accountable to parents, teachers, students, or taxpayers.

Bill Gates recently revealed the true purpose of the Common Core is to engineer the “huge problem that low-income kids get less good education than suburban kids get.”

There is no official information about who selected the individuals to write the Common Core standards. In addition, none of the writers of the math and English Language Arts standards have ever taught math, English, or reading at the K-12 level. The Standards Development Work Groups did not include any members who were high school English and mathematics teachers, English professors, scientists, engineers, parents, state legislators, early childhood educators, and state or local school board members.

Source: Breitbart Feed

Why ISIS Won’t Take Baghdad

From the Daily Beast:

BEIRUT, Lebanon — Fighters loyal to the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) have at times been as close as six miles to Baghdad, according to Iraqi and Kurdish commanders interviewed by The Daily Beast. But the Iraqi capital may well be  “a city too far” for this ferocious al-Qaeda offshoot that is determined, as its name says, to establish a state of its own.

While there’s no solid consensus among intelligence analysts in the region about ISIS’s precise strategy, several interviewed in recent days say the jihadists are likely to launch demoralizing commando raids and a suicide bombing blitz in Baghdad, probably timed to coincide with the arrival of the main contingent of US military advisers. (An advance guard arrived Tuesday.)

The Americans presumably will make the defense of the capital a priority, but that may be precisely what ISIS hopes they will do, because it has other interests. “The priority, I think, for ISIS is to build their Islamic State straddling the Syria-Iraq border – that is their ultimate objective—and trying to capture Baghdad would be too big for them to accomplish; it could also sidetrack them,” says a US intelligence official based in the Middle East who is closely monitoring ISIS.

ISIS has not picked difficult battles. It has calculated carefully where it could move with the biggest impact and the least resistance. Mosul was not Stalingrad, holding out against a powerful siege; it was more like Copenhagen in World War II, folding without a fight.

Read the full story at The Daily Beast.

Source: Breitbart Feed

Choudary-Linked Terror Group Banned: ‘I’ll Radicalise Everyone In Prison’ Claims Preacher

British authorities have banned the controversial ‘Need4Khilafah’ group which seeks to create an Islamic state in Britain. The group’s work has featured hate preacher Anjem Choudary, and is linked to a number of convicted terrorists and ISIS sympathisers.

Some of Need4Khilafah’s activities were first exposed by Breitbart London in March 2014, when it was noted that the group was targeting university campuses in London with their toxic message of Islamist radicalism. 

Now, the group has been officially proscribed by the UK Home Office, according to the BBC, meaning that anyone claiming to be a member the group, or even supporting the group, will be guilty of a criminal offence relevant to sections 11 and 12 of the Terrorism Act.

The group was identified by Breitbart London in March as another spin-off group from the al-Muhajiroun crowd that was proscribed in 2010. Since then, the organisation has gone through several different name changes including the Shariah Project, Islam4UK, the Saved Sect, and more. 

Immigration and Security Minister James Brokenshire said: “Terrorist organisations should not be allowed to escape proscription simply by acting under a different name.

“That is why we have today laid an order which will, from tomorrow, recognise the Need4Khilafah, the Shariah Project and the Islamic Dawah Association as aliases of the group already proscribed as both Al Ghurabaa and The Saved Sect.

“Al Muhajiroun remains of significant concern to the UK and the international community, and this order will ensure that that it cannot operate in the UK as Need4Khilafah, the Shariah Project and the Islamic Dawah Association. The group is also known as Al Muhajiroun. This means being a member of or supporting the organisation is a criminal offence.”

Reporting on the group in the mainstream media has been lacking, with Breitbart London providing scoops about rallies outside the Regents Park Mosque, as well as investigating video content published by Need4Khilafah.

On March 17th we reported how the group clashed on East London streets with members of the nationalist group Britain First. A rally in Green Street, East London featured terror convict Abu Izzadeen, while a major rally in April was completely overlooked by the UK media. 

Breitbart London reported from both on the ground, and investigated a number of incidents surrounding the event.

On April 23rd, ABCNews followed the Need4Khilfah group, and made this short documentary as a result.

The proscription of the group is unlikely to stop members continuing to whip up anti-Britain hatred on London’s streets and beyond – and is simply another move by Britain’s security services to try and disrupt their recruitment and proselytisation tactics. 

The Times reports that Anjem Choudary’s network “has now been proscribed as a terrorist organisation operating under 11 different names, but neither he nor any one of his associates has so far been prosecuted for membership of an illegal group.” 

Speaking about the latest development, Choudary boasted: “If they arrest me and put me in prison, I will carry on in prison. I’ll radicalise everyone in prison. My paradise and my hell are things which are beyond this reality. My paradise is in my heart. If they put me in prison I’ll carry on there. If they kill me I will die a martyr.

“There is nothing, really, they can do which could dampen my hopes and aspirations. I will carry on being a servant of God for the rest of my life, inshallah [God willing] — whatever they do they will face the consequences of their actions on the day of judgment.”

Alongside a number of terror convicts, Choudary has also been linked to the murderer of Drummer Lee Rigby, the British soldier who was murdered on a London street in May 2013. Michael Adebolajo was spotted at a rally with Anjem Choudary. He was also spotted in video speaking at a Unite Against Fascism rally in 2009, the same group that protests against the UK Independence Party.

Source: Breitbart Feed

Don’t Retreat, Reload: Sarah Palin, Allen West, Rick Santorum Encourage Tea Party to Keep Fighting

SEVIERVILLE, TENNESSEE—Waiting to get into a major Tea Party rally here in the hometown of Dolly Parton, attendees were disgruntled as they stood in line waiting to get through security.

But it wasn’t the long lines waiting to get inside the convention center that frustrated them, it was the Sen. Thad Cochran’s victory over the more conservative Chris McDaniel in the Mississippi runoff race.

“I had a hard time sleeping, because I was so angry,” Sevier Tea Party group chairman Steve Osborn said as he smoked a cigarette before the rally.

In conversations with attendees, and from the stage as Former Governor Sarah Palin, Sen. Rick Santorum, and Rep. Allen West addressed the crowd of about 500, the anger about Cochran’s controversial electoral tactics was palpable.

Tennessee is considered an important battleground in the fight by Tea Party activists in 2014, as conservative challenger Joe Carr is challenging the establishment Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN).

Carr, wasn’t at the rally, but spoke with Breitbart News by phone, asserting that his race was more important than ever given the outcome in Mississippi.

Osborn, whose Tea Party group co-sponsored the event, decried Republicans that had “prostituted themselves” to the Democratic base simply to stay in power.

Other attendees shared the same sentiment.

“Honestly I was just so pissed, I was just so mad,” said Rick, a man from Knoxville, Tennessee.

“It was probably the dirtiest thing in politics that I have ever seen,” he said about the Cochran campaign’s tactics.

“I try not to take this stuff personally,” said Josh, a 26-year-old man from Bradley County who attended the rally with his wife and child, describing the results of the race as “frustrating.”

“We’re trying so hard to change the mindset and kind of get back to what we believe in and let people know we’re modern and believe in modern solutions,” he said.

Cochran’s ploy, he believed, was an example of cynical politics and he was disappointed with the tactics in the Republican party.

“When stuff like that happens, it doesn’t come across as you’re reaching across the aisle, it makes you look desperate,” he said.

“I think it was dead wrong, I just didn’t like the way he did it,” said Larry, a man from Knoxville, pointing out that it reflected bad on the Republican party.

He admitted that although Cochran often voted as a conservative, it was an ugly mark on his career.

“It just puts a bad taste in everyone’s mouth,” he said.

“I was completely appalled and disgusted – it wasn’t an honest race,” explained Clare, a woman who attended the rally with her husband Steve.

The couple wore t-shirts to show support for the conservative challenger to Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-TN in the Republican primary, Joe Carr.

Like Cochran, Alexander is taking heat from conservatives for working with Democrats in the Senate – and voting with President Obama.

Clare explained that like Cochran, Alexander would likely rely on support from Democrats to win his election as well – as the state has an open primary.

“Lamar Alexander supports open primaries,” she said, “I think its very clear why, I don’t think he could win if we had closed primaries … he knows it, he needs the Democratic crossover.”

Members of the crowd were keenly aware of Alexander’s record in Washington D.C. and appeared ready to vote him out.

“I think Lamar Alexander is a total sell out, and he’s establishment, he’s too old he’s been there too long, he has no vision for our future,” said Kurt, a man who attended the rally with his son.

He admitted that Carr faced a tough race against a well-funded incumbent

“It’s hard to tackle a giant,” he said, concerned about the funding that Alexander was going to get from the “country club group” of Republicans.

“I’m a Joe Carr fan,” Larry said, calling him a “top drawer” candidate.

But he was also concerned that Carr was facing an uphill battle.

“I don’t think he’s got a shot at it, because Alexander is so ensconced in this state, but I hope I’m wrong,” he said. “I hope we have another Eric Cantor type thing going on here.”

“He’s a RINO, but he’s from my hometown,” said Susan, who wore a red “Beat Lamar” T-shirt who attended the event with her sister. She was particularly upset with his support for the immigration reform bill, which she blamed for the crisis on the border particularly the surge of children illegal immigrants crossing the border.

“Personally, I don’t feel real good about any U.S. Senator that votes with Obama 62 percent of the time,” said a Sonny, a retired banker who has been involved in Republican politics for a long time. “He does play the piano real nice though.”

Only one attendee at the rally, a local Republican politician, defended Alexander as a conservative who deserved re-election.

The group of political activists were keenly aware of the disruption in the party, and sought encouragement from three of their political champions who also faced tough losses – former Governor Sarah Palin, former Senator Rick Santorum, and former Rep. Allen West.

Mississippi was also on their minds as well.

“That was a disgrace,” West said. “That was not standing on principal that’s not standing up for what you believe in, that was just a career politician that just wants to go back to Washington D.C. That was despicable, it’s immoral and it’s disgusting.”

Palin also disparaged the Republican party for their actions in Mississippi.

“Well shoot, our own party was proving this last week, to potentially manipulate and exterminate the integrity of a primary election,” she said, pointing out that the “the bloated political clash from both sides were trying to discourage people aligned with the Tea Party.

Santorum also encouraged attendees to continue fighting in spite of the loss.

The message he wanted to send, he told Breitbart News after his speech, was for conservatives to not get discouraged.

“America’s bigger than that, it’s not about one battle its about fighting for what you believes is what is right for the country and staying engaged, we’re not allowed to get discouraged,” he said.

West offered a similar message in his speech.

“This is not our last stand it is our greatest stand,” he said. “Plant the flag. Make a stand.”

Palin reminded activists that the results should inspire them to redouble their efforts, pointing out that the establishment politicians would try to discourage them.

“It does make a difference,” she said. “What you are doing makes a difference and now more than ever we need to ramp it up. Don’t retreat, we gotta reload.”

In spite of their frustration, Palin soon had the crowd laughing as she peppered her speech with political jokes and taking shots against President Obama and his allies.

West, a University of Tennessee graduate, led the crowd in a rendition of the song Rocky Top, much to the delight of the crowd.

Palin took the stage acknowledging that Sevierville was Dolly Parton’s home town, explaining that she once dressed up as Parton for Halloween when she was in High School.

She also reminded them that the media was also trying to sound a death knell for the Tea Party but it was very much alive.

“Us bitter clingers and wingers, we ignored those yappin’ little lapdogs in the media and with a new social media kind of reporting you know we were able to kick those little varmints away, we were able to ignore what it was that they were saying,” she said.

Palin held up Sen. Ted Cruz as an example of a Washington politician that was fighting for them, and explained that it was more important than ever to send him allies in his fight against the Washington establishment.

“He is there for a reason not a season, and that’s what we need more of,” she said. “We need to send the good guys reinforcements to take the battle to Capitol Hill for us.”

Although she hasn’t endorsed Joe Carr yet in his primary, Palin dropped a hint to Tennessee voters that he was one of their allies.

“We need to be pretty discerning here of what kind of ‘Carr’ we send to D.C.,” she said as Carr supporters in the hall cheered.

Carr, however, was not at the rally as the set block of speakers had already been set.

On the phone, he told Breitbart News that since he was not invited to speak at the rally, he had scheduled events elsewhere in the state.

Organizers of the rally explained early on that if local political figures wanted to attend, they would have to purchase tickets.

“If I can’t be speaking, I’ve got other places where I can speak for free,” Carr explained.

Other longshot candidates running against Carr and Alexander, did buy tickets and worked the crowd as they came in passing out campaign literature.

Carr declined to comment about whether Palin or Santorum had decided to endorse him, but he said that his campaign had already had “productive” conversations with both camps.

He hoped that the rally would inspire Tea Party supporters to stay involved and believe in his campaign.

The Tea Party in Tennessee, Carr said, was “very very very well organized.”

“That’s three veries if your counting,” he said.

in 2012, the Tea Party groups held a vote deciding to support Carr in the fight to defeat Lamar Alexander.

Carr said that McDaniel would have won by at least five points in Mississippi, if the establishment hadn’t worked to “steal an election” by reaching out to Democrats.

He denied that the Cochran victory would affect his own campaign negatively.

“We’re finding that because of that race, there is a great deal of anger and righteous indignation, honestly this has created a great bit of fuel for the fire that is our campaign,” he said.

Source: Breitbart Feed

California DMV on Driver’s Licenses to Illegal Aliens: ‘That Ship Has Sailed’

On Thursday, the state Department of Motor Vehicles held a hearing in Oakland on Assembly Bill 60, which Gov. Jerry Brown signed in October granting illegal aliens a right to a California driver’s license. For those at the hearing who questioned the new law’s validity, Brian Soublet, the DMV attorney said, “You’re in the wrong venue. That ship has already sailed.”

For those who favor the new law, which has until January 2015 to be fully initiated, getting their license will be a day of celebration, according to the San Jose Mercury News. Maria Distancia, 45, has been driving without a license for more than ten years. She claims that she trembles with nervousness while traveling through cites like Alameda, known for its strict enforcement of traffic laws. Current law penalizes license violations with vehicle impoundments and up to $1,000 in fines. Maria opined that the new law will stave off fears of being deported and “brings us confidence and peace of mind… protection so we’re not afraid to drive.”

Immigrant advocates came from across the state to voice their opinions on the final rules for the new law. Cries for cheaper license processing fees and easier access to processing centers were called for at the hearing. Moreover, the News reported that by January 1, 2015, new DMV offices will emerge and 1,000 new government employees will be hired to handle the huge incursion of illegal immigrants seeking licenses.

Distancia, a caregiver and housekeeper, says she fled Mexico to free herself from poverty. She had been travelling to her jobs by bus until an incident occurred where she and her daughter were harassed during one trip. She decided to risk driving without a license, and by doing so she could take on more jobs, affording her the ability to live in the expensive Bay area. “To clean houses, you need a car,” she said. “You can clean three houses a day instead of just one.”

At the hearing, which took place at the Caltrans auditorium, farm workers, claiming that the new law will give them the ability to follow crops from one part of the state to another, argued for easier and less complicated driving tests. Additionally, they lobbied for less stringent documentation to prove they live in California. One construction worker who came to California from Honduras spoke at the hearing, saying the law will change his life: “We’ll be able to drive to get to work, drive our kids to school,  and if there’s an emergency, get to the hospital.”

Source: Breitbart Feed