15-7= Private Profit Taken from Public Education Taxes

15-7=8 cannot be copyrighted for profit.


This example can be copyrighted for private profit from public education taxes.

The content can be copyrighted, the instructional materials (text books, worksheets, computer and online programs, supplemental staples in all versions, etc) can all be copyrighted as CCSS compliant for all state brands (Pearson and others) of mandated high stakes testing. Common Core State State Standards are privately licensed - ; CCSS is NOT governmentally owned or licensed. Read the license on its own site.

It is, of course, possible to rationalize and explain what concepts could be taught with examples such as this. Each and every particular math example can be defended on one basis or another, but that is not the point.

Is this valid? Does it teach what it is intended to teach.

Is it reliable? Does it work repeatedly to teach learners what it is intended to teach?

Is it age appropriate?

Is it better than non-copyrighted materials?

Is it cost effective?

Is it an intentionally poor example and standard that can later be improved upon and sold as an updated necessity? (The new and improved 15-7 proof.)

Please add your own questions from your own minds and experiences.

One main point is that this example and so very many other materials are meant to make additional private profits from public education taxes – starve public schools and the children in them while handing gobs of money to private investors.

Another main point is that our children are undergoing these experiences as human guinea pigs for the financial profits of multinational corporations and investors. A ten year experiment on a your child can leave terrible, life-long scars.

Bottom Line: It’s all about the bottom line profits for these corporate education profiteers.

Annual profits are billions of dollars going to profiteers around the world. This is what is behind 15-7 for our children.

To learn how to refuse, boycott and opt-out of testing for your own child. go to United Opt Out for state to state info and letters.


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Why I will NOT attend the BAT Rally in D.C. on Monday…

I want very, very much to attend the Badass Teachers Association rally in Washington D.C. on Monday. I am simply unable to attend; events in my life have gotten in the way. I truly wanted to be at all of the past week’s BAT events.

As an adult, my personal reasons require no excuse making; that is why those reasons are called personal. However, if I could attend and work with all the wonderful people there, I certainly would.

What can I do to be supportive of public education for all without being there?

How can I continue to be part of the movement that believes in teachers and actual teaching?

Go to the USTREAM channel that allows us all to view recently streamed presentations and view live-streaming of the rally itself from Washington D.C. all day Monday. Sign in via Facebook or email or whatever.

The point is, do whatever it takes to be part of stopping the attempted dismantling of American education for the profit of a few insanely wealthy multinational investors and their tax-free foundations.

View it all HERE.

Please share the link with everyone you know.

(If, for whatever reason, the above link doesn’t work well for you, google it.)


By the way, I cannot list all the names of the fine, caring, dedicated people who are part of the BAT events. I respect and love these people. Actually, that is our strength – there are too many of these wonderful people to even name in one blog. BATs are bigger and more important than any one person. There are too many of us who refuse to be stopped.





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David Sirota, you and me…

David Sirota exposes yet another major rip-off of teachers – active and retired. The political leadership of both major political parties, the elected officials, and the corporate thieves who control major media outlets lie and propagandize about these rip-offs.

“As states and cities grapple with budget shortfalls, many are betting big on an unproven formula: Slash public employee pension benefits and public services while diverting the savings into lucrative subsidies for professional sports teams.”
So begins Sirota’s latest investigative article.

Illinois, Michigan, Florida, New Jersey, Arizona, and Maryland are all used as examples in Sirota’s article, yet many other state legislatures are following this same pattern of theft.

Active teachers pay a percentage of their salaries into pensions systems that are predicted to fail – predicted by the same legislators who both mandate teacher pension payments by teachers and their local school districts in addition to 401k “savings” and redistribute these mandated savings into the pockets of corporate thieves who contribute to the re-election of the legislators. Before the same legislators legalized this process with the help of the courts, it was called corruption. Now it is merely a “public-private partnership” that sells America one student, one teacher, one pension, one contract, one school, one special sales tax dollar, one high stakes test, and one soul at a time.

Education Money1

The misused and diverted earned income of active teachers is wage theft. Retired teachers watch as their earned income, pensions, is erroneously blamed for the crippling of America’s economy. So, as Sirota publishes his findings, the corporate media publishes greedy-teacher pension scapegoating propaganda as truth.

“The state has a total of $175.7 billion in unpaid pension and state debts it cannot pay. If that had to be paid today, every Illinois taxpayer would have to fork over $43,000.”
The Chicago Sun Times paraphrases a self proclaimed non-partisan think tank.

Let’s read that again with my emphasis that emphasizes the method of propaganda.

“The state has a total of $175.7 billion in unpaid pension and state debts it cannot pay. If that had to be paid today, every Illinois taxpayer would have to fork over $43,000.”

What other state debts? If what had to be paid in one day? Why would a state pay all its forecast payments immediately as one big, lump sum? Propaganda as fair and balanced news? Nonsense. Repeated nonsense by major media outlets becomes believed propaganda.

The stock market is at an all time high. In many states, over 70% of corporations pay no taxes. American CEO income is also at an all time high. American companies who relocate overseas are paid subsidies from America’s tax base to leave the country.

The wealthiest country in the world is selling itself away because of unnecessary austerity measures that are not called austerity. Taxes are supposed to be used for the public good – not as unearned payoffs to the immensely wealthy.

Let’s call it non-partisan corruption and redistribution of earned income to insanely wealthy corporate thieves who have no moral compass.

Corrupt legislators hate teachersThis is yet another way to wage war against public education. What capable young adult would choose to make teaching a lifelong career, a career that assures teachers will be victims of wage theft and guarantees a retirement into poverty?

This war must be won by teachers, or the quality of education will be lost.




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Why would anyone have remained a teacher when… ?

Dear Everyone,

Not long after I began teaching Language Arts at the high school level in a Chicago suburb, I underwent very serious surgery that was unexpected. When I returned to the classroom, I was still healing and would be for many months to come. I asked several teachers in my department for any materials they were willing to share with me.

Although I knew I would do my best for my students each and every day, I was under no delusions that I was at my best. Teaching is not easy.

Those teachers and others gave me more than I ever expected. They also gave me personal notes on what they thought I should try along with suggestions on how to do it. I learned from them as they supported me. We talked whenever we could – bursts of advice and suggestions. It was an amazing experience for me. This went on for the entire school year.

I cannot tell you how thankful I was and am to those teachers and the others who simply got me through a major personal crisis.

Needless to say, I learned that life and learning are cooperative and not competitive.

Because I realized that I was ever beholden to them for what they did for me, I strove to be my best to them and for them. For years my mind was filled with the message, “Don’t screw it up.” I was not about to let what I learned from them be wasted. Friendships and trusts developed.

None of this should be surprising to most people.

But, there is something more, much more, about what actually happened.

As teachers, they all wanted the children in my classes to learn. Yes, they behaved in the best interests of children who were not under their direct care. Big children – teenagers. These children have needs just as kindergarteners do. Sometimes, even bigger needs.

I have often felt that the students I had that year received better teaching than I had ever been capable of before my surgery.

Parents don’t always know what goes on on the other side of the desk. Students don’t always know this either.

How could I not want to teach, learn, relearn, and do my best working with teachers such as those?

By the way, a few of those teachers were pains in the neck about lots of things over the years. There were even a few (?) I argued with. So what. They were teachers, not gods. Their list of imperfections is nearly as long as my own list of imperfections. My students and their parents also had imperfections galore. As for imperfections in administrators… So what. As Kurt Vonnegut would say, “So it goes.”

As a retired public school teacher who never wore rose colored glasses, I clearly see what kept me teaching; and this situation is merely one that stands out in my mind.

Teaching is a career, not just a job.


- Ken Previti

AND – I’m still learning. Here I am at the Network for Public Education National Conference in Austin at the University of Texas in March of 2014 supporting public education for all.

Ken at NPE



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Teachers: Don’t waste your votes? Waste?

“Portion of people living in Illinois who say they would move elsewhere if they could: 1/2″

- Harper’s Index in the Harper’s Magazine, August 2014 issue


Who believes all the lies about the greedy, lazy, incompetent teachers who are bankrupting the state and failing their students?

When a fear-filled lie, propaganda, is repeated often enough by corporate media outlets, fear wins out and social sanity collapses. Selecting a minority group to be an “other” as a scapegoat is a common propaganda procedure. “Stinkin’ teachers!”

Illinois, Florida, Connecticut, New Jersey, California, and YOUR state use teachers as scapegoats for the financial woes created by their own legislators who annually give hundreds of millions of dollars away to each of their corporate, multimillionaire and billionaire campaign contributors. No money for schools, teachers, pensions or anything except giveaways to cronies.

(By the way, states by definition cannot go broke; states are independent taxing entities.)

IL Broke

This “Illinois Is Broke” Campaign was carried on state government’s own State of Illinois sites (Yes, paid for with tax money.), on TV ads, radio and newspaper ads, and even the billboards that greeted visitors driving to and from the airport. AstroTurf organizations, disguised as grassroots groups or think tank experts, supported by the same wealth based individuals and corporations who will benefit financially by the plundering of those state pension funds are doing this with the approval of legislators. Now, what could possibly go wrong with that?

(This particular ad is no longer in use. It served its purpose for the investors in crisis management promoted by hedge fund managers.)

Yes, 30 year Speaker of the House Mike Madigan (D) supported SB1 to steal public pensions, although he and his legislature admittedly have systematically underpaid pensions and spent the money elsewhere. His daughter, Attorney General Lisa Madigan (D), is demanding “police powers” to support her father’s legislation – in spite of the fact that both took oaths of office to protect the state constitution which specifically protects public pensions from attack and diminishment.

Yes, Gov. Pat Quinn (D), who is running for re-election, signed the bill into law as he himself is under federal investigation for criminal charges involving misuse of other state monies.

Yes, the major gubernatorial opponent in the race, billionaire Bruce Rauner (R), is deeply involved in “wrongful deaths of developmentally disabled” people under the care of his corporations. Yes, there are even more allegations of additional wrongdoings, such as supplying deplorable living conditions and other atrocious situations. Rauner proudly promises to “run Illinois like a business.”

There are no other viable candidates for governor. Nearly all ads for both contenders warned, “Do not waste your vote” by not voting for either well financed candidate. What could be a more hypocritical and defeatist message?

Perhaps the Lincoln ads should read, “Illinois is morally broke.”

Half the people in Illinois want out.

Sound familiar? What’s happening in YOUR state? How many in your state want out?



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What “Education News” is NOT supported by a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation?

“Education coverage for NBCNews.com is supported by a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation… ” – NBCNews

NBC News from B-M Gates

Bill Gates, who financed the creation of Common Core State Standards and other major organizations for corporate education reform, makes hundreds of millions of tax-free dollars in profits monthly from his and his foundations’ investments in high stakes testing, online programs, apps, textbooks, etc. Gates and his foundation are major profiteers in the corporate-led education reform movement which is part of the Education Industrial Complex. Foundations invest money to benefit the foundations. Foundations then pay foundation executives and investors whatever the foundations choose to pay them.

What do the vast majority of Americans know about CCSS and the CCSS compliant high stakes tests sold under a variety of brand names in various states? Whatever they read and hear in the news.

Who pays to have the news report whatever paid experts are chosen to say during interviews? Whatever conclusions are reached by research paid for by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation – which also financially supports the universities and think-tank organizations that do the research? The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

carl saganIn Carl Sagan’s last book, The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark, published in 1996, he made it clear about why so many people believed what is obviously false by referring to an intelligent man he met in New York.

“He simply accepted what the most widely available and accessible sources of information claimed was true. For his naivete, he was systematically misled and bamboozled.”

Carl Sagan was referring to misleading pseudoscience. Today he would be amazed at how blatantly the misleading corporate education reform information is being financed.

So let’s ask, “What would Carl Sagan do?” Now, let’s do it.



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Randi Weingarten, Mercedes Schneider, CCSS, the NPE Panel, and the AFT Convention

Randi 2Randi plays a major role in the Banraku Puppet Theater of the Absurd in Los Angeles during the AFT Convention.

AFT President Randi Weingarten did her usual song-and-dance for Common Core State Standards at the Network for Public Education National Conference last March at the University Of Texas in Austin. Moderator Anthony Cody presented Randi, Paul Horton, Geralyn McLaughlin, Jose Luis Vilson, and Mercedes Schneider to discuss CCSS. Each panelist in turn blew Randi’s CCSS evangelizing away with the truths and insights each offered. Randi played her “personal reasons” unsharable game. (The full 40 minute video is available HERE for whenever you wish to view it.)

Mercedes Schneider, the most incredible researcher in education, presented data, facts, and conclusions against CCSS that were devastating. Randi simply kept playing her “personal reasons” unsharable game. The audience recognized it for what it was.

This weekend during the AFT Convention in Los Angeles, CTU President Karen Lewis and leaders from other cities and states who oppose CCSS are being treated to the same CCSS Rah-Rah game via Randi and the Board.

But, there is a twist.

Teachers are being told by Randi and the Board to fix CCSS themselves. “Rewrite it the way it should be.” Make a better noose around the neck of of public education; public schools, teachers and students will all play their part in this – whatever that means.

But, there is another twist of that twist.

BanrakuMercedes Schneider proves the false basis for this entire Weingarten led puppet fiasco. Since the entire AFT Board is enacting this Banraku Puppet Theater of the Absurd performance, the truth is explained for all participants of the AFT Conference to consider.

Just as the AFT Conference began, Mercedes blogged this:

“Ironically, the grant money will come from the AFT Innovation Fund formerly financed by Gates to the tune of $4.4 million and doing exactly what he financed: ‘to work on… the Common Core State Standards.’
Aside from the Gates intention being fulfilled, however, there is a much greater problem with teachers’ ‘rewriting’ CCSS. CCSS is a product owned by the National Governors Association (NGA) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO). Thus, any content labeled ‘CCSS’ belongs to these two organizations that control the CCSS license. Furthermore, any content in CCSS becomes static– one-size-fits-all, inflexible, unable to be adjusted– except by permission of the CCSS license owners.”

Please read Mercedes entire blog HERE.

CCSS cronies own CCSS. It is their licensed product. NGA and CCSSO are not governmental bodies. They are well financed, corporate backed organizations who “influence” governmental decisions. They even get governmental funding by influencing governmental funding decisions.

Teachers, the AFT, the NEA and anybody else who rewrites anything are being used as fronts to decisions that CCSS cronies alone will decide. We are all being chumped!

Hey, Randi! Hey, AFT Board! Stop the fiasco. You are supposed to be on the side of public education for all. We know what you are doing.

Write this on the Power Point presentation. “CCSS cronies own CCSS.”



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ACT for Kindergarteners: Redefining Childhood and Monetizing Children

ACT for kindergarteners is a form of corporate education reform greed that is so bad as to defy explanation. Let’s accept that as a challenge. Let’s attempt to explain this most recent abusive targeting of our children for the private profit of multinational corporations and hedge fund managers.

The degree of hype a company uses often determines its profits. Advertise by using paid experts as toadies. Pay media sources to use ads as press releases. Get the fast buck and to hell with the consequences from the product.

Our kindergarteners will suffer the consequences. Suffer the consequences.

Most parents are not professional educational experts. Those who want their children to have as many educational benefits as possible are actually quite normal parents. Parents generally want what is best for their children.

Put corporate hype together with what most parents want for their children, and let the buyers beware. Especially when the money comes from tax funds intended for public education.

“It’s a multimillion dollar project, ACT officials said, but will be affordable and easily accessible. Schools won’t be compelled to use the new tool, but Erickson said he anticipates that entire states or groups of states will choose to utilize it. The tool can be customized to include state-specific benchmarks and other performance measures.”
– Huffington Post
H/T for John Dillon

(In plain English, this means that ACT testing for kindergarteners will be mandated in states by legislators who will receive big bucks contributions for their re-election campaign funds, not to mention all the other special benefits handed to them.)

ACT tests in kindergarten3In addition, Dr. Rene Hackney, the Child Psychologist for Parenting Playgroups Inc., tells parents all she wants them to believe.

Read and view both the ACT article and her interview at  Huffington Post .

Of course, the ACT corporation has its own legal disclaimer. So, realize that ACT is well aware that test validity (measuring what it is supposed to measure) and reliability (reproducible results of valid tests) are not what ACT guarantees.

“Remember that any test is only a small sample of your skills and may or may not accurately represent your true level of competence. While ACT suggests that an individual’s score on this test cannot be taken as a predictor of future accomplishment, the skills CAAP measures are important for functioning in society and for doing additional college work.”

Just in case the highly touted Common Core State Standards, a non-governmental company/agency, are called into question, it also has its own disclaimer on its own page. The disclaimer is so important, CCSS itself posts it in all CAPS.



How bad is this testing and training for the children who have it inflicted on them?

Most parents read parenting magazines that sell advertising space and post corporate education reform press releases as articles. These ads and articles promote this same Corporate Industrial Complex thrust. (One state recently paid the U.K.’s Pearson Corporation $1 billion for a PARCC contract in spite of the company’s repeated failures in testing 6 to 10 million American children.)

The reality of what our children need to flourish is available from real education experts from around the world, experts who have no financial allegiances to corporate interests.

In the U.K. the importance of following the natural learning needs of children is reported in detail.

The Scandinavian countries have made their childhood education experiences pure science combined with arts of educational excellence.

The negative consequences for programmed lessons inflicted on young children are explained in this 16 minute Ted Talk. (Warning: this is about causes of childhood depression and anxiety.)

Please fight the urge to buy into the early childhood and kindergarten education hype by multinational corporations and their hedge fund managers.

Our children experience childhood only once. They were never meant to be guinea pigs for corporate testing profiteers.



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Teacher Gag Orders and Mass Graves for Contagious Pigs

How are teacher gag orders and the mass graves of pigs with contagious, deadly viruses related?

gag teacher2In 2014 America, the land of free speech for corporations, teachers are not allowed to tell the truth about Common Core State Standards, the destructive consequences for children forced to take rigged high-stakes tests, the insanity of teacher evaluations from tests taken by students they never had in classes they never taught, the defects in test questions that are seriously flawed or inappropriate for grade levels, the abuses suffered by denying the needs of special needs children, and all of the other things being done in the name of legislatively inflicted corporate education reform.

Gag orders for teachers and the destruction of due process before a teacher can be fired are the battles being waged in the attacks on public education and its teachers. If they don’t keep their mouths shut, teachers can and are crushed – fired and discredited in a manner that ends their careers in education. Why? For telling the truth and exposing what is behind corporate education reform. Crushed.

Read HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE.

pig burialsIn 2014 America, the land of the free for corporations, people are criminally punished when they photograph and/or expose the death of 100,000 pigs a week in Iowa, North Carolina, Kansas and elsewhere who have deadly viruses [even to humans] and are mass buried in shallow graves that seep into water tables.

Merely taking photos of cattle feedlots can cause a reporter to be arrested and charged.

“George Steinmetz, a photographer working for National Geographic, was arrested in Kansas under the state’s ‘ag gag’ [corporate agricultural protection non-disclosure] law after using a paraglider to take photographs of cattle feedlots and other agricultural operations for an article on the food industry.
New York Times

All major agribusiness (food industry) abuses and the twisted laws that protect them add to corporate profits. Public safety is secondary in spite of corporate spokesmen claiming the opposite.

All corporate education reform is for private profit from public education taxes.

CCSS, all brands of high stakes testing, so called non-profit charters and for profit charters, vouchers, on-line degrees, and more are for corporate profit. Student debt can begin in pre-school for their parents and continue through with college degrees that can take decades to repay.

Support public education for all of our children, public school teachers, and the legislators of education laws that keep public education taxes for public education.



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Supreme Court of Illinois Backs Pension Clause Intent! Teachers and all public employees rejoice.

Supreme Court of Illinois Backs Pension Clause Intent!

(Re-post of John Dillon’s excellent Pension Vocabulary blog of Sen. Chapin Rose letter.)




Dear Friend,

Today the Illinois Supreme Court issued a major ruling on the rights of state employees with respect to their healthcare benefits in retirement.  This is a “procedural” ruling only that simply returns the case back to the local trial court for further proceeding.  However, it cannot be understated because it also references pension issues in its findings related to healthcare and gives you a glimpse into, ultimately, how the Justices view the so-called “non-diminishment” clause in the Illinois Constitution regarding retiree benefits.  From the opinion:

“[W]e conclude that the State’s provision of health insurance premium subsidies for retirees is a benefit of membership in a pension or retirement system within the meaning of Article XIII, section 5, of the Illinois Constitution, and the General Assembly was precluded from diminishing or impairing that benefit … .”  Further, “[i]f they had intended to protect only core pension annuity benefits and to exclude the various other benefits state employees were and are entitled to receive as a result of membership in the State’s pensions systems, the drafters could have so specified. But they did not.”


Again, I stress that this ruling related to the trial court’s decision to dismiss the healthcare case and the Supreme Court was ordering it to be reinstated.  Nonetheless that the fact that Court’s opinion was issued by a 6-1 majority of the Justices with such strong language protecting both healthcare and pension benefits gives us a very direct insight into how they view the core issue of statutorily diminished benefits itself.

I might add, that the reasoning of the 6-1 majority is one of the primary reasons why I voted against both the pension bill and the healthcare bill: because any “plain reading” of the Illinois Constitution is in line with the Justice’s comments today.  

Best Regards,

State Senator
 Chapin Rose


The State of Illinois Supreme Court ruled on the case regarding State Retiree Health Insurance, Kanerva vs. Weems, UNCONSTITUTIONAL.

  • IRTA applauds the Illinois Supreme Court’s ruling today in Kanerva v. Weems.  The Illinois Supreme Court has adopted a broad interpretation of the Pension Protection Clause that fully supports the interpretation advanced in Heaton v. Quinn. 
  • The Illinois Supreme Court has held yet again that, under the Pension Protection Clause of the Illinois Constitution, pension benefits shall not be diminished or impaired.  This is entirely consistent with Illinois Supreme Court precedent dating back several decades.  We believe that the Illinois Supreme Court’s consistent enforcement of the Pension Protection Clause merits serious attention from our political leaders.
  • In Kanerva, the Court reaffirmed that “it is clear that if something qualifies as a benefit of the enforceable contractual relationship resulting from membership in one of the State’s pension or retirement systems, it cannot be diminished or impaired.”

IRTA will continue to keep our members updated in the coming months.



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