“We took tests when we were kids, and…”
– commonly said by legislators and people who repeat TV talk show blather

reading test 9 year old



Are you sick and tired of listening to this absurd comparison of tests from the past versus the reality of today’s high stakes tests? People the same age or older than the parents of tested school aged children never took the high stakes tests our children are being subjected to day after day.

Dare them to go to this Common Core SBAC (Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium) Practice Test site and answer the first seven questions of the 4th grade Common Core SBAC English Test. Tell them that they can go on to more questions or tests if they so desire.

TELL THEM: After answering seven questions, whether you are a young professional with advanced degrees or a senior who has earned your education in the school of hard knocks, please consider what you have learned about these lucrative for-profit tests. (You might even choose to answer the very short questionnaire at the bottom of this page.)

Directions: Please sign in and take at least the seven initial questions. This will be an eye opener for most people.

Here are the steps to access the 4th Grade Common Core SBAC English Language Arts Test

  • Go to http://sbac.portal.airast.org/practice-test/

  • Scroll Down and Click on Green Box – Students Interface Practice and Training Tests

  • Click on Sign In

  • Use Pull Down Menu to change to Grade 4, click Yes

  • Go to Right Column, 2nd box down – 4th grade ELA (English Language Arts) – click

  • Scroll Down and click on Select

  • Scroll Down and click on Yes, Start My Test

  • Click on Sound symbol – then Click Yes

  • Scroll Down and Click on Begin Test Now

  • Complete first seven (7) questions

  • You can then stop and assess the test or move on


What do you now realize about this test?

A) I am not a professional, but I know this test is lousy.

B) I am a professional, and I know that there are many, many reasons that this test is lousy.

C) I cannot believe that any child is deemed a failure or success based on this lousy test.

D) I couldn’t even follow the damn required directions to get online to take this lousy test.

Taking the lousy test isn’t enough.
Tell five or six of your family, friends and neighbors to rescue their own school age children by following the directions at United Opt Out National which offers state-by-state sample letters and suggestions. If they feel that their children were under undo pressure or intimidation, have them file a valid Civil Rights Complaint; children are little people with legal rights.
If you are curious about the qualifications of the scorers for the high stakes test, those who read your explanations and graded you, go HERE. If you were angry before, you will be furious after reading who grades these expensive, high stakes test.



Posted in Common Core CCSS, corporate education reform, legislative pillage, privatization, public education, testing | Tagged , , , , , | 5 Comments

Emanuel Rauner: twins joined at the wallet

Rauner Emanuel

Google Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s (D) plans for Chicago, and then google Gov. Bruce Rauner’s (R) plans for Illinois.

Then look at any photos of the two of them together.

What differences are there?


The Emanuel Rauner Boys.

(They don’t make Democrats and Republicans the way they used to.)

Chuy Garcia is the Democrat opposing Rahm Emanuel in a run-off election in a supposedly Democratic city.

The outcome should be a no-brainer, except Emanuel and Rauner are joined at the wallet.

It’s a Corporate Donor Wallet padded daily by millionaire and billionaire buddies who love (D)(R) Twins and tax incentives for themselves while cutting the middle class down to the lower class and cutting the lower class down to homeless beggars. Children, teachers and other public service employees, the elderly, the mentally ill, the unemployed-underemployed, and the overworked-underpaid are mere auxiliary damage to the Emanuel Rauner Twins.

The hell with the Wallet Boys. Vote Garcia.

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Pearson: Who scores your child’s tests?

Who are the experts that score your child’s state mandated high stakes tests from Pearson?

(Remember that these test scores determine your child’s future, the school’s funding and rating, the surrounding property values, and the firing or retention of your child’s teachers.)

Visit PEARSON’S OWN SITE if you have any college degree earned at any time from any country and are willing to undergo 4 to 5 hours of training and then receive $13 per hour for scoring whatever tests they give you. After you work a day job and wish to work evenings until 10:00 pm, you can make even more money – $14.30 per hour – even though you might be really tired by then.

Pearson Test Grader

A regular commentator on my blog who lives in the northern suburbs of Chicago brought this to my attention from the newspaper ads she has seen. Here is her comment.

Have the Pear$on “Help Wanted” ads come to YOUR city yet? Of course (as usual) they put a quarter-page COLOR ad (someone knowledgeable told me it likely cost them $5K–if they put one in numerous papers in numerous cities, imagine how much education fund $$$ {i.e., taxpayer $$$} was spent on advertising alone!). In the upper left corner, their motto: “ALWAYS LEARNING”
(yes, in CAPS), then, in the right corner, CAPS, as well: PEARSON. Body: “SOAR with us to new heights! PEARSON, the global leader in learning. Uniting talent with Opportunity. (Funny how the word “Opportunity” has a capital O. Such is the thought of Opportuni$t$!) Anyway, much more–if one of Ken’s readers can get hold of the ad (ours was in the Sunday, 3/22 Chicago Sun-Times–1st page of Help Wanted ads {&, of course, weekend advertising is more expen$ive}) & can transfer it to post, it would be great for all of you to see it. (Anyway, they are looking for college grads to be te$t e$$ay $corer$–@ $13/hour, more if you do the evening shift–& isn’t that perfect?–Tired people who worked another job all day, coming in to grade kids’ essays from 6-10 PM for even more $$$.) Anyway for those of you interested (be a mole, donate the money to a school that needs it or a charity, then write an update of Todd Farley’s 2009 test scoring expose!)–there’s a job fair this Sat., 9-Noon, at both the Glenview location–1900 East Lake Ave., Glenview or Naperville–1163 E. Ogden Avenue, Ste. 610. Naperville. Learn more & APPLY (their caps) at PearsonScorers.com/Chicago.


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Isn’t it about time to demand a Congressional investigation of Pearson?

Pearson Education Power and Wealth

Which organizations are willing to call for or demand a Congressional investigation of Pearson?

Let’s give Pearson’s abuse of power the national media attention it deserves. Let U.S. senators and representatives point fingers, sling mud at each other and examine financial links to Pearson’s power and influence as well as its spying activities on our children’s lives.

Pearson. PARCC. CCSS. Enough is enough.

A Congressional investigation may open this can of nasty worms to sunlight and heat – which often kills lots of nasty worms.

Pearson’s reputation was hurt by an ongoing FBI investigation of possible collusion in dealings with the Los Angeles Unified in a contract with Apple and Pearson to supply iPads pre-loaded with Pearson’s Common Core curriculum.” – via Huffington Post. (Even more examples are given.)

State-by-state investigations are happening nationwide. We now need a national Congressional investigation. Why?

Our children and their futures are at stake.

Our education taxes are being drained to profit a few overseas multinational corporate billionaires.

“As if power is so innocent. Poor things, if we tell them the truth they’ll mend their ways? I say talk the truth about power to the (people) who are in the thrall of the power.”

- P. Sainath

How do we start this? Who is willing to go beyond speaking truth to power?

Peggy Richardson talked the truth about power to her school board in Colorado.

“The truth is this. The truth is that our public schools are using high stakes testing to punish students, school communities and now, under SB191, the testing will punish teachers. The testing creates an environment that is fear-based, shaming, and demands teaching to the test.

 I wonder how my students in Aurora will do on PARCC – a test that is two grade levels above the readability for the grade being tested? A test that demands typing skills from children who don’t know how to type. A test that punishes children who don’t have technology in their homes.  I know how my students have done on TCAP in the past.   I know that my school is labeled as a turnaround school.  I know what that label does to children, teachers and school communities. I wonder if Littleton could possible understand what that feels like? What that does to a child’s soul? To a school community? To be told we are failing when indeed we are not.”  

Peggy has spoken up locally and nationally.

Which organizations are willing to call for or demand a Congressional investigation of Pearson?


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Until Pearson is investigated by the DOJ and the NSA, all “no laws broken” statements are hype

Until a full investigation by the Department of Justice is completed, any “no law was broken” statements are political hype or mere conjecture. A foreign company collecting information (lucrative data mining) and reporting social media use by American children without the knowledge or consent of the parent or child seems like a National Security Agency (NSA) investigation might also be called for.

Please email the US Department of Justice and demand that they investigate Pearson for spying on our children – here is the 56,000 strong Badass Teachers Association (BATs) statement demanding that investigation. Or use the MoveOn.org demand for a DOJ investigation.
You can email them at AskDOJ@usdoj.gov
You can tweet them at @TheJusticeDept ‪#‎Pearsoniswatching‬
Parents can opt-out, refuse mandated high stakes testing for their children. Show that parents need not tolerate this abuse.

Also, children have human rights which are protected as Civil Rights in America. File a valid Civil Rights Complaint for your child for any intimidation or unfair treatments suffered by your child at school. One complaint will be responded to; a hundred complaints create a major problem which requires resolution. Now, is the time for parents to defend their children from any further institutionalized abuses. United Opt Out National provides an easy to use, valid Civil Rights Complaint form.

Secretary of Education Arne Duncan has made his desires quite clear.”Hopefully, some day we can track children from preschool to high school and from high school to college and college to career.”

Surprised baby1

Pearson has aggressively obliged Duncan and the multinational corporate education reform hedge and venture fund investors while making enormous financial and power gains for itself.

Whatever brand of high stakes testing is used in various states, breaking Pearson would bring us all one step forward.

How and why do these multinational corporations get juicy multi-state government contracts for newly mandated and unnecessary high stakes testing products and services?

Isn’t it about time to demand a Congressional investigation of all high stakes testing corporations? What they do with the billions of dollars of personal profits made from public tax funds intended for the public education of our children?


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Would you surrender your child’s rights? Of course not. How you can defend your child.

mom and child at schoolhouse steps a

Pearson testing “monitors” your child electronically without your prior knowledge or consent. Pearson is foreign company collecting information (lucrative data mining) on American children without the knowledge or consent of the parent or child. It seems fair to call this “spying” as it accesses any social media your child may use. Here is Bob Braun’s full, updated account.

Pearson does NOT deny this, even in its own written release attempting damage control for the corporation itself.Yes it looks at your child’s social networking actives and reports it to each state’s government officials.

Pearson, on its own site, attracts new employees to specifically –

By building a world-class education evidence base, we’ll push boundaries with ground-breaking research. We’ll embed what we know in our products and use data to improve them… Examples of what we do include: collecting data on learners’ digital activities.”

This seems like the right time to request a Department of Justice investigation into this behavior.

Until a full investigation by the Department of Justice is completed, any “no law was broken” PR statements are political hype or mere conjecture.

Here are two petitions for you to sign in defense of your child. MoveOn.org and Badass Teachers Association for a DOJ Investigation.

Since Pearson is a foreign corporation (UK and Hong Kong connections) with multinational investors which collecting American education tax money as profit which is shipped overseas to avoid paying American taxes, the National Security Agency, NSA, should also investigate this billion dollar industry’s activities.

Actually, there needs for a full and open Congressional investigation as to the entire high stakes testing aspect of corporate education reform. Who and where are the venture funds and managers who are using and selling your child’s data and sending profits from American tax dollars overseas? Americans need to know.

Until then, file a simple Civil Rights Complaint on behalf of your own child. Yes, one complaint is an aggravation for a school district, but a hundred complaints is on big problem that requires legal resolution. All children of any and all races and socioeconomic backgrounds have rights.  Go to United Opt Out National for a valid Civil Rights Complaint form.



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Hey, Arne! Our kids are not your political poker chips.

Hey, Arne!

Our kids are not your political poker chips. Your chauffeur accidentally went up a blind alley in Chicago, and you were forced to walk a half block among moms. So, what do you do after those two minutes of facing reality?

Arne versus people

Once safely inside the school, Duncan was asked about the protest outside.

Why is his U.S. Department of Education forcing a controversial standardized test — one many parents don’t want and that Mayor Rahm Emanuel has argued is “not ready” for prime time — down the throats Chicago Public Schools?

“I’m not,” Duncan said. “The state works it out without Chicago. . . . That’s the state’s decision.”

But isn’t the mandate being dictated by the federal government? Isn’t that what’s behind the threat to withhold $1 billion in funding that forced Chicago’s hand?

“No. You’re wrong. . . . You’re making stuff up. You don’t have your facts straight,” Duncan said. – Chicago Sun Times

School districts across America are spending billions of dollars on high stakes testing preparation, online programs, etc. because you threaten to cut their federal funding, and you do a crazy talk answer in front of witnesses. You screwed up, big time, when the little people surrounded you. There isn’t a mom or dad who will ever believe a word you say after this screw up.

So Rahm Emanuel wants to blame you, and you want to blame Chicago and Rahm.

Since you have no friends left in Chicago, Rahm thought he could push at you. Rumor has it that a few of your wealthy cronies still live in Chicago along the Magnificent Mile in its surrounding million dollar condos. So, now Rahm is worried about losing their votes.

Rahm needs every vote he can get, and you cause problems getting stuck in a blind alley.

Chuy Garcia, the Progressive Democrat opposing Rahm in the mayoral run-off election, must love every lying word you said. You and Rahm – lying cohorts from way back – are devouring each other, today.

You and Rahm have to stop using our kids as your political poker chips.


Ken Previti, Retired Teacher



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Childhood Is Temporary: Defend your child from threatening high stakes testing

You are not alone. Parents across America are refusing the unfair and harsh high stakes, state mandated tests. Defend your child, and file complaints against those who threaten or intimidate your child.

childhood opt out now

Your child, at any age, is your child. Call the police on any school official who won’t immediately release your child to you for any reason that you as a parent give.

Don’t allow your child to be threatened or intimidated with promises of reprisal for what you as a parent have done.

Punishing a child for a parent’s valid decision is a violation of your civil rights and your child’s civil rights.

File a Civil Rights Complaint against any school board or school official who threatens or punishes a child for your actions. Here are the directions on how to file a valid Civil Rights Complaint. (One valid complaint is an aggravation to that school official or board. One hundred valid Civil Rights Complaints become a major problem for those who intimidate and threaten you and your child.)

FAIR TEST, the National Center for Fair and Open Testing, shows that you and your child can refuse the test without fear of a federal penalty to your school.

Go to UnitedOptOut.com for state by state sample letters that you can use to defend your child by refusing high stakes testing.

No one ever promised you that being a parent would be easy. Now is the time to assert your position as a caring parent.

School officials are human beings, not little gods. When the dust settles after complaints are filed and legally dealt with, have no pity on any school officials or school board members who lose their jobs and careers. #defendchildren



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So, I didn’t get to argue pension theft before the Illinois Supreme Court, but Gino DiVito was good with me.

Ken Previti:

The attempted theft of pensions legally owed to teachers and other public service employees in Illinois was argued before the Illinois Supreme Court. Yes, we have both the legal and moral obligations demanded by the state Constitution on our side. Attorney Gino DiVito presented those arguments superbly. Using arguments that have been forwarded by friends and bloggers Glen Brown, Fred Klonsky and John Dillon for four years, our defense was presented beautifully.

Originally posted on Fred Klonsky:


Judge Gino DiVito.

Yesterday I posted that I dreamed I was arguing our pension case before the Illinois Supreme Court.

No fancy-pants legal mumbo-jumbo.

“We had a deal. Pay up,” was the gist of my case.

I watched the live streaming of the oral arguments by the state’s Solicitor General Carolyn Shapiro and our lawyer, former judge Gino DiVito.

To this un-trained observer Shapiro seemed nervous and her arguments were more twisted than a Philadelphia pretzel.

But Gino DiVito, my man!

This guy was no Atticus Finch. No, no. He looked and sounded more like a street fighter. All that was missing was the dems,dose and dese. 

He didn’t actually refer to the members of the court as youse guys. But he looked like he could have.

While Shapiro got battered by the Republicans on the court, DiVito basically said that the language and meaning of the pension protection…

View original 402 more words

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Rahm Emanuel is an Organic Tomato – sort of…

As Rahm Emanuel spends millions of dollars on TV ads and other media, he labels himself certain things. In propaganda terms, this is a simple plan. If something is repeated often enough, people will believe it as truth.

Rahm Emanuel organic tomato

One favorite term that Rahm and his PR people use is “Progressive Democrat.”
Just because he labels himself a “Progressive Democrat” doesn’t make him a Progressive Democrat any more than if he labeled himself… well, an “Organic Tomato.”

There are other corporate media connections that the rich and powerful use for their propaganda.

The Washington Post endorsed Rahm. Why?

Diane Ravich questions and answers what is behind the endorsement.

You may wonder how the term ‘progressive Democrat’ became a definition for someone who attacks teachers, unions, and public education, and exactly how they differ from conservative Republican governors like Scott Walker, John Kasich, and Mike Pence.

Rahm closed more public schools than any person in America’s history. That is un-progressive, un-democratic (in non-polical terminology) and un-American.

Chicago needs to throw the bum out in the next election. Knowing Chicagoans, someone is liable to throw a tomato at him – an organic tomato.

Jesus “Chuy” Garcia, Rahm’s sole opponent, is a pro-public education, Progressive Democrat. Vote for him; the corporate education reform coup must be ended one election at a time, one district, one city, one county, etc.



Posted in betrayal, civic duty, corporate education reform, corruption, government, greed, legislative pillage, propaganda, public education | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment