A “Barbarian at the Gate” Responds to Huppenthal on Common Core

huppenthalBy Brad McQueen

I vehemently oppose the adoption and continued imposition of the Common Core machine on our state by two non-educators, Governor Jan Brewer and Superintendent of Instruction, John Huppenthal. My anti-Common Core position is well- informed and is based on my 10 years as a public school teacher, my 5 years working on every aspect of our state’s standardized test (the AIMS test), and my experience as a Common Core insider working on the Common Core/PARCC test on behalf of our state’s Department of Education over the last year.

According to the “chief educator” in our state, and my boss’s, boss’s, boss, Superintendent of Instruction, John Huppenthal, that makes me a “barbarian at the gate”. Huppenthal said exactly this at a recent panel held in Phoenix. That also makes the countless other teachers, parents, and concerned citizens of our state who disagree with Huppenthal and oppose the Common Core, “barbarians” as well.

Do we really want a Superintendent of Instruction that speaks with such disdain towards parents and educators who disagree with him? Arizonans deserve better.

Jan Brewer, in exchange for $25 million back in 2010, agreed to let the Common Core beast through the gates by adopting the Common Core standards and installing NSA-like data suctioning systems (SLDS) in our state to suction all manner of personal data from our children to the U.S. Department of Education without parent notification or permission. John Huppenthal was elected soon afterwards and has been enthusiastically advocating for the Common Core ever since. Arizonans deserve better.

We elected Huppenthal and Brewer to protect our children, but instead they let the Common Core beast and its data predators through the gate, and we are the barbarians? Arizonans deserve better.

In this very newspaper, only a few short months ago, I spoke on behalf of many teachers and parents when I penned a commentary opposing the Common Core in our state. Days later I received a call in my classroom, while teaching, from a highly placed official in Huppenthal’s Department of Education attempting to intimidate me into silence regarding my opposition to the Common Core.

I registered a complaint about this intimidation at a voters’ forum put on by Huppenthal here in Tucson. With a great show of sincerity, Huppenthal agreed that no one from his office should be attempting to intimidate me, he assured me that he didn’t know the official that I identified, but he agreed to look into the matter and “make it right”.

I also followed up our conversation with an email. That was almost two and half months ago and I have not heard from Huppenthal since. Arizonans deserve better.

I have been to two forums and listened to Huppenthal speak using the same tired generalities and talking points where he rarely demonstrated even a superficial understanding of education policies in general and of the Common Core in particular. Yet he castigates those of us who oppose the Common Core from a position of knowledge and experience as barbarians? Arizonans deserve better.

I have also been to two forums and have listened to Diane Douglas, who is running to be the Republican candidate for the office of AZ Superintendent of Instruction, in opposition to Huppenthal. Douglas spoke with a breadth and depth about Arizona’s education policies as only someone who has been involved in education for years could. She spoke with great specificity about the detrimental effect that the Common Core machine is having on our children and the usurping of Arizonan parents’ role as their children’s chief educators and protectors.

The contrast could not be greater between the two candidates for AZ Superintendent of Instruction. One non-educator candidate believes we are the “barbarians at the gate”, while the other candidate, speaking with authority grounded in knowledge and experience, believes that parents are their children’s chief educators and protectors. Arizonans deserve better, and now we have a choice.

bradBrad McQueen is a former Common Core insider and current public school teacher in Tucson, Arizona and is the author of the anti-Common Core book “The Cult of Common Core: Obama’s Final Solution for Your Child’s Mind and Our Country’s Exceptionalism”. Connect with Brad on Twitter @cultcommoncore .

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  1. Just remember that the Roman Empire imploded due to corruption, and the Barbarians eventually won! Proud to be a Barbarian Suburban White Mom.

  2. Home School Legal Defense Association has great information on Common Core. From the FAQ:

    4. Does the Common Core have a philosophical bias?

    Three philosophical threads weave through the Common Core—statism, moral relativism, and progressivism. The statist goals of the Common Core are implicit in the lockstep uniformity that is the central thesis of the program. Relativism’s influence on the Common Core is evident in the open-ended and research-based assessment questions and the expansive new student tracking systems, ideas which have been strongly promoted by relativist Howard Gardner. Progressive educator John Dewey argued for standardized curriculum to prevent one student from becoming superior to others and envisioned a workforce filled with people of “politically and socially correct attitudes” who would respond to orders without question.3 Workforce readiness is one of the Common Core’s main goals. Read the topic paper >>

  3. John Huppenthal looked me and my youngest child in the eye and said he would do what he could to keep our tax money from being wasted on superflous curriculum. A man lies like that, doesn’t deserve to receive my tax money as his salary.

  4. I, too, was impressed with my introduction to Diane Douglas, I would recommend that all AZ voters check her out and make up their own minds. The Common Core problem is huge, and Diane Douglas has shown the backbone and experience critical to dealing with it.

  5. Like the Military Industrial Complex we must also be alert to the threat of the Educational Industrial Complex. The likes of Bill Gates and Pearson have bought their way into acting as suppliers of “educational support”, but what of the children and the very philosophy of the program. It’s all about control. This is a serious threat to the foundation of our nation, Federalism. We The People reserved the powers associated with educating or young people for very specific reasons. It is time to shut down the US Department of Indoctrination and programs like Common Core, and return to local School Board control.

  6. I had higher hopes for Duppemall when he was elected; it’s shocking that he is for the Progressive
    indoctrination protocol.

  7. Our state constitution needs to be changed. Once you’ve reached your term limit, you shouldn’t be allowed to run for office in another area of our state government. I’m sure that was the original intent of the term limits here in Arizona. As it stands now, you still can’t get these people OUT and they just float from one job to another on name recognition.

    • Amen to that one JSH or as a minimum they would have to sit out one election cycle. The amazing thing to me is that Hppenthal weighed in on a local recall election. What does it say about Huppenthal when he endorses the likes of Garcia and Louie Gonzales.

      Call to action Vote Huppenthal out.

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