Monthly Archives: August 2016


Resolution of Support for Paul Nehlen

WHEREAS Paul Ryan, shortly after becoming Speaker of the House, fostered almost complete federal control of education through the quick advancement of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA); and

WHEREAS ESSA replaces No Child Left Behind as the current reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, one of the principal policy mechanism through which the federal government has achieved, expanded, and cemented its unconstitutional role in education; and

WHEREAS parents, teachers, principled education advocates and experts, and other concerned citizens had little to no substantive input into ESSA and implored Speaker Ryan and his colleagues in leadership to at least slow down any floor vote on the bill so that it could be properly evaluated by the people and their elected representatives; [1] and

WHEREAS Paul Ryan, as Speaker of the House, ignored the concerns and requests of an engaged citizenry and scheduled ESSA for a vote on December 2, 2015, just three days after it was published on November 30th; and

WHEREAS Paul Ryan, as Speaker of the House, allowed an inadequate three days to evaluate ESSA, an 1,160-page bill, bearing on multiple pieces of prior legislation; and

WHEREAS House leadership, including Paul Ryan as Speaker of the House, circulated or permitted to be circulated misleading and deceptive talking points concerning ESSA’s content [2]; and

WHEREAS Paul Ryan, as Speaker of the House, facilitated the dissemination of false information to his caucus through misleading and deceptive talking points; and

WHEREAS ESSA’s language actually:

  • Entrenches unconstitutional federal control of education at the expense of local control;
  • Expands one-size-fits-all, factory-style education by requiring what ESSA refers to as “challenging State academic standards”;
  • Implicitly requires, by means of a review and approval committee selected by the U.S. Department of Education, that all states use a version of Common Core’s weak English Language Arts and mathematics standards as well as weak science standards based on Achieve, Inc.’s Next Generation Science Standards;
  • Views parents as mere “partners” with government in their own children’s upbringing and education [3];
  • Reduces the ability of teachers to exercise professional judgment in practicing their craft and provide appropriate instruction to meet the needs of individual students;
  • Makes state departments of education the enforcers for federal mandates;
  • Maintains excessive and unwarranted standardized assessment at the expense of actual learning time for all children, especially low-income children; and
  • Facilitates unprecedented collection and exploitation of personally identifiable student data at the hands of government and third parties, including corporations [4];


WHEREAS Paul Ryan, as Speaker of the House, has also failed to schedule a congressional hearing on the ways in which state departments of education have deceived state legislators who are trying to remove inferior standards and assessments from their public schools [5]; and

WHEREAS Paul Ryan’s unqualified support of ESSA demonstrates that he is more committed to the expansion of federal control over education—and to the campaign donations tied to the collection and mining of personally identifiable student data—than to the precepts of limited government or the interests of the people he was elected to represent; and

WHEREAS Paul Ryan nevertheless continues to claim that he is for parental authority, local control of education, improved education, and educational freedom, all within the context of a more limited government; and

WHEREAS the unconstitutional influence and control of the federal government, corporations, and private foundations on education is likely to continue under Paul Ryan’s leadership, therefore be it

RESOLVED that the undersigned see Paul Ryan’s removal from federal office as a pressing priority in relationship to the restoration of true education and local control; and be it further

RESOLVED that the undersigned encourage voters in Wisconsin’s 1st Congressional District to vote for Paul Nehlen as the best hope of ensuring Paul Ryan’s prompt removal from federal office.


[1]  “Parent and Citizen Coalition Letter,” Education Liberty Watch, Oct 24, 2015

[2]  Karen Effrem, “Rebuttal to House Talking Points on ESSA,” The Florida Stop Common Core Coalition, Dec 2, 2015

[3]  Karen Effrem, “Comments Submitted Regarding the Joint Family Engagement Policy Framework,” Education Liberty Watch, Jan 4, 2016

[4]  Mary Byrne, Jane Robbins, Emmett McGroarty, et. al. “Top 12 Concerns About Every Student Succeeds Act (S 1177 & HR 5),” Truth in American Education, Dec 2, 2016

[5]  Sandra Stotsky, “A Rose by Any Other Name,”, Aug 1, 2016,

[Any titles listed are for purposes of identification only]

George Rasley

Sandy Rios
Director of Governmental Affairs, American Family Association

Erica DeGlopper
Education Advocate, Wisconsin

Jeffrey Horn
Stop Common Core in Wisconsin
Contributor, Common Ground on Common Core

Kirsten Lombard
Education Advocate, Wisconsin
Editor, Common Ground on Common Core

Sandi Ruggles
President, Eagle Forum-Wisconsin

Ken Van Doren
Education Advocate, Wisconsin

Darcy Brandon
Citizens for Quality Education, California

Andrew Chiu
Education Advocate, Minnesota

Fred Daily
Education Advocate, West Virginia

Wendy Hart
Education Advocate, Utah

Lisa Huesers
Education Activist, Kansas

Alice Linahan
Education Advocate, Texas
Vice President, Women on the Wall

Kathleen Coad O’Brien
Education Advocate, North Dakota

Tonchi Pavich-Weaver
Education Advocate, South Dakota

Courtney Rankin
Education Advocate, Kansas

Rosy Schmidt
Education Advocate, Kansas

Angela Summers
Education Advocate, West Virginia

Erin Tuttle
Hoosiers against Common Core

J.R. Wilson
Stop Common Core in Washington State
Co-founder, Truth in American Education


Voter Guide: Ryan vs. Nehlen on Education

Voters in the Wisconsin 1st Congressional District have an important choice to make in the August 9th open primary. Speaker Ryan has had a large impact on current education policy. Education is a major issue for our readers in the 1st Congressional District, so we put together this summary of education positions taken from Paul Ryan’s congressional website and voting record as well as Paul Nehlen’s campaign website.  It should be noted that Paul Ryan does not have educational positions on his campaign website.

Education Issue

Paul Ryan Record

Paul Nehlen Vision


Government Transparency

Despite promises, Ryan:

“Keep government as limited as possible in order to keep us free.”Work to have government safeguard our rights, not control our lives and those of our children.

Federal Control of Education

Ryan-backed ESSA “prohibits“ U.S. Secretary of Education from imposing standards or tests. But, with no enforcement mechanism and multiple other mandates, that prohibition is meaningless.Moreover, the secretary has veto power over federally mandated state plans. Enforce the 10th Amendment, which does not allow federal control of education because it is not an enumerated power in the Constitution.

Cementing Common Core

ESSA cements the academically inferior, developmentally inappropriate, and psychologically manipulative Common Core, rebranded as state-derived standards.Ryan ignored the parents who warned this would happen. Nehlen rejects Common Core and wants to:

  • Halt centrally planned, assembly-line education
  • Match federal education policy to the reality of children’s individuality
  • Restore and boost local control of education.

Reducing Education to Workforce Training

Ryan holds a utilitarian view that encouragess reduction of education to mere workforce training: “A well-educated workforce is one of the key drivers of strong economic growth.” Nehlen sees education as a path to personal growth and freedom: “Kids should be who they are and learn in the way that best suits them…[A]s they grow and mature…each child’s individual life experiences suggest and inspire the pathways that will allow them to choose and build a future of their own making.”

Out-of-Control Assessment

Ryan-backed ESSA resulted in:

  • 8-fold+ increase in standardized assessment since just prior to No Child Left Behind
  • New assessments with no demonstrated validity, rigged to fail 70% of our children
  • Coercion of teachers to enforce Common Core at risk of losing tenure, merit pay, or even their jobs.
“The testing madness has to stop. Teachers want to teach. We ought to let them.”

Data Privacy

Thanks to Ryan’s close association with corporate interests, ESSA facilitates unprecedented collection and exploitation of personally identifiable student data, including psychological data, at the hands of government and corporations.

To Ryan’s credit, he has so far kept the controversial Strengthening Education through Research Act, or SETRA, from obtaining a floor vote.

Nehlen would work to:

  • End mass collection of student data
  • Put parents in charge of data disclosure decisions by insisting on policies that allow them to opt their child in to data collection—rather than requiring them to opt their children out.

Parental Autonomy

Ryan- and corporate-backed ESSA considers parents as mere partners with government in their own children’s education and expands invasive, harmful and ineffective federal preschool. Nehlen would work to:

  • Let Americans keep more of their own money, boosting parental resources for better educational pathways for their children.
  • Empower parents with educational options, based on their children’s education needs and learning styles