Launch of our (Christians Underground Network) website

We will launch our new website dedicated to our Media Division and our Subdivisions.

 Everything media will be represented on it, from the Celtic Cross Global PRESS Corp, the Celtic Cross Radio Network, The Christians Underground Radio Network, the Celtic Cross TV Network and the Christians Underground TV Network along with space for notifications, PSA’s, Events and Campaigns.

And a lot, more! 

This will be a great source for you to keep in touch and grow with us,

as well as help support our ministry and mission efforts.

So be sure to be watching out for (christiansundergroundnetwork.com).

Coming soon to a search engine and browser near you!

We go live with the site Monday morning at 10:00 AM.

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Bridging the Gap – Christians Underground Radio Network

Folks join us tonight at 8:00 PM (EST) for Bridging the Gap on the Christians Underground Network of CCRN, with Bp. Todd Smith.
He will be speaking live with Patriarch +++Andrew Patrick about the CCFM and the mission of Operation Burundi and the Celtic Cross Church Movement on the world stage.
Call in’s will be accepted, and added to the program and discussion.
So be sure to tune in “LIVE” and here about the CCFM from the vision instilled into +++Andrew Patrick’s heart by our Lord Jesus Christ. Where it started and the direction the vision is taking the CCFM into the future.
 

Operation Burundi Africa

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Greetings and Blessed Salutations Brothers and Sisters in Christ Jesus,

I come to you with a special Decree to be fulfilled by all Clergy, Knights and Dames, Chaplains and private citizens who follow and support what we are doing in our Lord’s Holy and Blessed Name here in the United States and around the world.

It is the world I come to you this evening for. To ask you to help this ministry and our Church Plantings around the world in our humble effort to spread the Love, Peace and Grace of our Lord to those who have lost hope and had the world as they knew it, ripped from it’s very foundation and uprooted them to far off lands seeking help and finding some but mostly adversity and evil along their way.

I come to you with a heavy heart and great burden, one that has cut deep into my soul and spiritual essence. That being those of a small sovereign country called Burundi, Africa. The people of Burundi have been facing a major Civil War for over a decade now and has seen genocide committed for one standing firm on the belief of individual freedom and democracy. The people have lost so much of their life and hopes and even dreams do to the atrocities committed by those elected to give them hope, fairness and a new life. Instead they have been met with a diminished way of life, some isolated, some segregated, some cast into slavery and servitude and some even unto death for standing up against the very law and governance that swore to protect and serve them.

I was asked more than a year ago to try to help and through the last year and several months, I have been looking into the situation unfolding in Burundi and followed other groups and individuals that have seen first hand what I speak to you about this evening. My heart is heavy for the people of Burundi as it is for many cultures around Africa and the rest of the world, even here in the United States of America where we to have people persecuted for their belief and shunned because they have not wealth or education or even good health, but are aging and trying to survive just like others around the world, even in Burundi.

To I ask you to quit looking the other way. Keep in mind that the worlds problems are just as important to address as our own personal and even private issues. We are all interconnected we are all brothers and sisters even though we have different ways, customs and traits. We who call ourselves Christians know that what I say is true, we are all indivisible under God. One God, the God of Abraham, Jacob, and Isaac.

The Celtic Cross Foundation Board of Directors and I have decided to commit every resource at our disposal to help the citizens of Burundi, the Refugees from there which are now scattered throughout the neighboring countries around that tiny nation. Millions have been displaced from their homeland and are wearing down the resources of the countries next to it as people by the hundreds and even thousands cross into their sanctuary borders trying to flee the death and destruction they left behind.

Yes, there are a few groups and organization doing all they can to help in and with this crises. But it is not enough. More needs to be done and more can be done. Keep in mind that the tiny nation of Burundi is the key to almost all that is going on in Africa that is causing it to be unstable. Greed, is but one cause that is the issue. And for the fact that people like you, either have not heard of what is happening there or maybe you just don’t care because it doesn’t affect you on that same personal level it does them.

Well that is where you are dead wrong. You should not only care but should do all you can to help create an environment that is conducive to all people. A place where true democracy can flourish for the betterment of all people, not just a few. I know many of you do care and, that you want to do something to leave this world better off than when you were here. That is for the next generations of family and friends.

Trust me when I say that enough is NOT being done. For if we continue to ignore what is happening elsewhere in the world, even in a tiny country like Burundi, how can we look God in the face on our judgment day and say honestly, that we did all we could. Knowing in our heart that we could have done more and not sacrifice our own comfort and security. Remember, God is the seeker of mankind’s heart and mind and knows all. So he truly knows if you have or have not.

I am not judging you but you are being judged on this as well as all things you experience, do and don’t do in your life. That is just the facts of the matter.

Yes, I am trying my hardest to get you to move and help in something that is truly bigger and more monumental than most likely anything you have done before, excluding our war-time veterans and their families. The world and the Christian civilization is under attack in many ways.

Isn’t it time to truly stand up and be counted worthy to be called Christian and a follower of our Lord Jesus Christ for the world. For by helping the world, we help ourselves and future generations.

It is time to STOP being selfish and self-centered. There is no, me in the Trinity. But rather One God, One Son and One Spirit. For there is something you can do and you should be doing it. Otherwise you are not doing the will of our Father in Heaven.

I know what I have said thus far may seem harsh, unfair and even by some who read this as insensitive. But you are so very wrong.

What is harsh, unfair and insensitive is what is happening to the people of Burundi and elsewhere in the world. I am merely trying my humble best to provoke your inner spirit to do as I have done and investigate the situation at hand and get involved.

I do not intend to hurt or intimidate you to get involved but unlike many in the world today that are having their freedoms and liberties ripped from them, is more than you or I, will most likely go through in our lifetime. That is not to say it could not happen, for it can and just as easily so.

Though many would fight back the best they could. It is that, that makes you and many relate and understand the seriousness in my words here. It is time and we must no longer look the other way. People are dyeing, struggling and fighting for their life and freedom to live and provide for their families and loved ones. So try to walk a mile in their footprints before you do decide to not get involved and help in some way. Even the smallest gesture contributed by many will add up to be a great deal by those who have nothing.

So with all of this stated, I am hereby committing the CCFM and every department and division to commit to doing all they can to help those who are suffering and lost. Who only want peace and to be able to return home to live in safety and security. Those who wish a better life for themselves and their families and loved ones just like we have in varying amounts.

We can make a difference, YOU can make a difference, we all together, can make a positive difference. Thing is, we must first commit individually as well as collectively and move on from there.

Yes, this is a massive undertaking and commitment of the next 5 years to see it through. I know we will be able to make a positive difference not only for the people of Burundi, but also for our world and it’s future.

We here at the CCFM pray every Tuesday evening as we did this evening and we pray one particular verse within it that states; “You are the salt of the earth. You are the light of the world. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven”.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Brothers and Sisters, I believe with my whole heart that this is true and that what we do from here on, will make the world a better place. Remember, Christ was but one person and look at the profound difference He made on the earth for all mankind. You too can be part of this vision of a safer and free Burundi. And help stabilize the Eastern and Central Africa, which will have a ripple effect on the whole continent of Africa before we are though.

So go to our Ministry and Church website at the link below and see what we see and let us know how you wish to help. Remember the only thing stopping you, is you. Nothing else.

http://www.celticcrossministry.com/operation_burundi.html

Thank you for your time, prayers and support in helping fellow-men and women and their children have a dream of home, security, prosperity and most of all love from you to them for their success.

Any question, comments or concerns, please ask. Resources are available to help you and your group or organization. Just please don’t delay, lives are depending on what you choose to do this very minute and into the future.

Humbly and Sincerely IHS and yours as well as the people of Burundi Africa,
Patriarch +++Andrew Moses Brendan Patrick
Celtic Cross Foundation of Ministry.

Help us spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ around the Globe

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Folks, we are looking for “sponsors” corporate and individuals to help our Ministry and Missions in India, Africa, Philippines, Russia, Pakistan, Chile, Spain, England, Ireland, Scotland, Switzerland, Virgin Islands and here in the United States.

That’s right folks, six Continents out of seven the CCFM is represented, That’s 12 Countries plus the United States of America. I also predict that we will have clergy in the seventh ( Australia and New Zealand) as well sometime in 2016.

Folks we need your financial help today and continuing into the future. Whether it is a long-term commitment, short-term or a one time offering, it all counts and helps the CCFM to continue to spread the Gospel and programs to those in need of our Lord and Savior. So please help us help others today.

If you can help, please visit our Website and make your Donation or Love Offering there. It is a secure transaction through our PayPal Account. You can print out your transaction when finished and use it as a Charitable Tax Deduction for helping our Churches and Ministries.

Let us know to which program you wish to sponsor or we will stretch it as far as we can. Every dollar helps greatly and they really need your help.

Thank you and Bless you this Christmas Season and well into the New Year to come.

Sincerely IHS and yours, Cardinal Andrew

Ministry Website: www.celticcrossministry.com

Interested in becoming one of our Clergy, either Catholic or Protestant.

We want to hear from you! Our website will aid you in knowing more about us as well as what we are doing the unite and change the face of Christianity. You to can be part of this growing church planting and ministry where you live and travel.

Were always looking for God Loving, God Fearing individuals to join us in ministry.

We are the Celtic Rite of Templar Churches and Ministries. Our website will guide you to get in touch with us for your application request. Feel free to contact us at our Email Address also. (info@celticcrossministry.com).

Contact and help us help other, today!

Anger and how we deal with it – Part I

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Graciousness, Compassion & Mercy

Greetings fellow Christian Warriors, in this episodes broadcast the Oblong Table Crew will be discussing these attributes on the subject of ANGER.

This will start a 4 part minis series on the subject which everyone has to deal with in one way or another. Psalm 145, verse 8 is the foundation for this diverse discussion that we hope will help you throughout the new year. Yes there are many ways to look at and deal with the subject of anger but it is our hope that by opening up a dialog on the matter, that some of our Lords blessed light will shine on it and you in the process.

So be sure to tune into the Christian Warrior Network this evening at 6:00 PM or checkout the archive and listen to it at a more suitable time. You can download any of our Pod-casts to any of your smart hand-held devices and listen to them on the go to benefit you in your day. And all downloads are 100% FREE so don’t delay, get yours today.

Just follow the Link… Were sure you’ll be glad you did… (+)

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/holyseeofantiochcelticcrossradionetwork/2015/01/10/anger-and-how-we-deal-with-it–part-i

You can do something about Sexual Assaults !

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It’s a real problem folks. So what are you doing to fix it ? Christ commanded us to love one another as one’s self. With these stats, I’d say folks don’t like themselves very much. I recommend folks to MAKE TIME to read their Bibles. It will change your life and for the better. What say you ?

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Sexual assault is a general term that includes any forced or unwanted sexual activity, including rape, incest, sexual abuse, and molestation. Sexual assault includes any forced or unwanted touching of an intimate part of the body, such as breasts, buttocks, or genitals.

Rape, a specific type of sexual assault, involves any forced, manipulated, or coerced penetration of the vagina, anus, or mouth, by a penis or other object. Sexual assault/rape is not a crime of passion but a crime of violence, using sex as a weapon to overpower and to degrade the victim. A rapist can be a stranger or someone the victim knows including a spouse, date, or family member.

Facts and Statistics about Rape and Sexual Assault

(From Bureau of Justice Statistics, Criminal Victimization, 2010, National Crime Victimization Survey: http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/cv10.pdf)

In 2010 there were 188,380 reports of rape and/or sexual assault in the United States.

More than half of rape and sexual assault crimes take place between 6pm and 6am.

Females are more likely to be victims of rape or sexual assault (182,000) than males (40,000).

Most victims of rape or sexual assault are females younger than 24 years of age.

Most rapes committed against women are committed by an intimate partner (spouse, boyfriend/girlfriend) or someone else they know (friend, family member, acquaintance).

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Heaven or Hell ?

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Folks our dear Brother and National Spiritual Contributor Frederick Meekins posted this statement on his FB page and it caught my attention. I hope you don’t mind me sharing this conversation with the fine folks here on our blog but, thought it pertinent enough to re-post.

Here’s what I’m talking about folks…

From Br. Frederick
Note something will you. Pastors are often fond of the text that our love for Christ should be so intense that our love for family should look like hate in comparison. But never in this exposition do they have backbone to preach that our devotion to Christ should be so singular that our love for the organized church in comparison to that of her Christ should also look like hate.

My response to the statement…
Replied by Bp. Andrew
Well stated Br. Frederick. I try to preach with conviction and stir those that attend or watch our videos to act. However, we live in a selfish world centered on individualism, not love and devotion. Yet I will continue to drive or even pound that message into people’s minds and hearts until the either change their ways or die trying. Than when they stand face to face with Christ and try to explain to God that they did not know. I’m sure it will fall on deaf ears when they do. By the way, God’s reply will most likely be a point of His finger towards the door and back out the pearly gates to the one way elevator down. But as I always say, it’s their choice to act now or pay later. It’s their choice and I won’t argue with them but I will try to reason with them. As to having them see which to do, fear God now and enjoy eternity in heaven or enjoy themselves now and suffer for eternity in hell. Thanks for posting this. Sorry I went on a little rant and rambled a bit. But your right. So very right in deed ! (+)

Br. Frederick response…
Well, it is more an individualism that has gotten out of control. Sort of like the communal impulse can also get out of control.
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Folks were talking about the times we live in now. If you don’t see the problem or have chosen to ignore your spirituality, faith and Gods ways, then you are the problem. When it comes right down to it, you won’t have anyone to blame but yourself. That is the truth and the true definition of being self-centered and selfish.

I feel as if I need to remind folks, like yourself, that your personal belief and the saving grace of Christ, is a gift. A gift that you should value above all else in this world. It is by the way, your key into heaven.

Nothing else will do. Not all the good works you do, not all the care for others that you do, not even the so-called professing that you’re a Christian and follower of Christ will do.

The only thing that will do, is to take very seriously the teachings and ways of Christ and knowing first hand what God finds to be an abomination and then actively changing your ways and understanding of what He really wants from you in this world.

So be very, very careful listening to family, friends and even some members of the clergy. For they are human also and are prone to misinterpretation and misrepresentation of the Holy Bible. Which, if you take the time now and for the rest of your days here on earth – learning and discerning the Holy Word of God, you’ll be much better off for doing so.

The gospel is truth. It is the infallible and Holy Word of God himself, it is the blue-print and instructions for you to make it into heaven and be allowed to stay there for eternity. Besides, how can you look God, Christ and their Holy Spirit along with the apostles and angels and justify you staying when you have not put forth a life time of trying to understand the ways of God. You can’t !

The only ones that can are the infants and small children, under the age of accountability. And that my dear brothers and sisters, you are not. You may just find yourself on the down elevator with no possibility of peace and happiness ever more.

Find out more by going to our website and under the media tab, take a gander and listen to what should be and is being taught through this ministry. Go to;
http://www.celticcrossministry.com

Find out for yourself. I personally don’t care about your personal feelings but, I do very much care about your eternal salvation and what you do to make it the absolute most important thing on our mind and in your heart all the rest of the days of your life. I want you prepared to be able to stand before God on your judgment day and hold your head high and with a straight face and without any hesitation look God in the eyes and say, you did your best to learn of Him and His ways for your life and those around you. And in return I’m sure He will look into your eyes and say, I know, well done my good and faithful servant, enter into your house, JUSTIFIED.

I do very much care about what your choices are in this life and the joy and or depression, you will have to live with for eternity. Yet it is your choice. As the old saying goes, “you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make them drink”. May your choices in this life be worthy of your eternity in heaven.

Sincerely IHS and yours,
Bp. Andrew

Explanation of the “Common Core” standards of Education

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Good evening everyone, over the past few days I have been noticing a lot of folks objecting to what is called in our educational standards as the “Common Core” standards. Being a product of the Old School curriculum and not being familiar with it, but having an avid curiosity to know more about the subject. I found myself a bit befuddled with this new form of teaching and grading criteria. Mainly because I don’t have a child of school age in my house hold.

So I did some investigating on the issue and found this article written by one of the founding contributors of the program and her views of it now that some years have passed since it conception. Let me state here and now that it is a product of both the Bush and Obama Administrations. That’s for all those that want to point fingers at someone else and say it’s their fault. For the record it’s every ones fault and yet it’s no one fault. I’ll let the article explain this conclusion.

First, I want to thank the Washington Post for originally posting the entire speech of Ms. Diane Ravitch that appeared in their newspaper back in January, by Journalist Valerie Strauss.

I am re-posting it because I’m sure there are others out here that may not be familiar with this fairly new program of standardized testing. It’s original concept and intention for being and how it got the way it is today that is causing so much outcry for citizens and teachers alike. The nice thing about this article is that is also gives ideas on how to fix or correct it’s shot comings. That is rather, on how it can work better, if the national educational system ends up being stuck with it.

So I strongly recommend parents, teachers, politicians who are in office as well as those thinking of getting into politics, to take the time to read the entire article. Trust me when I say you’ll be better off for it in the long run as this issue becomes more heavily debated in the months and years to come.

As for those folks that may think it’s to deep of a subject to understand, I’d like you to know that even a layman like myself when it comes to matters such as this, could understand it completely. It is very well written and worth the time it took to get a better understanding of what our families and neighbors are going through.

So without further ado, I give you Ms. Ravitch’s take on the subject of “Common Core”… Thank you…

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Diane Ravitch, the education historian who has become the leader of the movement against corporate-influenced school reform, gave this speech to the Modern Language Association on Jan. 11 about the past, present and future of the Common Core State Standards.

Here’s her speech:

As an organization of teachers and scholars devoted to the study of language and literature, MLA should be deeply involved in the debate about the Common Core standards.

The Common Core standards were developed in 2009 and released in 2010. Within a matter of months, they had been endorsed by 45 states and the District of Columbia. At present, publishers are aligning their materials with the Common Core, technology companies are creating software and curriculum aligned with the Common Core, and two federally-funded consortia have created online tests of the Common Core.

What are the Common Core standards? Who produced them? Why are they controversial? How did their adoption happen so quickly?

As scholars of the humanities, you are well aware that every historical event is subject to interpretation. There are different ways to answer the questions I just posed. Originally, this session was designed to be a discussion between me and David Coleman, who is generally acknowledged as the architect of the Common Core standards. Some months ago, we both agreed on the date and format. But Mr. Coleman, now president of the College Board, discovered that he had a conflicting meeting and could not be here.

So, unfortunately, you will hear only my narrative, not his, which would be quite different. I have no doubt that you will have no difficulty getting access to his version of the narrative, which is the same as Secretary Arne Duncan’s.

He would tell you that the standards were created by the states, that they were widely and quickly embraced because so many educators wanted common standards for teaching language, literature, and mathematics. But he would not be able to explain why so many educators and parents are now opposed to the standards and are reacting angrily to the testing that accompanies them.

I will try to do that.

I will begin by setting the context for the development of the standards.

They arrive at a time when American public education and its teachers are under attack. Never have public schools been as subject to upheaval, assault, and chaos as they are today. Unlike modern corporations, which extol creative disruption, schools need stability, not constant turnover and change. Yet for the past dozen years, ill-advised federal and state policies have rained down on students, teachers, principals, and schools.

George W. Bush’s No Child Left Behind and Barack Obama’s Race to the Top have combined to impose a punitive regime of standardized testing on the schools. NCLB was passed by Congress in 2001 and signed into law in 2002. NCLB law required schools to test every child in grades 3-8 every year; by 2014, said the law, every child must be “proficient” or schools would face escalating sanctions. The ultimate sanction for failure to raise test scores was firing the staff and closing the school.

Because the stakes were so high, NCLB encouraged teachers to teach to the test. In many schools, the curriculum was narrowed; the only subjects that mattered were reading and mathematics. What was not tested—the arts, history, civics, literature, geography, science, physical education—didn’t count. Some states, like New York, gamed the system by dropping the passing mark each year, giving the impression that its students were making phenomenal progress when they were not. Some districts, like Atlanta, El Paso, and the District of Columbia, were caught up in cheating scandals. In response to this relentless pressure, test scores rose, but not as much as they had before the adoption of NCLB.

Then along came the Obama administration, with its signature program called Race to the Top. In response to the economic crisis of 2008, Congress gave the U.S. Department of Education $5 billion to promote “reform.” Secretary Duncan launched a competition for states called “Race to the Top.” If states wanted any part of that money, they had to agree to certain conditions. They had to agree to evaluate teachers to a significant degree by the rise or fall of their students’ test scores; they had to agree to increase the number of privately managed charter schools; they had to agree to adopt “college and career ready standards,” which were understood to be the not-yet-finished Common Core standards; they had to agree to “turnaround” low-performing schools by such tactics as firing the principal and part or all of the school staff; and they had to agree to collect unprecedented amounts of personally identifiable information about every student and store it in a data warehouse. It became an article of faith in Washington and in state capitols, with the help of propagandistic films like “Waiting for Superman,” that if students had low scores, it must be the fault of bad teachers. Poverty, we heard again and again from people like Bill Gates, Joel Klein, and Michelle Rhee, was just an excuse for bad teachers, who should be fired without delay or due process.

These two federal programs, which both rely heavily on standardized testing, has produced a massive demoralization of educators; an unprecedented exodus of experienced educators, who were replaced in many districts by young, inexperienced, low-wage teachers; the closure of many public schools, especially in poor and minority districts; the opening of thousands of privately managed charters; an increase in low-quality for-profit charter schools and low-quality online charter schools; a widespread attack on teachers’ due process rights and collective bargaining rights; the near-collapse of public education in urban districts like Detroit and Philadelphia, as public schools are replaced by privately managed charter schools; a burgeoning educational-industrial complex of testing corporations, charter chains, and technology companies that view public education as an emerging market. Hedge funds, entrepreneurs, and real estate investment corporations invest enthusiastically in this emerging market, encouraged by federal tax credits, lavish fees, and the prospect of huge profits from taxpayer dollars. Celebrities, tennis stars, basketball stars, and football stars are opening their own name-brand schools with public dollars, even though they know nothing about education.

No other nation in the world has inflicted so many changes or imposed so many mandates on its teachers and public schools as we have in the past dozen years. No other nation tests every student every year as we do. Our students are the most over-tested in the world. No other nation—at least no high-performing nation—judges the quality of teachers by the test scores of their students. Most researchers agree that this methodology is fundamentally flawed, that it is inaccurate, unreliable, and unstable, that the highest ratings will go to teachers with the most affluent students and the lowest ratings will go to teachers of English learners, teachers of students with disabilities, and teachers in high-poverty schools. Nonetheless, the U.S. Department of Education wants every state and every district to do it. Because of these federal programs, our schools have become obsessed with standardized testing, and have turned over to the testing corporations the responsibility for rating, ranking, and labeling our students, our teachers, and our schools.

The Pearson Corporation has become the ultimate arbiter of the fate of students, teachers, and schools.

This is the policy context in which the Common Core standards were developed. Five years ago, when they were written, major corporations, major foundations, and the key policymakers at the Department of Education agreed that public education was a disaster and that the only salvation for it was a combination of school choice—including privately managed charters and vouchers– national standards, and a weakening or elimination of such protections as collective bargaining, tenure, and seniority. At the same time, the political and philanthropic leaders maintained a passionate faith in the value of standardized tests and the data that they produced as measures of quality and as ultimate, definitive judgments on people and on schools. The agenda of both Republicans and Democrats converged around the traditional Republican agenda of standards, choice, and accountability. In my view, this convergence has nothing to do with improving education or creating equality of opportunity but everything to do with cutting costs, standardizing education, shifting the delivery of education from high-cost teachers to low-cost technology, reducing the number of teachers, and eliminating unions and pensions.

The Common Core standards were written in 2009 under the aegis of several D.C.-based organizations: the National Governors Association, the Council of Chief State School Officers, and Achieve. The development process was led behind closed doors by a small organization called Student Achievement Partners, headed by David Coleman. The writing group of 27 contained few educators, but a significant number of representatives of the testing industry. From the outset, the Common Core standards were marked by the absence of public participation, transparency, or educator participation. In a democracy, transparency is crucial, because transparency and openness builds trust. Those crucial ingredients were lacking.

The U.S. Department of Education is legally prohibited from exercising any influence or control over curriculum or instruction in the schools, so it could not contribute any funding to the expensive task of creating national standards. The Gates Foundation stepped in and assumed that responsibility. It gave millions to the National Governors Association, to the Council of Chief School Officers, to Achieve and to Student Achievement Partners. Once the standards were written, Gates gave millions more to almost every think tank and education advocacy group in Washington to evaluate the standards—even to some that had no experience evaluating standards—and to promote and help to implement the standards. Even the two major teachers’ unions accepted millions of dollars to help advance the Common Core standards. Altogether, the Gates Foundation has expended nearly $200 million to pay for the development, evaluation, implementation, and promotion of the Common Core standards. And the money tap is still open, with millions more awarded this past fall to promote the Common Core standards.

Some states—like Kentucky–adopted the Common Core standards sight unseen. Some—like Texas—refused to adopt them sight unseen. Some—like Massachusetts—adopted them even though their own standards were demonstrably better and had been proven over time.

The advocates of the standards saw them as a way to raise test scores by making sure that students everywhere in every grade were taught using the same standards. They believed that common standards would automatically guarantee equity. Some spoke of the Common Core as a civil rights issue. They emphasized that the Common Core standards would be far more rigorous than most state standards and they predicted that students would improve their academic performance in response to raising the bar.

Integral to the Common Core was the expectation that they would be tested on computers using online standardized exams. As Secretary Duncan’s chief of staff wrote at the time, the Common Core was intended to create a national market for book publishers, technology companies, testing corporations, and other vendors.

What the advocates ignored is that test scores are heavily influenced by socioeconomic status. Standardized tests are normed on a bell curve. The upper half of the curve has an abundance of those who grew up in favorable circumstances, with educated parents, books in the home, regular medical care, and well-resourced schools. Those who dominate the bottom half of the bell curve are the kids who lack those advantages, whose parents lack basic economic security, whose schools are overcrowded and under-resourced. To expect tougher standards and a renewed emphasis on standardized testing to reduce poverty and inequality is to expect what never was and never will be.

Who supported the standards? Secretary Duncan has been their loudest cheerleader. Governor Jeb Bush of Florida and former DC Chancellor Michelle Rhee urged their rapid adoption. Joel Klein and Condoleeza Rice chaired a commission for the Council on Foreign Relations, which concluded that the Common Core standards were needed to protect national security. Major corporations purchased full-page ads in the New York Times and other newspapers to promote the Common Core. ExxonMobil is especially vociferous in advocating for Common Core, taking out advertisements on television and other news media saying that the standards are needed to prepare our workforce for global competition. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce endorsed the standards, saying they were necessary to prepare workers for the global marketplace. The Business Roundtable stated that its #1 priority is the full adoption and implementation of the Common Core standards. All of this excitement was generated despite the fact that no one knows whether the Common Core will fulfill any of these promises. It will take 12 years whether we know what its effects are.

The Common Core standards have both allies and opponents on the right. Tea-party groups at the grassroots level oppose the standards, claiming that they will lead to a federal takeover of education. The standards also have allies and opponents on the left.

I was aware of Common Core from the outset. In 2009, I urged its leaders to plan on field testing them to find out how the standards worked in real classrooms with real teachers and real students. Only then would we know whether they improve college-readiness and equity. In 2010, I was invited to meet at the White House with senior administration officials, and I advised them to field test the standards to make sure that they didn’t widen the achievement gaps between haves and have-nots.

After all, raising the bar might make more students fail, and failure would be greatest amongst those who cannot clear the existing bar.

Last spring, when it became clear that there would be no field testing, I decided I could not support the standards. I objected to the lack of any democratic participation in their development; I objected to the absence of any process for revising them, and I was fearful that they were setting unreachable targets for most students. I also was concerned that they would deepen the sense of crisis about American education that has been used to attack the very principle of public education. In my latest book, I demonstrated, using data on the U.S. Department of Education website that the current sense of crisis about our nation’s public schools was exaggerated; that test scores were the highest they had ever been in our history for whites, African Americans, Latinos, and Asians; that graduation rates for all groups were the highest in our history; and that the dropout rate was the lowest ever in our history.

My fears were confirmed by the Common Core tests. Wherever they have been implemented, they have caused a dramatic collapse of test scores. In state after state, the passing rates dropped by about 30%. This was not happenstance. This was failure by design. Let me explain.

The Obama administration awarded $350 million to two groups to create tests for the Common Core standards. The testing consortia jointly decided to use a very high passing mark, which is known as a “cut score.” The Common Core testing consortia decided that the passing mark on their tests would be aligned with the proficient level on the federal tests called NAEP. This is a level typically reached by about 35-40% of students. Massachusetts is the only state in which as many as 50% ever reached the NAEP proficient level. The testing consortia set the bar so high that most students were sure to fail, and they did.

In New York state, which gave the Common Core tests last spring, only 30% of students across the state passed the tests. Only 3% of English language learners passed. Only 5% of students with disabilities passed. Fewer than 20% of African American and Hispanic students passed. By the time the results were reported in August, the students did not have the same teachers; the teachers saw the scores, but did not get any item analysis. They could not use the test results for diagnostic purposes, to help students. Their only value was to rank students.

When New York state education officials held public hearings, parents showed up en masse to complain about the Common Core testing. Secretary Duncan dismissed them as “white suburban moms” who were disappointed to learn that their child was not as brilliant as they thought and their public school was not as good as they thought. But he was wrong: the parents were outraged not because they thought their children were brilliant but because they did not believe that their children were failures. What, exactly, is the point of crushing the hearts and minds of young children by setting a standard so high that 70% are certain to fail?

The financial cost of implementing Common Core has barely been mentioned in the national debates. All Common Core testing will be done online. This is a bonanza for the tech industry and other vendors. Every school district must buy new computers, new teaching materials, and new bandwidth for the testing. At a time when school budgets have been cut in most states and many thousands of teachers have been laid off, school districts across the nation will spend billions to pay for Common Core testing. Los Angeles alone committed to spend $1 billion on iPads for the tests; the money is being taken from a bond issue approved by voters for construction and repair of school facilities. Meanwhile, the district has cut teachers of the arts, class size has increased, and necessary repairs are deferred because the money will be spent on iPads. The iPads will be obsolete in a year or two, and the Pearson content loaded onto the iPads has only a three-year license. The cost of implementing the Common Core and the new tests is likely to run into the billions at a time of deep budget cuts.

Other controversies involve the standards themselves. Early childhood educators are nearly unanimous in saying that no one who wrote the standards had any expertise in the education of very young children. More than 500 early childhood educators signed a joint statement complaining that the standards were developmentally inappropriate for children in the early grades. The standards, they said, emphasize academic skills and leave inadequate time for imaginative play. They also objected to the likelihood that young children would be subjected to standardized testing. And yet proponents of the Common Core insist that children as young as 5 or 6 or 7 should be on track to be college-and-career ready, even though children this age are not likely to think about college, and most think of careers as cowboys, astronauts, or firefighters.

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There has also been heated argument about the standards’ insistence that reading must be divided equally in the elementary grades between fiction and informational text, and divided 70-30 in favor of informational text in high school. Where did the writers of the standards get these percentages? They relied on the federal NAEP—the National Assessment of Educational Progress-which uses these percentages as instructions to test developers. NAEP never intended that these numbers would be converted into instructional mandates for teachers. This idea that informational text should take up half the students’ reading time in the early grades and 70% in high school led to outlandish claims that teachers would no longer be allowed to teach whole novels. Somewhat hysterical articles asserted that the classics would be banned while students were required to read government documents. The standards contain no such demands.

Defenders of the Common Core standards said that the percentages were misunderstood. They said they referred to the entire curriculum—math, science, and history, not just English. But since teachers in math, science, and history are not known for assigning fiction, why was this even mentioned in the standards? Which administrator will be responsible for policing whether precisely 70% of the reading in senior year is devoted to informational text? Who will keep track?

The fact is that the Common Core standards should never have set forth any percentages at all. If they really did not mean to impose numerical mandates on English teachers, they set off a firestorm of criticism for no good reason. Other nations have national standards, and I don’t know of any that tell teachers how much time to devote to fiction and how much time to devote to informational text. Frankly, I think that teachers are quite capable of making that decision for themselves. If they choose to teach a course devoted only to fiction or devoted only to non-fiction, that should be their choice, not a mandate imposed by a committee in 2009.

Another problem presented by the Common Core standards is that there is no one in charge of fixing them. If teachers find legitimate problems and seek remedies, there is no one to turn to. If the demands for students in kindergarten and first grade are developmentally inappropriate, no one can make changes. The original writing committee no longer exists. No organization or agency has the authority to revise the standards. The Common Core standards might as well be written in stone. This makes no sense. They were not handed down on Mount Sinai, they are not an infallible Papal encyclical, why is there no process for improving and revising them?

Furthermore, what happens to the children who fail? Will they be held back a grade? Will they be held back again and again? If most children fail, as they did in New York, what will happen to them? How will they catch up? The advocates of the standards insist that low-scoring students will become high-scoring students if the tests are rigorous, but what if they are wrong? What if the failure rate remains staggeringly high as it is now? What if it improves marginally as students become accustomed to the material, and the failure rate drops from 70% to 50%? What will we do with the 50% who can’t jump over the bar? Teachers across the country will be fired if the scores of their pupils do not go up. This is nuts. We have a national policy that is a theory based on an assumption grounded in hope. And it might be wrong, with disastrous consequences for real children and real teachers.

In some states, teachers say that the lessons are scripted and deprive them of their professional autonomy, the autonomy they need to tailor their lessons to the needs of the students in front of them. Behind the Common Core standards lies a blind faith in standardization of tests and curriculum, and perhaps, of children as well. Yet we know that even in states with strong standards, like Massachusetts and California, there are wide variations in test scores. Tom Loveless of the Brookings Institution predicted that the Common Core standards were likely to make little, if any, difference. No matter how high and uniform their standards, there are variations in academic achievement within states, there are variations within districts, there are variations within every school.

It is good to have standards. I believe in standards, but they must not be rigid, inflexible, and prescriptive. Teachers must have the flexibility to tailor standards to meet the students in their classrooms, the students who can’t read English, the students who are two grade levels behind, the students who are homeless, the students who just don’t get it and just don’t care, the students who frequently miss class. Standards alone cannot produce a miraculous transformation.

I do not mean to dismiss the Common Core standards altogether. They could be far better, if there were a process whereby experienced teachers were able to fix them. They could be made developmentally appropriate for the early grades, so that children have time for play and games, as well as learning to read and do math and explore nature.

The numerical demands for 50-50 or 70-30 literature vs. informational text should be eliminated. They serve no useful purpose and they have no justification.

In every state, teachers should work together to figure out how the standards can be improved. Professional associations like the National Council for the Teaching of English and the National Council for the Teaching of Mathematics should participate in a process by which the standards are regularly reviewed, revised, and updated by classroom teachers and scholars to respond to genuine problems in the field.

The Common Core standards should be decoupled from standardized testing, especially online standardized testing. Most objections to the standards are caused by the testing. The tests are too long, and many students give up; the passing marks on the tests were set so high as to create failure.

Yet the test scores will be used to rate students, teachers, and schools.

The standardized testing should become optional. It should include authentic writing assignments that are judged by humans, not by computers. It too needs oversight by professional communities of scholars and teachers.

There is something about the Common Core standards and testing, about their demand for uniformity and standardization, that reeks of early twentieth century factory-line thinking. There is something about them that feels obsolete. Today, most sectors of our economy have standards that are open-sourced and flexible, that rely upon the wisdom of practitioners, that are constantly updated and improved.

In the present climate, the Common Core standards and testing will become the driving force behind the creation of a test-based meritocracy. With David Coleman in charge of the College Board, the SAT will be aligned with the Common Core; so will the ACT. Both testing organizations were well represented in the writing of the standards; representatives of these two organizations comprised 12 of the 27 members of the original writing committee. The Common Core tests are a linchpin of the federal effort to commit K-12 education to the new world of Big Data. The tests are the necessary ingredient to standardize teaching, curriculum, instruction, and schooling. Only those who pass these rigorous tests will get a high school diploma. Only those with high scores on these rigorous tests will be able to go to college.

No one has come up with a plan for the 50% or more who never get a high school diploma. These days, a man or woman without a high school diploma has meager chances to make their way in this society. They will end up in society’s dead-end jobs.

Some might say this is just. I say it is not just. I say that we have allowed the testing corporations to assume too much power in allotting power, prestige, and opportunity. Those who are wealthy can afford to pay fabulous sums for tutors so their children can get high scores on standardized tests and college entrance exams. Those who are affluent live in districts with ample resources for their schools. Those who are poor lack those advantages. Our nation suffers an opportunity gap, and the opportunity gap creates a test score gap.

You may know Michael Young’s book The Rise of the Meritocracy. It was published in 1958 and has gone through many editions. A decade ago, Young added a new introduction in which he warned that a meritocracy could be sad and fragile. He wrote:

If the rich and powerful were encouraged by the general culture to believe that they fully deserved all they had, how arrogant they could become, and if they were convinced it was all for the common good, how ruthless in pursuing their own advantage. Power corrupts, and therefore one of the secrets of a good society is that power should always be open to criticism. A good society should provide sinew for revolt as well as for power.

But authority cannot be humbled unless ordinary people, however much they have been rejected by the educational system, have the confidence to assert themselves against the mighty. If they think themselves inferior, if they think they deserve on merit to have less worldly goods and less worldly power than a select minority, they can be damaged in their own self-esteem, and generally demoralized.

Even if it could be demonstrated that ordinary people had less native ability than those selected for high position, that would not mean that they deserved to get less. Being a member of the “lucky sperm club” confers no moral right or advantage. What one is born with, or without, is not of one’s own doing.

We must then curb the misuse of the Common Core standards: Those who like them should use them, but they should be revised continually to adjust to reality. Stop the testing. Stop the rating and ranking. Do not use them to give privilege to those who pass them or to deny the diploma necessary for a decent life. Remove the high-stakes that policymakers intend to attach to them. Use them to enrich instruction, but not to standardize it.

I fear that the Common Core plan of standards and testing will establish a test-based meritocracy that will harm our democracy by parceling out opportunity, by ranking and rating every student in relation to their test scores.

We cannot have a decent democracy unless we begin with the supposition that every human life is of equal value. Our society already has far too much inequality of wealth and income. We should do nothing to stigmatize those who already get the least of society’s advantages. We should bend our efforts to change our society so that each and every one of us has the opportunity to learn, the resources needed to learn, and the chance to have a good and decent life, regardless of one’s test scores.

Education gap widening

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Just in case you want to verify the statement here. Here is the link to the article as well. Nothing was added and nothing was deleted for your interest. Bless you and our students, parents and teachers.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2014/01/18/everything-you-need-to-know-about-common-core-ravitch/

Mankinds, inhumanity to innocence…

Warriors and folks in general.

When have we had enough of mans, inhumanity to another man, woman and yes, child as the picture shows ? Why is it that evil in this world is allowed to go unpunished and unchecked. We are held accountable for our actions and in-actions and so should the murders that do such a heinous act.

For now on, in my heart and prayers I will be looking at each and every Christian in this world that dies at the ungodly hands of one of these extremists, as a martyr for the faith. For they have shown true faith, love and devotion to Christ. As well as for all other Christians around the world.

If only we knew their names so we could honor them for holding onto their faith and love of Christ, and enduring until the end.

Read and Remember – Matthew Chapter 10, verses 22 – 42.

For in dyeing, we are reborn to life eternal. Through the saving grace and mercy of God the Father and through the precious blood of our savior and lord, Jesus Christ. For Christ is King of all men, even over those who hold the teachings of the Prophet Mohammad, in such high regard and have distorted the true teaching of his ways for all Islam.

God is love not hate. For hate and evil doings are of Satan and whatever it is that has taken over the extreme followers of Islam and the teachings of Mohammed in the Quran / Koran, are so very, very wrong, lost and misguided by some form of evilness that is not worthy of God and is definitely not of God. But rather of mans will being forced upon another. Which is unlike Christianity and the way one comes unto true salvation. They just don’t get the fact that killing and forcing others to believe as they do, is not the true way of the Prophet Mohammad.

May God bless all those who love Him, serve Him and are willing to die for His Son, our Lord, Jesus Christ. May they live and reign with you forever and ever, Amen ! (+)

Senior Bishop Primus Andrew R. Manley D.D., Th.D., M.R.Php. O.S.A., O.S.P., O.S.B., S.O.BB.

Our Web Address: (www.celticcrossministry.com)

Our Email Address: (info@celticcrossministry.com)

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