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Commissioner Rothschild Concerned State Standards will Turn Schools into 'Propaganda Institutes for Government'

Carroll County's commissioners met with the Board of Education Tuesday to discuss education beyond funding and buildings.

In a joint meeting with the Carroll County commissioners and the Board of Education Tuesday afternoon, Commissioner Richard Rothschild said repeatedly that Carroll County should resist adhering to the state's Common Core Curriculum even if it means taking the federal government to court.

"My position is we should try to get out of it (Common Core standards requirements)," Rothschild told the Board. "There are laws in America that prevent the nationalization or federalization of education."

The two boards met Tuesday to discuss education in Carroll County. Commissioner Doug Howard said the meeting was specifically to talk about education issues outside of funding and buildings.

Carroll County Public School (CCPS) Superintendent Stephen Guthrie told the commissioners that CCPS is in the process of adapting the state's Common Core standards, as required by state law.

According to the Maryland State Department of Education website, Common Core is "a set of shared goals and expectations for what students should understand and be able to do in grades K-12 in order to be prepared for success in college and the workplace."

CCPS Assistant Superintendent of Instruction Steve Johnson explained that Common Core is based on an internationally benchmarked curriculum, created by a national group of educators and organizations.

Commissioner Doug Howard questioned how a curriculum designed at the national level is right for students in Carroll County.

"How do we know this constitutes something that is desirable for us?" Howard asked.

Guthrie said that the Common Core establishes the skill set students need to learn for assessments but that Carroll County educators create the curriculum that dictates how the skills are taught and what resources are used.

Johnson added that there is a 75 percent match with Common Core standards and Carroll County's current curriculum so although there were adjustments made, Johnson said that adapting to Common Core did not require a comprehensive overhaul of what Carroll County already has in place.

"We had to make some adjustments but the bottom line is I'm not sure we have the autonomy to say 'no'," Johnson said. "I mean our kids get a Maryland state high school diploma so we have to comply with the graduation requirements of the state of Maryland."

Once the state adopted the Common Core, it became law that all 24 school districts had to adhere to the standards, according to Guthrie.

Rothschild said that the federal government "bribes" states into accepting national standards.

"After they [standards] were created, the Obama adminstration created Race to the Top and they bribed all the states into accepting it...we now have exactly what is prohibited by law--the defacto national control over education," Rothschild said. "Then what's gonna happen is since the federal government incented states to accept this, more and more grants will come out that are conditional ... it will turn our schools into propoganda institutes for government and we should be resisting them."

Board of Education member Gary Bauer responded saying that the federal government does not dictate the curriculum, rather just provides funding to states.

"The federal government does not dictate anything, the federal government provides money to the states," Bauer said.  "If [states] don't take the money, [states] can do whatever they want to do."

Rothschild responded saying that states are forced to accept the federal standards because they are strapped for cash.

"We are setting ourselves up to be controlled and manipulated. Once this defacto nationalization goes into effect, they will control us, they will control our state curriculum, they will control our local curriculum, they will change the curriculum by holding back grant money unless we capitulate to them," Rothschild said. "If we don' stop this, we're gonna look back 10 years from now and say 'oh my God, why didn't we stop this,' we need to try to stop this."

Commissioner Dave Roush said it is a matter of state taxpayer money being taken from the state.

"The $250 milion the state is getting [for education from the federal government] didn't come out of the sky, it came from taxpayers, many of them who are in Maryland," Roush said. "So take Maryland taxpayer's money and say 'well we'll give it back to you for your education if you do what we want, if you don't, we're gonna ship all that money out to some other state' and we'll just be poor."

Rothschild said local curriculum decisions should be made by local educators and citizens.

"I think we should file suit to try to stop Common Core so that we retain autonomy in our county to teach the way our experts think is best, not the way the federal government thinks," Rothschild said.  "Just because something is law doesn't mean it can't be challenged ... the defacto federalization of education is not tolerable to me, I know where this is going."

Buck Harmon February 12, 2013 at 01:56 PM
".it must be tough living in a world where you are scared of everything." "Wow... Someone woke up on the wrong side of the broom today" Statements like these led to your demise on this thread Locke...you surrendered as a result of not having the intelligence to stand firm with your side of the debate... Patch blogs certainly are not Romper Room...you probably made a good decision to leave.
Buck Harmon February 12, 2013 at 01:58 PM
Surrender statement JoeEldersburg...you can do better..come on..
Brian Smith February 12, 2013 at 02:24 PM
Uncle Buck..... The problem I had was responding to 5 year old jives such as yours. That being said, I've already apologized for that which is more than I've witnessed anyone else do to date. I'll simply watch from the nose bleed seats.. Romper Room or Yo Gabba Gabba seems to be a step up from some of these discussions.... Be well.
Brian Smith February 12, 2013 at 05:12 PM
From what I've been told (and witnessed last night)... All 5 were invited to participate. It would have been more productive had all 5 attended last night as it would have been good to hear all sides. There was a very large group in attendance last night. Commissioner Howard was very clear that everyone was invited though not everyone had time on their schedules, was able or wanted to attend. I understand some of the other Commissioners had attended previous sessions but not last night.
Brian Smith February 12, 2013 at 07:38 PM
well.. i've gotten emails and announcements for these meetings for at least two weeks prior to last night’s meeting….. I'm assuming there were on the commissioner’s calendars..... I can't say what the individual commissions may or may not have received or heard as I'm not them. I’ve been told that some of the other commissioners attended at least a couple of the other meetings.. but again.. I was not at those meetings so cannot confirm one way or the other. Did you attend?? I attended last night and I ran into at least 10-15 other parents I know from various activities (sports, etc). These parents where not teachers or union thugs…. I am sure there were plenty of teachers in attendance as well but the majority of discussion and comments I heard where from concerned parents.
Brian Smith February 12, 2013 at 07:38 PM
All of the people I ran into would have preferred that all the commissioners had been in attendance so you do have a valid point. It’s unfortunate The Board’s Open Sessions are during the day as the majority of people have work and cannot get away. I’d love to attend Thursday’s 10:00 AM FY14 budget session but work precludes it. As for the current drop in enrollment.. it was discussed. The forecasts I’ve seen also call for an increase in enrollment starting 5 years out. I’m skeptical of all forecasts but do think, at least in South Carroll.. That enrollment will grow with current and future developments. My kid’s elementary school still has trailers so we haven’t seen the empty classrooms yet. It would be extremely foolish to close a school know only to have to build a new one 10 years out. Construction and design costs will only continue to escalate.
Brian Smith February 12, 2013 at 08:07 PM
I've heard the same about an earlier meeting. I think the majority of the parents, at least last night, we're simply parents concerned about their children's education, programs, transportation times, etc. I have no idea what the official break down was but I'd bet/estimate that the vast majority were parents. FACC (Freedom Area Citizens’ Council) made a push to get parents out last night so that may have helped the parent/teacher ratios. There were also a few students who spoke eloquently. I also think the majority of teachers do so because they want to do their best for their students. I’m sure there are a few bad apples but as a whole, it’s an underpaid profession. Most teachers are good people who are doing their best to teach and help our children. This is the same for public, charter, private, religious, schools… they do so because they love the profession and their students. I’m not a teacher or have any direct involvement with the school system… I’ve simply have a lot of respect for the teachers we’ve had direct experience with thus far. I agree with your point that it would have been beneficial for all the commissioners to be involved. The meetings would have been more productive had that been the case but they were better than nothing.
Brian Smith February 12, 2013 at 08:20 PM
that's not what I'm saying.. i'm only saying the forecasts that enrollments are going to increase. I think they said last night that we've lost 500-700 since 2010 county wide but I haven't seen those direct numbers. They are probably online somewhere… the projections i've seen (for south carroll) is to increase past 2010 levels by 2020-2030. have you seen the number of homes/developments being planned in the area in the near future (2-3 years)? once/if/when 32 goes to 4 lanes.... development will go far beyond the current forecasts. With brac and the lack of build-able sites in Howard County…. Additional development is coming our way if we like it or not. Widening 32 is one of Carroll County’s highest transportation priorities and also that at the State level. I don’t have a lot of information on North Carroll so it’s possible South Carroll’s increase will be offset by a decrease in North Carroll but I’d be surprised.
Steve February 12, 2013 at 08:33 PM
LOL World Nut Drooly. That has to be required reading by the Commissioners.
Buck Harmon February 12, 2013 at 08:47 PM
Locke, "The problem I had was responding to 5 year old jives such as yours." That's a cop out statement...typical of a no name poster without a real debate to the topic...you do in fact have a problem...probably a good decision to leave it at that..
Buck Harmon February 12, 2013 at 08:55 PM
Did Shoemaker offer an explanation for the Manchester Valley High School student shortage...this is what comes of Shoemaker's political involvement...millions of tax dollars wasted because of his screw ups...
Buck Harmon February 12, 2013 at 09:01 PM
Given the current state of our un predictable economy, how can forecasts such as these have any degree of accuracy...?.. I thought that only the weather forecasters could get paid well for being wrong a good percentage of the time..
Buck Harmon February 13, 2013 at 01:24 AM
Thanks JoAnn, You would think that educated leaders would have seen the writing on the wall when committing to the County financing a project of this magnitude.. Very poor forecast from Shoemaker...very poor excuse given at the meeting, another lie..or cop out...
Brian Smith February 13, 2013 at 03:11 AM
With the amount of construction activity at Fort Meade and contractors/families being relocated to the area via brac... some growth is inevitable. a lot of the defense contractors are consolidating into existing military centers/areas. our area is and will be one of the few (defense related) areas to see growth nationwide as the defense and intelligence agencies go through a period of reduction/consolidation. I don't know where you guys live, but in my neighborhood.....there are lots of professionals who make the trek into Fort Meade and related areas.... we are seeing brac overflow. It may not always be wise to overbuild based on future projections.... although it is also unwise not to take these projections into account as it is almost impossible to catch up with infrastructure, schools, community amenities once the growth has occurred. I'd like to see more funds put into our transportation systems as well though we need to be efficient with our scarce funding. If an economic justification exists to close a school....let's see the numbers. Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't the BOE and the State make the decisions when and where schools are closed (and opened)? Does the BOC have a say in the matter? They do seem to control some of the funding but I didn't think they had a real say in how the money is spent. Correct?
Brian Smith February 13, 2013 at 02:55 PM
Thank you for proving my point.
Buck Harmon February 13, 2013 at 03:04 PM
Your welcome Uncle Locke..
Brian Smith February 13, 2013 at 03:30 PM
Did you get the movie reference? "Uncle Buck".. it is one of my all time fav movies growing up. He was a very funny actor to passed before his time. You've probably heard that reference so many times.. funny movie though. Be well..
JoeEldersburg February 13, 2013 at 11:28 PM
This is not an issue of economics or the downturn...the issue was then as it still is today that there was no enrollment "justification" for building MVHS in the first place and that's why the state wouldn't fund one dime of it! I'm told the BOE didn't even request state funding which is customarily half the amount ...sooo, a $72 million school all on Carroll County! In fact we are the 1st county in more than 10 years to build a HS without state funding. This was a very dumb and very expensive mistake (which Buck Harmon harps on continuously, I might add). To add insult to injury, enrollments are still declining and both MVHS and N. Carroll are at just over 50% of capacity, which means we are not only blowing millions on the debt service for the $36 million in construction funding that might otherwise have come from the state, but also blowing a huge hole in the operating budget by operating 2 schools at such a low capacity...same fixed costs over less students, means fewer teachers, specials, athletics, etc. Enter Rothschild & Frazier; public school antagonists intent on blackmailing the BOE into closing a school(s) to deliver on promises of tax cuts. They don't care about utilization, the quality of education or even the students, they care only about shrinking the school budget...Rothschild, the financial whiz, redid the last county budget over a weekend, so telling the schools how to balance their budget with even less money should be a layup for him!
JoeEldersburg February 13, 2013 at 11:32 PM
Yes Locke, technically it's the State's ultimate decision whether to close a school, but effectively the budget decisions for county schools reside with the county Commissioners, so it's like a constructive foreclosure...if you don't get enough money to keep the lights on, you have to make a decision to close something or you won't be able to pay the teachers or afford something else.
JoeEldersburg February 14, 2013 at 04:38 PM
I got news for you...Rothschild and Frazier are the most nutty, right-wing people ever elected to office in Carroll County. I have nothing but deragotory remarks for them, because they are completely off their rockers. Yes, the BOE supported the decision to build MVHS and the past board of Commissioners should have said "no", especially when Ted Zaleski, their budget director warned them not to do this without state funding, but we can't put the genie back in the bottle and unbuild the school. Most certainly we should be considering closing N. Carroll and putting all the kids in MVHS, but Commissioners have no place bullying the BOE or Steve Guthrie or starting vile rumors of closing Liberty HS, in Eldersburg.
JoeEldersburg February 14, 2013 at 04:52 PM
JoAnn, I came across an interesting video link I thought I'd share with you, since you seem to be cut and pasting from your pal Rothschild's writing anyway. Rothschild, you and your WTP friends are convinced that the UN is invading us through ICELEI and professional planning and that "sustainability" is a dirty word...As such, you may find the attached link interesting, but I'll warn you that this guy is another REPUBLICAN, but he seems to be talking directly to you and the rest of the nuts (Tin Foil Hat Brigade) who believe the conspiracy crap about Agenda 21. Sorry that the truth conflicts with your conspiracy theories of responsible planning and sustainability being part of a communist/muslim plot to take away our property rights and make us all live in communes! Rothschild's support of "property rights" is almost as crazy as his comment about the schools becoming institutions of propaganda. http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/02/07/gop-ditch-the-agenda-21-tinfoil-hat-brigade.html Parents, we need someone to save us from Rothschild & Frazier!
JoeEldersburg February 14, 2013 at 09:15 PM
You mean in the north, they are less likely to eat their young? Notice you said "introduced" bills...not passed laws...there's no medicine known that cures stupid. We have plenty of rural counties right here in Maryland with nuts running them like in Carroll & Frederick (that Tea Party dolt, Blaine Young come to mind), who believe similar drivel about insidious plans by the UN to overthrow the US. Paranoid conspiracy theories about the govt. arent new, nor are they reserved for planning. Why just this morning I read the NRA's Wayne Lapierrre's racist laden op ed rant that the US is ready to fall into anarchy and that we need to all arm ourselves to the teeth before the Latin American gangs make it unsafe to walk the streets...REALLY now! But that's just the kind of thing you and the rest of the We the People crowd believes...the sky is falling and everyone is out to get us...get a grip! The enemy is irrational people, who have lost the ability to discern fact from fiction. Sadly, they exist in both parties, but seemingly in greater numbers with the extremes like the Tea Party.
Buck Harmon February 14, 2013 at 09:32 PM
Does Rothschild have an alternate sustainability plan in the works that would truely allow them to lead by example..?.. or have they just been active resistors..?
Buck Harmon February 14, 2013 at 09:34 PM
Or perhaps he~they believe that the need does not exist...?
newsjunkie February 14, 2013 at 10:02 PM
Joe, Locke, Buck, A word of advice: Stop feeding the troll. This ignorant, rude, obnoxious woman clearly has nothing better to do with her time. Your wasting your time if you think you can reason with someone of her ilk.
JoeEldersburg February 14, 2013 at 10:19 PM
Rothschild's plan is eliminate as much zoning as possible by gutting Carroll's master plan. It's all about property rights. If someone owns a property, he thinks they should be able to do whatever they please on it and piss on you, if you don't like it or it impacts you negatively. It's really about developer's and realty rights (particularly homebuilders) and incentivizing urban sprawl, by reducing any roadblocks to residential development...same game Frazier played in her last term that got her thrown out on her a**, finishing 6th place as a Republican incumbent. No adequate facilities, no paced infrastructure investment, just more houses...sprawl baby, sprawl..that's Rothchild's & Frazier's plan. Screw the schools, screw open government and screw the future tax payers holding the tab for all the poorly planned growth. Raise campaign money from the real estate community and try to fool a bunch of Republicans who don't pay attention to get yourself through the primary and you are home free...it's been the formula for success in Carroll since I've lived here.
Steve February 14, 2013 at 11:07 PM
This right here is why the Republican Party is all but dead in Maryland. It's become a huge nutcase and Troglodyte magnet.
Buck Harmon February 15, 2013 at 01:48 AM
Pretty sure you nailed it about the teachers here JoAnn..
Steve February 15, 2013 at 04:21 AM
You made my point Ms. Troglodyte
Thomas Crandall April 08, 2013 at 01:48 PM
Reading to many of the comments to the main article, I see much distrust in the governing body of Carroll County and Commissioner form of Government. It seems that there is little cooperation among the commissioners in their setting up meetings, discussing any of the problems that face the communities in Carroll County, or governing as a whole. The radicals terms that each toss at each other only go to show that there is a strong dislike and lack of real listening to each other. It is true that some of the views are extreme. Today we have states in several areas who are taking voting rights away and also passing laws which are in total contrast to federal law.We need two party rule and people who are willing to listen, talk and make common sense decisions.Our county government is made up five commissioners who evidently don't like one another, don't talk to each other, won't work together, and finally effective government is lost. Not naming names here, but we do have a couple Commissioners who if allowed to would circumvent rules and regulation and law to reach a hidden agenda. Maybe that is why they did not show up at the meeting referred to in this article with the excuse, "they could not fit it into their calendar". They forget that they were voted into office to serve Carroll County, not themselves and their "Private" initiatives. Come next election they should be voted out and get more down to earth people, not ones who feel they are better than their constituents.

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