Wisconsin Grassroots Activists to Participate in National Convention Panel on Common Core

WISCONSIN GRASSROOTS ACTIVISTS TO PARTICIPATE IN NATIONAL CONVENTION PANEL ON COMMON CORE

Forum will highlight issues surrounding the Common Core State Standards and transpartisan concerns regarding the centralization of education.

(Madison, WI) – Kirsten Lombard and Jeffrey Horn, board members of the recently-chartered Republican Liberty Caucus—Wisconsin (RLC-WI), have been invited to participate in the panel discussion “Conservatives and Libertarians in Common Core” at the upcoming Republican Liberty Caucus (RLC) national convention. Scheduled for October 8-11, 2015 in Nashua, NH, the convention will bring together liberty activists from across the nation to organize and influence policy, with the goal of returning the Republican Party to its core values of limited government, free enterprise and individual liberty. The convention features a presidential straw poll, informational panels, grassroots activist training and dozens of exhibitors.

The panel discussion on Common Core will include the effects of centralized standards on curricula, promotion of informational texts in English classes, and the tracking of personally identifiable student data from cradle to career. In addition to Lombard and Horn, panelists include Kate Baker of the Network for Educational Opportunity; Michelle Levell, Director, School Choice for New Hampshire; and NH activist Ann Marie Banfield. Horn will serve as the panel’s moderator.

“We couldn’t be more proud of Kirsten and Jeff,” says RLC-WI Chair Jackie Johnson, “and we’re pleased to see the work they’ve done on this issue getting the national attention it deserves. Opposition to Common Core, the one-size-fits-all educational model it imposes on our children, the mass collection of student and family data, and the commoditization of students as the production output of factory-like schools is an issue that transcends political boundaries and unites people of many ideologies.”

Lombard, a Madison-based grassroots organizer for the past six years, has spent the last three engaged almost exclusively in the fight to expose and eliminate false education reforms such as the Common Core. In early 2013, she established Resounding Books, a publishing company dedicated to establishing productive dialogue and common ground on issues that bridge political and ideological divides. The company published its first book, Common Ground on Common Core: Voices from across the Political Spectrum Expose the Reality of the Common Core State Standards, in late 2014. Entirely unique in a growing market of books on the subject, the volume is a collection of essays by 20 top education experts and activists. Edited by Lombard, the volume is well-researched, compelling, and often provocative, while remaining non-partisan in approach. It has garnered enthusiastic praise from reviewers, politicians, researchers, and activists alike and includes a thoughtful foreword by former Congressman Ron Paul.

Says Lombard, “It’s so exciting to participate in an RLC panel at an event where so many participants understand the direct correlations between education and liberty. I look forward to sharing crucial perspective about how we can build cross-ideological dialogue and partnerships on these crucial issues in order finally to restore true education to parents, teachers, and especially students at the local level.”

Also a grassroots activist from Madison, Horn is a data scientist and professional programmer, working daily to build infrastructure used in leveraging Big Data to improve advertising, medical decisions, investing, and more. Conscious of the existing tension between technology and personal freedom, Horn has been engaged in the fight against Common Core and high-stakes testing in Wisconsin for several years. Since 2013, he has successfully spearheaded efforts to unite a wide array of organizations and individuals on Common Core-related issues, resulting in several open letters to state-level public officials in Wisconsin. The first of those letters ultimately helped ensure a series of statewide public hearings on Common Core in late 2013. Recently, Horn authored the essay: “Learning With Leviathan: Objectification, Surveillance, and Control In a Concealed Command Economy” in Common Ground on Common Core, referenced above.

Warns Horn, “It's crucial to understand that Common Core standards and associated testing and data collection are primary tools used by the State to mold children into its vision of the workers of the future. That vision has more to do with control on the part of the State, and profit on the part of corporations, than with our children’s hopes and dreams. It has less to do with teaching children reading and mathematics than with training them to accept constant surveillance and State-determined futures as a fact of life. Fighting against Common Core is imperative to preserving liberty for coming generations.”

“Exposing the issues at the heart of Common Core fits well with the RLC-Wisconsin’s focus on issues-based advocacy and education on liberty positions,” added Johnson. “Kirsten and Jeff have built strong reputations as experts in this issue statewide and even nationally. I can’t think of two better or stronger voices to include on the national convention panel.”

The Republican Liberty Caucus is a voluntary 527 organization dedicated to grassroots efforts within the Republican Party to advance the principles of individual rights, limited government and cooperative, voluntary markets. Founded in 1991, the national organization is the oldest continuously operating organization within the Republican liberty movement. The Wisconsin chapter, formally chartered earlier in 2015, makes Wisconsin one of over 30 official state charters of the national organization.

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For more information, please contact Jackie Johnson, RLC-Wisconsin Chair, at (608) 535-4950 or email at chair@rlcwi.org.

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