COTU MEETINGS ARE HELD MONTHLY
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Monday, August 12, 2019
Sunday, August 11, 2019
Saturday, August 10, 2019
The new term the left is calling anyone who disagrees with them is “Nationalist”. What they mean is “racist”. If you love this country or Britain or any conservative or Christian ideal, if you’re a patriot - you’re a racist - I mean nationalist. Look at how Google now defines the word “patriot”. This is the new way kids up word definitions. This is what kids growing up these days think “patriot” means.
Thursday, August 8, 2019
Tuesday, July 30, 2019
When SC House Representative Neal Collins began his town hall meeting on July 25th he talked about state level issues then transitioned to roads in Pickens County. He talked about a local sales tax as a way to pay for road maintenance, using Horry County as an example. Horry County has more than double the population of Pickens County, and they have tourism at Myrtle Beach. Of course their local tax brings in impressive amounts of revenue, especially from tourists visiting that county. One might ask why we should want to pay an extra tax locally when we are now experiencing automatic biannual gas tax increases that are supposed to be fixing our roads.
Collins emphasized that never in the history of the State Transportation Infrastructure Bank (STIB) had Pickens County ever applied for funds until after the current county council was elected in 2016, citing that the county never had the matching funds nor did the leadership have the vision. What Collins purposely left out was that the previous council never could apply for those funds if they wanted to. There was no problem with vision. State law stood in the way, and Collins knew it.
Through June of 2016 the State Transportation Infrastructure Bank could not fund a project with a cost less than $100,000,000.00. Counties are required to put up 25% of the money for a project when applying for STIB funds. Our county budget is around $60,000,000.00. There was no way the majority of counties in this state could have afforded to apply for STIB funds. Collins knew this. In 2016 he voted for the bill (S. 1258) that lowered the project amount necessary for STIB funding to $25,000,000.00. That was the first time Pickens County could have afforded to apply for the money.
It is disingenuous to imply the previous county council lineup did not want to seek STIB funding. The Pickens County Taxpayers Association had asked for changes in STIB funding. Collins should not have assumed his audience was uninformed.
Sunday, July 28, 2019
I attended Rep. Neal Collins town hall meeting on July 25 which was held in Easley at the Getty's Middle School Auditorium. There were approximately 75 people in attendance. On Collins' Facebook post the day after the event he brags, “21st Century town halls can be informative AND fun.” Does he think that all other town halls...until his...were non-informative and boring?
Well, I didn't have any fun, and I didn't get my questions answered either. There was no newinformation that I received after attending from 6pm till 8:15 either. I already knew his stances on the questions that were allowed to be asked.
I applaud Rep. Neal Collins for holding a Town Hall meeting for his district. Elected officials need to interact with their constituents on a regular basis live and not just through email communications and social media outlets. However, he failed in creating an environment where the audience felt their questions were indeed important.
Collins' town hall meeting was not your typical town hall. Most town hall events I have attended in the past have the elected official briefly welcome the guests, and give an update on any legislation being considered or passed and then they open the floor for questions from their constituents.
I would estimate the majority of the town hall events I have attended in the past have allowed for 30% of the time to be used for answering their attendees' questions. I estimate Rep. Collins only allowed less than 10% of his event time for questions from the audience. Please note that the questions were not just limited to asking him...but you could ask questions of the SC FOR ED teachers, our Pickens County County Council Chairman, Roy Costner, as well as Easley County Council Representative Chris Bowers. But yet the event was promoted as “Neal Collins Town Hall.”
Collins' event featured a local black pastor who led us in prayer, a local Girl Scout troop who led the Pledge of Allegiance and an America's Got Talent local young singer Ansley Burns who entertained us with her singing talent. Also, Collins stopped frequently to give away door prizes to registered attendees. Yes, you heard me right.. “registered” attendees. Most town hall events I have attended you just show up...you don't have to pre- register. I guess he wanted to know WHO was coming ahead of time, because no one at the door looked to see if I had registered or not.
During Collins' town hall, he also introduced several candidates who will be running for local city positions...such as city council and mayor. Also in attendance were two state candidates, Michael LaPierre and David Weikle, who will be running in the Republican Primary to seek to replace Senator Lindsey Graham. All candidates were encouraged to keep their speeches very short when speaking about their candidacy.
It was very disappointing that there were several people who did not get to ask their questions. It was stated that Collins, the candidates, and the teachers representing SC FOR ED would remain around briefly after the end, if anyone wanted to come ask their question; however, most people didn't want to get in a crowd and wait in line after already having already waited 2 hours to ask their question. After all, they came prepared to ask in front of the audience. Yes, people could just contact Collins by phone, text, or email when they got back home to ask their question, but they came to the town hall for a reason. The goal of many of those who had a question to ask wanted ALL in attendance to hear his answer to their well thought out question. As for me, I always look forward to hear questions from fellow citizens, as many of their questions I had not even thought of to ask. We citizens can learn more from attending town hall events that do allow more time for questions that stimulate our own critical thinking processes.
Did Rep. Collins not realize that the MOSTimportant part of a town hall is the question and answer section? Did he purposefully add other speakers into his program lineup to keep the heat off of him for having to answer too many questions?
Collins had four SC FOR ED teachers speak on their concerns for legislation needed in education reform. Nothing they said has not already been published in the news. Their demands include better salary, smaller class sizes, duty free lunch and full funding of the states' budget for education. Equity seemed to be a major concern...that they think all classrooms should be equally funded regardless of which district the classroom is located. As a former teacher myself, I can vouch for the need for smaller class size, I can agree teachers are underpaid, and I can agree that the funding is not getting into the actual classrooms. My belief is that money is being wasted in the bureaucracy and administrative costs.
What I can't understand is WHY no teacher in SC FOR ED ever mentions they are forced to teach SC College/Career Ready Standards which are at least 90% in line with failed Common Core Standards. Standards drive the curriculum...their mandated tests are based on standards...many of the students are failing under these present standards. Why are teachers not demanding quality classical standards that give them more autonomy to teach children rather than teach to the test? That was the question I wanted answered.
If you did not know, Rep. Neal Collins is a pusher of the House Bill 3757 Data Warehouselegislation that SC Policy Council has warned citizens would create a “massive data collecting system that tracks children from birth through their entry into the workforce and quite possibly beyond that. I was indeed glad that a participant in the town hall asked Collins about why he sees no danger in this massive data mining. I hope all in attendance understood Collins' answer was that YOU should not worry about the data mining because they need this data much like a baseball team wanting to win a World Series needs data. He claims there is no misuse of the data and it is hacker proof. So there, do you feel safe now knowing that he thinks you shouldn't worry about your child's data? I suggest you read South Carolina Policy's informative link about this Data Warehouse legislation here:https://scpolicycouncil.org/research/lawmakers-reintroduce-data-warehouse
Another great question was asked about why Rep. Collins has not signed on as a sponsor to the Personhood Bill to protect the unborn. Collins' answer was he did not usually sign on to bills that he had not personally worked on and been involved in, he worries about unintended consequences that may result from a bill that he hasn't actually been part of the 'lawyerly language”. So what unintended bad consequences can happen in saving an unborn child's life? I sure don't see any. But I'm not a lawyer, and I think Collins thinks that only lawyers can sift through the unintended consequences because we the people don't understand “lawyerly language.” I suggest you read up on the Personhood Bill here:https://personhood.sc/history-personhood-legislation/
Collins also tried to explain why our roads are not getting paved quick enough even after a gas tax has been put in place. It seems as though he thinks we should add a penny sales tax in our county and that would hasten the process. I don't know about you ...but I'm taxed enough already. I watched a Prager University video the other day entitled “Why Can't America Fill a Pothole?” and the answer was not because more of your tax dollars are needed...you can view that video here: https://youtu.be/RY-mlcgFCc4
In summary, I hope Rep. Neal Collins pays more attention to allowing the audience to ask valuable questions instead of trying to “entertain” us.
Friday, July 26, 2019
Tuesday, July 16, 2019
Conservatives of the Upstate’s August monthly meeting will host special guest speaker Michael LaPierre who is challenging present S.C. Senator Lindsey Graham for his seat in the 2020 Republican Primary. LaPierre’s website can be viewed at this link: https://lapierreforsenate.com/Join us to find out why he is running and how his vision is different from our present Republican Senator Graham’s.
The meeting will be held on Tuesday, August 13th 2019 beginning at 7pm at the Gatehouse Restaurant located at
Address116 Ann StPickens, SC 29671United States
The public is invited to attend . Please order off their
delicious menu to support our local restaurants and use of their meeting room.
Wednesday, June 12, 2019
Legal Marijuana? Say Goodbye to Your Gun Rights
by Dean Rieck
Many states have legalized marijuana, either for medical or recreational use. There is an ongoing debate about how this will affect health and crime, but one question most people are not asking is, "How does this affect your gun rights?"
The answer seems to be, if you use marijuana, you lose your gun rights regardless of state law.
Here's the problem: while a state can make marijuana legal, federal law continues to list marijuana as a Schedule I controlled substance. That means marijuana users can't have guns legally.
Friday, June 7, 2019
Friday, May 31, 2019
Alex Newman's Tour “ Rescuing Our Children – And Our Nation.”
Alex Newman is well known in the grassroots' fight for quality education reform. His knowledge and expertise in sounding the alarms needed to parents and citizens are well respected. He holds a B.S. Degree in journalism from the University of Florida. He has also emphasized in his studies economics and international relations. He holds an A.A. Degree in foreign languages from Miami-Dade College.
Newman is a published author and writes extensively for “The New American” magazine. He also teaches Advanced Economics at Freedom Project Academy. His “Rescuing Our Children” tour presentation schedule in the South included Suwanee GA, Marietta GA, Spartanburg SC, Greenville SC, Greer SC,Columbia SC, Summerville SC, and Myrtle Beach SC. I had the opportunity to attend the Tuesday, May 21st 2019 tour presentation by Alex Newman at the Commerce Club in Greenville, SC and I was excited to finally meet and hear the man who I have been a fan of since 2010. And I was not disappointed. To say his presentation was an eye-opener is an understatement. He absolutely provided all the proof necessary to the audience to show how our nation's children absolutely need rescuing from the government run public schools of today.
From showing the disastrous results of how our children have been slowly but surely indoctrinated to the point that nearly half of millineals support a Socialist form of government to exposing the United Nations' hand in this global indoctrination agenda to forcing the LGBTQ agenda on impressionable children...you name it, and our government schools are not just teaching the 3 R's any longer.
“Right now, the government schools are systematically indoctrinating and dumbing down children, turning them against their parents, against families, against their churches, against our country, against our Constitution and our freedoms, and our Republic will not survive too far into the future if we allow this to continue.” Newman said.
It became painfully clear during his presentation there is a a war on for not only YOUR child's mind, but also their body and soul. Are parents going to allow the government to take over the rearing of children from birth to 20? Are we going to allow our God given parental rights to direct our own child's education to be usurped? With each new slide Newman presented on the screen he backed up his sources with words spoken by the people who have hijacked public education for their own globalist agenda of indoctrination not education. Newman made it clear now is the time to take urgent action to rescue children from this nefarious agenda. If after watching Alex Newman's presentation one was not alarmed, then they were either numb or dumb. The truth was laid out for all to see and the solution given. Question is will “ We the People” act on this informative presentation or just continue to give lip service and fret.
The solution Alex Newman says lies in the hands of parents and concerned citizens. His belief is the time is past for trying to correct the course of government education and parents must seek a mass exodus from the government run schools. He does not believe that public schools can be reformed. Ultimately we need separation of school and state. He suggests parents seek out private schools that have been thoroughly vetted which do not adhere to the present Common Core, humanist, globalist agenda, or for parents to choose homeschooling your child. He suggested where there is a will there is a way and you could actually start your own community school based on a classical education. Many local churches are doing just that by offering up their Monday thru FridaySunday School classrooms to be used for such purposes. Freedom Project Academywill actually help you get one started in your local community!
His final words of wisdom are, “It is not too late to save liberty, America and the Western Christian civilization from utter destruction. But if it is going to be done, the time to act is now. With God's help, you have the power to do what needs to be done. Now use it, or lose it. Godspeed.”
Everyone who is interested in learning more about the TRUTH of what is going on in our government run public schools needs to seek a copy of his recent special report entitled “Rescuing Our Children: Special Report on Education”...and buy several extra copies to send to family, friends, neighbors, your church pastor, and your local school board members. You can purchase the special report here at this link:
Monday, May 27, 2019
Monday, May 20, 2019
Are SC Teachers Teaching Standards They Don't Approve Of?
An article published in the Orlando Sentinel of Florida written by Leslie Postal dated April 19, 2019 entitled, “Keep Common Core School Standards, Many Teachers Tell State In Survey,” was very eye opening. Their Governor, Ron DeSantis ran on ending Common Core in Florida public schools, and in January signed an executive order to begin the process. He further ordered a their education department to design what their new standards should look like and conduct a survey asking for public to comment which can be viewed at:www.fldoe.org/standardsreview/index.stml in 2010 Florida adopted Common Core Standards but turned around and adopted in line with Common Core standards in 2014 and re-branded them Florida Standards...much like SC who re branded their in line with Common Core Standards named South Carolina College/Career Ready Standards.
The reporter of this article then went on to say that a “review of more than 3,300 comments submitted by early this month (April) showed many educators see value in the standards.” However, according to the article, Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran issued this statement, “ We have long decried the endless issues associated with Common Core, and we are taking action to eliminate every last shred of it from Florida's academic standards.” Will Florida's new standards really be new...or will they still be in line with Common Core...that remains to be proven.
This article heightened my curiosity as to what SC teachers think about our present in line with Common Core standards especially when taking into consideration that SC teachers recently took a day off to protest in Columbia over various issues but did not include teachers complaining about our SC standards they are mandated to teach. Do SC teachers think the the SC College/Career standards are quality standards? Do they think the fact the standardized required tests SC children take which are based on Common Core are quality, reliable tests? Teacher performance is based on how well their students perform on these aligned to Common Core tests, so one would think they would have opinions on whether these standards truly are the best standards for SC children.
SC Superintendent Molly Spearman also campaigned on ending Common Core Standards when she ran in 2014 and the SC Legislators even passed legislation to end Common Core in our schools. However, the study by the Education Oversight Committee completed after the new standards named SC College/Career Ready Standards were developed they remained over 90% in line with Common Core according to the Education Oversight Committee.
In order to find out what teachers think about their standards they are teaching I took to social media on Facebook and posted in several Facebook groups of which SC teachers belong to post a survey which posed the question: “If you are a teacher in SC...are you satisfied with the present SC College/Career Ready Standards you are mandated to teach?” The poll started on May 10, 2019 and ended on May 17th and the results were:
Out of 557 responses: only 57 teachers are satisfied with the standards in place, while 500 teachers are not satisfied with those standards. So 89.8% of teachers don't even respect the standards they are forced to teach. That speaks volumes doesn't it?
According to the results of this survey, it is clear the majority of SC teachers surveyed are not satisfied with the present standards they are forced to teach.
Are legislators aware of this? Do they care? Is SC Superintendent Molly Spearman aware of teachers' dissatisfaction of the standards they are teaching which are over 90% in line with failed Common Core? Does she care? How about the SC State School Board appointed members? Do they know and do they care? How about your local school board members? Are they aware? Do they care? Is your child's school Principal aware of this? Do they care? Don't you think they should be made aware. Please share this article with your SC legislator, Molly Spearman, and your local School Board Members. Ask them if they care. Ask them what they plan on doing about teachers being dissatisfied with the standards they are mandated to teach.
When building a house you want a strong, quality foundation or else your house will not be strong.
In education the standards are the foundation of the curriculum and the foundation of the standardized tests given to judge the child's proficiency. Since teachers are professionals at what they teach, shouldn't their thoughts be considered as to whether or not the standards they teach are quality standards? After all, aren't teachers judged by whether or not the child learned what they were supposed to learn? If the standards are faulty, won't the teaching be faulty...won't the testing results be faulty? The foundation of education is quality standards. 89.9% of SC teachers surveyed aren't satisfied with the standards they are forced to teach. Does anyone care?
Why should we be paying teachers more to teach faulty standards they don't even value? Shouldn't our State Superintendent Molly Spearman, our appointed SC State School Board, and our Education Oversight Committee be thinking about WHY the present SC College/Career Ready Standards are not respected by our teachers?
The faulty standards are the elephant in the room that no one seems to be addressing. Even the SC for Ed teachers who marched on Columbia didn't mention the standards in their grievances. Why is that?
One theory I have as a retired teacher is that teachers know there are consequences in complaining to the educrats in power about the standards they have chosen. After all, it took PARENTS standing up against Common Core to then Gov. Nikki Haley and legislators to pass legislation to kill Common Core, only to find the State Department of Education simply re-branded those standards College/Career Ready. If teachers question the authority or wisdom of administrators and educrats on standards they won't get chosen as Teacher of the Year. If teachers “buck the system”, they won't be chosen to move up into administrative positions, and they also know principals can find other ways to punish teachers who fail to go along to get along. I saw it when I taught. Teachers who fail to go along with the system's mandates get all the bad behavior kids the next year, or they get changed to a grade level they don't want to teach. There are many ways teacher's get bullied into submission. Just ask a teacher in private, they'll tell you how the system works.
SC children deserve better standards in place. Standards that have been proven effective. Isn't it time SC takes a look at PROVENstandards that ensure student achievement? Paying teachers more, giving them a lunch break, or lowering class load won't solve what ails public education in SC.
In the state of Massachusetts BEFORECommon Core standards were implemented, their students were the first to finish #1 in all four categories of the NAEP ( National Assessment of Educational Progress), and not only that, they repeated that feat every year through 2013. But once Common Core Standards were put in place, Massachusetts backslid and no longer leads the ratings. A study by the Pioneer Institute shows the data results proving Massachusetts failed to maintain their #1 status after Common Core Standards were required. That study can be viewed here:
Maybe SC needs to look at Massachusetts' Standards they had in place before the Common Core Era.
Maybe if SC looked at adopting quality standards which drive the curriculum and testing we would see quality reform and teachers would be happier with their jobs and students would be better educated.
Submitted by Johnnelle Raines
Saturday, May 11, 2019
Friday, May 10, 2019
SC State Rep.Gary Clary said Thursday in a statement that he won’t seek re-election in 2020.
The Pickens County Republican has been under fire from conservative groups for left leaning legislation and votes. In particular, Clary teamed with liberal political action group Concerned Citizens to grant the School District Of Pickens County a 7th school board trustee.
Clary was also part of the controversial ballot name removal debacle called Operation Lost Vote in 2012.
Tuesday, May 7, 2019
Wednesday, May 1, 2019
Tuesday, April 23, 2019
Sunday, April 21, 2019
Thursday, April 11, 2019
Pickens County Statehouse Rep. Gary Clary shares tweet praising 8th grader for standing against SC economic prosperity
Tuesday, April 9, 2019
Tennessee Senate Unanimously Passes Actual Anti-SLAPP Bill
Under this bill, if a legal action is filed in response to a party's exercise of the right of free speech, right to petition, or right of association, that party may petition the court to dismiss the legal action. All discovery in the legal action will be stayed upon the filing of a petition pursuant to this bill and the stay of discovery will remain in effect until the entry of an order ruling on the petition. The court may allow specified and limited discovery relevant to the petition upon a showing of good cause.The petitioning party will have the burden of making a prima facie case that a legal action against the petitioning party is based on, relates to, or is in response to that party's exercise of the right to free speech, right to petition, or right of association. If the petitioning party meets this burden, the court will dismiss the legal action unless the responding party establishes a prima facie case for each essential element of the claim in the legal action.
Saturday, March 30, 2019
Thursday, March 21, 2019
Monday, March 18, 2019
It is time we all wake up and understand there is an all out war on for children's minds and souls.