Author Archive | Susan Lervold

But What CAN I Do?

No doubt, we are living in incredibly challenging times.  We are constantly brainwashed, restricted, taxed, lied to, manipulated, and monitored by those who have sworn to serve us.  Though many are waking up to discover that the world we thought we lived in never really existed, most of us are still asleep: going along to get along, sleepwalking through life, placated by a phenomenon known as the normalcy bias and the assumption that somebody will eventually fix whatever it is that needs fixing.

Okay, so you’re awake—what are you doing to fix the problems you now see so clearly?  Are you plagued by analysis paralysis?  Are you just waiting for the next election cycle to cast your vote, and then just hoping for the best?  How’s that working for you?  There’s activism, but people must be ready to be woken up.  Demonstrations don’t seem to be all that effective (just ask the Occupiers and the Tea Partiers), and letter-writing campaigns only seem to waste time, paper, and stamps.  So what can we do?

I have an answer to that question, but I warn you, it will take an open mind to hear it.  It may require a change of lifestyle or a change in your thinking.  You may have heard it before and already dismissed it.  However, it is something that is do-able, it’s guaranteed to make a real difference, and it won’t get you thrown in jail.

Pull your children out of school.  Today.

Do I really need to spell out all the problems with public (and private) school to convince you that school is terrible?  Maybe I’ll write about a few of them another time (or maybe I won’t), but the list is endless and holds few surprises.  Please, set yourself free from the rationalization that it’s not your school that’s the problem, it’s all the other schools that are the problem; believe me, if you’re thinking this, you’ve been duped, and deep down, you know there’s something very, very wrong with the system.

If you live in California, it’s a very easy thing to withdraw your child from school; go to and let them walk you through the process.  There are very few requirements or restrictions for homeschooling here, and most likely, you will never be bothered by a single public official.

Here are a few tips to get you started:

  • Do not transition through an independent study program or other charter school.
  • Do not let yourself be bullied by your school district.  You have the right—in fact, you have the obligation—to educate your own child in whatever way you see fit.  Besides, they work for you.
  • Do not worry how you are going to teach your child calculus when you couldn’t pass algebra.
  • Do not worry about socialization.
  • Do not worry about college, especially if your child is only 8 years old (or 4, or 12).
  • Do follow the correct homeschooling guidelines for your state (you don’t want your child to become truant).
  • Do throw out all preconceived notions about what education is or how learning happens; you’re probably wrong anyway.

Even if you’re not convinced that homeschooling is right for you (“My kid will just play video games/watch TV/sleep all day!”), let the idea marinate a little bit.  Forget the mental images of kids silently sitting around the kitchen table while hunched over the Bible, or trying to come up with ideas for weekly “educational” field trips.  Whatever it is you’re picturing, just let it go.  Those images have been intentionally implanted into your brain for the very purpose of scaring you into compliance with the system.  Know this: homeschooling can be whatever you choose it to be.

Take a deep breath, say a little prayer, and get those precious kids of yours out from under the government’s thumb.  Free their minds!  You will wish you had done it sooner, I promise.

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Ben Swann Promotes Jury Nullification

Ben Swann just posted a great new video about a new jury nullification program, “Just Us”:

Just Us is a group of journalists and activists who are working to inform Americans about their duty to serve jury duty.  Once on a jury, it is the jurors’ responsibility to judge not only the facts of the case, but also the law itself.  This obligation runs counter to many judges’ instructions directing juries to judge ONLY the facts of a case, NOT the law.

For more about jury nullification and the Just Us program, go to

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BUSTED…California Faces $15 Million-plus in Federal Fines Over AB 484

Last month, California passed AB 484, the widely-popular education bill that did away with the annual, federally-mandated STAR testing required by the No Child Left Behind Act.  On the eve before its signing, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan warned that its passage would create a conflict between state and federal law and threatened sanctions against the state if the bill was signed into law, though he did not clarify exactly what those sanctions might be.  Now we know: $15 million and possibly much more.

A letter was released Monday, October 28, 2013, from an assistant secretary of the federal Department of Education to Michael Kirst of the California State Board of Education, and to State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tom Torlakson.  The letter cites that California risks losing the $15 million reserved “in Title I State administrative funds and additional Title I funds in the amount that California spent on assessments last year.”  Additionally, the “Department may also designate California as a ‘high-risk grantee,’ potentially hampering its ability to receive federal discretionary funds or flexibilities available to other states for which California may apply in the future (including flexibilities from requirements under the No Child Left Behind Act).”  The letter goes on to inform that, depending upon how AB 484 is implemented, additional funds could be at risk, including funding for programs from which California received more than $3.5 billion in 2012-2013.

Apparently, the Feds mean business.

Proponents of AB 484 argued that the federally-mandated STAR test has been rendered obsolete by the implementation of the new curriculum designed around the Common Core standards.  Instead, districts across the state will be field testing the new computerized MAPP test…but for the first few years will only require testing in either math or English language arts (not both), ostensibly to allow time for schools to purchase additional computers and for teachers to settle into the new way of teaching.

It will be interesting to see how the State and the Feds resolve this one, as California was an early and ardent supporter of the federal push for national education standards.

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Brown Signs AB484

On October 2, the transformation of education moved forward as California’s Governor Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill 484.  This law immediately suspends the old standardized STAR test required for most public K-12 students, replacing it with a Common Core-compliant test called Measurement of Academic Performance and Progress, or MAPP.  This new computer-based test, which will be administered by the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, will be field tested during the current 2013-2014 school year and the year following, and will expand to widespread use in the years following.

Since the new MAPP test is taken on a computer, schools will need to expand their inventory and access to technological resources in order to accommodate their students, as well as provide the necessary support required to maintain the computers and other technology.  This is an expensive proposition, and many California schools are not immediately prepared to meet this new requirement.  To assist the districts in their effort to get up to speed technologically, the state will allow districts to give paper-and-pencil exams for at least the next couple of years while new purchases are made.

While AB 484 enjoyed broad support by many, a number of groups had urged Brown to veto the bill on the grounds that it would leave school districts with a year of missing test data, which is often used to gauge the effectiveness of teachers, administrators, and schools.  State officials are confident that California will receive whatever federal waiver might be necessary to temporarily suspend the federally-mandated testing, since the U.S. DOE has stated that it is willing to work with states that want to avoid double testing as they transition to Common Core.

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