Bullies in the Schoolhouse

By R. Claire Friend

There has been a great deal of public attention on the problem of bullying in our public schools. Issues such as possible causes as well as appropriate administrative and legal remedies have been hotly debated across the country by educators, parents and politicians with varying responses.

The focus heretofore has been limited to students. This narrow perspective misses the most egregious culprits: union bullies. They are the focus of this article.

Teachers are compelled as a condition of employment to join the teachers’ unions and pay an annual membership assessment of about one thousand dollars. The monies are used to fund collective bargaining, liability insurance and political causes and candidates that reinforce the union’s power and influence.

In California, these have amounted to massive sums to defeat ballot initiatives inimical to the teachers’ union’s stranglehold on education. In general elections, the contributions have funded the campaigns of strongly liberal Democrat candidates as well as abortion rights and gay marriage. This liberal bias is not reflective of the union membership which tends to be conservative, according to a Gallup Poll.

Most teachers enter the profession because of a devotion to the education of young minds. They have the best interests of students as their foremost priority. Unions, in contrast, operate out of self-interest. Their top priority is the maintenance of union power, not the welfare of the teachers or students.

Unions strongly oppose any threats to that power such as ballot initiatives in support of school vouchers, charter schools, opportunity scholarships or Education Savings Accounts and will marshal vast sums of money to quash them. Although all of this was funded by forced union dues, teachers who dare to speak out against the union’s political positions are subject to intimidation, so most remain silent.

The California Teachers Union spent $32Million to defeat Proposition 75, the measure which would have required members to consent to their dues being used for political purposes. Of the $50Million unions used to defeat Proposition 32, more than $20Million came from the annual dues paid to the CTA by its 325,000 members.

It is the forced support of radical organizations such as ACORN, People for the American Way, Media Matters, Planned Parenthood and the ACLU which support abortion and gay marriage and beliefs that prompted Rebecca Friedrichs, a 27-year veteran elementary school teacher in Orange County, and nine colleagues to file a lawsuit against the CTA and its parent, the 3.5 million-member National Education Association for violating their rights of free speech and free association.

The lawsuit is currently before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, having been punted by Judge Josephine Staton in a lower court in Santa Ana. Friedrichs is hopeful that the case will be forwarded to the United States Supreme Court later this year where it may get a favorable ruling.

The legal arguments have interesting precedents. In most organizations, membership is on a voluntary basis. In unions, that is not the case. Tremendous pressure is applied to employees to become members. The level of intimidation and censure becomes difficult to resist.

Public employees in the federal were barred from organizing prior to an executive order by President John F. Kennedy. In California, it was Ronald Reagan who granted that right to state employees and Jerry Brown, to teachers.

Non-members are required to pay union dues because they benefit from the unions’ collective bargaining efforts. This was clarified in a 1977 ruling by the Supreme Court, Abood v. Detroit Board of Education that precludes the funds being used for ideological or political purposes. This flies in the face of reality. The National Education Association is the largest single contributor to the Democrat party, its state and federal candidates and its causes.

The July 2014 Supreme Court ruling in Harris v.  Quinn opened the door to the merit of the  Friedrichs et al. complaint. They ruled that it was unconstitutional to require non-union Illinois home health care workers to pay union dues.

Justice Samuel Alito added that “no person in the country may be compelled to subsidize speech by a third party that he or she does not wish to support.” His implicit meaning that public employee unions are inherently political organizations suggests that SCOTUS will look favorably on the ten complainants.

There is now a zero tolerance policy toward bullying in public schools. That should be extended to the biggest bully of all. We wish the diminutive Mrs. Friedrichs well in her lawsuit against the union colossus.

R. Claire Friend is a Lincoln Club member. As with all blog posts on this site, the views expressed here are those of the author and not necessarily those of the Club.

Conservative Lincoln Club Rebukes Tim Donnelly


Contact Michael D. Capaldi
Cell: (949) 278-4467
**Available in Spanish HERE.**

Conservative Lincoln Club of Orange County Rebukes Tim Donnelly

ORANGE COUNTY – Yesterday, the oldest Republican activist group in California, the Lincoln Club of Orange County, took the unprecedented measure of rebuking Republican gubernatorial candidate Assemblyman Tim Donnelly (R – Hesperia).

The board of the Lincoln Club approved a vote of no confidence in Assemblyman Donnelly as a candidate for the Republican nomination for Governor of the State of California.

The club has never taken such a step it its 52-year history.

“Assemblyman Donnelly is divisive and destructive,” the resolution said. “He’s not the man to lead Republicans, the party of Abraham Lincoln.”

The Lincoln Club, founded in 1962, is California’s oldest, most innovative, and resolutely conservative organization. It has led on some of the most historic movements on the right, for example, galvanizing early support for Ronald Reagan, fostering Proposition 13, and taking a lead in the recall of Governor Gray Davis.

Donnelly’s remarks have been of growing concern to the club’s board. In a 2006 speech, Donnelly likened the immigration issue to a civil war, “We are on the brink of a battle unlike the likes of which this nation has seen since 1861,” he said. As recently as last month, Mr. Donnelly said he stood by the speech. More recently, he accused his opponent for the Republican nomination, Neel Kashkari, a former George W. Bush administration Treasury official, of supporting Islamic sharia law.

The Lincoln Club rejects these assertions. “For too long, the Republican Party has tried to carry so many of the right messages on the lips of the wrong candidates,” said Michael Capaldi, a Chairman Emeritus of the club and its spokesperson. “The things Donnelly gets right don’t change the fact that he’s made himself the wrong person to present them. He should not lead the Republican Party.”

Some of the state’s top Republican leaders have condemned episodes of Donnelly’s divisive rhetoric, including Assembly Republican leader Connie Conway, Senate Republican leader Bob Huff, and Congressman Darrell Issa.


Common Core: A Trojan Horse

**Please note: Members’ views expressed in this blog do not necessarily reflect those of the Lincoln Club and/or it’s leadership.**

Common Core: A Trojan Horse

The deceptively innocuous-sounding name belies the crippling effects a centralized K-12 education curriculum will have on the United States once it is allowed to take effect.  Ze’ev Wurman, software architect, electrical engineer and longtime math advisory expert, succinctly summarized the problem when he labelled Common Core a government-enforced “mediocre national benchmark” that “marks the cessation of educational standards improvement” and will consign the country to a non-first rate future.

Incursion by the federal government in matters pertaining to the curriculum or content in public education is prohibited by the Constitution and education reforms enacted by three US Presidents: the 1965 Elementary and Secondary Education Act, the 1970 General Education Provisions Act and the 1979 Department of Education Organization Act.1

The 2001 reauthorization of ESEA, the No Child Left Behind legislation, marked a shift that squarely involved the government in establishing national education standards and student assessments. With Common Core, however, the reach and scope of federal control is breathtaking, as is the disregard for the law. This essay attempts to outline the main issues. The extended analysis the initiative merits far exceeds the scope of a single essay.

The Common Core States Initiative was part of the 2009 stimulus package. Prohibited by law from direct control of public education, it represented an attempt by the federal government to establish a straw horse that suggested the measure was initiated by the states.

Representing one of Barack Obama’s signature programs, the initiative was designed to induce states to adopt the program in order to compete for gain shares of his $4.35 Billion Race To the Top federal grant lottery. States submitted bids for RTTT funds.

CCSSI was presented as a state-led effort “coordinated by the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices and the Council of Chief State School Officers (two DC-based trade organizations) that was funded by Bill and Melinda Gates. To date, the Gates foundation has doled out $2.3 Billion in grants to Common Core-related projects.3

The standards, assessments, curriculum, texts and instructional materials were all developed by two independent private consortia: SMARTER Balanced Assessment Consortium and the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers consortium. The two groups were selected by the Department of Education which awarded them more than $300 Million in federal grants.

Although SBAC and PARCC had not yet written the standards for mathematics or the English Language Arts, the states had to commit to them sight unseen in order to receive the RTTT funds. Finding themselves in desperate financial straits due to the economic downturn, forty-five states and the District of Columbia agreed to accept CCI. NY and Florida were each awarded $700Million.

CCSSI is a national initiative masquerading as a state-sponsored program. States will be required to develop massive databases involving personal information about students and their families. This is an invasion of privacy that is prohibited by the Family Education and Privacy Act. The information will be shared with the Department of Education and the Executive office as well as other federal agencies.

The standards, curriculum and assessments in mathematics and English Language Arts were developed by a 29-member Common Core Standards Development Work Group. The members represented testing experts, professors of education, several teachers and school administrators and one mathematician.

Instead of experts in the much-needed STEM subjects (science technology, engineering and math), the work group and the 25-member Validation Committee consisted of employees of testing organizations like ACT, College Board and Achieve. The members of the two three-person committees that wrote the entirety of the national CCSI K-12 standards for mathematics and ELA were non-education professionals as well. A number of them had no experience at all in writing standards.

Sixty individuals who lacked adequate qualifications or credentials were designated by the federal government to undertake a Herculean task. That the product designed to develop critical thinking and to teach 21st century standards for college and career readiness in the global economy was accomplished without approval or oversight by the public or expert educators and has caused such furor and outrage is both understandable and appropriate.

There was only one college professor of mathematics, James Milgram from Stanford University, but no college or PhD-level professors of science, technology or engineering on the curriculum development committees.

Milgram refused to sign off on the final draft and warned that the CCSI math standards would put American students two full years behind their international peers from Singapore, Shanghai, South Korea, Japan and the other high-performing countries by the seventh grade.

John Goodman, a math professor at New York University, echoed Milgram’s concerns. He felt the CCI math standards imposed “significantly lower expectations with respect to algebra and geometry than the published standards of other (leading) countries.” CCSI experts ignored his advice and that of Doctor Milgram.

Their concerns were prompted by the shift from 8th to 9th grade for Algebra I and the reduction in emphasis in basic principles such as addition, subtraction, fractions and division in elementary school in favor of abstract reasoning and problem solving. In addition, traditional Euclidean-based principles have been discarded for an untested non-Euclidean system that was developed in Russia but discarded without ever being used. Sandra Stotsky of the University of Arkansas expressed similar misgivings.

The ELA standards are equally sub-standard. Beginning in kindergarten through the 10th grade, 50% of the readings in classic literature will be replaced by informational texts. In the last two years of high school, 70% of what students read will consist of informational texts, political speeches and magazine articles.

Gone are Mark Twain, John Milton, Homer, Dostoyevsky, Tolstoy, Shakespeare, F. Scott Fitzgerald and countless other great Western writers. Instead, a significant number of the literary selections that were chosen reflect the strong emphasis placed on multiculturalism and non-Western religions such as Islam. The de-emphasis on the two traditional Western faiths, Judaism and Christianity, is striking.

Pioneer Institute estimates the costs to implement Common Core to be $17 Billion for the 1st seven years in addition to the funds each state already allocates for education. The Congressional Budget Office was not asked to prepare an estimate lest it become obvious CCI is, in fact, a federal program.

The public is waking up to the specter of state-sponsored K-12 public education, lowered standards and a federalized system. A number of states have backed out of their commitment or refused and delayed implementation of the standards.

The effects of Common Core on student performance are dramatic. Massachusetts, the only state to score in the top three on global PISA assessments, dropped significantly in rank the first year following the replacement of its award-winning public school curriculum with the Common Core standards.

In New York, 70% of 8th graders failed the math exam and 74%, the English exam. In one Harlem school, just 7% of students passed in English and 10% in math. Pennsylvania noted a similar drop in scores. 2

Where do we go from here? There is only one answer. Michelle Malkin is correct. CCSSI is “rotten to the core.” America would do well to heed her warning that “the corruption of math education is just the beginning.” Common Core must be rejected and discarded. Our children and our country deserve better.

R. Claire Friend, MD

March 22, 2014



1. http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2014/03/13/Common-Core-Will-Federalize-Education

2. http://www.renewamerica.com/columns/swirsky/130919

3. http://michellemalkin.com/2014/03/21/get-to-know-the-common-core-marketing-overlords/

Political Correctness: The Road to a Doomed Republic

**Please note: Members’ views expressed in this blog do not necessarily reflect those of the Lincoln Club and/or its Leadership.**

Political Correctness: The Road to a Doomed Republic


Abraham Lincoln presciently warned that America’s greatest enemies lived within her own borders, not in some foreign land. Time has proven him correct. Islamic Jihadists and Taliban insurgents may well be her mortal enemies, but they are not as dangerous to her survival as homegrown liberal politicians and leftist radicals.


Political Correctness is a weapon of mass destruction. Basic rights that are protected by Constitutional guarantees are no match for its destructive power. The ability to freely express our beliefs and thoughts, to support causes and institutions sympathetic to our moral values and to refuse those that do not, the right to have the means with which to defend our loved ones and ourselves and the right to criticize the laws and institutions that conflict with our beliefs are being questioned and `incrementally eroded.


This was the basic intent of Hitler’s Final Solution, Mao’s Cultural Revolution and Stalin’s Gulag. That it also is the direction the country has been moving since the sixties must not escape our notice. More ominously, it is the direction the current administration has been taking us at breakneck speed.


It is as if we are being herded into cattle cars to death camps. Even more distressingly, the citizenry is as silent and obliging as were the Jews in Germany and Eastern Europe. The stakes are equally high: the eradication of our beloved Republic.


Mozilla founder and CEO Brendon Eich is fired for supporting traditional marriage, Dr. Ben Carson is repeatedly audited by the IRS, Dinesh D’Souza is under indictment and possible imprisonment for political contributions while Democrats likeCharlie Rangell, Jesse Jackson Jr. and William J. Jefferson escape scot-free for actual crimes.


The politicization of behavior, speech and action suffocates liberty. As Rush Limbuagh repeatedly notes, the abuse of government institutions to pressure, intimidate and silence free citizens is the hallmark of dictators and tyrants, not of the Republic our Founding Fathers envisioned.


The Declaration of Independence was not the blueprint for Mein Kampf or Das Kapital. Meekness in lieu of outrage or protest invites the fate of the benighted sheep in Silence of the Lambs. The Meek do not inherit the earth except from six feet under it. History repeatedly proves only the strong survive


Criticism by the citizenry of a Black who many say lacks the qualifications to serve as president or of another Black who abuses his position as Attorney General to ignore crimes against Whites is stifled because it will be labeled hate speech and could prompt a witch hunt.


Such intimidation silences an entire nation of three-hundred-plus million. It is a threat to our First Amendment rights that should demand an appropriate response from Congress, journalists who seem deliberately blind to its significance.


Instead, it is met with a deafening silence, not with the revolution such behavior by King George prompted at the dawn of our birth. What has happened to our national backbone? After all, we are the heirs of the Founding Fathers.


Insult upon insult has been institutionalized by all three branches of government. Public welfare, affirmative action, illegal immigration, gay marriage, the war against success, confiscatory taxation and the repudiation of this country’s vaunted exceptionalism have all been forced down our throats against our will. To add further insult to injury, it has all been done by the hands of those to whom we have entrusted our welfare.


Silence in the face of terrorism, whether from foreign or domestic enemies, is insanity, if not suicide. Yet, that is precisely what Americans have been doing for fifty years. As our institutions are being relentlessly destroyed, the citizenry, with the exception of a handful of outspoken warrior patriots, is behaving like deer in the headlights.


Soon it will be too late to act. Revelations warns us of Armageddon. Never ignore the wisdom of the Prophets.


R. Claire Friend, MD

April 8, 2014

El conservador club Lincoln del condado de Orange repudia a Tim Donnelly


Contacto: Teresa Hernández, (949) 533-8387
**Englis acqi.**

El conservador club Lincoln del condado de Orange repudia a Tim Donnelly

CONDADO DE ORANGE– Hoy, el grupo activista republicano más antiguo en California, el club Lincoln del condado de Orange, tomó un paso nunca antes tomado al reprender al candidato gubernativo republicano, el legislador Tim Donnelly (R – Hesperia).

El consejo del club Lincoln aprobó un voto de desconfianza en el legislador Donnelly para la candidatura republicana para el gobernador del estado de California.

El club nunca ha tomado este tipo de paso en sus 52 años de historia.

“El legislador Donnelly es divisivo y destructivo,” dijo la resolución.  “Él no es la hombre indicado para guiar al partido republicano, al partido de Abraham Lincoln.”

El Club Lincoln, que fue fundado en 1962, es la organización más antigua, innovadora y firmemente conservativa.  Ha sido líder de algunos de los movimientos más históricos de la derecha, por ejemplo, galvanizó el respaldo para Ronald Reagan,  acogió la Propuesta 13, y llevó las riendas para revocar al gobernador Gray Davis.

Los comentarios de Donnelly han  sido una creciente preocupación en el consejo del club.  En un discurso en el 2006, Donnelly comparo el problema de inmigración con la guerra civil, “Estamos al borde de una batalla no distinta a  las mismas en las que esta nación ha visto desde 1861,” dijo él.  Según Los Ángeles Times, el 8 de abril del 2014, el señor Donnelley dijo que defiende su discurso.  Más recientemente, acusó a su contrincante para la nominación republicana, Neel Kashkari, un ex oficial de hacienda de la administración de George W. Bush, de apoyar  a la ley islámica sharia.

El Club Lincoln rechaza estas afirmaciones.  “Por mucho tiempo, el partido republicano ha tratado de dar muchos de los mensajes correctos en los labios de los candidatos incorrectos,” dijo Michael Capaldi, moderador emérito del club y su portavoz.  “Las cosas que Donnelly hace bien no cambia el hecho de que él se ha hecho la persona equivocada para presentarlas como el líder del partido republicano.”

Algunos de los líderes republicanos superiores del estado han condenado episodios de la retorica divisiva de Donnelly, incluyendo la líder de la asamblea republicana Connie Conway, el líder del senado republicano Bob Huff, y el congresista Darrell Issa.


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