October 22, 2021


“The 18-essay volume uniquely gathers 20 top education experts and activists. The authors hold widely varied political and ideological viewpoints, yet they stand firmly united against the Common Core.”



MADISON, WI.  Resounding Books today o$ cially announced publication of Common
Ground on Common Core: Voices from across the Political Spectrum Expose the Realities
of the Common Core State Standards. % e 18-essay volume uniquely gathers 20 top
education experts and activists. % e authors hold widely varied political and ideological
viewpoints, yet they stand & rmly united against the Common Core. Standards expert
Sandra Stotsky and prominent mathematician R. James Milgram are among the book’s
authors. Both served on the national Common Core validation committee but refused
to sign o’ on the standards. Former U.S. Congressman and presidential candidate Ron
Paul, a passionate advocate for true education in his own rite, gracioiusly contributed
the foreword.
Edited to ensure that readers of any political stripe could inform and empower themselves
and others in the growing & ght to push back against the controversial education
initiative, Common Ground on Common Core enables understanding and appreciation
not just of the basics but also crucial anti-Common Core arguments and insights they
might not otherwise encounter, because those concerns have been raised principally on
only one side of the political continuum.
“Common Ground on Common Core takes the & ght against Common Core to new
levels by encouraging open dialogue and alliances across political lines,” asserts Resounding Books’ Founder and Editor, Kirsten
Lombard. “Interacting with Common Ground’s many authors—who self-identify as everything from radical Leftists to social conservatives
to libertarians—has made it clear to me that we all have a lot more in common than we’d previously been led to believe.”
% e book stands out in yet another way. All of the authors agreed to forego royalties so that Resounding Books, established in early
2013 as a super political action committee, could dedicate a signi& cant percentage of the book’s proceeds to funding anti-Common
Core activism at the state and local levels. “Resounding Books is strongly committed to encouraging and funding citizen activism
around the subjects on which we publish,” Lombard asserts. “We look forward to realizing that goal.”
In addition to Stotsky and Milgram, other contributors to Common Ground on Common Core who will be more familiar to readers
include Ze’ev Wurman, who helped to review the standards for the State of California, education researcher Christopher H.
Tienken (author, ! e School Reform Landscape: Fraud, Myth, and Lies) as well as activists Kris L. Nielsen (author, Children of the
Core), Jane Robbins (American Principles Project), Ceresta Smith (United Opt Out National), William A. Estrada (HSLDA), and
Shane Vander Hart (Truth in American Education). % ere will also be plenty of new and valuable discoveries for readers among the
The essay collection has already begun to receive nods from key individuals in various political corners. In addition to Ron Paul, for
example, Democratic New York State Senator George Latimer (Dist. 37 – Rye) describes the book as “a thoughtful presentation
of why we must have a slow, deliberate government that always asks who will bene& t when we implement any new programs, but
especially in education.” Dr. Gary ! ompson, a Utah psychologist who has become known for his opposition to the experimental
nature of Common Core assessments, calls the book a “brilliant, diverse compilation…which forever will put to rest the notion that
Common Core critics emanate exclusively from the Right Wing.”
Common Ground on Common Core is currently available in print ($25.00, 436 pages, , 5.5” x 8.5”, perfect-bound quality paperback,
ISBN 978-0-9908809), with two digital formats planned. It is available for purchase on the Resounding Books website,
www.resoundingbooks.org. Bulk orders are also possible. To interview editor Kirsten Lombard or any of the book’s authors, telephone
Resounding Books at 608.467.0877 or email kirsten@resoundingbooks.org.

The only book of its kind on the troubling realities of the COMMON CORE  STATE STANDARDS NOW AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE AT:
When an ideologically diverse array of the nation’s
top education activists and experts comes together
to speak out against the Common Core State Standards
and related initiatives, the magnitude of the issue
couldn’t be more clear.
Each of the contributors to this book’s 18 essays sheds
light on a di’ erent crucial aspect of the controversial
reform package that encompasses Common Core. % e
collection o’ ers a highly informed and troubling picture
of the dangers that false education reform poses
to all of us. It also demonstrates that real dialogue and
cooperation across political lines is not only possible
but, in fact, crucial if we are to establish pathways for
true education that honor students, parents, and teachers

For assistance in reaching any of the contributors
for interviews related to the book, please contact
Editor-in-Chief Kirsten Lombard via the
information below.

608.467.0877 or


MARY CALAMIA, LCSW, CASAC, is a psychotherapist
practicing in Stony Brook, New York. She treats children,
adolescents, and adults from more than twenty di’ erent school
districts on Long Island. Mary partners with Jack, a 100-pound
Labrador retriever who uses his own “special skills” to make
the therapeutic environment feel safe and enjoyable for her
most vulnerable clients. After testifying before the New York
State Assembly Forum on Education about the mentalhealth
consequences of the Common Core, Mary took on a leadership
role in the grassroots & ght against the controversial initiative.
Co-founder of Long Islanders United Against the Common
Core, Mary speaks at educational forums and advocates tirelessly
with legislators to eliminate Common Core from New York
State schools.

Arts in Psychology from the New School for Social Research
as well as a Bachelor of Arts in Biology from Northwestern
University. President of the Reason, Individualism, Freedom
Institute, Marsha is a 40-year advocate of a free society. An
education entrepreneur, writer, and speaker, she developed the Great Connections Seminars, an innovative educational program for
high school and college students, implemented in Chicago, Buenos Aires, and San Jose; readers may learn more at: www.ri& nst.org.
In 1990 she co-founded Council Oak Montessori School for ages 3 to 15, named one of the best private schools in Chicago by Chicago
Magazine in 2009 and 2011. Her writing, much of which is on view at the Fountainhead Institute website (fountainheadinstitute.
com), includes research papers on neuropsychology, psychology, philosophy, and education, reviews of novelists, and political
and historical commentary. She also served as editor of Ayn Rand Explained: From Tyranny to Tea Party (Open Court, 2013), which
includes her own original material.

WILLIAM A. ESTRADA began working for the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA, www.hslda.org) in January
2004 as a legal assistant. After obtaining his J.D. from Oak Brook College of Law, he began to direct HSLDA’s Federal Relations
department and to serve as its federal lobbyist. As HSLDA’s representative on Capitol Hill, Will uses his passion for homeschooling
to advocate for all homeschoolers before Congress and the federal departments. He has testi& ed before Congress and met
with senior o$ cials from federal agencies and the executive branch. From October 2007 through December 2012, Will served as
director of HSLDA’s Generation Joshua division, where he worked with young people who are passionate about making a di’ erence
in politics. He oversaw a doubling of Generation Joshua’s membership and an expansion of its reach and e’ ectiveness. In July 2011,
he also took on lobbying for ParentalRights.org as the organization’s director of federal relations, where he advocates before Congress
for the Parental Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. He is a member of the U.S. Supreme Court bar and the California
bar. Will and his wife Rachel, both homeschool graduates, reside with their son Dominic in northern Virginia.
JED HOPKINS is associate professor of education at Edgewood College in Madison, Wisconsin. He received his Ph.D. in the
Department of Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Minnesota in 2009. Hopkins began his teaching career in London,
RESOUNDING BOOKS | A | 1213 Sherman Avenue #356, Madison, WI 53704 | P | 608.467.0877 | E |kirsten@resoundingbooks.org
England, as an elementary school teacher almost thirty years ago. Since then he has taught at numerous levels from elementary
through middle school as well as teaching pre-service and in-service teachers at the undergraduate and graduate levels. His teaching
and research interests straddle literacy, teacher education, drama in education, and philosophy of education. He is particularly
interested in existentialist philosophies, social linguistics and integrating the arts into teaching.

JEFFREY D. HORN is a father of four children, a grassroots activist, and a data scientist. Earning his Bachelor of Science degree
from Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, he also holds a master’s degree in mathematics and a Ph. D. in computer
science from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. A professional programmer, he works daily to build infrastructure that can be
used to leverage Big Data in improving advertising, medical decisions, investing, and more. Very conscious of the tension that exists
between technology and personal freedom, he has been educating and advocating against Common Core and high-stakes testing in
Wisconsin for several years. Over the course of 2013 and 2014, he spearheaded an initiative to unite a variety of organizations and
individuals on Common Core related issues for the purpose of sending several open letters to state-level public o$ cials in Wisconsin.
% e letters ultimately helped to ensure a series of public hearings on Common Core at locations around the state in late 2013.

KAREN LAMOREAUX is a married mother of three and a small-business owner in Maumelle, Arkansas. A member of
Arkansas Against Common Core (www.arkansasagainstcommoncore.com), Karen’s opposition to the controversial reform package,
videorecorded before the Arkansas Board of Education in December 2013, went viral on the Internet. Since then, Karen has been
given a voice on Fox and Friends, the Willis Report on Fox Business, the Glenn Beck Show, the Pat & Stu Radio Show as well as local
television and radio networks in Arkansas. Together with her fellow coalition members, she travels statewide and regionally, educating
other parents about the realities of Common Core and working toward its repeal by the Akansas State Legislature. She advocates
for the preservation of parental rights as well as state rights in education. She has recently started homeschooling her children.

MORNA MCDERMOTT has been working in, with, and around public schools for over twenty years. Currently she is an
associate professor at Towson University in Maryland. Her scholarship and research interests focus on democracy, social justice, and
arts-informed inquiry in Kindergarten through post-secondary educational settings as well as working with both beginning and
experienced educators. Recent artwork and installations have emphasized the value of art as a “public pedagogy” in creating grassroots
social-political-educational change. Tapping into this theme, Morna recently authored ! e Left-Handed Curriculum: Creative
Experiences for Empowering Teachers (IAP, 2012). She is also one of the founding members of United Opt Out National, which has
become a strong voice and conduit for advocacy against high-stakes testing. She currently lives in Baltimore with her husband and
two children. For more of Morna’s thoughts and work, visit her Educational Alchemy blog (www.educationalchemy.com).

BRIAN MEDVED ran for and won a seat on the Board of Education in Germantown, Wisconsin, in 2013. Since Brian’s
election, Germantown’s board has become the & rst in the state to enthusiastically—and unanimously—reject the Common Core
State Standards. % e board is now working to develop its own Germantown Model Academic Standards, a process in which Brian is
actively involved. Germantown’s standards development process may be tracked on the Germantown School Board website (https://
sites.google.com/a/germantownschools.org/germantown-standards-and-curriculum-development/), where the resulting standards
will also be accessible to all. Brian continues to work to remove Common Core from the state of Wisconsin and across the country,
believing that it is detrimental to learning. He maintains his own website to that end (www.brianmedved.com). In his personal life,
Brian owns a construction business, as well as owning and managing rental properties. He is the father of four boys, two in college
and two in high school. His wife is his high-school sweetheart, inspiration, and soul mate, and also happens to be an outstanding

R. JAMES MILGRAM is professor of mathematics emeritus at Stanford University. An internationally recognized mathematician,
he helped author the pre-Common Core California Standards, and was the math reviewer for the Curriculum Focus Points
book series (National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, 2006 – 2011). Dr. Milgram is one of only three mathematicians in
the last forty years to be awarded the Gauss Professorship (1989) at the University of Göttingen. In 2000, he was also awarded a
Distinguished Visiting Professorship in the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, rarely granted to mathematicians. In the United
States, Dr. Milgram has held the prestigious Ordway Professorship at the University of Minnesota, the Regents Professorship at the
University of New Mexico, and has given many named lectures at top American universities. Dr. Milgram served on the validation
committee charged with overseeing the development and writing of the Common Core standards, the only member of that committee
to hold a Ph.D. in mathematics. He has also served on the NASA Advisory Council and the National Board for Education

Science, which oversees all research at the U.S. Department of Education. Dr. Milgram received his undergraduate and master’s
degrees in mathematics from the University of Chicago and his Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of Minnesota.
KRIS L. NIELSEN has worked in education for approximately a decade and is an expert on national education “reform.” He
holds a master’s degree in education, with emphasis on child development and motivational learning. He is a dedicated activist
against corporate education reform. Upon leaving a post as a science teacher at a school in North Carolina in 2012, Kris penned a
resignation letter concerning the hidden and serious circumstances that daily plague students and teachers in the current education
environment. % e letter went viral globally in the space of a week. Kris has since written two books on issues within the education
system and the need to & nd a better way, Children of the Core and Uncommon (both published through CreateSpace, 2013).
He continues to work diligently to inform parents and citizens about the real dangers that are already resulting from the failure to
create an environment in which teachers can authentically teach and students can truly learn. He has also helped lead parent and
student opt-out movements in New York, Colorado, and New Mexico. Kris blogs at @ the Chalkface (www.atthechalkface.com).

JANE ROBBINS is an attorney and a senior fellow with the American Principles Project in Washington, D.C. (americanprinciplesproject.
org). In that position she has crafted federal and state legislation designed to restore the constitutional autonomy of
states and parents in education policy and to protect the rights of religious freedom and conscience. Her essays on these topics have
been published in various print and online media. With Emmett McGroarty she co-authored the APP/Pioneer Institute report Controlling
Education From the Top: Why Common Core Is Bad for America and, with Joy Pullmann and Emmett McGroarty, the Pioneer
Institute report Cogs in the Machine: Big Data, Common Core, and National Testing. She has published numerous articles about the
problems with Common Core, including those of intrusive data-collection and threats to student privacy, and has testi& ed about
these issues before the legislatures of nine states. She is a graduate of Clemson University and the Harvard Law School.

TIM SLEKAR began his career in education as a second grade teacher in Williamsburg, Virginia, and later taught & fth grade in
York, Pennsylvania. He attended the University of Maryland at College Park where he earned his Ph. D. in social studies education.
During his studies, he worked with seventh and eighth grade teachers in the city of Baltimore. He has published his research in
some of the top educational research journals including Teacher Education Quarterly, ! eory and Research in Social Education, and
the Journal of ! ought. He recently became the dean of the School of Education at Edgewood College in Madison, Wisconsin. Prior
to accepting that position, Dr. Slekar was at Pennsylvania State-Altoona for ten years, where he was responsible for building an elementary
education program and leading the Division of Education, Human Development, and Social Sciences. His wife, Michelle,
is the CEO of the Slekar household. Together, Tim and Michelle are the parents of Luke and Lacey.

CERESTA SMITH is a twenty-six year veteran educator who has taught grades 6 through 12 in reading, language arts, and
beginning and advanced television production. She earned her National Board Certi& cation in adult/young adult English language
arts in 2002 and now serves as a teacher leader and mentor. In September of 2008, Ceresta moved from a Florida school deemed
“high performing” to serve as a teacher leader and literacy coach in a school deemed “low performing.” While there, she became a
2009 – 2010 recipient of a Jordan Fundamental Grant. % e grant facilitated the implementation of Text Titans, a literacy-building
initiative she designed, funded by basketball great Michael Jordan’s philanthropic non-pro& t, which honors teachers who motivate
and inspire students toward achieving excellence. As a committed educator and activist, Ceresta also founded the Concerned
Teacher Coalition in 2009 to address the inequities in Miami-Dade County’s predominantly African-American public schools. One
of the original organizers of Save Our Schools March and National Call to Action and a sought after public speaker, she continues
to champion public education in her roles as a Save Our Schools steering committee member and an administrator for United Opt
Out National, an organization that advocates for an end to punitive high-stakes testing and on other key education issues.

SANDRA STOTSKY is professor of education emerita at the University of Arkansas, where she held the 21st Century Chair
in Teacher Quality. She did her undergraduate work at the University of Michigan and holds a Ph.D. in reading research from the
Harvard Graduate School of Education. From 1999-2003, she served as senior associate commissioner (a professional position) at
the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, where she was in charge of developing or revising all of
that state’s K-12 standards, teacher licensure tests, and teacher and administrator licensure regulations. She served on the Massachusetts
Board of Elementary and Secondary Education from 2006-2010 (a citizen position) and on the National Mathematics Advisory
Panel from 2006-2008. From 1991-1997, she also edited the premier research journal of the National Council of Teachers of
English, Research in the Teaching of English. She has published extensively in professional journals and written several books. From
2009-2010, she also served on the Common Core Validation Committee, where she was one of & ve members who would not sign
o’ on the standards as being internationally benchmarked, rigorous, or research-based.

CHRISTINE T. worked in special education for more than & fteen years, & rst as a teachers’ aide and then as an applied
behavior analysis specialist. When she started a family, she took time o’ to raise her two sons. After her boys had reached
school age, she returned to school to study social work, aspiring to work with drug and alcohol addicts as a rehabilitation
counselor. She has currently put her education on hold in order to homeschool her youngest son. She lives with her
family and two dogs in New York State, where she is an avid reader and writer. In their spare time together, she and her
family enjoy spending a great deal of time in active outdoor pursuits.

CHRISTOPHER H. TIENKEN, Ed.D., is an assistant professor at Seton Hall University. His research focuses on
curriculum and assessment policies and practices. His latest book is ! e School Reform Landscape: Fraud, Myth, and Lies
(Rowman and Little& eld, 2013). % e international honor society Kappa Delta Pi awarded him the 2013 Truman Kelley
Award for Outstanding Research. For more information on Chris and his work, visit his website: www.christienken.com.

SHANE VANDER HART is the founder and editor of the blog Ca# einated ! oughts (ca’ einatedthoughts.com) and
also writes extensively about the Common Core State Standards for Truth in American Education (truthinamericaneducation.
com). He founded Iowans for Local Control (iowansforlocalcontrol.com) in order to & ght against the Common
Core and Next Generation Science Standards and to advocate for education liberty in his home state. Vander Hart has
twenty-one years of youth ministry experience. As part of that experience he served as both dean of students and teacher
in a private Christian school in Indiana. In 2012 he launched 4:15 Communications, LLC, a social media and communications
consulting business. Vander Hart and his family reside just outside Des Moines, Iowa, where they homeschool
their three teenage children.

S. WHARTON is the parent of two school-aged children in Florida. She holds a Bachelor of Science in mass communication
from Emerson College as well as a Master of Science degree in counseling and college student development
from Northeastern University. In 2010 she undertook graduate work at the University of South Florida to become a
counselor in private practice, and is currently a registered mental health intern. Before moving to Florida, she worked as
a personal counselor, career counselor, academic advisor, and freshman seminar instructor in university and community
college settings in Massachusetts. Some of her career-exploration publication work has been presented professionally and
distributed to guidance professionals nationwide. For three years she taught a course in success skills for college and life.
Her students regularly rated her highly for lessons that they could apply practically. Ms. Wharton is committed to high
standards in education but believes that such standards must remain under local control if K-12 students are to receive
tailored instruction that bene& ts their learning needs.

ZE’EV WURMAN is currently a visiting scholar at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. Between 1995 and
2007, he participated in developing California’s education standards and state mathematics assessments. From 2007 to
2009 he served as a senior policy adviser with the O$ ce of Planning, Evaluation and Policy Development at the U.S.
Department of Education in Washington, D.C. % roughout the development of the Common Core standards in 2009-
2010, Wurman analyzed the mathematics drafts, both for the Pioneer Institute and the State of California. In 2010 he
served on the California Academic Content Standards Commission, which evaluated the suitability of the Common
Core standards for California. He has authored evaluation reports on the Common Core for both the Pioneer and Paci
& c Research Institutes and professionally evaluated other state and national standards. Wurman has spent four decades
in the electronic and semiconductor industries. Currently he is an executive with Monolithic 3D, a Silicon Valley semiconductor
start up. He holds & fteen U.S. patents and is the recipient of the Israel Security Prize (E. Golomb). Wurma

holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in electrical engineering from the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology.

“An Invalid Validation of Common Core’s
Who recommended these people as standards-writers and
why, we still do not know. No one in the media comented
on their lack of credentials for the task they had been
assigned. Indeed, no one in the media showed the slightest
interest in the quali& cations of the grade-level standards-
writers or the members of the Work Group, even
though it was obvious that most of the latter group were
connected to test/curriculum development companies.

“Challenging Core Assumptions: What
Does U.S. Performance on International
Assessments Really Tell Us?”
[T]he NGA and CCSSO identify the need to implement
the Common Core due, in part, to low U.S. student
achievement on international tests of mathematics and an
overall lag in global economic competitiveness. Yet, U.S.
student achievement on international tests of mathematics
is not as woefully inadequate as vendors of the Common
Core might want us to believe. Moreover, U.S. workers
educated prior to the standards-based era are some of the
most competitive workers on the planet. Evidence drawn from work I have previously published on this topic, allows me
to provide a counter-narrative to the public education “crises” pandering in which vendors and supporters of the Common
Core regularly engage.

From MARY CALAMIA’S essay,
“Impressionable Minds Under Pressure”
Until this point in my career, school has been the one stabilizing force I [as a therapist] could o’ er to my young clients
as they work through their psychosocial stressors. Even students who hate school because they do not perform well have
strengths that we can capitalize on; I could always rely on the schools to help them to identify them and give them the
tools they need to build their con& dence. We could work together, school personnel and therapist, to devise a plan to
get food to a student who lives in poverty and solace to a child who was experiencing emotional problems. I have always
worked closely with the schools to intervene with bullying situations…
…but what do we do when the educational system has become the bully?

“Liberating Education”
A free society requires not serfs to the state or “company men,” but capable individuals, entrepreneurs of their own lives,
able to peacefully collaborate with others while creating remarkable and new solutions to human needs and problems. In
a voluntary, cooperative society, responsibility for educating children would fall clearly to the parents.
RESOUNDING BOOKS | A | 1213 Sherman Avenue #356, Madison, WI 53704 | P | 608.467.0877 | E |kirsten@resoundingbooks.org

From JANE ROBBINS’ essay,
“Common Core and the Threat to Student Privacy”
Several of the most prominent news stories of 2013 involved data privacy: the NSA scandal, IRS leaks of sensitive taxpayer
information, the Target and Neiman-Marcus data breaches. “Big Data” is now a fact of life in the United States,
for good or ill. % e plans to employ Big Data in the realm of education are, to say the least, ambitious. % ey are also
poorly understood by most Americans. Parents must realize that without new protections on student privacy, school will
no longer be a safe place to send their children.

From KRIS NIELSEN’S essay,
“Teaching the Common Core Is Not Teaching”
Teaching is a research-based yet heart-driven practice, based on many types of data, informal and formal, qualitative
and quantitative. And it’s getting more complex. However, the Common Core State Standards were designed to standardize
both teaching and learning, measure that learning using very expensive low-level tests to derive only one type
of data, then show the poor results as reason to hand public schools to private companies that wish to pro& t from their
turnaround….Unfortunately, “turnaround” is in this case a misnomer. Instead of investing in real student learning, the
privatizers are fully invested merely in raising test scores to show so-called pro& ciency of students and schools, yielding
more federal RttT funding. % at’s the deal. % at’s the plan. Nothing more.

“Common Core: A Silent Revolution in Education Policy”
State legislatures were entirely bypassed through the RttT funding application process. In fact, most state legislatures
were not even in session during the short time frame provided for adoption in 2010. No full state legislature voted on
the Common Core prior to its state’s adoption of the standards….At both the federal and state levels, the Common Core
literally represents executive overreach o’ the chain.

“Common Core and America’s People of Color”
Unfortunately, many non-white people commit a symbolic suicide of self when they buckle under the pressure of a public
school system that has a history of inequity, sublimation, and oppression. % ere is no strong evidence that the implementation
of Common Core will not continue the history of institutionalized racism that has resulted in an increase in
stressors and a consequential reduction in resiliency for non-whites, playing out as dysfunction and failure, often leading
from school to prison for both students and adults. It seems contradictory that an institution that is supposed to nurture
and build social skills, develop intellect, and prepare students for college and/or careers could somehow form a pipeline
to prison; but, for non-whites, it does so disproportionately.

“Another Brick in the Wall: Separating Parents from Their Children via
Education Reforms and Technologies”
I am getting letters from parents all over the country with disturbing responses and reactions from school o$ cials. % ey
are being told that there is no opt-out provision, or that it is against district policy to avoid the test. % ey ask parents
what our reasons are for refusing these tests and use intimidation tactics and a condescending tone. Perhaps the education
departments around the nation misunderstand. As a parent, I am not asking permission to waive the test. I am
refusing to participate. Because my child belongs to me, and I said so.

[gview file=”https://bwcentral.org/wp-content/plugins/php-image-cache/image.php?path=/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/Common-Ground-on-Common-Core-Press-Kit-1-1.pdf”]