To the Editor:

The educational program chosen by the state of Connecticut and our town of New Milford is the Common Core State Standards Initiative.

Common Core was developed by three organizations in Washington D.C. -- the National Governors Association, the Council for Chief State School Officers and Achieve Inc. -- which I believe were all funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Also deeply involved was the United States Department of Education (American Principles Project). I believe this was a violation of the 10th Amendment, which states all powers not given to the federal government fall to the states and the people.

As for the standards themselves, I believe they were never sufficiently tested and proven to raise academic achievement.

Currently students are being used to pilot this system at the risk of their education (Truth in American Education). As far as I know, the material on the Common Core tests is not made available to anyone in the education system.

After we take tests we are not allowed to see the grading rationale or how we were individually evaluated -- we can only see our score.

How can we trust where our information goes, if it is accurate, how it is used and/or compared on a national and international benchmark, if we aren't allowed this information?

Why is our own education hidden from us? What is the big secret?

As a student, I am experiencing firsthand Common Core curriculum.

In my English 3 honors class we are focusing more on social studies topics than English.

The texts we have received so far contain subliminal messaging of what I perceive to be a leftist view of society.

One particularly concerning quote from one of these texts was "(American) pride seems excessive" (Quindlen, A Quilt Of A Country).

Is this the message you want to send to your students? Well, I will never be ashamed to be an American and I know that, as an American, I am exceptional.

More examples come from math curriculum.

Teachers are forced to teach methods that are longer, more complicated and, in many cases, more confusing.

Recently, Greg Gutfeld, a co-host on Fox News' The Five, sat down with a teacher and watched as it took her 56 seconds to solve the problem 9 plus 6 (The Daily Caller). These methods are being sold as "rigorous" and "critical thinking skills."

These aren't skills, they are a waste of time.

Under the Common Core system we are taught in groups and told we have to come to an answer we all agree on.

We are being taught to think as a whole and not as a creative individual. There is a shift that could cause our individualism to dissolve.

I believe this is the beginning of an age of students teaching themselves and eliminating the need for teachers.

Teachers are irreplaceable. I have had teachers who have inspired a love of education and confidence in me that has allowed me to be here today to defend my education from the people meant to protect it.

I would like everyone to know, I will never surrender my unique right as an American to disagree with the person sitting next to me, or the people in my government, without threat.

This program is destroying our schools, our confidence and our freedom.

I would like to quote Abraham Lincoln. who said, "America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves from within."

Finally, I want everyone to know -- there will be more like me soon, and we will not go away.

Sydney Lane

New Milford