Tech Thursday: Common Core Community College

Common Core Standards in community colleges, you say? Certainly not! Ahh, sadly my friends, community colleges are being made over to also align with the CC ‘just standards’ Standards. You may know from personal experience or from someone close to you about  community colleges. They are what used to be known as ‘Junior Colleges’, and are 2 year  schools of higher learning. Selling points have been that the schools are local, a great bang for your education buck, not as stringent with admissions, have a better professor/student ratio. This of course, may change drastically as we continue to see Common Core implemented in whatever fashion the states choose. One fact is for certain: if we only seek to rid K-12 schools of Common Core, we’re not really going to be as effective as if we consider the Standards are before kindergarten and extend to colleges of all distinctions.

Last week, I shared with you definitive proof of how the CCS (Common Core Standards) were purposed for all education levels. This week, I’m focusing solely on the local community colleges. These schools target not only those recently graduated or having completed their equivalency diploma, but encompasses those people seeking to go back to college after being in the working world. All these community college candidates will be smacked in the face with alignment set on two main goals (as has been shared previously): the U.S. economy and a trained workforce.

One of the biggest proponents of Common Core, STEM via the Gates Foundation.
One of the biggest proponents of Common Core, STEM via the Gates Foundation.

College Board’s Office of Community College Initiatives:
I truly hope you are surprised in a way to see ‘THE’ College Board involved with local community colleges. I hope this, because, it should continue to illuminate just how big of a grip on upper level education the group has. One part of the College Board’s organization is known as the Office of Community Colleges Initiatives(http://professionals.collegeboard.com/higher-ed/community-colleges/national-office-initiatives). It is their job to work with local community colleges & help guide their decision making among other goals. The Board for the OCCI has many members. At least 2 are vocal about their support of & promotion the CC Standards in community colleges.  Kenneth Ender, Chair of the Advisory Board, “There is considerable work to be done to assure our K–12 curricula align with that of community college higher education. Our goal should be nothing less than assuring every high school graduate is prepared for postsecondary training and/or postsecondary education. The economy and workplace of the 21st century demands nothing less.” Nancy MacCallin, “If we do not address alignment of our K–12 and higher education systems, we will not be competitive in the global economy. Remediation needs of postsecondary students continue to worsen and need to be addressed in order to increase educational attainment. I hope to align assessment with the common core to provide an authentic assessment to ensure students move quickly through the remediation sequence and into a program that leads to a skilled workforce.” Meet the rest of the Advisory Board (http://professionals.collegeboard.com/higher-ed/community-colleges/advisory-panel)

Related: Williams/Handel 2008 paper stated: The College Board is collaborating with leaders in education, philanthropy, and business to develop a three-part strategy designed to: 1) influence national and state education policy; 2) construct model educational
reform structures; and 3) democratize access to educational excellence. (be sure to read the list of imperatives, the at-that-time new programs & curricula being written: http://media.collegeboard.com/digitalServices/public/pdf/rd/educational-imperative-global-century.pdf)

American Association of Community Colleges has been around since 1920 and is considered to be THE voice for community colleges not only nationwide in America, but increasingly on a more global scene.(http://www.aacc.nche.edu/About/Who/Pages/default.aspx)

“AACC is a member of “The Six” large, presidentially based associations and collaborates with a wide range of entities within the higher education community to monitor and influence federal policy and to collaborate on issues of common interest. The association has ongoing interaction with key federal departments and agencies including the U.S. departments of Labor, Education, Energy, Homeland Security, and Commerce, and the National Science Foundation.” {can you identify the Common Core Standards backing federal groups?}

Related information:  http://www.aacc.nche.edu/About/Who/Documents/StrategicPlan_Final_2013%2013-16.pdf (a detailed report to help create a trained workforce for the 21st Century among other strategies)

Scripted points created to help ‘sell’ the 21st Century Initiative for Community Colleges: (http://aacc.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Recommendation-Narratives.pdfNarrative #2 is Common Core Standards implementation in community colleges!!!

Innovate+Educate (http://www.innovate-educate.org/aboutThis group is a strategy group to ‘close the skills gap’. Now, on the surface, this sounds great (if you believe there really is a skills gap in America, but that’s another post for another day) UNTIL you see which known Common Core Standards backer corporations are  represented  on the Board! Corporations like ACT, Inc; SAS and more. One of the biggest education advocacy items? STEM! (remember, a previous post shared how STEM uses Common Core as a front for a massive effort to create citizens of a whole new kind) Featured in their recent 2014 Conference? Common Core Math & iPad (see: http://innovateducation.wikispaces.com/2014+Sessions) **Remember this group, I have much more to share about their efforts toward trained workforce**

One last thought or two:

Back in 2007, George Boggs (the President of the American Association of Community Colleges) issued a challenge for the administration and staff of community colleges across America to not only embrace ‘global education’, but to get the community’s backing. If your school/community weren’t meeting the challenge then you weren’t doing your part for the American workplace!

Also, keep your eye on organizations like the Community Colleges for International Development or access a copy of Linda Korbel’s 2007 “In Union There is Strength: Role of State Global Education Consortia in Expanding Community College Involvement in Global Education”. With all the ‘global citizenry’ talk of Common Core, these 2 resources may be a big key to the puzzle.

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