WYBI Wednesday: ICE, Chilling Our Education

Typically ice cubes make our drinks more enjoyable. However, when ICE hits education, it's anything but enjoyable.
Typically ice cubes make our drinks more enjoyable. However, when ICE hits education, it’s anything but enjoyable.

In yesterday’s post, I revealed quite a bit about an international credentialing company tied to Common Core. Today’s “Would You Believe It” Wednesday post, looks at the American based companies. Will they, too, be tied to Common Core?

ICE (aka: Institute for Credentialing Excellence):

Here’s how they describe themselves, “The Institute for Credentialing Excellence, or ICE, is a professional membership association that provides education, networking, and other resources for organizations and individuals who work in and serve the credentialing industry.  ICE is a leading developer of standards for both certification and certificate programs and it is both a provider of and a clearing house for information on trends in certification, test development and delivery, assessment-based certificate programs, and other information relevant to the credentialing community.” {note: website address is http://www.credentialingexcellence.org/p/cm/ld/fid=32)
Below is a screen shot from the latest Annual Report showing the USA and where ICE members are located.

icemembers

Who Is Shaping the Credentials? Again, using the 2013-14 Annual Report, you can find there are members from the Alpine Institute, Pearson VUE (gee, what a surprise), Cisco Systems(data mining), and a Psychometrician (Careers in Psychology have this description for what psychometrics are),

“Psychometrics is the science of measuring people’s mental capacities and thought processes through a systemized manner. In other words, it’s a way to create tests to determine how smart we are or what are personalities are like. Psychometricians are the scientists behind those interesting – and sometimes nerve wracking – aptitude and personality tests. The tests that these professionals create help to better understand how the mind works. They are able to measure the how a mind functions and how it compares to other groups of people.” The Report: 2013-14 ICE Annual Report v3 Final

ICE’s “Other” Arm:
NCCA (National Commission on Certifying Agencies)
This particular part of ICE was created to ensure all of the citizens in America were actually safe while we used the many services ICE accredited. For example, if I wanted to work in aviation, ICE would accredit the National Aviation Business Association and NCCA would keep them accountable so I’d be able to earn my credentials to get a job. (You’ll need to look at the many healthcare agencies they oversee, especially knowing CC aligned courses are being taught). What I found interesting about this arm of ICE, is their “Career Center” page. If you want, you can become employed by AIR, Inc. (America Institutes for  Research, Inc.; as in Common Core related assessment measuring AIR, Inc.) as a psychometrician!! See the actual job posting, http://careers.credentialingexcellence.org/jobseeker/job/21233199/
{Note: heading up the NCCA? A member from the Alpine Testing Solutions, Inc.}

Alpine Testing:

I must confess, I mistook this company for another one by a similar name and was about to pass it over, when a search turned up a post by the President of Alpine Testing Solutions (according to their own website, the name “Alpine Media Corporation” was used from 1998-2005). The president then was Arana Greenburg. Her paper, “WBT: The New Millennium: Training at the Speed of Change”. {note: WBT stands for ‘web based training’} (see: http://www.isoc.org/inet99/proceedings/2a/2a_1.htm ) You’ll want this paper. Why? It details the purposed transition of not only assessments (which now lead to credentials), but how computer testing was in need of becoming ‘COOL’ (Collaborative, Objective Based, On-line, Lifelong Learning Oriented). She goes on to cite B.F. Skinner’s work, how students will go from one knowledge based to ‘just enough’. She details shifts in how learning parameters have shifted, how assessments were to become the core of education and oh, so much more that we now have been able to connect to CC. What else you might find interesting is that the author graduated with a social policy doctorate. You’ll need to see who she used to work for.
One more note about Alpine Testing, they are affiliated with NRMERA (Northern Rocky Mountain Education Research Association). How does NRMERA feel about Common Core, Career/College Readiness?? They embrace it! See this presentation from 2012 titled “Success for All” : http://www.nciea.org/publication_PDFs/NRMERASuccessForAll_BG100412

Take a look at the ICE 2014 Conference Book, there you’ll find Pearson VUE presented several workshops on various topics surrounding credentials that span the globe; you’ll see Cisco Systems also among those who presented. ACT, Inc. (which is also a partner of the International group I shared with you in yesterday’s post about international credentials being tied to CCS) also was at the conference. See the resource, http://issuu.com/credentialingexcellence/docs/2014_ice_exchange_final_program

If you’d like to see who is funding all the research for ICE, http://www.credentialingexcellence.org/p/cm/ld/fid=181

The Gates Foundation, the U.S. Dept. of Ed and the Rest of the Credential Bunch:

After a bit of digging I found the pdf file for the 2009 Round table discussion that was to help both the Gates Foundation’s and the U.S. government’s initiatives concerning post-secondary education get moving toward globalization via credentials, degrees, and whatever else in between you could master. Here’s an excerpt, “The intent of the round table is to identify and define the nature of the array of post-secondary subbaccalaureate credentials (e.g., certificates, certifications, licenses), ascertain the nature of the institutions involved in granting and overseeing such credentials, and discuss the implications for public policy.” Download the document, Subbac-Roundtable-Mtg-Notes_110309

The Business Roundtable’s Efforts for Credentials and Your Students:

Extremely pro Common Core/STEM supportive group “Business Roundtable” released last July (2014) what they are doing to ensure CC credentialed education. Here’s a tiny portion of what’s happening, ”

“Defining clearly the attributes of quality, valid industry credentials, making it easier for students, learning centers and employers to know which credentials and certifications matter.”

Want the entire ‘game plan’? See, http://businessroundtable.org/resources/taking-action-connect-learning-work Oh, if you’d like to see HOW the Business Roundtable plans to help the workforce become as aligned to CC as possible, be sure to read their “Action Step List”, where the number one priority is to  “Fully adopt and implement the Common Core State Standards” (Action List: http://businessroundtable.org/resources/taking-action-on-education-workforce-preparedness)

If you’d like to see more of the BRT’s CC supportive materials, search their website, trust me, you’ll find plenty.

One Last Resource:

Back in 2002, a dissertation by Kathy Emery, titled “The Business Roundtable and Systemic Reform: How Corporate-Engineered High-Stakes Testing Has Eliminated Community Participation in Developing Educational Goals and Policies”. Quite detailed, super ammo for the anti CCSS warrior. (Emery_Dissertation_all

Closing:

So, while the past two days have given you plenty of ties that bind our students to credentials bought and paid for with funds from CCSS, I hope you’ll be able to use the resources, information provided to wage war on the Core, thereby melting any tainted ICE you find.

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