Monday Musings: Learning for Whom?!

Have you heard of this group? They've got your school's data.
Have you heard of this group? They’ve got your school’s data.

We all know that the CCSS Machine is sparing no expense to grab onto our student’s personal information, today’s post will highlight this particular company’s foray into the educational world.

What “Learn Sprout’s” All About:

According to their website, they are here to help us all with school data. That’s one thing because, in these times, data is rather abundant. Where we anti CCSS warriors are concerned is HOW that data is used; whom it is sold to or shared with; and other CCSS bonuses gained from possession of sensitive facts. If you look at the mission statement it seems fairly harmless, but we’ll be looking further into the company than simply its mission statement. “Our mission is to help K-12 educators use data to understand the past, analyze the present, and anticipate the future.”  Okay, not too informative, but its what companies and advisors “Learn Sprout” relies on that is the bigger concern to me as an anti Common Core warrior. For example, one of “Learn Sprout’s” is “Power School” as in Pearson Publishing’s data miner. Another “Code for America”. I’ve written quite a bit about the ties to coding (computer programming) and Common Core. Here’s the link for all those articles: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/?s=coding 

“Code for America”:

So, in a nutshell can I tell you what “Code for America” is? Sure, I can! For instance, their 2011 Annual Report tagged the effort as ‘a new kind of public service’. If you look very closely at the report, you’ll begin to notice just how data is being harvested, where it’s been used, and what organizations are funding this. Common Core supporters such as “Google”, “Microsoft”, and the “Rockerfeller Foundation”, among others. Back in 2013, “Watchdog Wire” reported how the data mining, Common Core, and foundations such as Rockerfeller’s (and others) are making huge bucks off our kid’s data. See: http://watchdogwire.com/florida/2013/08/08/data-mining-using-common-core-cha-ching-cha-ching/ To access “Code for America’s” report: http://www.codeforamerica.org/2011-annual-report/2011_CfA_Report.pdf

While this may not sound so bad, consider this: one of the 5 kingpin agenda items for “CfA” is ‘changing people and practices’. See the screen shot below:

Find out more: http://2014.codeforamerica.org/
Find out more:
http://2014.codeforamerica.org/

Back to “Learn Sprout”:

On the website (https://www.learnsprout.com/ews) you’ll find the false argument for ‘closing the skills gap’ that’s been so overused by the CCSS Machine. You’ll see how “LS” has an ‘early warning system” available for use in regards to the skills gap.
Excuse me, are we discussing students or weather systems here? I don’t need an early warning system for my school, I need care and concern for my students. Early warnings are more suited for impending weather emergencies and the like, but NOT people!! (*Note: Many researchers and/or publications have presented all kinds of evidence about the “skills gap”. If you conduct an internet search, you’ll find several credible articles which state those seeking to reform education have skewed the information to create a big mess. Business say education is to blame for the not-skilled-enough-workers; education counters with not-enough-jobs. It’s a mess.In the meantime, we, the warriors can easily get side-tracked about skills OR no skills..all the while the CCSS Machine churns on with its P3, public-private partnership overreach into our students lives. We MUST not be swayed!) You’ll also find the “College Readiness” can be at your disposal with the company. (see: https://www.learnsprout.com/product) The “CR” will take your student’s data and turns it into action items for their future. Wow…that’s a comfort for us as parents, isn’t it? NOT! My child’s performance data on assessments, etc.  shouldn’t be used against them! While the site claims to have honorable intentions, I can’t trust that when I know Pearson and others supporting CCSS are somehow involved. Their track records speak another message to me. As far as the student data, the LS company has a ‘snazzy video’ about transparency, but again, consider what companies LS partners with. Companies known to abuse student data. Here’s their video clip:

Notice, that throughout this website and all I’ve presented so far, you’ve not seen or heard Common Core. However, I’ve shown you ways in which LS is tied to CCSS. I’m not done yet……

Those 21st Century Tones:

Having researched so much about all that’s connected to CCSS, the undertones of so much 21st Century agenda got me a bit curious. Could Learn Sprout be a part of the P21 movement? Wait, what’s the P21? Oh, great question! P21 is short for “Partnership for 21st Century Skills”. I’ve written quite a few articles about just HOW P21 is devoted to Common Core. Here’s the link  to each of the articles: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/?s=p21 (*Note: you’ll really want to take the time to read each of these as there are many of the same ‘players’ in P21 as Code for America and/or Learning Sprouts). If you want to see which companies have aligned themselves to P21:
 “Adobe Systems, Inc., American Association of School Librarians, Apple Inc., Cable in the Classroom, Cengage Learning, Cisco Systems, Inc., The College Board’s Advanced Placement Program (AP), Crayola, Dell, Inc., EdLeader21, EF Education, Education Networks of America, Ford Motor Company Fund, GlobalScholar, Goddard Systems Inc., Hewlett Packard, Intel Corporation, Knovation, KnowledgeWorks Foundation, LEGO Group, Mosaica Education, National Academy Foundation, National Education Association, Pearson, Project Management Institute Educational Foundation, The Walt Disney Company, Wireless Generation, Verizon Foundation, and VIF International Education.” (To see the article from which this excerpt is from {details how P21 is behind Next Generation Science Standards},
https://computinged.wordpress.com/2012/06/13/disappointing-support-for-new-nrc-framework-for-science-standards-from-p21/ )

Related:
My article from “Prevent Common Core” about EdLeader21 (which is eerily close in agenda to all the CCSS rhetoric we know). See: http://preventcommoncore.com/?p=1263

Articles laying out how truly community aligned Knowledge Works is setting out to make America: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/?s=KnowledgeWorks (*Note: the first 5 articles are the ones to focus your research on.)

From Prevent Common Core, my “Skewed America” article:
 http://preventcommoncore.com/?p=1247

From my fellow anti CCSS warrior, Gretchen Logue about P21’s CCSS Toolkit:
http://missourieducationwatchdog.com/relativism-one-of-the-goals-of-a-21st-century-learner/

From fellow warrior, LadyLiberty1885, her 2 articles about Pearson’s Power School debacle in NC: http://ladyliberty1885.com/?s=power+school (*Note: refer to the first 2 articles you’ll see)

From P21’s website, be sure to see who and what companies are a part of the efforts to align, mine, and confine Americans to the CCSS Machine’s way. See: http://www.p21.org/about-us/strategic-council-members One last common link to all of this I’ve presented to you? Pearson Publishing. They are involved in each one of the organizations above. As far as how they are involved with P21, they fund an ‘Exemplar’ School Program. Schools must be committed to school, college, work, and community readiness. See: http://www.p21.org/exemplar-program-case-studies/1255-about-the-exemplar-program

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3 thoughts on “Monday Musings: Learning for Whom?!

  1. There will be a public hearing in Augusta, ME on May 11, 2015 at 9am. I wonder if you can send any new children behavior experts who peer reviewed research papers that a conclusion that adaptive-assessment testing may be harmful to young children. I know that you given PH in several venues. I have seen the ed blogs reporting about all the computer crashes, so I am curious if there is something that I can submit as expert testimony to repeal SBAC assessment and replace it with teacher-centered assessments. Maine just started the SBAC assessment testing this year, so it will take another year or two before the public really wake up.
    FW: Re: Maine Legislation SBAC repeal

    Hello Mark,
    I as well as other grandparents and parents are giving public hearing testimony supporting the repeal of adaptive computer assessment testing to the children in Maine school districts this month. The Educrats are using various methods in letters and in the media with the support from speacial education groups such as RISC, Educate Maine, Great Schools Partnership, and others with fear mongering to the taxpayers around the state about the loss of tittle two and six money in the current ESEA federal law. I would like to submit in my PH statement to the EDU committee expert peer reviewed research with my testimony. If you have knowledge of how this type of testing can be harmfull, I would enjoy to add it to my statement. The Maine DoE hired a group called AIR to manage the SBAC and I have heard and read how tract human behavior and Not knowledge in class knowledge of a subject. Just do not know.

    If you and your network of human behavior researchers wuold like to submit your ph statements for the public record in the EDU please email them to the committee clerk which is required whether you are here in person to speak directly to the committe. I have provided many web links below in my message to Joy Pullmann. The deadline for submission of PH written statements to the EDU clerk will be about 8 am Monday on May 11th. The email is: aida.gagnon@legislature.maine.gov and her number is (207) 287-3125. LD 1276 is bill of interest here.

    I hope that will share this request with others with expert knowledge in computer testing of young children and adults. Why the state wants to build and treat children like factors of production is beyond my comprehension.

    Thanks for any help,

    Dear Mr. Draper,
    I frankly do not know much about the dangers to young children of computer-based testing. Contact Mark Alliegro and his wife, who have a scientific background. markalliegro@yahoo.com,

    I’d also recommend early childhood educators, but I do not know names of these people (start with Elizabeth Liptak at the International Dyslexia Association). eliptak@interdys.org,

    Dear Joy,
    There will be a public hearing in Augusta, ME on May 11, 2015 at 9am. I wonder if you send any new children behavior experts who peer reviewed research papers that a conclusion that adaptive-assessment testing may be harmful to young children. I know that you given PH in several venues. I have seen the ed blogs reporting about all the computer crashes, so I am curious if there is something that I can submit as expert testimony to repeal SBAC assessment and replace it with teacher-centered assessments. Maine just started the SBAC assessment testing this year, so it will take another year or two before the public really wake up.

    I have attached the LD Bill with the PH date and time in the Education and Cultural Affairs joint committee (EDU).

    This same committee has tabled our against the Common Core (CCSS) and Proficiency Based Learning (PBL).

    The property taxes are rising in every school district in our state and Educrats are health insurance rising costs. I bet it is true to some extend, however the unfunded mandates of OBE are catching up to the taxpayers.

    This is the PH schedule and link for the 5-11-15 at 9 am.
    http://www.mainelegislature.org/legis/bills/phwksched.html?CODE=EDU&snum=127

    This is the LD look up link:
    http://www.mainelegislature.org/LawMakerWeb/search.asp

    May 11, 2015, 9:00a
    LD 130
    Public Hearing An Act To Exempt Certain Established Public Prekindergarten Programs from New RegulationsRep. Kornfield of Bangor
    LD 601
    Public Hearing An Act To Clarify the Authority of Individualized Education Plans in Relation to Proficiency-based DiplomasRep. Hubbell of Bar Harbor
    LD 695
    Public Hearing An Act To Empower Parents in the Education of Their Children by Allowing an Opt-out from Standardized AssessmentsRep. Gideon of Freeport
    LD 749
    Public Hearing An Act To Ensure Integrity in Students’ ProficiencyRep. Head of Bethel
    LD 840
    Public Hearing An Act To Support the Implementation of Proficiency-based Diplomas and Standards-based Student LearningRep. Hubbell of Bar Harbor
    LD 853
    Public Hearing An Act To Allow Secondary Schools To Grant Certificates of Academic ProficiencyRep. Hubbell of Bar Harbor
    LD 1235
    Public Hearing An Act To Strengthen Standards-based DiplomasSen. Alfond of Cumberland
    LD 1276
    Public Hearing An Act To Improve Educational Assessments of Maine StudentsRep. McClellan of Raymond

    Liked by 1 person

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