FTF: CCSS Frying Pan into the Fire

A recent round of supposedly good news for us anti CCSS Warriors, deserves a closer look. As we’ve seen in the past, what’s reported as victories for defeating the CCSS Machine, we’ve learned the news is always bittersweet. It’s like 2 steps forward, one step back; or jumping from the frying pan into the fire.

A look at the news behind the latest CCSS headlines.
A look at the news behind the latest CCSS headlines.

TX and AR’s “Ditched Assessments”:

In recent news both TX and AR have ‘ditched’ their high stakes assessments contracts.
At least those are the headlines. There’s even been some celebrating. However, when you take a closer look at these types of stories, you’ll find that while it’s apparently those well known high stakes assessments are on their way out, what is replacing them is ALSO just as toxic.

1) Texas announced in May of this year that it was ending its contract with the high-stakes assessment company, Pearson Publishing. (See: http://www.centerdigitaled.com/k-12/Pearson-Loses-Bulk-of-Texas-Student-Testing-Contract.html)

While those of us who are familiar with how Pearson is involved in the USA’s national assessments ‘game’, it appeared at first to be quite a blow in favor of  those opposed to CCSS..until you look at what entity is to replace Pearson.

That is ETS (Educational Testing Service). I’ve written about ETS at least two other times. The man behind the helm of ETS is also the head of the Marzano Institute.  Marzano Institute which is heavy into the social emotional end of CCSS. I have a ‘tell all’ article about the whole convoluted jumble which connects “MI” to many other groups…all intent on amassing as much information on our students as possible. See: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/03/02/monday-musings-purposed-embedding-for-the-core/
For my other article on ETS (which will detail how ETS is tied to an international competency based group), see: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/03/01/rmt-why-is-the-deck-still-being-stacked-to-serve-ccss/

2) Announced just yesterday, AR was another one which supposedly struck a blow to the CCSS Machine by ending its’ ties with PARCC.(See: http://governor.arkansas.gov/press-releases/detail/governors-council-on-common-core-review-makes-testing-recommendation)..only to replace it with the ACT Aspire (See: http://www.arkansasbusiness.com/article/105408/arkansas-to-pull-out-of-parcc-use-act-for-standard-tests).

ACT Aspire is used in the Career Pathways, Career Clusters, Career and Technical Education alignment to set a path for students. Again, when you peel back the surface, you’ll see just as much data mining and CCSS as with PARCC. See my fellow anti CCSS Warrior’s article about Aspire: http://ladyliberty1885.com/2014/07/02/common-core-aligned-act-replacing-tests-with-aspire/
I also wrote about ACT and their Career alignment. See: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/01/27/ftf-tuesday-iassc-universal-certification/

If you’d like to learn more about the “ACT Aspire” straight from their website, here’s the link:
http://www.discoveractaspire.org/ Just know where “Aspire” is, ACT will be and where ACT will be, so will the CCSS Machine waiting to unleash the “WorkKeys” assessment, where even more CTE and data mining wait. (I’ve got an entire set of Workkeys articles, as do some other anti CCSS Warriors. You can access mine:
https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/?s=WorkKeys+
)

Special Needs and a ‘New’ U.S. Dept. of Ed Official:

Also happening in the past day or two was Arne Duncan swore in a ‘new’ member of the U.S. Dept. of Ed team. While this may not be such epic news, we need to look beyond the headlines to see who was sworn in and what he will be responsible for. Here’s the link to the Flicker account where you’ll see Arne Duncan and Michael Yudin. (https://www.flickr.com/photos/departmentofed/sets/72157654245709205 )

So, who is he? Let’s find out. The Washington Post (on June 5th, 2015) reported Mr. Yudin had been cleared by the Senate to serve as Asst. Sec. for Special Education and Rehab Services. But, he’s been at this position since 2012. (See: http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/personnel-changes-at-us-department-of-education/2015/06/05/50c91182-0b8d-11e5-a7ad-b430fc1d3f5c_story.html ) *NOTE: look for the last paragraph of the article.

So, just who is he? The Post article said almost nothing.  I did find, however, that according the the U.S. Government’s bio of Yudkin, if it has to do with Special Education, he’s involved. If you read the entire biography you’ll notice his involvement with all kinds of education activities which we know (now) are impacted by CCSS. Also consider this, he’s been given a rubber stamp to carry on. See the entire bio: http://www.allgov.com/news/appointments-and-resignations/acting-assistant-secretary-of-education-for-special-education-and-rehabilitative-services-who-is-michael-yudin-121020?news=845999

Why or how does this tie to CCSS? Think about the ways in which the funding for the students with special needs are factored into state education budgets; how scores of parents have shared how awful anything CCSS is for their children. Then consider the following. From my article about CCSS and alignment, I was able to find this document from the NCLD (National Center for Learning Disabilities), National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD): Their website, http://www.ld.org/ , has a tab ‘Advocacy’. You’ll want to access that to see the 4 pages of policy statements the organization has on their stance in education for those with special needs. Among them?Workforce, Career Tech Readiness and Higher Education;  Competency Based Outcomes. (see: http://www.ncld.org/action-center/where-we-stand/?page=3)” (If you’d like to see the entire article:
https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/01/06/ftf-more-evidence-for-aligned-ccss-higher-education/

 

Data Mining and Teacher Assessments (by Way of AK):

I love the warriors in Alaska who fight CCSS. They are so far in distance from those of us in the lower 48, yet every bit of CCSS evidence I’ve seen from them has been tremendous.
Case in point: from their Facebook page, just yesterday, was a stark revelation about how the teachers are held under the ‘effectiveness’ microscope. We’ve seen teachers almost everywhere take a bad rap, thanks to CCSS and the CCSS Machine. The report that was shared by the AK Warriors shows the 3 levels of data mining happening to teachers.

AK assess

The image is from the Alaska Comprehensive Center website: http://alaskacc.org/node/882

Also on this site is a recent study about how the 3 levels of data is collected and used. The CCSS tie? WestEd, Linda Darling-Hammond, the Gates Foundation, the AACTE (American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education), the New Teacher Project, and others.
Get the report: aacc_teacher_quality_report

If you’d like to read my published article about the AACTE and CCSS, see:
https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/03/24/ftf-tuesday-aacte-and-common-core/

 

Closing:
Well, there you have it. Lots of news about CCSS from around the nation. I hope you’ve been able to find out something informative AND useful for your state.

Related resources:

See my article exposing even more high stakes assessment consortia across the USA. If your state backs out of SBAC or PARCC (or they were never in them) , there are others ion charge or waiting to step in. NO matter which consortia or service it is: if it’s tied to CCSS, it’ll be the same old business, just a different company.
https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/12/17/wybi-wednesday-summative-testing-task-force/

For an article I’ve published about the IEPs special students need and how CCSS is rewriting them, see: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/03/10/rmt-ccsss-present-to-special-needs/

For an article about WestEd and its ties to CCSS:
https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/03/18/wybi-the-elephant-in-the-ccss-room/

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