FTF: Measure Twice, Cut Once

This old adage is great for  woodworking, but NOT for education.
This old adage is great for woodworking, but NOT for education.

Repeatedly, you have read my researched articles verifying CCSS, CTE, STEM, and all the other names of the programs, resources, or standards “Common Core” goes with. For today’s “From the Files”, I’ll show you how MORE private companies are measuring education, not once, but twice. Their aspirations? In my researched opinion, to have cookie cutter students/citizens!

 
“USA Funds” and their Measuring:

Before we look at what USA Funds does for education meddling, here’s a visual of one set of ‘tools’ they offer to measure our students.

Return on investments belong in finance. Humans should be treated with dignity.
Return on investments belong in finance. Humans should be treated with dignity.

Here’s a dead giveaway for the CCSS Machine’s involvement in education, a P3( Public Private Partnership).

Is MT the only state partnering with USA Funds?!
Is MT the only state partnering with USA Funds?!

Okay, now I have your attention, just WHO is behind, or WHAT is, USA Funds? According to their website, “In 1960 USA Funds® was founded by a group of business leaders who were concerned about the rising cost of a college education. The company was incorporated with the purpose of providing aid and support to college students from all walks of life and particularly among those who otherwise might be unable to attend college. In 1961 USA Funds guaranteed its first student loan.”  Now, fast forward to 2015 and you’ll see:
“Today USA Funds has adopted “Completion With a Purpose” as the guiding principle for its philanthropic and investment activities, supporting initiatives that are focused on transforming the higher education experience for America’s students so they are prepared for jobs in the 21st century economy.”

That “Completion With a Purpose” program? Hang on to your anti CCSS warrior hats:
4 pro CCR (college and career ready), CTE (career tech education), and/or CCSS (Common Core State Standards)  goals! a) “streamlining key education transitions”; b) “facilitating smoother pathways from campus to workplace”; c) “promoting innovative college and career preparations”; and d)“frameworks for data-driven decision making”. Now, if you are a seasoned anti CC Warrior, you picked up on the alignment buzzwords. However, if you are new to fighting CCSS, you may need a hint as to where in plain sight, the CCSS buzzwords are. They are, “streamlining”, “pathways”, “college and career prep”, and “data driven”.  If you would like to see the 4 goals and their entire descriptions, visit: http://www.usafunds.org/Pages/About.aspx There you can read the target student populations USA Funds are seeking. As with anything, any group, or any person connected to the CCSS Machine, USA Funds’ “Completion With a Purpose” is written in detail and is the theme of their 2014 Annual Report. I’ll share the document with you, but I’d like to preempt it with telling you the Report is slam full of CCR (college/career readiness), closing the ‘skills gap’, and much more. You can see how they are working hand in hand with the US Chamber of Commerce (a well known and easily identifiable member of the CCSS Machine). You can also see how they are tied with the “Jobs for America” program, also CCSS/CTE aligned to the hilt (I previously wrote about JfA and will include the link to the article at the end of this one). Lastly, you can learn how USA Funds is  supportive of outcome based/workforce driven education. Read: 2014AnnualReport

Okay, so far, we’ve learned USA Funds is CCSS supportive and as such, uses ‘tools’ like the first screen shot to ‘measure’ our students. The “Completion” Project can be considered another ‘measure’. How so? We know from the first hand accounts AND from documented research that ANYONE in the CCSS Machine’s path will be measured, assessed, and tracked via data mining. Is there more ‘measuring’ conducted by USA Funds to help churn out more ‘CCSS cookie cutter grads”? You bet there is!

 

USA Grantees:

Below are just the MAJOR grant awards USA Funds has given.
(As stated above) Jobs for America (CCR Ready)
 College Success Coaching 21st Century for 21st Century Scholars (increasing graduation rates)
Missouri Campus Collaborative (workforce ready education on a student outcome base)
US Chamber of Commerce’s Talent Supply Pipeline (to close the ‘skills gap’. I’ll provide the link to the article I wrote about the ‘talent supply’ at the close of this article)
Complete College America (deliberate career planning based on assessments/data track)
National Governors Association ‘America Works Policy’ Academies (other funding entities joining forces to support the NGA’s education/workforce linkage)
Purdue Polytechnic Indianapolis (career/college ready pathways especially geared for STEM {Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math})
Tulane University Cowen Institute Learn and Earn Career Pathways (equips those not in college or working to go on and earn a national credential for the workforce)
AACU (Association of American Colleges and Universities) Committing to Equity and Inclusion (increased student outcomes/achievement)
Prior Learning Assessments for MT Vets (assesses, then career pathways aligned to assessment)
AASCU (American Association for State Colleges and Universities) Re-Imagining First Year College (increases retention and achievement rates of freshmen students)
U.S. Conference of Mayors/USA Funds Pathways With a Purpose Initiative (competition based grants for CCR education advancement)
Education Commission of the States: States Financial Aid Redesign Project (aid recipients motivated via persistence toward completion of education. Also creates task forces to influence policies concerning performance based outcomes)
MT Tribal College Apprenticeship Initiative (gearing Native Americans for jobs to fit workforce needs; involves MT’s state Dept. of Labor)  (I’ve written about the aligned to CCSS/CTE/CCR apprenticeships before. That article will be included below with the other articles related to this one)
University Innovation Alliance (enhancing student outcomes/success) (see article below)
Central Indiana Corporate Partnership Workforce Development Initiative (aligns education and IN specific workforce needs to “address the skills gap”)
Midwestern Higher Education Compact Multi-State Collaborative on Military  Credit (involves military with Career Pathways) (Look for a related article below)
Community Health Network Nursing Academies (transforming nursing education)
Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities Adaptive Learning Initiative (personalized learning based on best practices)

Those are just the education based grants USA Funds gives out.  To read the entire descriptions of each of these above, see:
http://www.usafunds.org/PhilanthropyNationalEngagement/Pages/CurrentGrantees.aspx

They also have a section of community based grants. Warriors Against the Core, there’s more alignment to the CCSS Machine in those grants as well! See the community based groups receiving pro CCSS/CCR/CTE backer based funds from USA Funds:
http://www.usafunds.org/PhilanthropyNationalEngagement/Pages/Partnerships.aspx

What does all this prove? Massive amounts of money funneled through one group to impact entire states, regions, and communities…and ALL for Common Core alignment through P3s!

USA Funds also has career alignment for the ‘disconnected youth’. As far as the ‘college value’ where our students of all ages are concerned? Among the grant recipients included are the US Chamber of Commerce Foundation, American Institutes of Research(AIR), Gallup, U S National Skills Coalition (see below for their article), and others! See:
http://www.educationvalue.org/grantees/ 

As far as the value of our students college education, the screen shot below will show you how USA Funds feels each state’s ROI (Return on Investment) should look.

To see the rest of the wheel: http://www.educationvalue.org/college-value/
To see the rest of the wheel:
http://www.educationvalue.org/college-value/

When you visit the above page, notice how this ties to the U.S. Dept. of Ed’s College Scorecards and data mining/sharing.

Related articles:

1) To learn how apprenticeships are being aligned by the CCSS Machine:
https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/02/12/tech-thursday-aligned-apprentices/
2) The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s “Talent Supply Pipeline”:
https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/05/22/fom-chambers-pot-of-lies-for-ccss/
2a) https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/11/19/wybi-wednesday-flying-minds-common-core/
3) U.S National Skills Coalition:
https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/06/07/rmt-halting-a-ccsscte-aligned-workforce/
4) Military and CCSS:
https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/04/16/tech-thursday-common-core-military-special/
5) University Innovation Alliance and others seen above or ones you learn about by investigating the USA Funds grant awardees:
https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/04/22/wybi-ccss-supporter-profiling-higher-ed-degrees/

I don't know about you, but I do NOT wish to see cookie cutter graduates!
I don’t know about you, but I do NOT wish to see cookie cutter graduates!

 

 

 

 

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