CTE’s Open Memo

To: All Career Tech Educational Instructors {CTE} (K-12, post-secondary in public, private, or for-profit educational institutions)

From: The Common Core Diva

CC: All anti Fed Ed Warriors, regardless of school choice

Subject: Impact of shift from academics to workforce in your workplace

Summary: Due in part from the United States federal government’s agreement with the United Nations to uphold and adhere to the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals); Congress’s legislation to create WIOA {Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act} and the STEM Act {Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math}; re-write and re-authorize both the ESEA {Elementary and Secondary Education Act} and the HEA {Higher Education Act}. ESEA is now the ESSA {Every Student Succeeds Act}, HEA remains the same..for now. Also responsible for this shift in your workplace are the P3s {Public Private Partnerships}. These P3s will be either globally active or locally active; some will be both.

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Changes You May See Now, or, Will See Soon:

1) An increase in computer training to earn digital badges or credentialed certificates thereby creating a decrease in hard copy books or instructional manuals. This is usually promoted as a way to ‘go green and save paper’. In reality, it’s a way to create a ‘life-long learning’ track of employability for you. In most instances, these courses are used for giving a teacher/leader a ‘promotion’. Ususally, these are mere lateral steps, not actual promotions. As such, you may see (or not see) your income increased. These tracks are usually professionally developed by various CCSS (Common Core State Standards) supportive groups or organizations. Because CTE IS Common Core (by a different name), your training is aligned to meet THOSE standards. Most of the time, in addition to your company’s policy for training and leadership. Teachers/Leaders, remember the Business Roundtable, several unions, and almost every major corporation have backed this shift in education from academics to workforce for years. CTE has given them the opportunity to do it in the name of ‘jobs’. Our federal government uses it as a tool to sell human diginity in exchange for a better economy.

AK assess

2) A shift you will NOT see, but is happening to you is a direct result of #1. That is data mining. Yes, your computer based training is captured, studied, and shared by countless educational groups and any other group they work with or are contracted to work with. This data, is also shared on the federal government level, as well as globally. Why? Your ‘competency’ is measured to be used against you later on. If you do not ‘teach’ well, your students do not ‘learn’ well. These 2 factors are weighed against the entire school. If a post-secondary school doesn’t measure up to the accrediting body’s standards (also directly overseen by the U.S. Dept. of Education and those post-secondary accrediation organizations it works with), funding is cut. Which means, pay cuts or lay-offs become a bigger reality.

UNdatatrack

3) CTE teacher/leader ‘incentives’  are part of the ESSA mandates for workforce-based education. On Page 17 of the Law, it is plainly stated that ALL education must be post-secondary readiness aligned as per the WIOA definition of ‘readiness’. That definition?! “Career and College Ready” (which is another name for Common Core and Career Tech Education). However, instructors, the strings by which you may earn these ‘incentives’ is hardly worth the price. Expect more monitoring of your student’s contributions in class; group based projects/group collective grades; their behaviors and attitudes (College and Career Ready calls it SEL, social emotional learning); expect that you will have to jump through more hoops than ever to be qualified to teach, but NOT how you wish to lead, but by a contrived system. As part of the re-writing of the HEA, expect more of this kind of micro-management of your schools. Consider, if your school loses accrediation for lack of credentialed leaders or enough graduates, you may be out of a job.
(Remember, as a post-secondary educational institution, public, private, or for-profit, your largest funding stream is CTE money based on students from ages 5-17, regardless of what school they attend.)

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4) How does a student become Career and College ReadyCareer Tracks!  Assessments! These do not only show up in traditional K-12th grade schools. They are present in early college programs, trade schools apprenticeships, dual enrollment, concurrent enrollment, AP courses and IB courses. All of which are accessed by ALL education choices, including home education. Any extra curricular STEM program is also part of the Career Tracking and Assessments.

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Some of the companies here love CTE and Career Pathways. They also are unabashedly supportive of CC aligned citizens.

Teachers/leaders, do not be surprised if you see an increase in the number of tests your students must take. Look out especially for the assessment called “WorkKeys”. If a student hasn’t received it in a K-12th grade institution, it may be an added requirement at your school, given upon admissions. “WorkKeys” is most definitely a Common Core/CTE alignment tool to groom students for their career tracks. These tests do not take into consideration talents or desires of students. Whatever skill -based results the WorkKeys gives, is what your student’s education will be streamlined to. Look for buzzwords like “personalized learning” or ‘personalized instruction’. These are ‘code’ for data mining, career tracking algorithms for both teacher and student.

deludeded

Questions for Reflection:
Is this why I wanted to teach? Is this how I wish to continue to teach? Will the cost of college, career schools continue to increase? If so, how much of MY tax dollars will be used? Will these dollars be used as I choose? Since I receive a portion of these tax dollars as my salary, am I okay with this shift in education?
If I stay in my teaching position, how can I fight this overreach in my school?  Is my stance helping promote this kind of governmental control to succeed, or, is there a way I can strike an effective blow?


Closing:

CTE teachers/leaders, if you have any questions, need more information, I urge you to contact me as soon as possible. I am available here, on my blog. 
commoncorediva.wordpress.com, Twitter: @commoncorediva, Facebook: Common Core Diva or U.S. Parent Call to Action

** You can also click on the highlighted words in this memo for linked and relevant articles.

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