Category Archives: Riddle Me This Sunday

Anti CC Warrior Action Update

Join us tonight from 9 pm to 11 pm to let your outrage against CCSS Machine be felt in D.C.!
Join us tonight from 9 pm to 11 pm to let your outrage against CCSS Machine be felt in D.C.!

Anti CCSS Warriors! Time is our friend today. We’ve still got some hours let to contact Congress before the Senate picks up where it left off on Thursday with the ‘Every Child Achieves Act’. We’ve known it’s a war, but the punches pulled this weekend to try to deter us from the pro CCSS side have been many. However, our powerful messages have also been seen, felt, and heard. With so much at stake, neither side is willing to back down. We must stand firm!

The above screen shot is from a few days ago. Last night’s figures were well over 7,000 tweets strong to D.C. Congratulations, warriors! We have a fresh day today to make that number go even higher AND a Patriot Network Anti CCSS Rally tonight from 9 pm to 11 pm, Eastern Time.

If you’d like to track the anti CC outrage for yourselves, be sure to use the following PJNET page: http://patriotjournalist.com/Tracking.php?Seq=56 (*NOTE: you’ll need to reload the page to get the absolute latest information)

You can also retweet every previously sent message! That also sends even more ire to D.C.! Just use the numbered tabs at the bottom of the “Action” page. Action page, ICYMI:
http://patriotjournalist.com/CommonCoreAction.php?v=6

 

The Pro CC Side’s Barrage:

Why am I bringing their side up? Some of our most effective information tactics can be found in the rhetoric from their propaganda. How? Think about it, most everything the pro CC side has dished up to us for a long time now, has sounded like it’s all from the same person…no matter how many different supporters you find.  The truth, however, has much power! Yes, it needs to be repeated, but since it is the truth, it won’t sound like a worn out recording. So, that said, let’s look at the biggest ‘info’ barrage messages the pro side gave us during the past few days:

1) From the Education and Workforce Committee’s Twitter page, comes this supportive message for more ‘Core’:
edworkhr5

Rep. Mike Bishop shared the above and called it ‘one step closer to fixing NCLB’. Rep. Bishop is from Michigan.

How, we, the anti CCSS Warriors can use this? As a visual, show how inaccurate this is! As a verbal or written message? Think about how if House members are calling HR5 ‘one step closer’, know the Senate’s mindset is the same. Knowing that you can express how Every Child Achieves is, in fact, not one step closer to fixing anything in education!

2) From the Sec. of Education, July 7th’s message to the world:

A 'stain'?! Is is kidding any of us?
A ‘stain’?! Is is kidding any of us?

How, we, the Anti CCSS Warriors can use this one, is simply this. Use all the facts we have to show where the inequalities of a CCSS education are!

3) From the Network for Public Education, as seen Saturday, July 11th:

NPE has come out in support of ECAA.
NPE has come out in support of ECAA.

The article being referred to? This link will take you to it:
 http://dianeravitch.net/2015/07/11/network-for-public-education-offers-qualified-endorsement-of-every-child-achieves-act/


How, we, the Anti CCSS warrior can use this to ‘fire ire to D.C.’ over the ECAA?

Well, for starters, know that there’s more to the story.
Back in May 2015, I published an article that surrounded Sen. Tester’s amendment about assessments and how NPE was backing it. This is important NOW, so take a few minutes are read it. I want to you to connect the dots on your own.

See: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/05/26/ftf-ccss-testing-bill-maybe-maybe-not/ (*NOTE: Sen. Tester’s amendment has since been voted to be part of the ECAA. You will see I refer to HR5, as well. HR5 is brought up, only as a comparison, since at that point in time, it was to be voted upon first.)


Related resources to further illustrate the toxic ties between one of the ECAA’s leaders and one of NPE’s leaders:
a) Anita Hoge’s documentation tying Sen. Alexander and Ms. Ravitch, NPE’s co-founder.
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B6zikOSdV-TAZHZSVmxUWUlmakE/view?pli=1

b) My previously published article about the CTE  Conference where Ravitch was a featured speaker. Also included in this particular article is the U.S. Vice President, organized unions, and MORE! (*NOTE: CTE, Career and Technical Education, aka post-secondary CCSS, which has been shown up in elementary grades, too)
https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/11/16/rmt-vp-unions-career-tech-and-common-core/

c) The ACTE (Association for Career and Technical Education) has a priority list out for any federal legislation (HR5, Student Success Act;  ECAA, Every Child Achieves Act; HEA, Higher Education Act; and the CPA, College Promise Act). Those priorities? Embed CTE in every one of these so that America would be:
“Ensuring all students have access to high-quality CTE programs in high schools and post-secondary institutions o building a strong system of CTE around the country, which should begin early in a student’s education with career awareness and broad knowledge and then build pathways to more specific career-readiness skills through connections among secondary and postsecondary education and the labor market.
To support the notion of a strong system of CTE around the country and access for all, ensure that the Perkins Act remain primarily a formula grant designed to support all CTE programs that are willing to make a commitment to high levels of quality and continuous program improvement.”
(*NOTE: this priority list was not released this weekend, it’s been out for a while. You can see the entire document: 
http://www.acteonline.org/uploadedFiles/Assets_and_Documents/Global/files/Policy/Perkins_%20Priorities_Final.pdf)

Closing:

I’ve shared all the above, so that we can see just how deceptive the pro CCSS side has been. If we are resisting Common Core and its Machine, we MUST know exactly where those who are supporting it stand. We’ve known they will stoop to all levels of deceiving us. However, we must press on. We have the truth! We must protect our students, teachers, and families!

Our purpose this weekend is clear: influence the Senate with as MUCH truth about the illegally based CC Standards;  the inappropriate education continued in ECAA and all related bills; and how, we, the citizens will NOT STAND FOR THIS!

 

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RMT: The Other Side of the ESEA Battle?!

One set of voices urges Congress to save our children; one set of voices urges Congress to correct proposed legislation.
One set of voices urges Congress to save our children; one set of voices urges Congress to correct proposed legislation.

Good Warrior Day to you, anti CCSS fighters. We’ve been gearing up for a ‘showdown’ so to speak for months now over HR5, S1177, and  other proposed CCSS/CTE laced legislative bills before Congress in Washington. It’s down to the wire. The voting surrounding most of these is set to possibly happen in a couple of days.

While those of us fighting to END the newer versions of the ESEA (Elementary and Secondary Education Act), there are those pushing to FIX the newer versions! No, this fact isn’t new news, but what is new, is the amount of fervor on the ‘fix it’, ‘get it right’, or that other pro CCSS aspect; the ‘pass it now!’ groups.
We’ve seen the #StopECAA, #StopCommonCore, and other Twitter handles used to raise awareness for the HOW and WHY our education system needs to be set free from the illegally based CCSS. We know how often those social media outlets (and many others related) are shared in an effort to get all anti CCSS warriors in the game. Case and point, today, many anti CCSS warriors will be active in the efforts to STOP Congress.

Many of our fellow anti CCSS warriors have exposed those from the ‘pass it now’ group of pro CCSS sections, but have we really looked at the ‘fix it’ sector? I think we should.

#getESEAright:

It appears this Twitter handle is related to the NEA (National Educators Association). Specifically an offshoot of their 2015 Conference going on now. (another riddle for today could be ‘Why is the NEA 2015 Conference so conveniently scheduled before a huge voting issue in the U.S. Congress?’ However, I’m digressing with that query.) It’s important to note that the NEA is very supportive of the CCSS Machine. (see:
http://www.nea.org/home/46653.htm)

Here’s a screen shot for youas proof of the Twitter page and its related group:
getright

So, what are some of the ‘getting it right’ parts of ESEA?

According to these attendees of the NEA2015:
One conference attendee’s tweet, “All Kentucky students deserve an opportunity to learn and be successful!”

A member from NY, “Please speak up for students to #getESEAright. The Every Child Achieves Act is a good start.” (this same person said the ESEA is ‘standing up’ for students)

Here’s a visual from another ‘tweet’:

gtrightpic2

From NC, where I live, comes this picture of an unknown person. This particular picture was used as a way to influence the elected officials this went to. If you live in NC, you know these officials voting records concerning CCSS and/or education.

adamssupport

The AFT (American Federation of Teachers) is gathering at least 10,000 letters to the U.S. Senate in support of the ESEA, so far not quite 2, 500 have been sent. If you’d like to see the letter, https://actionnetwork.org/letters/pass-the-every-child-achieves-act

Believe me, there’s much more on this particular Twitter page.

One point I must stress however, is this:
While most of the sentiment is correct that the versions of the ESEA on the table need to be overhauled, the danger is in the rhetoric of just WHAT needs correction. If you look at the above evidence, note what’s been generalized..what’s taught. It seems the ONLY specific this ‘get it right’ group is after is ending the testing, or ending the ‘teaching to the test’.

While these are worthy goals, the overall CCSS/CTE alignment is completely UNSPOKEN! CCSS/CTE is SO toxic to our education we MUST not leave any portion OUT when seeking change! To do so, is to not protect our students and teachers ENOUGH.

If we aren’t specific about ending CCSS/CTE alignment how can we expect Congress to abandon it?!

One last visual you need to see, as an anti CCSS Warrior:

If you don't know what groups NASBE holds allegiance to, here's my previously published article exposing Gates, Pearson, and other key CCSS Machine members. https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/02/14/sic-em-saturday-do-you-know-nasbe/
If you don’t know what groups NASBE holds allegiance to, here’s my previously published article exposing Gates, Pearson, and other key CCSS Machine members. (see below)

https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/02/14/sic-em-saturday-do-you-know-nasbe/
This one lays out the money and agenda

https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/03/27/fom-the-ccssos-hungry-eyes/
This one lays out the agenda and ties to the NGA (National Governors Assoc.) and the CCSSO (Council of Chief State School Officers)

What’s also being left unsaid is how all of this is tied to the overhauling of the HEA (Higher Education Act) and the overhauling of the Zero to Three Year Olds.

(*NOTE: CCSS/CTE are heavily laced in the HEA! I just published a huge article yesterday on how the CCSS/CTE agenda is being geared for the little ones.) 

We, as anti CCSS warriors and citizens only have today to fight. We’ve not a clue if we’ll be blessed with a tomorrow.

We’ve ONE ‘shot’ to make our voices heard. We’ve ONE opportunity to expose our Congress members to the TOTAL array of CCSS/CTE issues laced in ALL the education proposed legislation. We’ve not time to pick and choose parts of CCSS/CTE to hold on to, or to see improved. Common Core/Career and Tech Education is ALL illegally based, untested, not educator based, and UNACCEPTABLE!

After much research, time, and effort: my 2014 jpeg creation showing CCSS is preK to post-secondary.
After much research, time, and effort: my 2014 jpeg creation showing CCSS is preK to post-secondary.

Super Sunday: For the Guy Anti CCSS Warriors

Warrior Dads, like our Warrior Moms, are SO important to our battle for education sans the CCSS Machine.
Warrior Dads, like our Warrior Moms, are SO important to our battle for education sans the CCSS Machine.

Greetings on this Sunday. The “Riddle Me This” usual Sunday article is taking a short time out to give a BIG hat tip to all our Dad anti CCSS warriors out there. We “Warriors Against the CCSS Machine” are even more effective when we have Dads covering our every move. Likewise, they are even more effective when we Moms cover them. Join me in saying “Thanks” to these true gentlemen….

Dads Against Common Core:

This Facebook page is about 1,000 folks strong. From their photo album it appears the group’s page began in 2013. If you’re a Dad fighting this awful mess and are interested in joining DACC, here’s the link to their page.
https://www.facebook.com/DadsAgainstCommonCore/timeline

DACC's cover photo on Facebook.
DACC’s cover photo on Facebook.

Dads in Other Groups:

There are MANY other Dads out there fighting for their spouses, children, and communities in an effort to be free of anything Common Core related. Too many groups to mention by each of their names, but I know you know where these Dads are.

To the ones who daily write to keep our cause visible, I say ‘Keep going!’, we need you.

To the Dads who march, protest, or otherwise make their voices heard in public, I say ‘Tremendous job!’, thank you for shouting out.

To the Dads who are the behind the scenes warriors, I say ‘You rock!’, there is NO way some of us Mom warriors could do what we do in the fight if you weren’t standing there. These would be the Dads like my husband. He is against the CCSS Machine, he works for an institution embroiled in the midst of the post-secondary world of CCSS/CTE (Career and Technical Education). In spite of the ties, he stays there to make a quiet stand against all that mocks our nation. He is supportive in the fact that day in and day out,  I have what I need to serve you. No, you won’t see him in public as much as I am; no you won’t hear him speak out much; no, he won’t be writing my articles. But know this, if I’m seen; if I’m writing; or if I’m speaking out, it is because he’s got my back.
These types of Dads, in my opinion, are the unsung ‘Captains’ in our anti CCSS ‘army’. 

Thanks, Dads. America needs you. Stay strong, stay healthy, continue to be a student’s hero, and most of all stay anti CCSS!

You are so worth fighting for, my fellow anti CCSS warriors. Let's continue to do this for our students!
You are so worth fighting for, my fellow anti CCSS warriors. Let’s continue to do this for our students!

RMT: Halting a CCSS/CTE aligned Workforce?

CCSS/CTE/CCR/Career Pathways/Career Clusters/Aligned Apprentices = Epic Fail for America!
CCSS/CTE/CCR/Career Pathways/Career Clusters/Aligned Apprentices = Epic Fail for America!

To the Warriors against the ‘Core’, we’ve learned over and over that the CCSS Machine has many parts to it. Those parts include Career Clusters, Career Pathways, the American Apprenticeship Initiative, Career and Technical Education, and the  Common  Core Standards (which encompass every subject, including the Arts and PE).

One of the biggest parts of the Machine? That would be the amount of legislation expressly written to protect the embedding of all this illegally based education reform!

To date one of the most important pieces of this type of legislation is the (already passed as  a law in 2014 on the federal level) WIOA. Also known as the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act. The other key pieces of federal level CCSS Machine protecting legislative moves are the re-authorizations of the ESEA/NCLB (HR5, which has had a name change every time we turn around) and the HEA (Higher Education Act).

So What’s the Riddle, Today?:

As you know, each Sunday, I have a riddle for you. So what’s today’s based on the topic thus far? Can we halt the WIOA’s overreach in any way? Let’s find out.

Scores of articles (several are available right here on my blog; just use the ‘search bar’.) have been written; interviews recorded; documents uncovered (with the express purpose of exposing the vast amount of CCSS/CTE/Career Clusters/Career Pathways, etc.) as proof of the embedded and planned course to reshape America starting with education. In the past, the message had been somewhat marginalized.

However, it appears the message is gaining a wider voice and many citizens are recognizing action MUST be taken to save our nation!..beginning with education. You see, the trail of the CCSS Machine STARTS at the child care years and steamrolls all the way to career-land. No educational choice will be respected, no citizen left unscathed by the time the full impact of the WIOA, HR5, and HEA are felt…IF left as is, in their current forms!  I’ve inserted 3 visuals below to illustrate my points.

An aligned collective community?! Is this really what CCSSO has begun? Common Core is entrenched in this, folks.
The Initiative named above is connected to the CCSSO (Council of Chief State School Officers) by way of KnowledgeWorks.

The visual below shows what parts of WIOA are already in play to ‘align and mine’ student/workforce data. What’s not in the visual is the language stating how this information pipeline will ‘marry’ with SLDS (Student Longitudinal Data System).

Click to enlarge to see which round your state receive 'align and mine' money. IF you do not see a color on your state, you've not been awarded money yet.
Much like RtTT, states have been awarded incentive money for the WIOA data pipeline.

The 3rd visual is an old one, but is very fitting as to the success of the CCSS Machine’s efforts in WIOA. What’s the ‘secret’? P3s! Public private partnerships. They’ve invested millions of dollars on lobbying for WIOA and advertising it as ‘a good thing’.

P3s, education's nightmare in friendly form.
P3s, education’s nightmare in friendly form.

So, the Answer to Our Riddle?:

Continue to HELP spread the message that WIOA is bad news! That HR5 and HEA are terrible moves!

One of the ways in which you can impact WIOA is to contact your federal level Congress members IMMEDIATELY!

Another way is to use any ‘public comment’ window the federal levels open up. These ‘windows’ are announced; this is true. However, if you don’t know these announcements have been made, how can we participate? We’ve seen this type of move made before by the CCSS Machine and anything connected to its viability.

Currently the U.S. Dept. of Ed has one for WIOA (it is only open until the 15th of June 2015). I’m providing the information below so you CAN share it, respond to it, and be ‘on the record’ as an anti CCSS Warrior.

Here’s the information release (notice no date appears as to when this released was posted) about the public comment window becoming available:
http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/osers/rsa/wioa-reauthorization.html#nprm

Here’s a blog entry I found announcing the public comment window’s time period and supposed changes:
http://www.ed.gov/edblogs/osers/2015/04/osers-seeks-public-comment-on-proposed-rules-to-implement-workforce-innovation-and-opportunity-act/

What the U.S. Dept of Ed isn’t sharing about WIOA is just how embedded in CCSS/CTE the law really is. For that side of the truth, you’ll need facts. Below are some related resources I urge you to dig into.

Related Resources:

From the “Prevent Common Core” website, 3 articles:
1) An article about the skewing of our communities via CCSS/CTE, http://preventcommoncore.com/?p=1247

2) A pair of articles detailing WIOA and it’s toxic underbelly, http://preventcommoncore.com/?p=1187 and http://preventcommoncore.com/?p=1201

3) From “Women on the Wall” Sound Cloud channel, these audio archives:
a) Robin Eubanks on WIOA: https://soundcloud.com/alice-linahan/women-on-the-wall-conference-call-with-robin-eubanks-who-is-kagan

b) My interview on HEA and how HR5 and WIOA are a trinity of gloom for our nation:
https://soundcloud.com/alice-linahan/women-on-the-wall-with-lynne-taylor-on-hea-higher-education-act

c) a playlist of 5 more related audio archives featuring Anita Hoge, Dr. Jessica Anderson and others is also needed ‘anti CCSS ammo’). See: https://soundcloud.com/alice-linahan/women-on-the-wall-with-lynne-taylor-on-hea-higher-education-act/sets
Another interview I gave was with Tamara Scott on the connections between HR5, HEA, and WIOA. Listen in: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JDboNzTM_Jc&list=PLEmQgGVFLx6b9vM_JLa35jrHHlI7xB4nZ&index=1

A Final Key Answer We Need for Our Riddle:

If you’ve not found the above resources to be helpful in why we should halt WIOA’s/CCSS Machine moves, here’s one which I hope will be a deciding factor for you. From the National Skills Coalition, a pdf titled ” Aligned by Design: WIOA and Career and Technical Education”. Key phrases to look for in your state’s legislation: ‘unified plan’; ‘combined plan’. Get the ‘plans’: 2015-06-Aligned-by-Design-WIOA-and-CTE

Please, read the PDF as well as the other related resources BEFORE you make any public comments! We have a short time span to make a HUGE impact.

Legislative sessions across America are embracing Workforce.
Legislative sessions across America are embracing Workforce.

RMT: 2015, So Far (A Look Back)

We've got the sight set for wiping out CCSS!
We’ve got the sight set for wiping out CCSS!

CCSS Warriors: It’s the last day of May. School is winding down for some of us. Have you had a great year? So far, in 2015, we’ve seen some small victories; learned much truth; and seen the CCSS Machine continue to crank out propaganda. Marking the beginning of final month of the first half of 2015, all this week, I’ll be looking back at how far we’ve come, so we can continue to plan ahead.

 RMT (Riddle Me This) Posts: The Central Point:

From 2014, when I first began to blog, until today, the Riddle Me This articles have spanned a wide array of Common Core related topics. My very first RMT was an open invitation, to you my readers/followers to ask a question about anything related to Common Core. Since then, I’ve been able to share with you many answers. I thank each of you for your continued trust in my fact based research. From that very first post, here’s the riddle I gave as an example:

     Example: “Dear Riddler, According to the 2009 Stimulus bill, which is a big part of the backstory to CC,

Stimulus $$ established $48.3 million on SLDS, Student Longitudinal Data System, (included post-secondary/workforce as well as technology assistance and evaluation). Two hundred million was used for Improving Education under Title 4, NCLB.  School Improvement (including tech & needs for homeless students under Title II of NCLB) got $720 million. IDEA (covers disabilities for ages 3-21), $12.2 billion. Education for the disadvantaged (Title 1), $13 billion (included taking corrective actions and restructuring NCLB)  Innovation Fund (aka “Whatever Works”), $650 million (it’s a new fund with the purpose of achieving academic excellence. A big stipulation, MUST establish a partnership with a private business or a philanthropic foundation. As part of the Stimulus $$, non public students & teachers MUST be included via Title 1, part A, Title 2, part D (includes education & technology) and IDEA, part B.
Enter Race to the Top with $4.35 billion (aka State Incentive Grants) Stipulations: teacher equity, launch SLDS, enhance quality standards & assessments, support struggling schools under NCLB. 
When you factor in in this stipulation, it is the momentum that helped spur the CC Machine into overdrive. Remember, the Stimulus $$ was placed in the states’ pockets back in 2009. ICYDK, Gates (as in Bill Gates & Microsoft) had married business in education back in 2004 when he signed the “Cooperation Agreement” with UNESCO to create a ‘master curriculum’. (Berit Kjos’ wonderfully researched blog article/printed booklet delves into this topic. If you do not have this resource, you should.) See the entire post: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/08/31/riddle-me-this-ill-tell-you-that-sunday/

RMT, So Far in 2015:

Some of the most viewed topics covered have been:
January‘s:  “Benchmark Education”; requests for speaking out against the re-authorization of the ESEA (aka HR5)which was revisited at least 2 more times before the end of May 2015; a focus on CT’s Common Core thanks to a reader tip. Both  of these are evidence there are many topics and sub-topics to the CCSS.
February‘s: how CCSS was connected to the Super Bowl; a focused look at a lesser known CCSS tied educational group.
In March, we learned how the Arts, especially a musical program have been aligned to CCSS. A connected article about the Humanities’ alignment followed in April. We also took the CCSS Warrior Checkup seriously, so we can be the best anti CCSS warrior possible.
April‘s top post dealt with  how the Catholic Church has its own Common Core Initiative. The update of the Techocratic’s move to reform America via CCSS was also a big hit.
May found us not only sharing our top 3 words to describe our loathing of CCSS and the CCSS Machine, but taking an in-depth look at AdvancED’s ties to CCSS
On Sundays, so far this year we’ve also heavily questioned why so much of the educational deck of cards appears to be stacked in CCSS’s favor. I can’t wait to see what the rest of our Sundays together for the balance of 2015 will bring us.
Note: Each day this week; I’ll be sharing similar information about the themes of each day and the results so far. As we continue to uncover evidence and share it, our warrior like skills will continue to be sharpened. Don’t forget: you have CCSS riddles, so ask them! Together, we’ll find the answers!

Remember, the reasons we fight Common Core are OUR STUDENTS, OUR TEACHERS, OUR STATES, and OUR COUNTRY.

The CCSS Machine has left us hanging. We, the anti CCSS warriors will NOT leave our country in this shape!
The CCSS Machine has left us hanging. We, the anti CCSS warriors, will NOT leave our country in this shape!

RMT: What Say You, Anti CCSS Warriors?

CCSS Machine: hear us roar!
CCSS Machine: hear us roar!

This Memorial Day Weekend: Join the other anti Common Core Warriors at #my3anticcswords OR #myanticcswords (on Twitter). All weekend (from Saturday to Monday) we’re collecting each other’s words (can be 3 word phrases or simply the 3 most appropriate words you can use to describe your feelings towards Common Core.

Maybe you’ve discovered that you’re not in favor of the birth to pre-K educational alignment to Common Core. Maybe it’s the post-secondary realm of education you can’t stand seeing aligned to Common Core. No matter where you are on the spectrum..

YOUR WORDS ARE VITAL.

Why?? After this weekend is over, everyone will have some great ‘ammo’ to use with their local legislators and/or those who represent us in D.C. This is urgent because both the re-authorization for elementary/secondary AND post-secondary bills (HR5 and HEA) are due to be voted on (pro CCSS side is almost certain they’ll win) before the fall of 2015!.

WE MUST BE HEARD!

Why only 3 words? We want our message  to be sharp. We want our words to be few and direct. We don’t have much time for long speeches. We must be quick, precise, and powerful. We are citizens of the United States of America. We don’t stand for tyranny..especially when it comes to our students, no matter how young or old. All students in American deserve an education that isn’t based on lies, indoctrination, and knowledge ‘less than’. I can think of no better way to honor those who’ve served our nation than to use our patriotic mindset to stand and fight for our freedom in this

WAR AGAINST COMMON CORE.

If you don’t use Twitter, that’s fine. Leave your 3 words here and I’ll make sure they get to those who need it most.

Thank you, warriors for participating.

Thank you, citizens for wanting to see our educational system to be the best it can be, not sub-par.

Thank you, all for being American-minded. Three words, five minutes of your time (estimated length of time you’ll need to share your powerful words), and an everlasting impact.

RMT: Connected to the Core?

AdvancED leading NC straight to more CCSS.
AdvancED leading NC straight to more CCSS.

Today’s “Riddle Me This” is all about a new effort accredited by AdvancED (so CCSS friendly it’s downright shameful) and growing in NC. We’ll also delve into which other states are involved.

The Context:

Many of us who are fighting CCSS, have already been able to connect the dots between AdvancED and CCSS. However, I know many of us may need a refresher OR may be so new to fighting CCSS, they haven’t made the connection. To help you establish what AdvancED does, here’s an excerpt from my guest post I wrote on LadyLiberty1185’s blog in mid 2014: AdvancEd is an online company dedicated to helping your school be the best. Just look at their Common Core Standards page. My personal ‘favorite’ is the reinvention of the report card into digital badges. Read it for yourself. Note: the author is from NASA — as in the guys who went to the moon.” Access the report:  http://www.advanc-ed.org/source/reinventing-report-card
If you’d like to read the entire article on Lady’s site, http://ladyliberty1885.com/2014/07/07/guest-post-common-core-in-charters-private-homeschools/

Here’s what AdvancED has to say about themselves: “AdvancED is the largest community of education professionals in the world. We are a non-profit, non-partisan organization that conducts rigorous, on-site external reviews of PreK-12 schools and school systems to ensure that all learners realize their full potential. While our expertise is grounded in more than a hundred years of work in school accreditation, AdvancED is far from a typical accrediting agency. Our goal isn’t to certify that schools are good enough. Rather, our commitment is to help schools improve.”

What you need to know about AdvancED:
1) They fully support the re-authorization of ESEA (as in the HR5 federal legislation).

2) To support their position of the re-authorization, their report on ‘Diagnostic Review’ explains how they will use school data to an extreme. Get the report: Diagnostic-Review

3) In AdvancED’s latest Annual Report, the non profit shared many vital details we, as anti CCSS warriors need. FYI, the organization is worth over $16 million dollars and is purposed to reinvested everything into continuing to change education. Get the report: AE-AnnualReport2013-14

4) Partners of AdvancED include quite an extensive list of faith-based schools as well as State Boards of Education. Partners link: http://www.advanc-ed.org/services/partnerships State Boards link: http://www.advanc-ed.org/services/state-departments-education (*Note: among the State Boards is CCSSO, as in the Council of Chief State School Officers–you know, half owner of the copyright to Common Core Standards)

The New Push:

Now that you have that information, here’s how AdvancEd is pushing their CCSS support into NC via a ‘new’ school….

Called “North Carolina Connections Academy” (website: http://www.connectionsacademy.com/north-carolina-virtual-school/home.aspx) How did I discover this new school? I received a colorful flyer in my regular mail. The big banner at the top of the mailer states that the school is a ‘tuition-free virtual public school’. All the in-person, ‘get-to-know-all-about-us’ meetings are held in nearby locations (here in NC). However, the return mailing address gives me a Maryland location. Hhmm….not surprised. Here’s the website address for the home office in MD (it’s called “Connections Education, LLC”): http://www.connectionseducation.com/

Because it's virtual, this school can reach anywhere--any state, country, or school which is willing to sign up.
Because it’s virtual, this school can reach anywhere–any state, country, or school which is willing to sign up.

 

The first clue to CCSS allegiance is ‘public school’. Virtual public schools in NC are still rather new, therefore, not totally understood. Here’s an excerpt from an article by UNC’s WUNC. “The General Assembly required last year that the state create a four-year pilot program for two virtual charter schools. Only two schools applied: North Carolina Virtual Academy, run by K12 Inc.; and Connections Academy, to be managed by Connections Education.” (entire article: http://wunc.org/post/virtual-charter-schools-coming-nc)

The second clue is the curricula publishers list. (Pearson, MacGraw-Hill, and many others) Every page of this “NC” school has Pearson’s logo of “Always Learning” at the bottom.

The third clue: Talent Networks (includes STEM)

The Board of Directors:

It won't take long to research how each of these people are connected to CCSS.
It won’t take long to research how each of these people are connected to CCSS.

“Connections Education” was a 2013 “Best Places to Work” winner. See: http://www.connectionsacademy.com/news/ce-named-among-2013-best-places-to-work

Pearson’s Connection Education is not only in NC, but the following locations:
International Connections Academy, AZ, CA, CO, FL, GA, IA, ID, IN, KS, LA, MA, ME, MI, MN, NM, NV, OH, OK, OR, PA, SC, TX, UT, WI, and WY. Here’s the link to see what the names of the schools are (most are the state’s name followed by “Connections Academy”, however, “Nexus” and a couple of other names are used as smoke screens): http://www.connectionsacademy.com/online-school/availability

The Pearson run entity also offers CTE (Career Tech Ed) courses, so those Career Clusters/Pathways can occur in the virtual student’s life as it does in the students’ lives in the brick and mortar schools. (look under the ‘curriculum’ page for proof).

Of course, with Pearson in charge, you know your student’s information will be data mined all over the globe.
See a related news announcement: http://www.connectionslearning.com/connections-learning/news/advanced-academics-acquisition.aspx

Closing:

While it’s no secret how tied to CCSS North Carolina is, I do wonder if the NC General Assembly did their digging into finding out what organization is behind Connections Academy before they approved the educational experiment with not only our students, but, our tax dollars. If you live in NC, pass this information to your legislator. IF you live in any of the states listed above, share this with your legislators. Hold them accountable! No CCSS in our states MEANS No CCSS, CTE, CCR, or other sly rebrand, rename dreamed up.

RMT: Have You Heard of the CCCII?

cathcomm

Happy Sunday, anti CCSS Warriors! Today’s “Riddle Me This” topic is one an avid reader of my blog asked me to look into. This mom is an active person in her child’s school. Her child was reading their faith formation guide when they stumbled across the words ‘rigourous’, ‘rigor’, and ‘assessments’. As she stated, ‘all clues’ to what she hoped wouldn’t be true. That CCSS had been inserted.
She sent me the link where I was able to get the screen shot you see above. Be sure to enlarge the shot. In the event you aren’t able to, I’ll share below what is so vital to see.

The emblem you see belongs to the National Catholic Educational Association (http://www.ncea.org/my-interests) “NCEA is the largest private professional education organization in the world.” 

The NCEA:
“NCEA guides Catholic schools on the path to educational excellence through ongoing initiatives such as the Common Core Catholic Identity Initiative (CCCII), and the New Directions Initiative. Our research efforts consistently highlight the strengths and benefits of Catholic education and emphasize the importance of strong Catholic identity.” 
NCEA also offers professional development for teachers in the Catholic schools.
Below is the NCEA’s promotional video. Watch careful and you’ll see the Pearson Publishing booth at an NCEA Convention.

Here’s the screen shot of the NCEA Partners. The website address to see the entire list is included.
nceapartners

Here’s an excerpt from their position paper on Common Core, “Catholic schools have a long-standing commitment to academic excellence that is rooted in the faith based mission of Catholic education. The Common Core State Standards in no way compromise the Catholic identity or educational program of a Catholic school. The Common Core State Standards initiative, begun in 2007, is a state-led, bipartisan effort that is not a requirement for participation in the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB) or any other federallyfunded program, and there are no mandates for any Catholic school to follow any federal rules if they adopt the Common Core. Adoption of the Common Core is voluntary; individual states, Catholic dioceses and other private schools make their own decisions about whether to adopt the standards. The Common Core State Standards are a set of high-quality academic expectations that all students should master by the end of each grade level. The standards establish consistent learning goals for all students that focus on preparing them to succeed in college and careers in a globally competitive workplace. The standards define and clearly communicate grade-specific goals and inform parents about learning outcomes, making it easier for parents to collaborate with teachers in helping their children achieve success.” If you’d like to read the entire position paper, http://www.ncea.org/sites/default/files/documents/ncea_commoncorestatestandards_053113.pdf

The CCCII (http://cici-online.org/):

cccii

As stated above, CCCII stands for ‘Common Core Catholic Identity Initiative’. *NOTE: As part of the NCEA’s accountability aspect, assessments that are standardized, both state and nationally, are used. All kinds of data is collected for use not only for NCEA, but federally, too. Among the data, students who are considered Title One. As we know, the re-authorization of ESEA (the current Student Success Act, HR5) would greatly impact any school receiving Title One funding. To access the data page on the NCEA website, http://www.ncea.org/data-information/catholic-school-data I found their statement concerning HR5 on their ‘public policy’ page. See: http://www.ncea.org/data-information/public-policy


So what does the CCCII look like? Here’s the promo video:

Did you hear that?! Wow, if you are like my reader who asked me to look into this, I hope you will respond with truth about CCSS to the NCEA!

From the ‘white paper’ about CCCII’s success with CCSS, The Reality of Implementing the Standards: As part of the conference, one diocese explained its experience with the Common Core outlining the process from curriculum alignment and professional development to the assessment and results based on the Common Core Standards. The journey was three years in the making.
In year one, emphasis was placed on instructional shifts, preserving Catholic identity, and building the capacity of instructional leaders and the understanding of teachers. This included professional development for principals and teachers through various modalities. The other component for its first year was the creation of English-Language Arts and Mathematics unit plans. In year two, instructional specialists were engaged to provide a multitude of resources and to help capture the work of the Common Core Catholic Identity Initiative. The two challenges were getting teachers to shift from using the textbook as a curriculum to using the textbook as a resource and aligning four Mathematics textbooks as a resource to the unit plans and standards.
In its third year, there was a new form of assessment that used different types of questions to assess student academic progress. In preparing for the new assessments, interim assessments that were aligned to the Common Core were implemented, as well as an increase in the instructional time for Mathematics. Based on its experience, it was recognized that the Common Core challenges included:
• deconstructing the standards
• reviewing all materials for Catholic appropriateness
• funding and time for quality professional development
• differentiating professional development for schools and teachers that are now at different places along the transition continuum
• meaningful use of the assessment results to improve teaching and learning.” To read the entire 4 page report, http://cici-online.org/resources/articles-research/130-common-core-and-diocesan-catholic-school-leadership-white-paper

Related resources:

The ELA Rubric: cici-unit-review-rubric-form-rev-08-20-2014 When you access this document, read the fine print at the bottom of the page. “EngageNY” is the CCSS laden NY state level board of education.

A Summative Assessment “Mini Lesson”http://cici-online.org/images/Resources/Section-1-Mini-Lessons/CCCII-Mini-Lesson-Assessment.pdfThe letter to settle a CCCII disturbance: http://www.ncea.org/sites/default/files/documents/cccii_superintendent_letter_15oct13.pdf


A pep talk about implementing the Standards so your Catholic school can be a Blue Ribbon School (U.S. Dept. of Ed ‘honor’): http://www.ncea.org/department-news/implementing-your-strategic-plan

The precursor to today’s article was last Saturday’s expose about CAPE, of which NCEA is a member ofhttps://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/04/18/sic-em-saturday-grab-a-cape-ccss-warriors/

One last thing:
That New Directions Initiative mentioned above in the paragraph describing NCEA? Oh, that’s all about blended learning! Here’s just one of the workshops NCEA has on it: http://www.ncea.org/events/2015-ncea-new-directions-blended-learning-symposium

RMT: National Humanity, Common Core Style

Could it be possible to have an independent federal agency for humanities align us all via Common Core? That’s the riddle for today, April 12, 2015.

The Common Core Machine loves to create minions to do its bidding.
The Common Core Machine loves to create minions to do its bidding.

NEH, National Endowment for the Humanities:

Before we get into what NEH does or who is involved, let’s assume you aren’t familiar with ‘humanities’. According the Act of 1965 which gave us a federal level organization, here’s the definition the NEH uses:
“The term ‘humanities’ includes, but is not limited to, the study and interpretation of the following: language, both modern and classical; linguistics; literature; history; jurisprudence; philosophy; archaeology; comparative religion; ethics; the history, criticism and theory of the arts; those aspects of social sciences which have humanistic content and employ humanistic methods; and the study and application of the humanities to the human environment with particular attention to reflecting our diverse heritage, traditions, and history and to the relevance of the humanities to the current conditions of national life.”
Related Note:  the National Arts have been Common Core aligned since June 2014 (see: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/02/15/rmt-ccss-hits-the-sour-notes/ )

So, if it’s an independent federal agency, where does the funding come from? The screen shot below is the NEH’s budget from 2015.

Here's the link to the funding: http://www.neh.gov/files/2015_neh_budget_approp.pdf
Here’s the link to the funding: http://www.neh.gov/files/2015_neh_budget_approp.pdf

NEH activities don’t just impact K-12 education, their work goes on to post-secondary educational institutions, to communities. Due to the Act that gave us the NEH, the mandate requires all this interaction with we, the people of the U.S. Many partners, both public AND private partner with the NEH to ensure teachers, leaders have educational resources to promote all that humanities encompasses. So, knowing what we know about P3 involvement in education AND the federal overreach into education, what could possibly point me to the ‘Common Core-ness’ of the NEH? Is it, in fact there? If so, where? Let’s see if we can find out.

Clue #1: The economy merits a mention even in culture. Why if we aren’t cultured properly, we won’t have a proper economy. (see page 2 of the NEH’s proposed 2016 budget request submitted 02/15)

Clue #2: The vast impact in numbers: “The nation’s 4,500 institutions of higher learning employ approximately 125,000 humanities faculty who teach millions of students. More than 3 million teachers dedicate their lives to teaching humanities subjects to tens of millions of school children who attend the more than 128,000 K-12 schools across the country. In addition, the nation’s 17,500 museums and historical societies, which greet 2.4 million visitors daily, and the state humanities councils, which annually reach millions of citizens of all ages, help form the cultural backbone of cities and towns across the country. Collectively, these institutions, and the people they employ, buttress our democracy, strengthen communities, and represent a significant part of the American economy.” (from page 2 as well)

Clue #3: Presidential nominated (means hand picked for a reason) and Congress approved leader requested over $5 million dollars for the “Common Good” Initiative. From page 3: “… enabling legislation to demonstrate “the relevance of the humanities to the current conditions of national life.” To bolster this essential component of NEH’s work, the Endowment has launched a major new initiative, The Common Good: The Humanities in the Public Square. The initiative will be an agency-wide effort designed to demonstrate the critical role the humanities can play in our nation’s public life. NEH requests $5.5 million in support of The Common Good in FY 2016.”

Clue #4: The Common Good initiative continues the rubric set forth from a previous one titled “Standing Together”. Pages 3 and 4 lay out how much the community will be involved in both of these initiatives. Be sure to look further into exactly what the ST and CG initiatives will do (near pages 11 and following) in regards to current public attitudes, policies, and issues. Pages 14 and 15 spell out some of the main agenda points.
You’ll want to note how proud the NEH is of the contribution from the Mellon Foundation. What the budget request won’t tell you about the Mellons, is they are in on the educational list of interlopers. (see: http://www.aaup.org/article/when-billionaires-become-educational-experts#.VSllWvnF-hQ ) While I suspect there are other donations from Mellon on behalf of CCSS, I did find this one, http://www.hamilton.edu/wellin/wellinformed/wellin-museum-receives-100-000-from-mellon-foundation

Clue #5: “Lifetime learning”, “strengthen teaching”, and “strong networks within states”, all on page 5.

Clue #6: Encouraging more P3 involvement in educational endeavors to enhance the ‘Common Good’ program. Including a direct union with the National Science Foundation (I’ve already exposed how deep into CCSS the NSF is, see both articles: (https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/tag/national-science-foundation/ )

Clue #7: Found on page 7, Verizon’s union with the NEH. Verizon is an unabashedly proud supporter of CCSS. “EDSITEment” is Verzion’s CCSS laden offering to NEH and to we, the people. You can search the internet for more articles, but here are my three, (https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/?s=Verizon) Here’s an excerpt from page 7 in NEH’s own words, “The website, EDSITEment, now contains over 500 scholar- and teacher-developed lesson plans for the K-12 classroom and links to more than 400 peer-reviewed sites selected for their high quality humanities content and interactive design. More than 3 million visitors—teachers, students, and parents—avail themselves of EDSITEment’s rich resources each year.”

Clue #8: Dangling grant money in front of communities and towns. Sound familiar? See page 15 for the two types of grants we get to compete for.

Clue #9″ The use of the word ‘common’ in relationship to the USA’s heritage. While that in and of itself may or may not be bad to you, it’s something to keep an eye on in HOW this is taught. We’ve already seen what the CCSS Machine has done to history. Oh, and one of the ways to accomplish a ‘common heritage’? Placing resources in libraries and other public locations. If you’ve not already noticed how ‘cleaned out’ your local library is, then you may want to know WHY it has recently gone through such a culling of resources. See:
(https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/10/27/monday-musings-hitting-the-books/)

Clue #10: That federal and state partnership found on page 17. Pardon me, but shouldn’t the correct order be States and federal?! See the U.S. Constitution for Amendment 10.

Follow the Money, Honey:

Making sure we all get as much Common Core as humanly possible, check out the NEH’s budget request for teacher prep:
nehspread

Under this breakdown, you’ll find the almost laughable concept of the U.S. Dept. of Ed’s ‘support’ in many educational areas. I think all of us, as anti CCSS warriors are more than familiar with the ‘support’ overreach. If you’d like to have the entire NEH 2016 Budget Request: neh_request_fy2016

As far as the “Edsite”, CCSS tie? Yep, not only that, but a CCR (College/Career Ready) Standard plug as well.

Website: http://edsitement.neh.gov/
Website: http://edsitement.neh.gov/

How can CCSS impact homeschooling beyond assessments? If you’d like to know NEH also impacts those AP U.S. History resources too! See: http://edsitement.neh.gov/lesson-plans for ALL the latest news.

"This year for National Poetry Month, in response to the Common Core State Standards initiative, EDSITEment has strung a garland of multimedia resources for students of all ages. The Common Core Standards encourage students to develop deeper literacy skills. The depth and rigor found in the study of poetry can be a vehicle by which the CCSS grade level goals of complexity, quality, and range can be accomplished."
“This year for National Poetry Month, in response to the Common Core State Standards initiative, EDSITEment has strung a garland of multimedia resources for students of all ages. The Common Core Standards encourage students to develop deeper literacy skills. The depth and rigor found in the study of poetry can be a vehicle by which the CCSS grade level goals of complexity, quality, and range can be accomplished.”

Closing:

This isn’t the last national grasp at our nation by the CCSS Machine, folks. We’ve answered the riddle for today. Now we must contact local elected officials who aren’t afraid to stand up for our country! If we can have a movement to defund the College Board, why can’t we defund other national organizations using CC as a weapon of mass indoctrination?! We, the people, must continue to raise awareness of ALL the places CCSS, CCR, CTE, and all the other creations of Common Core are lurking in plain sight.

RMT: CCSS Date, Anyone?!

Let's turn HR5 into applesauce!
Let’s turn HR5 into applesauce!

For today’s special “Riddle Me This” entry, what are YOU, my fellow anti CCSS Warrior up to on April 6th? If you’re not busy, why not join thousands of us as we take to Twitter to blast our leaders about HR5 (Student Success Act)?! I’ll be there and I’d LOVE to know you’re right by my side, helping me turn the CCSS apple into applesauce!

Who’s Our Host?

Patriots Journal Network! If you’ve not heard of the group before, their website link (which I’ll share), has a short video to help you get to know your host a bit better. You might like to know I’ve joined in with the PJNet a few times. They are a respectable bunch of warriors, citizens, and all kind of Americans in between.

Where Are We Going?

Actually, you can join the PJNet Nation and myself right from your own home! We’ll be on our ‘date’ in cyberspace on Twitter! Now, if you’ve not used Twitter, it’s okay. It’s free, easy to use, and if you have questions about using it, ask your kids, their friends. If they aren’t around, use Twitter’s help section to get you set up. I was a bit nervous about the social media outlet at first, but now, I’ve got it down. So, if all else fails, ask me how!

How Do I RVSP?

That’s easy! Refer to the screen shot below.

http://patriotjournalist.com/StopHR5.php?v=4
http://patriotjournalist.com/StopHR5.php?v=4

To find out more about them, here’s the address for their full website: http://patriotjournalist.com/

What If I’m Late for Our Date?

All will be well, come for as long as you can.

Will I Need Talking Points?

While talking points would be helpful, I would suggest ‘live tweeting’. Meaning see what’s shared and respond accordingly. However, if you’re a bit uncertain about how CCSS is related to HR5, see my points below:

Common Core via Career Tech Ed will be further embedded.

Title One funding will be impacted.

While ‘local control’ is being said to be handed back to the States, it really isn’t.

HR5’s passage will be a major victory for those profit-makers of CCSS. It will also be a major boost to the federal control.

Secretary of Education’s power would be increased. As would the LEAs, SEAs. Therefore, the promise of parent involvement may not be all it should be.

Should you need talking points, rather than me spoon feeding them to you (so not my style), I’ve included for you all the articles from my blog tagged with HR5 where you can read all the above AND more! See: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/tag/hr5/

What you really need to know, though, is that back in Jan. 2015, the title of the bill we know as HR5 (Student Success Act) was titled “Every Child Ready for College or Career Act”. I wrote in detail about it (some of the main points are still in HR5) back on Jan. 18th. You can read that one: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/01/18/rmt-will-you-help/

Closing:

I’ll see you for our date, 4/6/15! I can’t wait!!