Tag Archives: ‘align and mine’

Tech Thursday: Career Readiness Pledge

Can you believe the U.S. Congress has a CTE (adult CCSS) caucus??!! Wow!
Can you believe the U.S. Congress has a CTE (adult CCSS) caucus??!! Wow!

The picture you see above is from my May 2015 article where I exposed the Congressional Caucus for Career Technical Education. CTE (Career Technical Education) is the post-secondary version of Common Core. Others like myself have uncovered this truth and shared it many times over. I know that on my blog along there are many articles about the ties. Today, however, we’re going to dive into the CCSSO’s Career Tech Education interference. (CCSSO stands for the Council of Chief State School Officers) CCSSO is the half-owner of the “Common Core State Standards”.

If you missed the May 2015 article, please refer to:
https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/05/14/tech-thursday-when-you-think-its-not-ccss-but-it-is/
The biggest ‘take aways’ you need to know from the above article are that (1) the House of Representative’s caucus has been in action since 2007, the Senate’s began in 2014. (2) The Association for Career Technical Education (ACTE) works hand-in-hand with the Congressional caucuses and has written a letter to the U.S. President concerning his Scholars Program and to push for even MORE CTE alignment for the sake of  their communities. (3) A current House Bill 2317 is titled “Career Choice Counseling” (4) glorifying more rigor, college, career readiness. (5) How Perkins Funding (used in post-secondary educational institutions) is being misused for the sake of the CCSS Machine’s agenda.

To see the CCSSO‘s ownership claim to Common Corehttp://www.corestandards.org/about-the-standards/branding-guidelines/ (*Note: look under the ‘trademarks’ and ‘copyright’ sections)

The CTE Pledge:

Announced yesterday by the CCSSO, was the news that Wisconsin had taken the CTE Pledge for their state’s education. See the screen shot below:
WICTEpledge

So, what’s the Pledge? There are 3 statements in the Pledge:
“1) make career and technical education (CTE) programs more responsive to the labor market by enlisting employers as lead partners
2) raise the threshold for quality career pathways, and
3) make career readiness a higher priority in state accountability systems.”

Let me pause for a moment, anti CC Warriors. Do you see the problems in the Pledge? I do!
Businesses as leaders in education? Where are the teachers, they should be the leaders! Then the Career Pathways is a huge issue. Why? It’s embedded at least 21 different times in the WIOA of 2014 (Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014). The US Dept. of Labor has joined with the US Dept. of Education and the US Dept. of Health, Human Services to push for a trained workforce in America. The goal? It isn’t so a person can get ahead in life, it’s so the nation can be globally competitive! Lastly, we know the CCSS Machine is trying to calm folks down by using different names for CCSS. “Career Readiness” and “Career Readiness Standards” are just two of those efforts.
Back to the Pledge, now. Wisconsin joins 16 other states who’ve taken the CTE Pledge. The others, according to the CCSSO’s press release, are “The 17 states are California, Colorado, Hawaii, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, New Jersey, New Mexico, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Wisconsin and Wyoming.” See the rest of the press release,
http://www.ccsso.org/News_and_Events/Press_Releases/CCSSO_Announces_State_Action_to_Advance_Career_Pathways_.html
The CTE Pledge is part of the “Career Readiness Initiative”. This Initiative, also from the CCSSO is to close the skills gap in America. Warriors, many anti CCSS researchers, writers, and reporters, have shared with us that the truth is there isn’t really a skills gap in America. It’s just another pro CCSS fallacy to throw us off the track. The Initiative is slam full of ‘collectivism’, ‘best practices’, and ‘incentives’ for states who ‘step up’ their plans to align to even more tied to the ‘Core’. To see the Career Ready Initiativehttp://www.ccsso.org/Resources/Programs/Career_Readiness_Initiative.html

According to the WI announcement, this move is happening because data collected in the other states already pledged have seen better results in graduation rates. Pardon me, if I’m not sold. Why? Look at how many OTHER pro CCSS/CTE reports we’ve seen where it’s shown as ‘great’, only to find out that when the truth comes out, the numbers are WRONG. That said, that’s not the worst part of the CTE Pledge. If you’ve already looked at the CCSSO’s resources I’ve shared above, you’ll notice that this ‘Career Ready Initiative’ is only ONE step in a multi-step process. The next step? It appears to the “The universal implementation of academic and career planning services in 2017-18” What ‘universal implementation’?!

Academic and Career Planning:
Here’s what the State Superintendent of WI has to say about ACP (Academic and Career Planning) under his authority:

Wow! “Part of the agenda”, you heard him say that directly. The CCSS/CTE agenda is a trained workforce! How will these students plan? Well, most schools have trained staff counselors on hand to help guide our students, right? What happens when the COUNSELORS have been aligned to the CCSS/CTE agenda? Think it can’t happen? It already is happening. Read all about it in my previously published article where I lay out for you the White House Initiative for school counselors to become aligned to Common Core, Career Tech, and Career Pathways. Why school counselors? According to the White House presentation “school guidance counselors being in the BEST STRATEGIC position to steer our students to the CCSS, College/Career Ready path/track!!” One of the presenters of this presentation said, “‘They are the heart and soul of the agenda. They are uniquely positioned.’”
To see the rest of this extremely important news,
https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/10/10/fridays-post-breaking-news-you-need-to-know/

To see the Wisconsin’s ACP Universal Implementation step-by-step, ACP Basics
When you open the document, be sure to note the school counselors position, the culture shift for education, and much more.
So what about those 16 other states? Are they ‘universally implemented’ as well? The links below may be of help in answering this question. If not, they are at least a place for you to start your own researching.

California,
http://www.connectedcalifornia.org/downloads/LL_Expanding_Pathways.pdf
Colorado,
https://www.cde.state.co.us/postsecondary/icaptoolkit
Hawaii,
http://www.academicinnovations.com/docs/PTP.pdf
Illinois,
http://pathways.illinois.edu/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/2013-Career-Cluster-Guide-Final.pdf
Kentucky,
http://education.ky.gov/CommOfEd/CDU/Documents/CCR%20Delivery%20Plan.pdf
Louisiana,
http://www.louisianabelieves.com/docs/default-source/teacher-toolbox-resources/district-planning-guide.pdf?sfvrsn=26
(see page 3 for the overall plan visual)
Maryland,
http://www.marylandpublicschools.org/msde/divisions/careertech/career_technology/cd.htm
Mississippi,
https://www.mde.k12.ms.us/docs/career-and-technical-education/ms-training-ce-cp-2014-15-flyer.pdf?sfvrsn=2
(this is from the education staff’s side of Academic and Career Planning)
New Jersey,
http://www.state.nj.us/education/cte/pslp/PSLPGuide.pdf
New Mexico,
http://ped.state.nm.us/ped/NexStepDocs/NSP%20Template%20manual%20v2%201final%205.7.12.pdf
Nevada,
http://cteae.nv.gov/Career_Guidance/
(from the school counselor’s role)
North Carolina,
http://www.dpi.state.nc.us/docs/cte/curriculum/planning.pdf
Ohio,
https://education.ohio.gov/getattachment/Topics/Other-Resources/Getting-Involved-with-your-Child-s-Learning/Your-4th-to-5th-Grader/Ohio-Middle-Grade-Resources/Individual-Academic-and-Career-Plan-Ohio-Career-Information-System.pdf.aspx
Rhode Island,
https://www.waytogori.org/
Tennessee,
http://www.planningyourdreams.org/
Wyoming,
http://www.wyo4ed.org/

For those with Special Needs students? There’s a Academic and Career Plan in place in some states. The Dept. of Labor has all the information on their website page from the Office of Disability Employment Policy. See: http://www.dol.gov/odep/ilp/map/

Oh, and for those states which didn’t adopt CCSS? They have CTE. The two examples I found popping up almost every time I searched for the 16 states above are VA and TX. Here’s VA’s Academic and Career Planning site: http://doe.virginia.gov/instruction/graduation/academic_career_plan/index.shtml
Texas also didn’t sign on for CCSS, but here’s their ACP site: http://www.achievetexas.org/Resources1.htm

Did you notice the ‘catchy’ names for some of the states? ‘Achieve’, ‘Way to Go’, ‘Planning Your Dreams’, to name 3. What a deception! What student, what teacher has dreamed of being so like everyone else? What student or guidance counselor has ever expected their task would be to assimilate rather than be free? Did you notice how young some of the states are starting their ACPs? What an abomination to our children!!

Warriors, we know from much research, the goal is a total cradle to grave mentality that accompanies the CCSS Machine. Wrapped in good intentions looms an education that is full of ill intent. We must call our U.S. Senators and Representatives to HALT any work on the re-authorization efforts connected to pre-K universal standards/elementary and secondary bills (HR5 and S1177), as well as efforts geared toward post-secondary education (HEA). Every one of these has MORE control via CCSS, CTE, Career Pathways, STEM, College and Career Readiness, and the other names CCSS hides behind. Everyone of these efforts has MORE data mining, high-stake assessments. Each of these efforts forces schools to cease teaching and becoming community one-stop hubs for ‘education’ purposes. We MUST contact our leaders. We are America, not other countries where their freedoms are neutered. Use this link to Tweet every Congress member:
https://twitter.com/verified/lists/us-congress/members
Don’t use Twitter, call the main Congressional switchboard and ask to be connected to your Congress member. The Capitol Hill main phone line is 202-224-3121

Not sure what to say to halt this massive continuation of CCSS? Please refer to the letter the FL Stop Common Core Coalition wrote and has had it delivered to Congress just a couple of days ago! I wrote about the historic move on my “From the Files” article. Many national publications have also picked up the story.
https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/10/13/ftf-only-we-can-prevent/
Truth in American Education‘s: http://truthinamericaneducation.com/elementary-and-secondary-education-act/national-coalition-opposes-no-child-left-behind-rewrite-conference-bill/

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FTF: Recaps for Anti CC Warriors

In case you missed these articles or wish to review them.
In case you missed these articles or wish to review them.

Face it, anti CCSS/CTE Warriors, we’ve come a long way together. We also face much more activity before we can find ourselves finished. Since the recap of my “Would You Believe It?” articles was a big hit, I thought the “From the Files” would be helpful, especially when each one has embedded documents we need for our battles against the CCSS Machine.

Arranged by topic, these are sure to be ones to share with new warriors. Thank you for your continued trust.

For You, the Anti CCSS Warriors:

https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/03/17/ftf-celebrating-fighting-ccss/

CCSS, More than ‘Just Standards:

https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/09/09/from-the-files-common-core-curricula/

https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/09/23/from-the-files-tuesday-equity-excellence-in-education/

https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/10/21/ftf-tuesday-common-core-network/

https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/12/02/ftf-create-they-know-your-school-do-you-know-them/

https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/08/04/ftf-ccssncte-and-back-to-school/

Where STEM, CCCS, and CTE Intersect:

https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/09/02/from-the-files-pcast-stem-and-common-core/

https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/02/24/ftf-romancing-the-ccss/

https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/07/28/ftf-update-for-stem-workforce-and-the-hea-part-one/

Private Funders, Political Agendas, and America’s Alignment to CCSS:

https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/09/16/from-the-files-tuesday-down-in-the-valley/

https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/03/03/ftf-hey-parents-the-ccss-roundup-is-coming-for-you/

https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/03/31/ftf-ccss-pearsonites-at-your-higher-ed-campuses-now/

https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/07/07/ftf-this-just-in-military-bases-economy-and-ccss/

https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/08/18/ftf-ccss-education-community-alignment-reaction/

Health Care, Social Emotional Learning, CTE, and CCSS:

https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/09/30/from-the-files-health-care-gets-a-common-core-transfusion/

https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/11/04/ftf-tuesday-st-sel-common-core/

https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/06/30/ftf-more-know-thy-title-9-ccss-and-education/

https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/08/11/ftf-ccss-dehumanizing-characters-daily/

Charter Schools, Private Education, and, CCSS:

https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/10/07/ftf-tuesday-clarity-for-sale-aligned-to-common-core-for-free/

CCSS,CTE, CCR (College CareerReadiness), Adult Education, and Outcome Based Education:

https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/10/14/ftf-tuesday-competency-vs-mastery/

https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/11/11/ftf-tuesday-meet-sheeo/

https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/11/18/ftf-tuesday-ccrec-college-and-career-readiness-evaluation-consortium/

https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/01/06/ftf-more-evidence-for-aligned-ccss-higher-education/

https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/02/03/ftf-tuesday-comprehending-assessments/

https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/04/14/ftf-chea-cte-ccss-and-america/

https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/09/01/ftf-ascending-and-aligning/

Workforce Education and  Massive Data Mining:

https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/10/28/ftf-tuesday-align-and-mine-part-2/

https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/01/20/ftf-tuesday-career-readiness-and-data/

https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/01/27/ftf-tuesday-iassc-universal-certification/

https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/03/24/ftf-tuesday-aacte-and-common-core/

https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/09/08/ftf-human-capital-the-new-name-for-citizens/

https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/09/29/ftf-more-tracking-the-workforce-aligned-society/

Being a ‘Core Ready’ School:

https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/12/09/ftf-tuesday-the-core-is-ready-are-you/

https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/09/15/ftf-revisit-to-redesigned-ccss-high-school/

For The Alignment of Our Teachers:

https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/01/13/ftf-tuesday-ccss-teaching-or-frustrating/

CCSS and the Small Business Administration:
https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/02/10/ftf-the-sba-and-common-core/

Featuring the Man Tapped as Duncan’s Successor:

https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/02/17/ftf-creating-common-core-minions/

CCSS,CTE, and, Special Needs:

https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/03/10/rmt-ccsss-present-to-special-needs/

CCSS Possible Legislation:

https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/05/26/ftf-ccss-testing-bill-maybe-maybe-not/

CCSS Assessments:

https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/06/09/ftf-ccss-frying-pan-into-the-fire/

CCSS, CTE, and, Home Education:

https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/06/23/ftf-crossing-into-ccss-land/

 

Closing:

While you see many topics above, be sure to use only the topics you need and save the others for future reading. My goal is NOT to overwhelm you, but to show you just how all encompassing the CCSS Machine is. Be sure to tune in to the usual Wednesday media outlets I contribute to. I’ll be back on the blog Thursday.

To access the special half hour Negdog Radio Show: 347-843-4165, from 10:30 am to 11:00 am, ET.
To access the Women on the Wall call: 302-202-1110, conference 702165 at 8:30 pm, CT.

FTF: More Tracking the Workforce Aligned Society

killsact

As promised, anti CCSS/CTE Warriors, here’s the article detailing more information on how our nation is slowly, but surely becoming a workforce aligned nation.  Over the weekend, if you read my “Weekend News”,  I shared 2 distinct graphics from the federal government’s Education and the Workforce Committee.  See: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/09/27/weekend-news-tracking-the-ccsscteworkforce-aligned-society/

SKILLS Act? It’s a Law Now and It Has a New Name!:

In today’s ‘From the File Tuesday’, we’ll look at several legislative moves meant for the express purpose of aligning our nation. First up, the SKILLS Act (Supporting Knowledge and Investing in Lifelong Skills Act). It’s bill number was HR803. It was put before Congress in the 2013-14 Session. According to the Library of Congress, HR803 has had 6 makeovers. The very first one appeared in Feb. 2013. Now, if you’ll remember, I shared with you over the weekend, that I’d tie the SKILLS Act to the WIOA (Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014). Folks, you may already know this, or you may not. The tie? Quite simply, over the course of the Congressional ins/outs/swapping Chambers, etc. The SKILLS Act was renamed to become the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act!

(*Note: The WIOA became law in July 2015. One of my Nov. 2014 published articles detailed  information on how  legislation set in Washington trickled down to the state level and how the data collection in the name of Workforce was happening. If you’d like to see just HOW Workforce Data is handled in your state, see: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/11/06/tech-thursday-workforce-commissions-education-and-common-core/)

When it was SKILLS:

When HR803 was known as “SKILLS”:
1) The bill (introduced by NC legislator Virginia Foxx)  ‘will empower employers, rein in bureaucracy, and provide America’s workers with a more dynamic, flexible, and effective network of job training services.”


2) The bill used a 2011 Government Accountability Office document, which reveals connections to  the 2009 “Recovery Act”. (remember this was the Act which gave us ‘shovel ready’ projects, Affordable Health Care, and a host of other changes?)
The document:  2011GAOreport


3) A program “Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)” was included. Why is this important in 2015? Did WIOA keep this program? Expand it? Keep reading, my warriors!

4) The bill gave our governors even more power when it comes to workforce training programs. (If you’ve not seen any of my published work on just HOW far NC has gone to align education for the good of NC, here’s one where not only will you see the selling out of the citizens of NC to the Common Core, you’ll also get to see how the state used its grant money from the Workforce Quality Data (in the Nov. 2014 article above) : https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/08/27/ccss-follow-up-system-more-than-money-will-follow-your-students/


5) The bill also gave greater power to businesses (the ‘private’ in “public, private partnerships embedded in the CCSS Machine). All the ‘bonuses of HR803’ are included in this archived ‘fact sheet’. See: http://edworkforce.house.gov/uploadedfiles/short_bill_summary_-_skills_act_final.pdf

I give you these items so we can look at where these programs/efforts have been increased through the WIOA or other legislation (will include federal and state levels).

TANF:

The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families certainly sounds like a noble cause, and I’m sure for those in need, the help is appropriate. However, in the vane of aligning education for workforce needs, is it truly noble? To learn more about TANF, see their website: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/ofa/programs/tanf
TANF is part of the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services (one of the 3 federal agencies using education as an alignment tool to reform America)
One of the features about TANF mentioned in that Government Accountability Report? The ‘one-stop-job-centers’ created by combining at least 2 programs. Here’s an excerpt, “Options that may increase efficiencies include colocating services and consolidating administrative structures, but implementation may pose challenges. While WIA Adult and ES services are generally colocated in onestop
centers, TANF employment services are colocated in one-stops to a lesser extent. Florida, Texas, and Utah have consolidated their welfare and workforce agencies, and state officials said this reduced costs and improved services, but they could not provide a dollar figure for cost savings.”

Did TANF get included in the WIOA (what SKILLS turned into)? You bet it did! Here’s a document called “Aligned by Design”: WIOA and TANF2015-06-Aligned-by-Design-WIOA-and-TANF

TANF funds include Title 4 funding for each state, Anita Hoge, a well known anti CCSS Warrior has shared many times how Title 4 funding is being abused to align our schools. The abuse WILL continue in the current Student Success Act (HR5), the Every Child Achieves Act (S1177), and the upcoming efforts toward re-authorizing the HEA (Higher Education Act).

In Kansas, TANF funds, the GED, and students highlight the stealthy Career Tech, College Readiness portions of CCSS. See the story: http://ksn.com/2014/12/11/state-focuses-on-g-e-d-and-tech-students/

In Utah, TANF funds are tying STEM (also connected to the CCSS Machine as one of the foremost nationally aligning efforts in education, workforce, and our nation) to the state’s Dept. of Workforce. See that story: http://ksn.com/2014/12/11/state-focuses-on-g-e-d-and-tech-students/

Here in NC, a TANF report will reveal how the state’s “Common Follow Up System” is involved in CTE for Workforce trained citizens. Access: NC TANF report

More Workforce/CTE resourced information:

The Career Tech Education (part of the Common Core) which made it from the SKILLS Act into the WIOA? Access this other “Aligned by Design”2015-06-Aligned-by-Design-WIOA-and-CTE

To find out how the Career Pathways (part of the Career Tech Education) made it into the WIOA, see: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/11/02/rmt-sunday-vp-common-core-and-jobs/

If you’d like to see the state of Arkansas’s TANF for Career Pathways funding/presentation:
http://www.powershow.com/view/ad4ea-ZDgwO/ARKANSAS_CAREER_PATHWAYS_INITIATIVE_powerpoint_ppt_presentation

If you’d like to see how Job Development Grants (given by the feds to the states) is also Common Core aligned and will continue to carry out the mission of helping align our nation to ‘workforce readiness’, see:
https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/03/25/wybi-job-development-grants-and-ccss

Workforce/Education Historical Evidence you can use:
https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/10/23/tech-thursday-blast-from-our-workforce-past/

https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/09/06/weekend-news-labor-day-weekend-special/

FTF: Revisit to Redesigned CCSS High School

Anti CCSS Warriors, back in May 2015, I shared with you the article about the “Redesigning American High Schools”. However, just yesterday, I had a warrior from the NE USA, send me the picture you’ll see below. It’s part of the “XQ, American Super School Project”.

Be  sure to click on this picture to enlarge it.
Be sure to click on this picture to enlarge it.

To access my May 2015 article, see: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/05/09/sic-em-saturday-aligned-summer/
To access the document about the redesign, you can search the internet for “Reinventing the American High School for the 21st Century” from the Association of Career and Technical Education, published 2006 or click here. Reinventing_American_High_School  Part one of this older document shows you the (then) current efforts to redesigning American High Schools. Go back and read what those efforts were when you can. However, for the rest of this report, we’ll look at the XQ Project and even more related to it.

Apple’s Part:

The XQ Project” has ties to Apple, Inc. (as in the computers branded “Apple”) Who’s behind “XQ”? Steve Jobs widow. See: http://mobile.nytimes.com/2015/09/14/us/laurene-powell-jobs-commits-dollar50-million-to-create-new-high-schools.html?referrer&_r=0
If you’re not sure who Steve Jobs was, he was one of the co-founders of Apple Computers. Now known as “Apple, Inc.”.  How is Apple connected to CCSS? CTE? For starters, see the ‘education’ section of the Apple, Inc.’s website: http://www.apple.com/education/connectED/

Here’s another Apple/CCSS, CTE tie, the assessments connected to CCSS/CTE, see: http://www.cft.org/news-publications/newsletters/california-teacher/september-october-2013/a-year-of-transition-preparing-for-the-common-core-standards.html

What’s “ConnectEd”? The ConnectEd is a direct link to the White House and more CCSS/CTE. How? Digitally, my fellow warriors. See the pdf document:
https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/docs/connected_fact_sheet.pdf
The ‘smoking gun’ for ConnectEd, digital, and CCSS? Race-to-the-Top! See: http://www2.ed.gov/programs/racetothetop-district/index.html

The XQ Project:

Website: http://xqsuperschool.org/challenge
The mission/challenge is longer than the excerpt I’m including, but it’s important you see this much.
“The Super School Project is an open call to reimagine and design the next American high school. In towns and cities far and wide, teams will unite and take on this important work of our time: rethinking and building schools that deeply prepare our students for the rigorous challenges of college, jobs, and life.”

xq

So What Does “XQ” stand for? According to the website, it’s a combination of one’s IQ (your cognitive abilities)  and your EQ (how well you learn with others) to create something ‘extra special’. To learn more about how this is to all work together for rigor for all, see: http://xqsuperschool.org/about (*NOTE: you’ll also see the ‘collective’ partnerships)
If you’d like to see the student led ‘voices’ connected to the XQ, visit: http://xqsuperschool.org/voices
As far as much more information, you’ll find it’s not very transparent, at least on the website.

However, jump over to Twitter, look up the #Rethinkhighschool and you’ll see celebrities, athletes, and others weighing in with ideas like ”What if parents got tax deductions based on their kids grades?”(Ashton Kutchner) and “We talk a lot about innovation and problem solving, but we aren’t training our kids to do it.” (Joe Montana)
However, the tweets worth noticing aren’t from the rich and famous, they are from groups which support aligned assessments, more in-depth skills based learning, and on and on. Watch for “New Tech Network” and “American Dream Schools”. The former supports the deep learning, the latter is on a mission to transform thousands of high schools in the next 10 years. (*Note: “American Dream Schools” has 2 Twitter accounts, one tagged “Deeper Learning” as well as their ADS name).

American Dream Schools:

Their website: http://www.righttosucceed.org/
Serving advisors include a Gates Foundation Senior member as well as a member of the IL Charter Schools! (See: http://www.righttosucceed.org/#!advisors/c165s)
Their take on the educational crisis? Preventing drop outs in high school. Here’s an excerpt from one of the co-founders, “I worry that education reform is so focused on what we are fighting against (bad schools, bad teachers, bad unions, bad districts, bad funding, bad parenting, bad kids, and bad communities) that there is no vision about what we should be fighting for – great schools for every neighborhood!”

Want to see what a real ADS looks like? (be prepared..it’s about preparing for the workplace)

Notice, this began in Napa Valley, CA (very close by is Silicon Valley, where many businesses are. As are many venture capitalists. How do these play into this redesigned education movement? See my previously published article: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/09/16/from-the-files-tuesday-down-in-the-valley/

Deeper Learning:

Their website: http://deeperlearning4all.org/
Their base of research appears to be AIR (American Institutes of Research), however they also use PISA assessments and other well connected CCSS/CTE/CCR groups or tools. In fact, I’m sharing with you the 30 CCSS results I got when I searched the website for “Common Core” (see:
http://deeperlearning4all.org/?s=Common+Core&source=global)

If you’d like to see just how deeply the Deeper Learning folks are into all things Common Core (including college and career readiness (CCR), career technical education (CTE), be sure to look at the ‘resources’ page. Just be sure you have something to throw at the wall when you read it all..it’s like a ‘who’s who’ of agenda laden CCSS supporters. (see: http://deeperlearning4all.org/resources)

The group behind “Deeper Learning” is the “Alliance for Excellent Education”. I wrote about AEE back in July 2015. See: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/07/13/todays-the-day-will-ecaa-survive/
Why do I bring up the Alliance? Simple,refer to their statement on student data dashboards. http://all4ed.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/DataDashboards.pdf

Here’s what the cover illustration looked like:

Note how your student is to be measured. Note what's missing!
Note how your student is to be measured. Note what’s missing!

Closing:

It seems the ties to connect all of the above are in reality quite simple. Data, agenda, and our schools. The chokehold on our schools? The Common Core State Standards Initiative and all that it encompasses. The payoff for the likes of Apple, Project XQ, Deeper Learning, the Gates Foundation, the Alliance for Excellent Education, and all those others joined at the hip? A manageable trained workforce creating a rich economy for a select few.

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!

Tech Thursday: Hunting for CCSS/CTE

Hunt Institute has a long history of being Common Core supportive.

Hunt Institute has a long history of being Common Core supportive.

While it appears all anti CCSS eyes are on the HR5 (the re-authorization of the NCLB), it’s been proven via documents that the HEA re-authorization is just as CCSS tied! Both have been re-authorized in almost the same time periods since their original passing in 1965. Time and time again, Sen. Lamar Alexander has been tied to the re-writing of BOTH bills. The intent? Simply put: what gets started in HR5 for CCSS, CTE, data mining, control,assessments, and educational abuse is CONTINUED into the HEA.

So what does the Hunt Institute’s announcement of 6/16/15 have to do with this? The announcement HI released, details a report published by the SREB (Southern Regional Education Board), which gives us an overview of the BRIDGE between K-12 and post-secondary..This plays right into the hands of BOTH bills being up for re-authorization. We MUST act quickly in alerting our legislators to KILL BOTH bills!! This ‘bridge’ even has a name…and I’ve taken you in great detail into the creation of that bridge. It’s called “Career Pathways”.

 

The Hunt Institute Announcement:

Here’s an excerpt from the HI’s website about SREB, “Labor market economists project that by 2020, two-thirds or more of all jobs will require some post-secondary education — either a certificate, a credential or a degree at the associate level or higher. At present, however, the Southern Regional Education Board’s (SREB) analyses of educational attainment data suggest that millions of young Americans are being left behind in the transition from high school to college and well-paying jobs. Significant numbers will never graduate, and many who do go on to college will never complete a credential with value in the marketplace. Credentials for All: An Imperative for SREB States, the final report of SREB’s Commission on Career and Technical Education, offers a powerful solution to this problem: Provide more than one pathway to college and careers.”

A Hunt Institute ‘Bridge’ of Their Own:

While busy promoting the SREB’s last report in a series of them, HI has produced some of its own ‘bridge’ reports for connecting K-12, post-secondary education, and alignment to the CCSS/CTE way of educating our students (remember, all ages attend post-secondary schools).

While the report I’m about to share is ‘state specific’ it can be used as evidence to research what your state may have going on that is either the same or eerily similar. Remember, the Hunt Institute has been instrumental in promoting CCSS is every state; SREB is busy promoting CCSS/CTE across several states (other regional education boards complete the coverage across the nation). (*Note: I’ve written several articles on SREB and those other regional education boards, you can find them by searching my blog, just insert the acronym for the region you wish to find.)

Hunt Institute’s series, “CoNCepts”, from their latest issue: “This issue of coNCepts examines the ways North Carolina’s K-12 and higher education systems are working together to ensure college and career readiness for all students by aligning K-12 with post-secondary expectations, creating clearly defined pathways for career training and college preparation, and forming robust partnerships with industry.” Further down the page, you’ll see: “ As part of NC Ready for Success, NCDPI has partnered with ACT to administer a series of college readiness assessments: EXPLORE (8th grade); PLAN (10th grade); and ACT (11th grade). Beginning in 2011-2012, PLAN and ACT were administered to all 10th and 11th graders free of charge. These assessments inform students, parents, and educators about the student’s current academic trajectory, as well as where further interventions and support are required.” See the screen shot below of another page from the ‘CoNCept’ issue.

New Schools, Jobs for the Future have been traced to ties with the CCSS Machine; NCCCS (NC Community College System) has been aligned to include CTE/CCSS, as well.
New Schools, Jobs for the Future have been traced to ties with the CCSS Machine; NCCCS (NC Community College System) has been aligned to include CTE/CCSS, as well.

To read the rest of the HI’s CCSS/CTE education reform news: CoNCept-Issue5

 

SREB, Southern Regional Education Board:

One of the last times I researched and wrote about the SREB designs on post-secondary education was another report from the same series as Hunt Institute refers to above. That was back in  April 2015. That report’s name was ““Community Colleges in the South: Strengthening Readiness and Pathways”  The report HI is promoting is titled, “Credentials for All: An Imperative for SREB States”. The new report, like it’s predecessor, has 8 strategy points laid out. I’ll not repeat the former 8 points from the April 2015 article, but I am including the link so you can read it for yourselves. You’ll also be able to see how the Gates Foundation and others are backing the SREB (you can bet the other regional education boards are just as well taken care of by the CCSS Machine). See April’s SREB article:
https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/04/25/sic-em-saturday-using-community-colleges-for-more-core/

The latest SREB bridge connector from K-12 to post-secondary titled “Credentials for All: An Imperative for SREB States” is more of the same we’ve seen from those seeking to misguide Americans into believing all this CCSS/CTE reform is the best we can do for our students. No, it’s the best the CCSS/CTE Machine can do to undermine our country!  “Credentials” includes a message to the SREB states (and those of us fighting CCSS/CTE) from the Governor of KY. Here’s an excerpt from his message, One of my goals as chair of SREB and its Commission on Career and Technical Education is to promote policies and practices to support strong career pathways that help more students earn industry and post-secondary credentials and obtain good jobs.”

The latest 8 action steps laid out in “Credentials” are as follows:

“1) Build bridges from high school to post-secondary education and the workplace by creating rigorous, relevant career pathways driven by labor market demand.”
2) Expect all students to graduate academically ready for both college and careers.
3)  Select assessments of technical and workplace readiness standards that offer long-term value to individual students, employers and the economy; carry college credits; and are directly linked to more advanced certifications and further study. 
4)  Provide all high school career pathway teachers, especially new teachers from industry, with the professional development and fast-track induction programs they need to meet high academic, technical and pedagogical standards and enhance students’ academic and technical readiness for college and careers.
5) Adopt a framework of strategies to restructure low-performing high schools around rigorous, relevant career pathways that accelerate learning and prepare students for post-secondary credentials and degrees. 
6) Offer early advanced credential programs in shared-time technology centers, aligning their curricula, instruction and technology with home high schools and community and technical colleges.
7)  Incentivize community and technical colleges and school districts to double the percentage of students who earn certificates, credentials and degrees by setting statewide readiness standards and aligning assessment and placement measures with those standards. Other strategies: Use the senior year of high school to reduce the number of students who need remediation, retool developmental education, adopt individualized support strategies for struggling students and improve affordability. 
8) Design accountability systems that recognize and reward districts, high schools, technology centers, and community and technical colleges that double the number of young adults who acquire post-secondary credentials and secure high-skill, high-wage jobs by age 25.”

How these action steps are taken in your states is something you MUST read for yourselves. It includes federal and state pressure via funding. Get the entire report by accessing it here: CredentialPlan

Remember, your state may not be an SREB one, but you can more than likely find the exact message from your regional education board or one extremely like this. Why? Because while all 50 states don’t have CCSS, every one of them, by law has Career Tech (aka Workforce). As I stated in the beginning of this article:

                                                                        What starts in HR5 ends in HEA!

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.

FTF: Anti CCSS Files Recap

It's been a good year, so far, to fight the CCSS Machine!
It’s been a good year, so far, to fight the CCSS Machine!

In continuing to look back at the anti CCSS year so far, today’s article will share the best files I’ve been able to offer you in aiding your battle against Common Core.

In no particular order, here are the ‘files’ most important and worth sharing again.

American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education:

This info packed article from March, 2015 gave you an in-depth look at how aligned to not only Common Core, but, Career and Technical Education this group is. In it you’ll find connections to Pearson Publishing, Linda Darling-Hammond, Stanford University, and Sage Publishing to name a few pro CCSS supporters. You’ll also have access to the letter the AACTE wrote to Sec. Arne Duncan!

To access all the files related to AACTE, see: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/03/24/ftf-tuesday-aacte-and-common-core/

AIR and the ‘Pathways To College’:

What do the massive data miners AIR (American Institute of Research) and an on-line library have in common? “Pathways to College” , as well as the Alliance for Excellent Education! You might recognize Pathways to College is very similar to those  like ‘Career Pathways’, ‘College and Career Pathways’, ‘Career Clusters’, and ‘Career and Technical Education’. Yes, ALL of these names are connected to Common Core. The online library featured in this article from February of this year will also share with you how Horace Mann’s philosophy of education is tied in. You’ll also get to know much more about those high stake assessments, too!

To access this all important set of pdf files, see: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/02/03/ftf-tuesday-comprehending-assessments/

Our Students as Part of the “Talent Supply Pipeline”:

From January, 2015, here’s another article with Linda Darling-Hammond, Career and Technical Education, and what is known as “Adult Common Core”. Yes, you read correctly..’adult CC’. You’ll also note, as I’ve stated many times, that while all 50 states may not of adopted CCSS, ALL 50 states have Workforce training, Career and College Readiness plans. In this article, I shared with you North Carolina’s current status in all this as an example of what to look for in your state; the Adult CC Caucus information on a federal level was also revealed in this published article. There’s lots to delve into the learn all you can about the plans to turn ALL our students (regardless of educational choice or age) into ‘talent supply’ to churn down the CCSS/CTE/CCR (Common Core State Standards/Career and Technical Education/College and Career Readiness) pipeline!

To access the ‘game changer’ article, see: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/01/20/ftf-tuesday-career-readiness-and-data/

The SBA and Common Core:

The discovery of the Small Business Administration and its ties to Common Core, set a few readers and/or followers aback with shock. I shared all kinds of news, findings, and documents back in February 2015. So just  how is the SBA tied to the CCSS Machine? Funding initiatives, business ventures, and capital investments. You’ll see pro friendly CCSS corporations like Apple, Intel, and Hewlett-Packard.

To see how this federal agency is helping spread educational overreach, see: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/02/10/ftf-the-sba-and-common-core/

Closing:

Are there aspects about anything related to Common Core you’d like me to investigate to see what files are available? I’d be honored to dive into it for you, if you’d like me to. As you’ve been able to see from each of the articles above, I don’t tell you what to think, I point you to where to look so you can use what you need for your state’s fight in this war against the Core.

What most pro CCSS groups would like us to look like and believe.
What most pro CCSS groups would like us to look like and believe.

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

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.