Tag Archives: Alliance for Excellent Education

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.

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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.

FTF Tuesday: Comprehending Assessments

You won't believe the document I have found for your files for today's post. Be sure to read on!
You won’t believe the document I have found for your files for today’s post. Be sure to read on!

As always, on Tuesdays, you anti CCSS warriors are treated to those files, documents, and links I’ve been able to uncover that continue to point to the underbelly of the CCSS Machine. Today’s is a doozy!

“Pathways to College On-Line Library”:

Website: http://www.pathwaylibrary.org/

The file from their archives today has an interesting note at the bottom you have to see, “The above resource was included in the Pathways to College Online Library prior to the involvement of the American Institutes for Research (AIR), and thus has not been fully reviewed by AIR. Appearance in the database does not equate with endorsement by AIR or its affiliates.”

Why AIR’s stamp of approval is a big deal:

For the rhetoric of the Career Pathway/Common Core Standards to succeed, pro-CCSS groups, like AIR are needed to ‘approve’ all kinds of things. If you aren’t aware of how AIR is tied to CCSS, see: http://www.smarterbalanced.org/news/smarter-balanced-awards-test-delivery-system-contract-to-american-institutes-for-research/ (this is just ONE of the many ways AIR is tied to CCSS..assessments)

Back to the File: 

The file’s original backer: Alliance for Excellent Education (http://all4ed.org/)

The file’s name? “Principles for a Comprehensive Assessment System”, published 2010.

A current Alliance for Excellent Education webpage.
A current Alliance for Excellent Education webpage.

Why the CP Library loves this document: 

In their own words, “The United States is poised to make the most dramatic advance in assessment in decades. A state-led effort to develop common core standards in literacy and mathematics is defining what it means to be ready for colleges and careers, and this effort will invariably heighten the demand for assessments that measure a broader range of knowledge and skills and open the door for common assessment components across states. At the same time, the U.S. Department of Education is providing $350 million for consortia of states to develop new assessments that measure the common core standards. And a reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) will set guidelines for assessments and their use for years to come. This opportunity could not be more timely.”

Looking back, we know the big bucks mentioned here refer to the PARCC and SBAC assessments. We know we’ve been fighting them. We know many researchers, myself among them, have given you wonderful ‘ammo’ to use against the assessments which are so high stakes.

Will we find any new ammo, in a 5 year, old document? Let’s see!!

1) The “Need” for MORE sophisticated assessing is addressed. See this excerpt, “In large part, this situation results from the fact that the primary means of assessment being used in the nation’s schools—state tests administered at the end of the school year—are not up to the job. For many reasons, these tests cannot measure the full range of competencies students are expected to demonstrate and provide at best a blurry snapshot of student and school performance. Yet they are expected to inform students and parents about academic progress, teachers about what to do to improve instruction, community members about school success, and states and the nation about whether students and schools are meeting goals. These expectations, all important, are more than any assessment—even the most sophisticated—can bear. This brief suggests the principles upon which the federal government and states should base their work in fashioning new assessments.

2) Giving Horace Mann’s way of schooling the thumbs up is heralded as a ‘right’ to continue high stakes assessing. See this excerpt, “Since Horace Mann administered tests of student performance in Massachusetts in 1840, assessments have played multiple roles in American education. As Mann did, states and districts continue to administer tests to inform the public about the state of student achievement and to hold schools accountable for meeting achievement goals.”

3) Using CCSS as a wheel..what a horrid example. See this excerpt, “A new assessment system would redesign the summative tests used for accountability purposes and embed them in a comprehensive and coherent system in which curriculum, instruction, and assessment are intertwined. Think of the system as a wheel—at the hub are the common core standards, and the spokes include summative assessments, formative assessments, curriculum tasks, instructional tools, and professional development.

4) The Principles Supposedly Upheld via the summative and formative assessing, curriculum tasks, etc.

a) cohesion (are we talking people or machines, here?)
b) comprehension (one of the most under-served parts of education to date via CCSS)

c) accurate (are you serious?)

d) credible (anyone care to acknowledge that by breaking the 3 education federal laws AND the 10th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution that there is NO credibility available?)

e) fairness (only to the profiting companies)

f) matching learning goals (can anyone who created the CCSS machine even spell ‘inappropriate developmentally’?)

g) clarity for reports (can’t have data mining without some clear guidelines)

h) technology in the classroom (yes, we have to be digital at all costs, can’t be tracked if we don’t)

i) engaging teachers (yes, that’s right they’re SO  engaged, they are leaving their beloved profession in record numbers)

*NOTE, when you access each of the above principles, be sure to notice the international countries used as successful models.

The Fed’s Role a Bit More Defined:

With the 2015 Sen. Alexander bill up for consideration, this section of the 2010 Report sounds like someone was seriously into copying, pasting goals. I’ve read the entire Alexander bill and some of what I’ve read in this Report is eerily close in rhetoric.

Excerpts you’ll want to know:

a) “Federal education policy over the past two decades has played a dominant role in shaping state assessment systems.”

b) “The pending reauthorization of the ESEA offers an opportunity for the federal government to reshape testing practice yet again… shift the ESEA to focus on college and career readiness, which will require new assessments to measure student progress toward that goal. To help ensure the development of comprehensive, coherent assessment systems that support student learning toward standards for college and career readiness.”

How the above is to be accomplished via assessments per the Fed’s role in education:
1) requiring all assessments to include the CCR (College/Career Readiness) factor.

2) requiring curricula to be aligned to catch and measure what assessments can’t in regards to CCR.

3) requiring teachers to be as assessed as the students.

4) requiring no student to NOT be assessed.

5) requiring states to participate in skewed reports (NAEP, etc.)

6) using money to implicate the states in participation

7) create MORE education research

Is this your vision of 'excellent education'? It's not mine!
Is this your vision of ‘excellent education’? It’s not mine!

(please note, the year should read 2010, NOT 2009 in the above graphic)

The Report: 

Anti CCSS warriors, we know that the updated ESEA/NCLB bill is set to be voted on soon. While public comments may be closed, we still can make noise. Use the above information, contrast it to the newer version (which encompasses MORE than assessing).

Here’s the full document: ComprehensiveAssessmentSystem