Tag Archives: Aspen Institute

The Warrior’s Accoutrements

Today’s article will feature a variety of informational tools you can use (aka ‘accoutrements’) for our continued War vs. the Core.

Money Talks In This War:

1) ICYMI: My no-holes-barred look into President Trump’s Proposed Budget. The CCSS Machine’s education reform takes money to keep up its agenda. Our government has been a party to this for long enough. If we are to see the end of Common Core during Mr. Trump’s service, we MUST use truthful evidence to hold ALL of D.C. accountable, not just a select few.

2) My 7 page “Anti Fed Ed Common Core and all Its Related Activities” document. Within these 7 pages is a breakdown of priorities, we as Warriors must address surrounding the federal budget. See: AntiFedEdCommonCoreandallItsRelatedActivities

Within Mr. Trump’s plans, I found 85 ways his requests KEEP the CCSS Machine going. My priorities list gives you a mountain of accoutrements to use, just look for the highlighted words, you’ll be able to access years worth of researched evidence to support the priorities.
We have no time to waste in crunching numbers to wipe out nationally led education.
(*Note: Mr. Trump’s Proposal must be approved by Congress. We’ve also yet to see what Congress has laid out for education reform.)

As we learned before, all federal Cabinet Departments are in on the transforming education from academic based to workforce training.

Control From Above:

1) ‘New’ State Templates for Writing Your ‘Own’ ESSA Plans.
Yes, my Warrior friends, the U.S. Dept. of Ed recently released an updated version for how our States should formulate their educational plans. However, with the first ESSA deadline a few days away (April 3, 2018), how much difference is really in the new version? If a State is to be free enough to formulate its own education plan, is the Dept. of Ed still micromanaging?
ICYMI, the press release is embedded above. I include it so you can not only read the ‘feel good’ language  has chosen, but you can see embedded links to the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), Great Schools of America, etc.
(*Note: In the U.S. Dept. of Ed’s letter to the CCSSO, you’ll find how DeVos chose to promote a ‘concerted effort’ between States and the organization.)

Here’s your Warrior accoutrement! From Page 2 of the ‘canned’ U.S. Dept. of Ed’s ESSA State Plan.

accoutrementYou can find the new ESSA States guide, here.  States are not being given an option when it comes to working with the CCSSO.

Compare the above screen shot to the one below and see what changed from Dec. 2016 to March 2017:

ncessadraft

2) CCSSO, AdvancEd, and the Aspen Institute
Back in Sept. 2016, North Dakota Dept. of Public Instruction staff traveled to a CCSSO Meeting held in Atlanta, GA. As it happened, AdvancED was also holding a Symposium which fit right in with this meeting.  AdvancED even suggested you do some pre-Symposium reading. The goal of the Syposium? To supply State leaders with pre-formatted State Plans devoloped by AdvancED .
The topic of both the CCSSO’s and AdvancEd’s meetings? ESSA Implementation at the State level. While I’ve been unsuccessful in finding evidence of the CCSSO’s meeting held at the same time. I did find the ND notes about the meeting. See below:

ccssoatl

If you’d like more information on PTESS, click here.

Not long after the duo of CCSSO/AdvancEd influence over our State Education leaders, CCSSO teamed up with the Aspen Institute for another ESSA ‘guiding tool’.
Warriors, for us, it’s an accoutrement! How? It reveals how these pro CCSS groups are telling States how to act, what to do, what to say, and where to seek help.


What About Asssesments?
Warriors
, it’s no secret we’re in the ‘opt out’ season. We’ve seen the ESSA evidence about keeping the 95 percent assessment rate. States, via ESSA’s mandates, will include the participation rates.

Where? In the State’s accountability reports. States will have to turn these into the U.S. Dept. of Ed. Why? To keep receiving state-formulated grants.

1) An accoutrement we can use is the Fair Test’s latest on why and how to ‘opt out’. However, this comes with a warning. Fair Test is backed by the CCSS Machine and is tied to the New World Order Foundation. Much of the ideology held by NWOF is tied back to the global mindset found in the UN (United Nations). National Education Association (NEA) is also a key backer for Fair Test. Taking into consideration how sold out to the CCSS Machine and ESSA, the NEA is, don’t trust their advice!

2) What about the global push for assessing education?
Warriors, we know Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) isn’t  going away. PISA is a tool of the OCED (Organisation for Co-operation and Economic Development). OCED loves to work with the UN.
Here’s an accoutrement you can use. The Center for Curriculum Redesign (CCR), has published a series of articles about the need for MORE skill based assessments. This is only one part of the puzzle the CCSS Machine uses for advancing CBE (Competency Based Education)

4d
I found out about this when a stranger posted to my Common Core Diva Facebook page with the message to help save future doctors, workers, etc. Since I’d never heard of this person before, I wanted to check it out. Here’s the article. Below, see the screen shot from the end of the competency based assessment article. I’ve underlined 4 easily identifiable CCSS Machine supporters.

assesssupport
The CCR has 2 ‘must have’ accoutrements. The first addresses the 21st Century need for more assessments. The second addresses the workforce/skill based ‘needs’.
Why these are such a prize set of accoutrements is they are designed leaders and the more corporate minded education reformer. These will tell us what is coming and how our students will be over-assessed to fit a job slot, not their minds.
(*Note, Warriors, take your time exploring the CCR’s website. You’ll find international education groups, participating countries (example: Finland, which may be why we’re constantly comparing America to them), corporate partners, philanthropic groups, and more.)

Closing:

Warriors, our fight is far from over. Grab your shields, gather your fellow Warriors, and let’s use these accoutrements with ‘gusto’!

Agenda Junkies

Warriors Against the Core! Warriors Opposed to Federally Led Education!!

Are you tired of all the agenda, reform, and propaganda which comes with  CCSS, or, as it is more politically correct, ‘College and Career Readiness’?!

It all reminds me of a bunch of  junkies. Especially when you factor in the amount of money spent to ‘snow’ our nation into believing Common Core and its Machine are the best thing for America since ‘dirt was invented’.

No, Warriors, quite the opposite is true: Common Core and ALL that goes with it have driven our nation straight to ‘pot’!

I call those involved ‘agenda driven junkies’. Question is who among our leaders from D.C. to downtown are strung out on the lies? The agenda junkies don’t only help string education along, they are taking their toxicity into your neighborhoods.

The U.S. Dept. of Education (with some pretty ‘addictive’ help) has published a Plan to turn our communities into ‘USERS’.

The simplest way to state it: Public private partnerships (P3s) were purposefully expanded in ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act). If you factor in the other federal laws where the P3s are also embedded (WIOA, Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act and the HEA, Higher Education Act), you’ll start to see the ‘need for a fix’: businesses need workers to build the economy. What ‘cheaper’ way in which to train workers than by selling a ‘crack’ education like is was the best drug in town?!

                             Our students are the businesses’ ‘fix’.

U.S. Dept. Of Education’s Community User Plan:

I literally stumbled across this Aug. 2016 document just a few days ago. Of course, the agenda junkies at US Ed, came up with a ‘cool’ sounding name for the Plan, but the main point: how the P3s and/or CBAs will use our communities for workforce based education.


So, what’s the name of the Plan?

edcterti

The Highs And Lows Of The Plan:
1) The relationships between education and local businesses (P3s) is still pretty new. So, in order to make the most of this, the Plan lays out how to use this ‘urban and development tool’ as the source for filling the need of educated workforce. (Oh, by the way, did you know ESSA involves the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development?!)

2)  CBAs (Community Benefit Agreements), according to the Plan are slightly different than P3s in the overreach in education. Both carry a steep price: our schools.

3) By combining CTE and CBAs, your town can be assured of a steady ‘supply’ of educated workers strung out on agenda, not academics; on feeding your local economy not feeding their minds. Here’s how the Plan worded it, “This paper will help state and local policymakers understand the potential use of CBAs to support the delivery of high-quality CTE services in schools and colleges serving their surrounding communities. CBAs can serve as a potent tool for delivering comprehensive CTE programs that benefit a broad population of resident youths and adults. This desired outcome can be accomplished only if those charged with negotiating CBAs understand the benefits of well-designed CTE programs—and the importance of engaging CTE educators from the secondary and postsecondary levels in planning discussions.”

4) The ‘common agenda’ of the Plan? A unified, stronger community.

5) The Plan cites 2 Case Studies where CBAs and early CTE efforts were combined.Of these it appears these date back to 2004 and extend to the current year.
One involves Home Depot, Inc. (*Note: Home Depot, Inc. was tied to the new Chair of the U.S. House of Representatives’ Ed/Workforce Committee, Rep. Virginia Foxx in my “Fox in a Hen House” article, published yesterday.)

6) A source cited in the Plan refers to a 2013 construction career book, The Construction Careers Handbook, published by the Partnership for Working Families (2013), and how those who want to push CTE can create labor/education conversations. The goal? To make CTE even more rigorous!

7) See the screen shot below for  the 6 goals a CBA full of agenda is being pushed on our nation:

cbactegoals
To access the entire Planncicte_cbas_marcello

To see a 2014 U.S. Dept. of Ed/NCiCTE 108 page Report on Financing CTE across America:
NCICTE_CTE_Finance_Study

Those Pushing The Plan:

To see the 2015 NCiCTE article where I updated you on this federally funded group and how they can be tied to the Aspen Institute, Gates Foundation, and others:
https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/05/21/tech-thursday-career-tech-education-federal-style-update/


NCiCTE is funded by the U.S. Dept. of Ed.  Find it: http://ctecenter.ed.gov/
(*Notes:
a) Read their Mission Statement.
b) Be sure to refer to the NCiCTE’s Research Papers. This one is titled “Applying Human Capital Performance Bonds to Career and Technical Education” (See: http://s3.amazonaws.com/NCICTE/pdf/ncicte_financing.pdf ) The second one is all about defining and assessing College/Career Readiness: https://s3.amazonaws.com/NCICTE/training/training_2/module_2/resources/NCICTE%20Training%202%20Module%202.pdf ) )

The RTI International, Inc. is the newer name for the Research Triangle Institute based right in Research Triangle (Raleigh-Durham, NC). On their website, the Career and Technical Education can be found on the “Education and Workforce Development” page.
The group shares that they are busy behind the scene of ‘education’ and ‘global’ workforce. They collect massive amounts of data. Here’s an excerpt, “Clients in the education space rely on us to track elements such as early childhood health, school readiness, academic performance, noncognitive skills development, high school graduation and the transition to college, financial aid and college completion, and workforce education.”

To see the RTI, Int’l, Inc.’s full Ed/Workforce page:
 https://www.rti.org/practice-area/education-and-workforce-development

(*Note: When you visit this full page, be sure to click on the Career and Adult Education and Workforce Development section. It’s where I found (once again) definitive proof CCSS and CTE are united. See the image below.)

ccsscte9

To access the CCSS/CTE Employability Framework:
 http://cte.ed.gov/employabilityskills/index.php/background/what#

(*Also noteworthy: When RTI, Int’l, Inc. was still RTI, the Gates Foundation awarded this group many grants from 2009 (and earlier) to 2016. Most of the grants are in the health care field, but as we’ve seen, Warriors, Gates Foundation Grants are used for all kinds of reform directly OR indirectly impacting education. To see the 2 pages of Grants: 
http://www.gatesfoundation.org/How-We-Work/Quick-Links/Grants-Database#q/k=Research%20Triangle%20Institute )

Closing:

Warriors, whom among our leaders are the ‘agenda junkies’? Ask your Congress members have they read these NCiCTE documents? Especially in light of the upcoming CTE Bills in the House’s Ed/Workforce Committee and the Senate’s HELP Committee!
There are many, however, knowing our government is creating communities aligned to CTE, what about a national CTE Workforce Plan? It’s already in the works. The LADDER Act.

ladder

 

Bridges and Ladders

My Fellow Anti Fed Ed Warriors,

In the above picture you see a classic example of a brilliant mind. Leonardo da Vinci’s “Revolving Bridge”.  He created this, and other bridges for military purposes. The bridges were light weight (easy to carry, travels well), they were sturdy (conveyed strength), and they lasted long periods of time.

I use this as an example, not to give you a history lesson, but to use it as an analogy for the webinar devoted to higher education.

During the CCSS Machine sponsored webinar, education bridges, ladders, and pathways were discussed. Much like Leonardo da Vinci’s “Revolving Bridge”, higher education is set to become transportable (easy to carry, travels well/stackable, chunkable certifications), sturdy with more ‘rigor’ (conveying strength), and lock in lifelong learning (lasts a long time).

The Webinar:

Hosted by Atlantic Live! (an arm of the publication, The Atlantic Magazine) Atlantic Magazine also has another arm, a project called “Next America”. If memory serves me correctly, the last time I wrote about “Next America”, Sen. Lamar Alexander was a featured speaker. If I’m thinking correctly it was the time period leading up to HR5 (Student Success Act) and S1177 (Every Child Achieves Act) were in the making. Of course, as history shows, HR5 and S1177 ‘married’ and gave us ESSA, Every Student Succeeds Act.

Why do I bring this up? IF history is about to repeat itself, then Atlantic’s Next America having Rep. John Kline and other sold out CCSS Machine members gather to ‘discuss’ where higher education should go, we need to pay attention! Especially when your conversation guides are hand picked to feed the agenda of streamlining education to create a birth to grave education ladder or bridge.
hebridge

The image you see above is NOT from one of the CCSS Machine member organizations present at the webinar. But, it does give you a great idea how the webinar’s conversation was geared.

Lumina Foundation, the Gates Foundation, Next America, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and key members from SIGs (special interest groups) in higher education either had representative speak or they helped fund the production. Adding Rep. John Kline as the only federal Congress member was not a fluke. It was a strategic move. Kline admitted during the webinar that he had just come from breakfast with Sen. Lamar Alexander. You see, the two are partners in education demise.

Here’s the link to the webinar’s introduction page: http://www.theatlantic.com/live/events/the-changing-face-of-higher-education/2016/
(*Note: Archive version should be available soon. You can check out the Twitter account for more information, too. Use #NextAmerica)

The Biggest Warnings for Us:

1) The changes are coming, no doubt at all. The CCSS Machine has already begun turning the screws for higher education/post-secondary education. As I’ve shared with you many times, this is how EVERY citizen from ALL educational backgrounds will be funneled through the CCSS Machine. One of the choice terms for citizens during the webinar? “Human Capital”. The very first comment spoken by the Lumina Foundation’s education ‘expert’: “Post-secondary education MUST change.”

2) The CBE (competency based education), Career Pathways, MOOCs, digital learning, soft skills development, and more are the front runners for all the changes. New patterns, systems, and alignment are either in the works, or yet to be created. BUT, they will be added.
3) Purposed placement of school counselors in our K-12 systems are already identifying students who are ‘achievers’, tracks them, pulling them into a pathway to a baccalaureate degree in college (sometimes early college) via community colleges(which by the way, are Common Core, Career Tech aligned). Then, these graduates are funneled through to a 4 year institution. Look for “Pathways Colleges”. The example program given was “Pathway to Baccalaureate”. See: https://www.nvcc.edu/pathway/ (*Note: look for the ‘extraordinary pipeline to college’. Running this program? Former NC Community College President, Scott Randall. He was key in helping align all 58 NC Community Colleges to the CCSS Machine.)

The rest of the students? They get tracked too. Their path will be directly to community college, get a skill, get a job. Return to community college, get another skill, return to job. Repeat this cycle until you have all the credentials you need to enter your career field. The ‘new’ higher education?! Imagine it for 100% of the population. I’m not kidding. Some form of higher education (aka: post-secondary institution) is what can help America.

4) Rep. Kline’s comments contained these ‘gems’.
a) The key higher education moves in the U.S. House’s “Better Way” plan. It was revealed that the Paul Ryan pushed Plan is based largely on Kline’s earlier work in politics. Education is SO important that it’s embedded in the ‘economy’ plan under item #4.
See: http://abetterway.speaker.gov/?page=economy (*Note: KIine was quick to repeatedly use ‘bipartisan’ and ‘bicameral’ when it came to education. However, for all the bi-partisanship in the House, he didn’t mention the House Democrats view for higher education. If you want to see what CCSS friendly programs they  would like to keep or expand: http://democrats-edworkforce.house.gov/issues/education/higher-education. Examples of CCSS aligned programs: TRIO and GEAR UP.) Kline was asked how the Senators view higher education. He said that was ‘unfair’.)
b) The U.S. Congress only has a few days left before closing before the 2016 Election, so much has to be done quickly. Means rushed legislation moves. Bad news for everyone.
c) “More Access, More Success” via lower costs in higher education. His solutions?! CBE and digital education. America MUST promote innovation! This will keep the government out of the way. Oh really?! I guess the ConnectEd, the Computer Science for All, Digital Promise, etc. are all ways to keep government of education. Especially when each of these i is embedded ALREADY in ESSA and WIOA (Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act) or their related legislation. By the way, Kline said there have been 5 related bills already passed by the entire Congress to continue support for America’s College Promise (Obama’s plan for ‘free’ community college. “Free” is costing taxpayers at least $60 billion.) Way to keep government out of education, huh?!
d) Kline favors more digital, that’s obvious, but he also stated that families and students need things simple..as in a digital dashboard. The biggest impediment right now in higher education? Seat time because it’s taking away from CBE time and hinders credit hours. More P3s (used the Clemson/car manufacturing joint program as an example.) are the best way for America to go.

clemsoncar
5) Add to your list of global programs, like “Education for All” and “Universal PreK for All”. The new one brought up in the webinar? “Universal Free Public Higher Education”.
I found the EduCause’s older version of “universal higher education for all” (circa 2000).
See: https://net.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/ffpfp044.pdf

unihigh
Link to this article that would make the United Nations SO proud:
https://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/university-venus/universal-free-higher-education-good-global-citizenship

Speaking of The Global Citizen:

There was plenty more in the webinar which can be used to alert us to the ‘global citizen’ mindset that the CCSS Machine is shoving at us.
a) pay as you go/learn to earn models
b) systems where higher education tracks your work hours while tracking your education hours so that you can have 2 transcripts to show you are a skilled citizen
c) eliminating extra curricular activities to divert space for the common community’s good (example: Paul Quinn College shut down their football team (said it was a drain on finances) and converted the football stadium into an organic community accessible farm.) The President of Paul Quinn College has been glorified by the Atlantic Magazine. He’s also been groomed for educational ‘success’ in part by the Aspen Institute. (Article about the Presidenthttp://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2016/09/bringing-a-college-back-from-the-brink/500375/)

weme
I am not singling out this college, but rather, using it as an example. The reason we have extra curricular activities like football, arts, music, etc. is to expand our minds, exercise our bodies. Seeing these vital parts of Americana vanish is sad. Seeing them aligned to the CCSS Machine, outright tragic.

Seeing so many leaders in America moving us away from independence and freedom is not only un-American, it’s criminal!

FOM: CCSS, Aspen, and You

When did 'reinventing education' become code for Common Core?
When did ‘reinventing education’ become code for the Common Core Standards?

Hi Anti CC Warriors! Back in June 2015, I published a ‘tell all’ article about Sen. Lamar Alexander, the CCSS Machine, the re-authorization of the HEA (Higher Education Act), and how Common Core, along with Career Tech Education, is involved. So, since the Senator publicly stated the HEA was next in being ‘next’ on the CCSS Machine’s agenda, (see: http://www.c-span.org/video/standalone/?c4545511 )

we know where anti CC efforts need to be aimed. THIS IS IMPERATIVE, Warriors!
See the June article: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/06/10/wybi-sen-alexander-the-hea-and-next-america/

Why Aspen?

Why am I taking an updated look at the Aspen Institute (aka Aspen)?
After all it was barely mentioned in the June article by way of indirect association to the Alexander/HEA/Alignment effort.
If you’re new to the CCSS War and don’t know much about Aspen, I’d like to introduce you. If you’ve been in the War awhile, you may know about Aspen’s involvement. However, do we know the latest? Do we have time to learn about the latest CCSS Machine alignment efforts for post-secondary education? We ALWAYS have time to learn about fighting the CCSS Machine!

Before I get to the absolute latest information, here are the other Aspen articles I’ve written:
From May 2015: How Aspen Institute is working with NCICTE (National Center for Innovation in Career and Technical Education) to re-invent a Common Core post-secondary world: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/05/21/tech-thursday-career-tech-education-federal-style-update/

From February 2015: How Aspen Institute, “Be the Change“, “Opportunity Nation“, the Boy Scouts, community colleges, United Way, and many others are involved in re-inventing career alignment. See: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/02/16/monday-musings-opportunity-or-ultimatum/

The Danger about CCSS Machine’s career alignment isn’t so much the post-secondary portion as is the entire process begins well BEFORE a student’s admittance into post-secondary education.

Remember, post-secondary education has many choices: community college, public or private 4 year schools, for profit trade schools, on-line classes, etc. ANY citizen who enters these will be CCSS aligned via the courses.

The Latest on Aspen:

For one. there’s the “Presidential Fellowship  Program ” for Community Colleges. See: http://www.aspeninstitute.org/policy-work/college-excellence/presidential-fellowship/program-overview The danger, as I’ve pointed to before is, that community colleges are already aligned to Common Core. So any effort to continue to support such a continued effort to align is playing right into the CCSS Machine’s hands! (*Note: just do a general search of my blog for “community colleges’ and you’ll see what I mean.)  
Aspen Institute knows what we’re overlooking, or, taking for granted: that a tremendous amount of students–of all ages, attend community colleges. If ever there was a ‘back door’, nobody’s-watching-mindset, community colleges are ” perfect”.

Think about it, a widely accepted institution in our backyards, yet full of CCSS alignment!
Here’s a CCSS Machine reality, community college leaders aligning to CCSS/CTE right under our noses. How, you ask? The ‘New Community College Leaders”! See: http://www.aspeninstitute.org/policy-work/college-excellence/new-college-leadership-project  You, as an anti CCSS Warrior, will especially ‘love’ the rhetorical line about community colleges being forced into re-thinking how things are done. Why are they being ‘reinforced’ to take another look? The public, private partnerships which involve businesses..especially, those Chamber of Commerce member businesses! To see the Aspen Institute’s new leaders sales pitch, http://www.aspen institute.org/policy-work/college-excellence/new-college-leadership-project  Be sure to take note there’s a new curriculum being developed for leaders in community colleges, as well as pointers on WHO  is being hired to run these educational institutions! You can’t have a compliant CCSS run school if you are manipulating who is hired. One of the agenda points we’ve heard repeatedly from those supportive of Common Core is how our leaders will be measured as ‘successful’ based on student achievement. See: http://www.aspeninstitute.org/policy-work/college-excellence/tools-hiring-leaders

The bait for alignment via a community college? One million dollars. See: http://www.aspeninstitute.org/policy-work/college-excellence/overview

Helping lead all this alignment between community colleges, workforce, Career Tech Education, Common Core, and more?  “education and workforce imperatives facing our country, the Aspen Institute, the Bank of America Charitable Foundation, the Joyce Foundation, the Kresge Foundation, and Lumina Foundation have partnered to support the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence.” See the link directly above.

In Case You Need a Reminder:

How is Aspen Institute tied to Common Core?  Below, are a few articles, you may understand.
1) http://www.aspeninstitute.org/publications/implementation-common-core-state-standards-transition-guide-school-level-leaders
2) http://www.aspeninstitute.org/publications/tools-teachers-implementing-key-shifts-common-core-state-standards
3) http://www.aspeninstitute.org/events/2013/09/19/what-how-leading-common-core-success-school-level
4) http://www.aspeninstitute.org/events/2013/12/09/evolving-role-federal-policy-education-rd-dissemination
5) http://www.achievementnetwork.org/common-core-transition/ (*Note: how Aspen and anther group are working as one to align your schoools.)


A last NOTE:

As you’ve read before here on my blog, Career Tech Education IS Common Core on an adult level, which just happens to also start at a much younger, than adult age. It also involves Career Pathways. An example? The State of NC’s Community College’s CTE programs (and again, search my blog for other articles)
See: http://www.nccommunitycolleges.edu/search/content/career%20tech%20education

Closing:

Know that there’s so much more to the Senator’s moves in higher education, Common Core, and all it’s Career readiness. In case you’ve not already noticed a direct tie between Aspen and Common Core, see:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2013/05/12/gates-gives-150-million-in-grants-for-common-core-standards/

I’ll be covering MUCH more on this, so stay tuned. Please remember, HR5, S1177, also will connect to the re-authorized version of the HEA. Why? A united, trained workforce.

Tech Thursday: Career Tech Education (Federal Style) Update

If I were to say “federal Career Tech Education”, would you believe it? What if I could show you Career Tech Education is the Adult Common Core? If you’ve followed my blog for long, you know I’ve pointed the connections out between K-12 Common Core and post-secondary Common Core (aka ‘Career Clusters’, ‘Career Pathways’, ‘American Apprenticeships Initiative’, ‘Career and Technical Education’, ‘STEM’, “Career and College Promise”, and other assorted names).

While we know the CCSS Machine is churning away at revamping ALL educational levels, we are learning more and more each day of HOW the U.S. federal government is also revamping ALL educational levels.

Coincidence? HARDLY! Join me as we see what’s new with the NCICTE!

You, too, can visit the federal funded CTE center: http://ctecenter.ed.gov/
You, too, can visit the federal funded CTE center: http://ctecenter.ed.gov/

A Brief Introduction (for the newest readers of my blog):

In the screen shot above, I’ve pointed out 3 key things for you. A) The federally funded website is featuring a study of how each of the 50 States is using their Career Tech Education funding (*Note: see the second referenced article below); B) that Aspen Institute, a big wheel in the CCSS Machine, is a group the federally funded group chose to use to relay ‘facts’; and C) that the Perkins Funding (used by higher education students and named for Carl Perkins) has been worked over by the CCSS Machine to embed MORE CCSS!
(for proof, see: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/11/16/rmt-vp-unions-career-tech-and-common-core/ {be sure to access the paragraph about how Perkins money is used to promote CCSS/CTE};
and this one where I first told you about the federally funded CTE website, https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/11/20/tech-thursday-perkins-gets-the-common-core-squeeze/)

NCICTE, or the “National Center for Innovation in Career and Technical Education”: 

The original article revealing to you the NCICTE (11/20/14’s from above) gives you all the information on the 50 state study. So, not to repeat that information, let’s see what’s new, shall we?

1) That Aspen Institute study I mentioned above? It’s new, the back cover gives a copyright date of 2015. In it you’ll find how key the Gates Foundation has been to the study; how that ‘skills gap’ problem still is vexing America unless we reform, reform, and align education; how more higher education degrees, certificates, credentials mean a better economic pattern for all of America (in fact, this point is the main focus of the report); and lastly, how the data mining will be handled. An ‘added bonus’ is:
You’ll see how they’ve sliced and diced information to come to the same worn out CCSS Machine conclusion: we’re all on the fast-track to ruin UNLESS we step up our CTE students/teachers ‘game’! To get the Aspen Institute’s Report, http://www.aspeninstitute.org/sites/default/files/content/docs/pubs/LaborMarketReturns_0.pdf

2) You’ll learn (when you visit the NCICTE website) that they conduct scientific research to enhance CTE. You’ll also get to see what other partners they choose to use to make CTE the best it can be:

CCSS/CTE: where P3s are in a state of bliss.
CCSS/CTE: where P3s are in a state of bliss.

3) The CTE Consortia is another recent feature you’ll want to investigate further. Why this is worthy? Because each state receives an allocated amount of Perkins funding for use within the higher education system. The formula used is key to state legislation. So, you can find where the money is, where it’s going, and how it is to be used. Talk about a great way to hold legislators accountable AND voice how you want your tax money (yes, federal funds are our tax dollars) used to NOT promote the CCSS Machine! ( see: http://ctecenter.ed.gov/training_center/single_training/consortia-formation )

4) You’ll also find the ‘high quality bridge framework’ for better ‘Career Pathways’ and ‘Clusters’. (see the screen shot below):

ccssctealignframe

To access the entire framework (published in 2012): RevED_CACRF paper_final txt_v4

Closing:

How can we feel that anything aligned to CCSS and/or CTE is ‘high quality’ when we’ve seen so much proof about how ‘less than’ the foundation is?! Please, folks: look into how your state has sold itself down the river by continuing to support Common Core…in ANY of its forms! Career and Technical Education has one goal..that’s been repeated by so many.. a workforce population, not a thriving nation.

Monday Musings: Opportunity or Ultimatum?

In the realm of all things Common Core, what's offered as opportunity is often not all it's supposed to be.
In the realm of all things Common Core, what’s offered as opportunity is often not all it’s supposed to be.

Happening just days from is the “National Opportunity Summit” in Washington, D.C. How this connects to Common Core is about to be revealed. Join me as we learn all we can. Clothed as ‘opportunity’, it smacks of ‘ultimatum’.

The Nation:

Website: http://opportunitynation.org/the-opportunity-summit/  Known as “Opportunity Nation”, this group is part of the “Be the Change, Inc.”, a 501(c) 3 organization. We’ll look at “Be” in a bit, but first let’s look at what the “Opportunity Nation” does.

The Participating Members:

As part the Nation, there are several known pro-CCSS schools, organizations. You’ll need to see the entire list for yourselves, however, here’s a screen shot you can click on to enlarge.

This coalition includes the Boy Scouts, community colleges, and many more.
This coalition includes the Boy Scouts, community colleges, and many more.

The Index:

What nation would be complete without a way to compare each state to others? You’ll note when you enlarge this picture that the Index uses the unemployment rate. If you’re not aware, the unemployment rate has been misused to support Common Core.

Here's a sample of what you can find out about your state's opportunity levels.
Here’s a sample of what you can find out about your state’s opportunity levels.

The Solution?:

Opp Nation has a solution to all this disconnection/unemployment it says we are experiencing. What are some of the pieces to the solution? Career Tech Education! (Adult Common Core) Workforce legislation (aligns labor/education), education savings accounts (which have been reported to be another way to ensnare families in CCSS). You really NEED to see the entire solution plan.
http://opportunitynation.org/our-solution/the-shared-plan/

The Summit:

While you look over the Summit’s planned workshops, consider the politicians involved. Note the businesses. Do you see Business Round Table? Huge CC supportive group. See: http://opportunitynation.org/opportunity-summit-agenda/

The YouTube Channel:

You’ll really want to access the Nation’s videos. All the rhetoric you’d expect from the CCSS Machine’s drive to disguise ultimatums with opportunities. See: https://www.youtube.com/user/OpportunityNation

“Be the Change”, Inc.:

Website: http://www.bethechangeinc.org/  This nonprofit is devoted to the memory and mission of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Currently, they also have other initiatives going on besides OppNation. Be/Change is also devoted to Workforce as opportunity. To see who serves on the Board, visit: http://www.bethechangeinc.org/pages/who-we-are

To see the Gates Foundation’s contribution to Be the Change:

Yes, Gates Foundation has given money to Be the Change.
Yes, Gates Foundation has given money to Be the Change.

Listen and Watch the Be the Change’s founder from 2008.

More About Mr. Khazei:

The internet search I used called Mr. Khazei a ‘social entrepreneur’. “Echoing Green” named him a Fellow back in 1991. (See: http://www.echoinggreen.org/fellows/alan-khazei ) His social justice campaign got a shout out a few years ago, see: 

http://www.fastcompany.com/38937/social-justice-alan-khazei-and-vanessa-kirsch

Mr. Khazei’s other Common Core tie? The Aspen Institute! That is according to his LinkedIn profile. See: https://www.linkedin.com/pub/alan-khazei/15/75b/4a8

Aspen Institute’s Common Core pages: http://www.aspeninstitute.org/search/content/common%20core%20standards (*Note: Be sure you see the right hand menu of the latest news. You should see David Coleman’s face there.)

Aspen, Gates Foundation, and CCSS: The Washington Post has a great article connecting all three of these. See: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2013/05/12/gates-gives-150-million-in-grants-for-common-core-standards/

aspengates

Closing:

Well, the original musing I posed was all this opportunity or ultimatum. It is my researched opinion that opportunity is a farce in the realm of Common Core. Ultimatums are a distinct possibility when you factor in all the amount of controlling strings the CCSS Machine has for us.

FTF Tuesday: The “Core” is “Ready”, Are You?

This is the cover of a series of books by Pam Allyan available through Pearson, Amazon, and Barnes/Noble.
This is the cover of a series of books by Pam Allyan available through Pearson, Amazon, and Barnes/Noble.

Like we need a reminder about Common Core and the ridiculous question, “Are you ready for the Core”?! Notice how whimsical the above picture is made to look. Almost like a storybook. From what we’ve all learned about the inappropriateness of the Standards for students, it ought to be a horror tale. However, where our files will be pulled from today isn’t in a storybook setting.

“Core Ready Schools”, http://corereadyschools.org/:

From their overview, “The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) articulate inspiring, ambitious goals for student learning. The CCSS elevate what educators have always known to be good instruction, including development of critical thinking, collaboration, and communication skills. But in most schools, translating these goals into results for students will require significant shifts in instruction, professional learning, and school leadership.” Before we get too far into more about CRS, you need to know that this is a project of the Aspen Institute. A HUGE CCSS supportive group. (more about Aspen in a bit)

According to the CRS (Core Ready Schools) the purpose is quite simple, have all schools ready not just for the “Core” but for College/Career Readiness. Published back in 2013, the Implementation Guide to help schools become CRS stated this:
“The Aspen Institute Education and Society Program, along with Education First, Insight Education Group, Student Achievement Partners, and Targeted Leadership Consulting, have developed clear advice, planning tools, and metrics to help schools accomplish this significant transition.” 

Built into the implementation “high-impact actions, measures, and tools”. Are we sure we’re talking about schools where students are taught OR a military strategic maneuver? Of course to be totally successful at being CRS: time and money..lots of both. ‘Highly skilled instructional coaches’ are the ones to make sure your student’s school is “Core Ready”. Now, you’ll love this next part. Only a team very knowledgeable about the Common  Core Standards can determine the plan of action for the school desiring to become CRS. Are you beginning to sense the theme here? I hope so!

Other “Core Ready” moves: ‘Ensure the alignment of instructional resources used by teachers and students with the goals and expectations of the CCSS.’  Then there’s the showing-teachers-how-to-use-data taken from assessments to align everything following to CCSS. You’ll ‘love’ the added bonuses of making parents and other ‘stakeholders understand how CCSS is success for your student.

According to the publication, a further bit down,  the leadership team accomplishing all this. This is where, we as citizens, need to be looking. Who are the leaders? How did they obtain that leadership? Is it transparent to you, the citizen/parent? At which turns will all the measuring, high impact plans, and tools be used–will they be many or few? How in-depth? What recourse as a parent do you have? The file I’m providing has many links embedded to direct you to just what those knowledgeable CCSS leaders must do, what data is used, how the measuring is to occur, and other key things you need to use as information. (remember, every bit of this will be from the ‘pro’ side of the CCSS). See: corereadydoc

An update to the CRS from November 2014:

You, as anti CCSS warrior, you HAVE to watch this over 1 and a half hour You Tube video that details for you much about not only the “Core Ready Schools”, but information about the in-depth goings-on of Aspen Institution as well as their partners.

Notes:

1) ‘Curmudgucation’ also has written about CRS.  You may know that, you may not. Here’s a link to that article: http://curmudgucation.blogspot.com/2014/11/core-ready-schools-aspen-and-achieve.html

2) The You Tube video above refers to the ‘corereadydoc’, also located  above.

3) Of interest to my fellow NC anti-CCSS fans, the Aspen Institute and Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (back in March of 2012 when Peter Gorman was still the School Superintendent) worked together. Also working with Aspen: Ann Clark (who currently is serving on the NC Academic Standards Review Commission). Here’s the excerpt, “Thank you to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Public Schools teachers, principals and central officestaff who participated in this study. Special thanks to Pete Gorman, Ann Clark,Andy Baxter, Vanessa Benton, Mary Martin, Susan Norwood, Sam Sipes and Tom Tomberlin. Thank you also to Ross Wiener, Erin Hammond and Ariel Jacobs of the Aspen Institute Education & Society Program for guiding the development and production of this case study.” {for those outside of NC, Char-Meck is the largest school district in the state.} Why is this note worthy? Great question! Here’s a bit more directly from the published study, “CMS is developing a system that will measure teacher performance and linking compensation to
it by 2014. The district began to develop its own value-added formula in 2009, with the goal of ultimately being able to provide a value-added score for every teacher. In 2010, CMS adopted the new state teacher evaluation standards, augmenting them with indicators aligned to the district’s priorities and beginning to use it to assess teachers’
classroom practice. The system tackled the issue of developing value-added scores for teachers whose classes are not included in the state assessments by piloting summative assessments in non-tested grades and subjects in the spring of 2011. This work on summative assessment will be expanded in 2012, working in collaboration with the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction and its Race to the Top plan. The district is also exploring other metrics it will use in measuring teacher effectiveness, such as student surveys, leveraging what it is learning through implementation of its Teacher Incentive Fund grant and as a partner district in the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Measuring Effective Teaching (MET) study.” 

4) I wrote about the MetLife connection to Common Core on the website “Prevent Common Core” a few months ago. You can access that article with all kinds of information about CCSS, http://preventcommoncore.com/?p=1154 

5)Even if you don’t live in NC, you’ll benefit from having this publication because it is laying the ground work for how not only teachers, but principals are to be measured with high stakes assessing. Which we all know now is a vital part of CCSS. For my warriors in NC, it’s great because it details Superintent Gorman’s plans and how the NC DPI overrode them. (see: aspennccharmeck) You might be interested to know that Mr. Gorman now works for “Amplify”, a company knee deep in not only CCSS curricula materials, but assessments. Its partners are well connected to CCSS as well. (to see Amplify’s leaders, Mr. Gorman’s one of them: http://www.amplify.com/leadership) Oh, before I forget, Ms. Clark is the acting CMS Superintendent due to the hasty resignation of Mr. Gorman’s replacement, Dr. Heath Morrison.

6) Aspen’s ties to Common Core? That’s easy. The Washington Post reported the Gates Foundation ‘investment’ into CCSS with Aspen among those groups which benefited. See http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2013/05/12/gates-gives-150-million-in-grants-for-common-core-standards/) Among the Board members of Aspen Institute? David Koch (of THE Koch Brothers); Condolezza Rice; a United Nations expert who specializes in humanitarian advocacy; Salman Khan (of Khan Academy, another Gates Foundation CCSS recipient), and others who are connected in some way to CCSS. (see the Board of P3 members (public, private partnerships): http://www.aspeninstitute.org/about/leadership

So, folks, ready or not..the ‘Core’ is coming for your students. Question is, what will we do to kick the “Core” to the door?

Monday Musings: Hitting the Books

Reading, especially good books is vital to so many brain functions.
Reading, especially good books is vital to so many brain functions.

I’m not sure about your home, but in mine, it is filled with avid readers. Common Core, as we know by now, is seeking to remove the joy of reading good books. What a shame. If you’ve been to your local library lately, have you noticed a change? I did in mine. Almost every single book that is older than 2008, has now been pulled from the shelves. Gone, disappeared. I have no clue when this happened. But it has. What is replacing the old books? New books. For example, I have been tutoring a student each week at my local library. We needed a dictionary. I had forgotten my trusty, beat up collegiate one at home. So, we grab the brand new copy off the library shelves. It was horrifying! The pronunciation symbols I knew from when my kids were younger, had all changed. Really?! When did this happen? Again, I’m not sure. My point, many changes in our books or with our books are taking place right under our noses and we’re not catching them!

Bookstore, galore:

Do bookstores love the Core? What about libraries we help fund with our tax dollars? Let’s take a look at each.

According to the American Booksellers Association, they not only like the CCSS, they are looking for ways to profit from the Standards. I found on their website a report. More about it below.

The following excerpt from June 2014 from the Book Expo America where a panel held a workshop discussing CCSS and the book selling industry: “Common Core is going to affect the trade book market in a strong way. It’s important and incumbent upon booksellers, librarians, and educators to become familiar with the Common Core.” Neil Jaffee, president of Booksource. A bookstore co-owner had this to say, “For us as booksellers in our communities, in a way, a lot of this is business as usual.”  She also stated that  the new standards provide another way to ramp up a bookstore’s connection with educators, parents, and children, as well as to bolster nonfiction and educational book sections in the store. This particular co-owner went on to say that CCSS is a great way for bookstores to make suggestions to shape the CCSS reading lists. Something like, talking to the right people or talking to a lot of people can end up getting the states reading lists to add these to the adopted standards. In other words..a huge opportunity for profit. Think about it, suggest the books that help the Core to the right people, get a big order at your store from the schools. Now, depending on which type of school orders books, would determine if taxpayer money is being used for these purchases. This type of thinking is certainly all about the profits.

More ‘praises’ about the Standards continued from the Expo’s panel. CCSS will help bring often neglected books up from the dark, forgotten corners and up into the forefront! There’s so much opportunity for freedom of speech due to all the ‘pro/con’ assignments! The same co-owner (from above) had this revelation about choosing books for CC reading, “Most of the educators didn’t care — what they wanted from us was that expertise, that knowledge to say that this is a great book and for what reason, and for what grade level or what reader it will work for.”

Okay, let me pause here to say, who do these folks think they are fooling? Most of the bookstores I know of hire folks off the street because they need a job, not because they are literary experts. High end bookstores may have a very knowledge based owner or employee, but I hardly think we can blanketedly assume literary experts are hanging around bookstores waiting for someone to ask them if the book they are considering will align to the CCSS well or not! (want to read the rest of the report? http://www.bookweb.org/news/industry-experts-weigh-common-core-bea)

Then, there’s the ‘leveling’ of books. Wait, what?! Book leveling, according to Scholastic (very CCSS aligned) says it’s a way to set up your library by degree of difficulty, or levels. Sounds simple, but we know CCSS can’t leave anything as simple. Here’s a list from their website of what criteria is needed for leveling: “What Are Some Criteria for Leveling Books?No single aspect or characteristic of text can be used to evaluate reading material. In placing a text along a gradient of difficulty, many factors are considered. Length — Consider the number of pages, the number of words, and the number of lines on the page. Books for beginners will have just one or two lines on a page. Layout — Beginners need texts with a large font and clear spaces between words and lines. Sentences begin on the left and print is clearly separated from pictures. In more complex books, sentences begin in the middle of lines or are carried over onto the next page. Fonts become smaller. Structure and Organization — Early books have simple plots and some repetition. Some books use repeating episodes or complex plots organized chronologically. As books become more challenging, more interpretation will be needed. Illustrations — Easier books provide pictures to support the reader in gaining meaning and solving words. Picture support gradually decreases as you move up the gradient of difficulty. Words — Beginning books use high-frequency words, text with regular spelling words, and content words reinforced by pictures. More challenging texts use multi-syllabic words and a wider range vocabulary to express meaning. Phrases and Sentences — The gradient begins with very simple sentences and goes on to include longer, more complex sentences with embedded clauses. Literary Features — Consider the complexity of the ideas. What must readers understand about the characters, setting, and plot to read this book with understanding? Literary features such as flashbacks or metaphors may introduce a challenge. Content and Theme — Books for young children will focus on topics and themes that are familiar to them. Complexity gradually increases to ideas and topics that children would not experience in everyday lives. Some sophisticated themes require maturity for understanding and may mean that a book is more challenging, even if other factors make it seem easy.” (see the rest of the article: http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/article/what-leveled-reading)

Bob Seger once sang "I feel like a number, but I'm not a number."
Bob Seger once sang “I feel like a number, but I’m not a number.” Students are people, not coded beings!

Public Libraries:

In a short answer, yes, public libraries are aligning. Remember when I shared my library’s shelves had been cleaned out? That is part of the aligning. What we the citizens lose are some great books. Here’s a 2013 webinar that details how public libraries are to align to CCSS.  CommonCorePublib

Another example, CT’s libraries, hoping to help their state’s librarians out, gave their public libraries ‘cheat sheets’. (see: http://www.ctstatelibrary.org/dld/pages/common-core-resources-pub)

So, what about your state? Try looking in your state level cabinets or departments. NC (where I live) has the public libraries as part of the NC Dept. of Cultural Resources. Your state may have a different name.  However, if your state has received a grant(see below) from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the alignment is in full swing. How? Aspen Institute (very CCSS active). See this blog entry detailing how Aspen is the library’s newest best buddy. Why? Aligning the community. (http://blog.imls.gov/?p=5345)

Here’s what NC’s state library page said about the grants: “Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) Grants are federal funds from the Institute of Museum and Library Services that are awarded by the State Library to eligible North Carolina libraries.”

I shake my head in disbelief. How could so many people conspire to ruin reading? To zap the joy of a tremendous mind journey via a classic adventure tale or the like, is a travesty.