Tag Archives: ASVAB

Assessment Quest, Parts 1 and 2

Part One

We, anti CCSS Warriors know how crafty the CCSS Machine is in playing word games with us. So, consider the names used (or variations) of names used in some of the CCSS Machine products, legislation, assessments, and anything else connected to it. For example, the ESSA, Every Student Succeeds Act is named as it is to SUGGEST positive results. However, we Warriors know, the Law actually means “Every Student Confined”. There are plenty more examples out there, but I want to look at the assessments in particular. Why? Again, the names the CCSS Machine has given each, points to success, but leads to alignment of epic proportions!

In previous researched articles, I have revealed for you how SpringBoard (which offers another service called Learning Walks to partner with schools for CCSS/Competency Based Education alignment) Plan, Aspire, WorkKeys, MAP, Skills Navigator,ProMetric, Certica, and TestWhiz all sound like great and positive assessments for your students, but are really purposed tools to force an aligned, globally competent worker. I know there are others, but you get the idea.

Other assessments with not so positive sounding names (but with the same purposed agenda tool results) are Iowa Assessments, Standford 10 , ETS, ERB, SBAC, PARCC, SAT, ACT, CLEP, College Board, and ASVAB.

One with a former not so positive sounding assessment is the GED, it has been rewritten and renamed to HiSET (High School Equivalency Test). Pearson Publishing has copyrighted the GED and aligned it with CCSS. See:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/answer-sheet/wp/2015/07/09/the-big-problems-with-pearsons-new-ged-high-school-equivalency-test/

More recently I exposed the partnership between Act, Inc. and Envision. Act., Inc. provides the assessments for workforce based education paths (also known as competency based education) and Envision collects the data for global purposes. Envision has been successful in this alignment, I believe, because they have named the program involved with one that suggests positive, but hides the agenda. In case you missed this article about assessments and global data mining:
https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2016/06/24/envisioning-you/

One State Goes on a Quest:

Recently, one of my dearest friends and among the most dedicated anti CCSS/Fed Ed Warriors I know, contacted me. Karen lives in TN. She asked me if I had ever researched the Questar assessment.  Karen has researched some about Questar on her own. She knows the assessment is tied to IMS Global.  What I have found is below and follows up what Karen found. Knowing the ‘quest’ in the title suggests something positive, I found quite the opposite.


Questar:

Website: http://www.questarai.com/

questaracct

According the ‘About Us’ page on the Questar website, the company is at least 40 years old. Their slogan, “Bridging the Gap” seems to fit right in with the CCSS Machine agenda. This assessment provider (K-12 grades) is based in MN.
Among the leaders of Questar, is the President and CEO, Jamie Post Candee. Candee got her start in banking before shifting to education related jobs. If you look at her biography, you see she was formerly employed by PLATO Learning. PLATO Learning also has a former name, EDmentum. Included in her bio is this quote, “Jamie is the driving force behind Questar’s commitment to creating meaningful assessments that give educators the insights they need to fully prepare students for college or career.”

platoedI previously wrote about Edmendtum and a host of other assessment aligners in 2015.
See: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/09/01/ftf-ascending-and-aligning/

Edmentum is tied to Providence Equity Partners, LLC. Please, read the above archived article. It has many twists and turns (much like a journey’s trail) but you need to see just how multi-strung these private groups are when it comes to education!

Back to Questar’s Leaders, the Chief Assessments Advisor? The Former U.S. Dept. of Education’s Standards and Assessments Director, Dr. Timothy VanSickle. (*Interesting note: in 2011, he was named as a CCSSO (Council of Chief State School Officers) Partner.) Also a Chief Assessments Advisor for Questar is Dr. Katie McClarty. McClarty was previously employed by none other than Pearson Publishing! Here’s how, “Before joining Questar, Katie served as the director for the Center for College & Career Success in Pearson’s Research & Innovation Network. Her signature work for the Center included the co-creation of a holistic college-readiness index for middle school students and the co-design and facilitation of standard-setting meetings and research projects for the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC). Prior to directing the Center, she was the chief research scientist for the state of Texas general education assessment programs.”

Other leaders tied to the CCSS Machine are present as well. CCSS Machine organizations represented include eInstruction, ConnectEdU, AIR, Inc. (AIR stands for American Institutes for Research and are tied to SBAC assessments.), Advanced Systems in Measurement and Evaluation (now Measured Progress) and Data Recognition Corporation (Jim McMann). McMann was responsible for several States assessment contracts when he was with Data Recognition Corp.

Board members for Questar also have plenty of ties to the CCSS Machine. One huge one is
New Market Ventures Group. New Market has a portfolio where other educational companies are included. Here is a screen shot:

newmarket
To see the entire list of portfolio companies, http://newmarketsvp.com/portfolio-companies/
You also may be interested in New Market Venture’s recent news release about Graduation Alliance and ACT, Inc. partnering together for new career readiness certificates. (Also assessment based) See:
http://newmarketsvp.com/2016/04/18/graduation-alliances-diploma-program-expands-to-include-career-readiness-certification-through-collaboration-with-act/

You can see all the Questar leaders and Board Members information: 
Board: http://www.questarai.com/about-us/board-of-directors/
Leaders: http://www.questarai.com/about-us/leadership/

To see Questar Large Scale Assessments (where they take in entire States, school districts, etc.), click on their “Large Scale Assessment” tab.
(*Note: in Large Scale Assessments, there are 5 Steps. Be sure to look at each one. Every symbol more information about it when you click the symbol. For example, I clicked on the light bulb in Stage 2 (Assessment Design) and found all kinds of information on psychometric assessment.)
To see Questar Literacy Assessment (for Students), then click on their “District Literacy” tab.(*Note: This assessment is backed by the CCSSO. Remember, CCSSO owns half the CCSS Copyrights.)
You will want to access the research behind all these assessments. Questar’s White Papers on Assessments (includes Next Generation Assessments). That is in the “White Papers” tab (second row of tabs in blue font).

Part Two:
So Where is IMS Global?

Warriors, so far we have plenty of evidence for CCSS Machine allegiance from Questar. We have seen how these people are coming from one part of the agenda to other part. But how does this tie to Questar? How does this tie back to the ESSA? Let’s find out.

IMS Global is a Consortium for Digital Learning. Here is a screen shot illustrating their reach in education. A small bit of their history, “In 1995, IMS came into existence as a project (the Instructional Management System project) within the National Learning Infrastructure Initiative of EDUCAUSE. In 1999 IMS Global spun out of EDUCAUSE to become an independent non-profit organization.” (*Note: the ‘IMS’ stands for ‘Instructional Management System’)

imsglobal

From the 2015 Annual Report, IMS Global gloated about its integral part in Race to the Top Assessments. That’s just in the USA.
Other similar assessments are in other countries. (Page 10).
Also from Page 10, this excerpt which ties Questar directly to IMS Global,
“To further accelerate progress of the IMS e-Assessment Initiative, IMS formed the Executive Board on Assessment (EBA) to help remove the barriers to broader adoption of QTI and APIP. The EBA serves as an extension of the IMS Board of Directors and is open to all IMS Contributing Members, but requires an executive pledge to provide the leadership and resources needed to lead the market in charting the next phase of QTI and APIP standards to build strong end-to-end interoperability and accelerate standards compliance. Charter members included ACT, CITO, College voor Toetsen en Examens, ETS, Florida Virtual School, Houston ISD, McGraw-Hill Education, Measured Progress, Minnesota Department of Education, National Center and State Collaborative (NCSC), NWEA, Open Assessment Technologies, Pacific Metrics, PARCC, Questar Assessment, Smarter Balanced, and WIDA.”

To access the IMS Global Annual Report (2015)https://www.imsglobal.org/sites/default/files/2015annualReport.pdf
(*Note: Page 13 names all the assessments involved in digital education, names all the people involved, and names the Executive Board responsible for the EBA.)

I was able to find a 2002 research paper from IMS Global on defining these on-line credentials for global competency our education reform in pushing so hard to convert to. Known as a ‘RDCEO’ (Reuseable Definition of Competency or Educational Objective), these objectives are usually open-ended, loosely defined so that anywhere across the globe they can be user-friendly. They can be used over and over again, anywhere, by anyone.
You, as a Warrior Against the Core, simply must read the rest of this paper!
Access it: https://www.imsglobal.org/competencies/rdceov1p0/imsrdceo_infov1p0.html

You will also need to access and read the IMS Global 2015 Learning Impact Report. It is also key in the War Against the Core! Get it: 
https://www.imsglobal.org/sites/default/files/2015LearningImpactReport.pdf

If you want to see IMS Global’s K-20 Digital Badge program, Getting Smart (very CCSS Machine Supportive, in my opinion) published this write up:
http://gettingsmart.com/2015/04/mozilla-ims-team-up-for-badging/
(*Note: helping fund this K-20 Badge project is the MacArthur Foundation, a well known CCSS Machine member.)
All the other funders, backers are named. But the biggest take away is that this CBE (competency based education) shift will promote IMS Global as one of the biggest leaders in it in the world!

We still don’t see how IMS Global ties to ESSA. Below is a screen shot. It is from our dear Warriors, the “What Is Common Core?” Blog. Here is the link to their entire article. Note the highlighted portion of the picture.
 https://whatiscommoncore.wordpress.com/2015/12/02/this-is-the-moment-congress-we-are-watching-you-vote-and-we-know-whats-in-this-bill/

whatims
Among IMS Global Members: Pearson Publishing, Questar, PARCC, the Gates Foundation, and many more.

Related: EdUCause is tied to the CCSS Machine and really loves higher education. Here is my article about them from early 2015:
https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/01/29/tech-thursday-educauses-higher-education-project/

Since IMS Global is helping set the bar for digital standards, I thought you might like to see how ESSA has provided for each State to be digitally made over. See:
https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2016/02/04/essa-and-digital-overload/

Closing:

Warriors, this is a tremendous journey, I know. Please break it down as you need to. There is much here. For my friend Karen, I hope it is enough to help TN. While it appears IMS Global is set to be among those mastering digital education, at least we know the members of not only the CCSS Machine, but now the IMS Global contain many of the same groups/people. That makes our job of knowing where to look that much easier!

 

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Tech Thursday: Common Core Military Special

Normally on Thursdays, I treat you to an article about Common Core in post secondary education. Today, however, I’ve got a special article. Collaborative for Student Success has just released a new infograph about Common Core and our U.S. Military students.

What you don’t see below is the staggering number of students set to be in the direct line of fire for receiving CCSS in military schools. Eighty-two thousand (82,000).
Outside those military families, look at those students wishing to get in the military, no matter where they attended high school, a CCSS laden exam awaits (more on that later). As far as not having enough students qualify to to join the military upon graduation from high school? I found one article which suggests the reason isn’t because of education, but because the recruiters don’t need as many service men and women, so they can be a bit more choosy in selecting new members of the armed forces! Something the Collaborative folks left out in their infograph. (see: https://news.vice.com/article/the-common-core-military-readiness-and-the-myth-of-americas-dumb-youth)

Get the full inforgraph: http://forstudentsuccess.org/why-military-students-deserve-high-standards/
Get the full inforgraph:
http://forstudentsuccess.org/why-military-students-deserve-high-standards/

From 2003:

A document I found on the State Dept.’s website caused me to pose a question. Could the ‘common core curriculum and programs’ developed for the military training be the same as the CCSS of today? I’ve provided a screen shot where you’ll be able to see how some funding was being used. While I’ve not been able to actually see the curriculum, it does leave a question for us.

To see the entire file: http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/9468.pdf
To see the entire file:
http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/9468.pdf

Why this question is of concern:

While the above may or may not be THE CCSS, it should concern us. Why? If you look at some of the courses taught in the Civilian Military Naval Post Grad School, you’ll see that the United Nations plays a huge role in it; you’ll see that legislators are involved in some of the classes as well. How do I know this? As an example, take a look at the Naval Post Grad School. Knowing that the UN is behind CCSS and has recently (as in yesterday) been pushing for more CCSS globally, we should be very concerned! We should be finding out all we can!!
(see: http://www.thenewamerican.com/culture/education/item/20657-un-pushes-common-core-style-global-education-regime)

To see the Civilian-Military Courses: http://calhoun.nps.edu/bitstream/handle/10945/41974/CCMR_Courses_2002-01-01.pdf?sequence=1
To see the Civilian-Military Courses:
http://calhoun.nps.edu/bitstream/handle/10945/41974/CCMR_Courses_2002-01-01.pdf?sequence=1

Army Supports the CCSS:
Read the statement from the head of U.S. Army in full support of CCSS. Hasn’t anyone told him as a defender of the U.S. Constitution, support for the Core is treason?

http://www.corestandards.org/assets/ccsi_statements/StatementArmy.pdf

Dept. of Defense Backs the Core:
Read the Rand Corp. book detailing how the DofD has implemented CCSS into military schools. Again, why are those who took an oath to uphold the Constitution even considering such an act of internal hostility??http://www.rand.org/pubs/occasional_papers/OP384.html

If you aren’t familiar with Rand, here’s their description from their website, “The RAND Corporation is a research organization that develops solutions to public policy challenges to help make communities throughout the world safer and more secure, healthier and more prosperous. RAND is nonprofit, nonpartisan, and committed to the public interest.” What’s ironic is that Rand prides itself on fact based research. How in the bloody heck can you even consider CCSS fact based research when so much has been proven to be totally undeserving of being used?! While copyright protection bars me from sharing the Rand 2014 Annual Report, what I CAN share is where to access it. I can also tell you to read the section on education (begins on page 12) and then refer to the list of donors who supported Rand in 2014. You’ll find the complete list on page 64. Count the well known CCSS supporters. Then, check out some of the others to see if they, too, support the Core. http://www.rand.org/pubs/corporate_pubs/CP1-2014.html

Collaborative for Student Success:

If you look at the Collaborative more in-depth (http://forstudentsuccess.org/) You’ll see all kinds of support for CCSS. Here’s one of 4 main screen pictures you’ll see:

successcore

To see the video where the Major praises the CCSS:

Who Backs the Collaborative? See the list of CCSS Shameful:

  • The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation
  • Carnegie Corporation of New York
  • Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Helios Education Foundation
  • Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust
  • William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
  • Lumina Foundation
  • The Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation

Who is in the Collaborative?

“The members of the Collaborative share the belief that the successful implementation of the Common Core State Standards is an important next step in ensuring that all students are prepared to succeed at college level work. The mission of the Collaborative is to support the state-led efforts of State Education Agencies and local education organizations responsible for educating and informing all stakeholders — parents, students, teachers and community leaders — about the new state standards and assessments. There is great support for the Common Core State Standards among educators – from the National Network of State Teachers of the Year, the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics to the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, the National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers.”

So much for objective facts about CCSS!

Related to Those in Military Families:
See my fellow warrior, LadyLiberty1885’s article about the military and CCSS:
http://ladyliberty1885.com/2015/03/23/military-leaders-mission-readiness-is-back-pushing-common-core/

See Achieve, Inc.’s thumbs up for CCSS:
http://www.achieve.org/military-and-common-core

The Daily Caller has an article about all the military branches and CCSS:
http://dailycaller.com/2013/10/07/support-for-common-core-strong-in-u-s-military/

Related to Those Wishing to Become a Military Member:
Achieve, Inc.’s ASVAB (Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery) article:
http://www.achieve.org/be-all-you-can-be-first-master-common-core%E2%80%A6

To see fellow warrior, Nancy Bailey’s article on ASVAB and data mining:
http://nancyebailey.com/2014/07/16/the-asvab-are-you-handing-your-students-information-over-to-the-military-with-out-knowing/

To see fellow warrior, Shane Vander Hart’s article on ASVAB and CCSS:
http://truthinamericaneducation.com/tag/asvab-tests/

The U.S. Dept. of Defense:

From the U.S. Dept. of Defense’s press release back in 2012 about how CCSS was a great way to fix schools for military children, this excerpt, “DOD provided about $3.7 billion over five years to fix these schools.” Remember, that’s your hard earned tax dollars at work. See the entire press release:
http://www.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=117695 
Keep in mind the Defense’s job is national security. Our public trust is that the men and women providing that security are a) honoring the oath they are sworn to take, b) upholding the American values our Founding Fathers based the U.S. Constitution, and c) that the protection provided is not driven by substandard education! To better visualize just how damning CCSS in our military is, visit the DofD’s website link below. Just look at all the areas of access the DofD has over our nation. Do you really want a CCSS aligned military? Especially given what objective, fact-based evidence, we the people had uncovered??

http://www.defense.gov/RegisteredSites/RegisteredSites.aspx

Finally, considering the vast reach the DofD has, you’ll want to read the U.S. White House’s document on data sharing:governmentdatashare