Tag Archives: Blue Ribbon Schools

Weekend News: Looking at the 2016 NC Primary, Part One

It took me several minutes to find a website featuring more than the Gubernatorial Primary.
It took me several minutes to find a website featuring more than the Gubernatorial Primary for NC.

Greetings this weekend, my trusted anti CCSS Warriors (To be more accurate since the ESSA{Every Student Succeeds Act} passed into law, maybe I should refer to you as the CCSS*/CTE*/CCR* Warriors? But no matter what label is slapped over the ‘CCSS’, peel them back and it is STILL Common Core!) *CCSS: Common Core State Standards/*CTE: Career Tech Education/*CCR: College and Career Readiness (a special ‘favorite’ phrase embedded in the ESSA)

Each of our states is gearing up for elections in 2016. Some of our states will have primaries, some won’t. My news this weekend is especially for my NC Warriors, as we have a race that so far, has been very kept in the corner. Well, you know me…it is time to shine the light on that corner!! Before we turn on the hypothetical flashlight, though, I want to encourage all the Warriors in other states. IF you are having election races soon, do you know all the candidates to consider? Do you even know if there is a race?

From what I have seen and heard here in NC, I had very scant information about one of THE most important races: The Superintendent of Public Instruction! Why?!  Considering the importance of this position and how many people are to be impacted, I would think MOUNTAINS of attention would already be ‘out there’. But as you see above, only one candidate has an embedded website.

While we are pondering this ‘buried’ race, consider this: I didn’t find it on my NC voter guide website (the most recent guide was dated 2015). So, I went to another one: total dud of a website. Then, when steered to another, it a became a ‘wild goose chase’ on another national voter site, where it finally becomes obvious you will not even see NC featured! EGADS, Warriors!!
I found it on a national election information website(see: http://www.uselections.com/nc/nc.htm)!!  I am getting the distinct feeling that something (could it be the CCSS Machine?!) is purposefully hiding this March 2016 Primary. However, before you think my tin foil hat is on a bit too tightly, let’s see IF there is, in fact, more information available about this race.

This edition of my Weekend News will be the FIRST in a two part report. There are 2 Democrats and 3 Republicans in this race. We start with the Democrats below.

Dr. Atkinson’s website:

Again, another wild goose chase. Geez, by the time a citizen unearths all the needed information, they may be so frustrated they will think it isn’t worth researching! (Maybe that is the CCSS Machine’s wish?!) I even tried the embedded link in the US Elections website featured above and it was inaccurate.

While it appears her campaign site is way out in the cyberspace world and I have a deadline to meet, I can share with you some of the news she has been featured in concerning this upcoming election.

1) According to the Raleigh CBS TV Station, WRAL (on 1/8/16),  Dr. Atkinson had several predictions for the state of NC in 2016 and this was among them. “I will be re-elected as State Superintendent of Public Instruction.”  You need to see her other predictions as they include assessments, Pre-K, and more. Access the information: http://www.wral.com/state-superintendent-shares-predictions-for-nc-public-schools-in-2016/15217644/
2) According to another website, Lillian’s List (a group supporting women who are creating  progressive changes in NC), Atkinson will have their full support. This will be along with several other key political positions, Lillian’s List will support. See: http://www.lillianslist.org/blog/2016-january-newsletter-new (To see the progressive women LL has helped place in office, see: http://www.lillianslist.org/candidates/elected)
See below for an upcoming ‘kick off’ event where Atkinson (among others (will be featured).

http://www.lillianslist.org/events/2016-campaign-kickoff-luncheon
http://www.lillianslist.org/events/2016-campaign-kickoff-luncheon

3) I FINALLY was able to uncover Dr. Atkinson’s website (after many hours). How? It was featured on her Twitter account! Her website has almost no information about anything in the future except the words “Help me continue the journey for the sake of children and NC’s prosperity.” (see her site: http://www.drjuneatkinson.com/)

While we on the subject, you can learn a lot more about Atkinson from her tweets (see: https://twitter.com/DrJuneAtkinson).
Such as what CCSS Machine rhetoric she is spinning in support of the ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act), or her sharing about a Dec. 2015 Washington, D.C. meeting. It was called the ‘White House Convening of State Educational Leaders’. The only thing you will learn is she was there. That’s it.

Being the researcher I am, I found more information about the ‘Convening’ from CT and OR attendees! Below is from the CT source. (see: http://www.housedems.ct.gov/cook/2015/pr065_2015-12-16.asp#.Vppf1vkrLIU)

“Topics discussed included: high school redesign; tuition-free Community College; Computer Science; College Opportunity and Affordability; Early Education; FAFSA; and College Scorecard”

From the OR source:
Who was leading the education leaders at the Convening: U.S. Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, incoming Acting U.S. Secretary of Education, John King, Senior Officials from the White House and the U.S. Department of Education and other national education leaders for The White House Convening of State Education Leaders on December 8, 2015.” (see:
https://www.oregonlegislature.gov/johnsonm/Documents/Johnson%20White%20House.pdf
)

Related: The U.S. Dept. of Education released two days AFTER the Convening, the 2016 National Education Technology Plan. The subtitle? Future Ready Learning, Re-imagining the Role of Technology in Education” (see: http://sites.ed.gov/octae/2015/12/)

How is this related? NC is fully entrenched in Future Ready Schools!! See: http://www.dpi.state.nc.us/docs/gradrequirements/resources/gradchecklists.pdf) To see a Future Ready School Summit Meeting (contains all the notes and information an anti CCSS Warrior needs to find new ‘ammo’ for the War  Against the Core), see: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1jrz91itHcJ4-veKPMSrfCLUXihl9GJwf0az-vwQDyMI/edit?pref=2&pli=1

**Before we move to the other candidate I wanted to explain WHY I went so far into detail with Atkinson’s ties. Whether you live in NC or not, her stance on education WILL impact you! As President of the CCSSO, her influence is felt everywhere in education! Besides, as the head over the entity which owns half the copyright to the CCS Standards, we don’t have to guess how supportive (or sold out to) of the Common Core she is!

 

 Henry Pankey’s Campaign:

According to the Winston-Salem(NC) Journal’s article about Pankey, his campaign is more grassroots in nature than the Atkinson’s. The article tells you some about his background before it launches into (at that point questionable) Atkinson’s tactics. Poor guy can’t even get a full article. See: http://www.journalnow.com/news/columnists/scott_sexton/sexton-henry-pankey-s-qualifications-for-n-c-superintendent-more/article_9923498c-e3d5-11e4-bdf1-6b7e3fe8731a.html

Below is  a picture of Pankey:

turnaround

AEI (American Entertainment International)Speaker’s Bureau had this to share about Pankey, “Henry Pankey’s new book ‘How to Turn Around low Performing Schools’ will be his step by step detailed platform as he runs for North Carolina State Superintendent of Instruction. It includes common sense basics designed to turn around struggling schools and create “Schools of Excellence”. The successful outcomes have been vetted and certified by the North Carolina Department of Instruction, newspapers, news reports and magazines.”

Hold on, educational success worthy of an entire state has  been vetted by the media?! Where is the legislative vetting? The teachers’ vetting? Aren’t they much more credible that the media’s approval?! The biography goes on to share this: “Henry Pankey is best known as a school improvement mentor and highly effective tough love urban principal.”

With all the behavior interventions in place, as well as the huge additions the ESSA will usher into NC schools (as it will in every other stated) I question the school improvement tactics, the mentoring, and most especially the tough love. We Warriors have already seen enough awful evidence of the CCSS Machine’s mind altering moves in education, do we really need more?!
See what else the AEI website has to say: http://aeispeakers.com/speakerbio.php?SpeakerID=770

Over on http://www.henrypankeyjr.com, the list of praises for him is quite revealing when you consider the presence of  the CCSS Machine (ie: U.S. Ed leaders, public instruction groups, etc.) See: http://www.henryjpankey.com/testimonials

Related: “Schools of Excellence”, are not only in NC, the schools are in other states as well. See the 2014 (latest list I could find) of nation-wide Schools of Excellence:
http://www.magnet.edu/files/awards/school-of-excellence-list-2014-merit.pdf
It is important to point out here that exactly what qualifies a school to be tagged as one of excellence is a bit harder to define. Why? Well, you have the Merit reference in the above link, then there is the National PTA’s program, then the Blue Ribbon Schools program in the U.S. Dept. of Ed (which also is an excellence distinction awarded to ANY type of school meeting the parameters). I also found the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges has a School of Excellence program, too! The CCSS Machine is tied to the National PTA, the U.S. Dept. of Ed, the Magnet/Merit, AND the Career Schools/Colleges entities! See: https://www.pta.org/excellence (PTA’s site);
http://www.accsc.org/Events/Professional-Development-Conference/Award-Winners/Schools-of-Excellence.aspx (Career Schools/College’s site); http://www2.ed.gov/programs/nclbbrs/index.html (the U.S. Dept. of Ed’s site)

Mentoring under the CCSS: The ASCD (Gates Foundation funded and very much a part of the CCSS Machine) features many resources for ‘tough love mentoring’ aligned to CCSS.
See: http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/apr04/vol61/num07/-Mentoring-New-Leaders.aspx
Here is a document from CA where mentoring and CCSS are drilled down on people:
http://www.kappancommoncore.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/59pdk_96_6.pdf
The Center for American Progress has a Teacher Success guide for mentoring and CCSS:
https://cdn.americanprogress.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/CCTeacherVoiceFinal.pdf
The effect of Robert Marzano’s behavior interventions are already well in place not only in NC, but in the rest of the USA. Here is everything I have on his work: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/?s=Marzano

Whether or not, Pankey would carry on what Atkinson has put into play for NC, will of course, be decided later, should he survive the Primary. However, I am raising concerns (with the above related resources)  to help emphasize that  there are serious questions the citizens need to ask BEFORE they vote!  If either of these is against more Common Core (aka: College/Career Readiness, NC Essential Standards, Career Tech Education, etc.) it certainly does NOT look like it.

In “Monday’s Musings” I will look into the 3 Republicans vying for the NC Superintendent of Public Instruction.

RMT: Have You Heard of the CCCII?

cathcomm

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

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

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

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

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

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

cccii

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


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

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

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

Related resources:

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

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


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

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

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