Tag Archives: Career Tech Common Core

FYI: Post Secondary Common Core Intel

Tired of being led astray by the CCSS Machine? I am!
Tired of being led astray by the CCSS Machine? I am!

Anti CCSS/CTE Warriors, are you sick and tired of the repeated lies we hear about how the CCSS is just K-12th grades? I got fed up with it from the beginning. That’s why I’ve specialized in researching all the other areas of education CCSS swears it is..but, oh how we know it is.

To that end I’m devoting the rest of this article to the POST SECONDARY evidence new followers of my blog and/or new anti CC Warriors will need to have access to. Why? If you don’t have access to this information, it’s very likely our legislators don’t have it either. As a dedicated warrior/researcher in the War Against the Core. We need to share this type of information with those in the authoritative positions SO they can help END Common Core, Career Tech Education, and all the related components of the CCSS Machine.

Each of the article links below are from previously published researched posts. Each is written so you have the facts, not opinions. Each contains links to the documents to support the truth and/or dispel the lies. We’ve not much time before the HEA (Higher Education Act) is set to be re-authorized.

We MUST use the information we already know to combat Sen. Alexander and Sen. Murray’s push for more alignment to the CCSS Machine in higher education. We MUST also use this information to influence our legislators to combat the same efforts for Pre-K through 12th grades!! Why? Because, what’s been started in the Pre-K through 12th grade (the Student Success Act and the Every Child Achieves Act) WILL be carried on in the HEA’s re-authorization!

From Sept. 2014, Common Core, Career Tech Education in our community colleges.

Why your legislators need to know this: the movement to make community colleges into workforce stations, as well as offer courses for ‘free’. There’s a dangerous misinformed mindset out there surrounding ‘free tuition’.
As we’ve seen, NOTHING about Common Core is ‘free’ or worth investing in.

If you don’t share any other facts with those responsible for helping create the laws, this is the one paragraph from the above article you should pass on.
“Common Core Standards in community colleges, you say? Certainly not! Ahh, sadly my friends, community colleges are being made over to also align with the CC ‘just standards’ Standards. You may know from personal experience or from someone close to you about  community colleges. They are what used to be known as ‘Junior Colleges’, and are 2 year  schools of higher learning. Selling points have been that the schools are local, a great bang for your education buck, not as stringent with admissions, have a better professor/student ratio. This of course, may change drastically as we continue to see Common Core implemented in whatever fashion the states choose. One fact is for certain: if we only seek to rid K-12 schools of Common Core, we’re not really going to be as effective as if we consider the Standards are before kindergarten and extend to colleges of all distinctions.”

From October 2014, Workforce through the Common Core filter.

Why your legislators need to have this article’s information: if we are to truly be against Common Core, we MUST also oppose it’s damage in our workforce.

Things you should share about the Workforce and Common Core, Career Tech Education:
a) assessments are being realigned to manipulate student’s careers
b) many alphabet soup programs, entities are being used as the vehicles of choice to force CCSS/CTE outcome based education (performance based NOT academic based)
c) outside forces are influencing education which have no legal authority to do so
d) the joint efforts which ‘marry’ labor and education are toxically filled with CCSS Machine products, services, and lies
From November 2014, two articles about how the Vice President is leading the CCSS/Workforce bandwagon.


What your legislators need to know: acting on the orders of the current U.S. President, the Vice President has been a big leader in aligning post secondary education and the workforce.

The one portion of the memo creating this task for Joe Biden you should share, ”  “Job-Driven Reform of Federal Employment and Training Programs. (a) Within 180 days of the date of this memorandum and in coordination with the Office of the Vice President, the National Economic Council, the Domestic Policy Council, the Council of Economic Advisers, the Office of Science and Technology Policy, and the Office of Management and Budget, the Secretaries of Labor, Commerce, and Education(Secretaries), in consultation with other executive departments and agencies as appropriate, shall develop a specific action plan, to be provided to me through the Vice President, tomake the workforce and training system more job-driven, integrated, and effective.”Among one of the ‘concrete steps’, is this:  “ensuring better alignment across secondary,post-secondary, and adult education, and workforce training, including coordinating Federal programs and promoting foundational skill development for employability, on-the-job training, and apprenticeship options..” then:  “encouraging effective regionalpartnerships among industry, educators, worker representatives, nonprofits, and the workforce system to prepare, support, and train youth, unemployed workers, low-skilled employed adults, and others for career path employment and advancement.” “

The second most important thing to share, is how Perkins funding is being manipulated to fit the CCSS Machine’s needs, ” Maintains state administrative funding at 5 percents of a state’s allocation
The new law also requires the development of articulation agreements and strengthens local
accountability provisions. The Perkins Act provides almost $1.3 billion annually to career and technical education programs in all 50 states until 2016.’ Each state gets to decide how to split the funding between secondary schools and post-secondary schools. (source: http://www.aypf.org/documents/PerkinsActFactSheet.pdf) ”

From December 2014, how CTE and CCSS are impacting those with alternative education needs.

What your legislators need to know. CCSS/CTE is a one-student-learns-the-same-as-all-the-others system. Students in the ‘alternative’ category will be the MOST damaged by this. There should be NO place in ANY education level that supports or accepts alignment as a great thing!
The one paragraph they should read? ” This 2013 presentation supports UDL (Universal Designed Learning) for teaching all ‘special populations’ (their phrase, not mine)
http://www.careertech.org/sites/default/files/C1MahadevanUDL_AccessibletoAll.pdf (originally out of the Texas Education Administration); from Alabama, a presentation on streamlining all students into CTE: http://www.careertech.org/sites/default/files/C5MSmithcareercluster-1.pdf “

From December 2014, two articles exposing the Federal Budget’s alignment dollars towards CCSS/CTE in post secondary education.

What your legislators need to know: the 10th Amendment plainly states NO federal involvement in what wasn’t laid out in Amendments 1-9! Education, along with several other states rights issues, are to NOT have ANY federal influence..including money! As one who has been elected to represent the citizens and taken an oath to uphold our U.S. Constitution, these legislators should NOT be seeking federal funds for education..period. Common Core/Career Tech at the post secondary level included! They also need to know how other federal level agencies are chiming in and using funds in the name of CCSS/CTE for post secondary levels.

Want to see where our money goes? Here’s an excerpt:
Where our taxes are going to help support the CCSS Machine:
$300 million for a new Race to the Top (student longitudinal data system on a state-wide platform); $14.4 billion for Title One College/Career Readiness; $1.1 billion for those 21st Century Community Learning Centers (think cradle to grave agenda); $100 million for “Promise Neighborhoods” (cradle to career initiative); $70 million for Statewide Longitudinal Student Data System; $200 million for ConnectED (trains teachers to be CCSS and college/career readiness aligned, assessments, digital aspects, and more in the classroom); $5 billion for incentives (RESPECT) teachers who’ve completed College/Career Readiness training, building like-minded network; $1.3 billion in mandatory preK for everyone; $165 million for “Investment in Innovation” (i3) which will use a best-practices approach to education while affording the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Education a whopping $49.5 million to transform technology; $150 million to redesign high schools so they become college/career ready centers; $170 million for STEM revitalizing (of that, $110 million goes to LEAs to create a STEM network; $40 million to create a teacher STEM Pathway, $20 million to create a National STEM Teacher Corps;$1.1 billion to reauthorize the Perkins Act (means even more Career Tech Ed that’s aligned to CCSS). “

From January 2015, More evidence for post secondary education’s alignment to the CCSS Machine:

What our legislators need to know: those very groups so eager to help them are part of the CCSS Machine. NEA, AFT, and the list goes on. They also need to know that all the alignment in post secondary education ISN’T just for the students! All staff will be aligned, just as in Pre-K through 12th grades. Show them the networks, the documents in this article!!

Finally, from January 2015, the National Career Pathway Network:

What the legislators need to know: “Career Pathways is post-secondary Common Core and is coming at our students (regardless of age or school choice) via the recent Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014.”

What to share that is THE most important? The 10 Agenda points from the Dept. of Education and the 6 Keys from the Dept. of Labor! Then, ‘hit’ them with the ‘slick sales pitches’ we citizens are being slammed with!

Blog note: You’ll notice this article is in a new category “Weekend News”. Until further notice, I’m combining the 3 separate blog categories of “Fib-o-Meter Friday”, “Sic’ ‘Em Saturday”, and, “Riddle Me This?! Sunday” into one. With the recent change of status in my mother’s decline into Alzheimer’s Disease, I must adjust my schedule. I thank you for your support, your patience with me during this time. Each of the Friday, Saturday, and Sunday features WILL return sometime in the future.


Tech Thursday: Aligned Apprentices

Another 5 year initiative for aligned education.
Another 5 year initiative for aligned education.

A Common Core Invitation from the U.S. Dept. of Labor?! They are extending an invitation to all public-private partnerships to receive grant money to further align our students, regardless of educational choice or age.

Act Now, This Offer Won’t Last:

If you want the grant money here’s your time constraint: “The period of performance is 60 months. This performance period includes all necessary implementation and start-up activities. The process for program development and registration should begin immediately and apprenticeship enrollments should be expedited, with the expectation of apprentice enrollments to begin in the first 12 months of the grant.” (the announcement on the website is dated 3/14) How much money? $100 million in the form of 25 grants. That means each P3 will receive quite a bit for their participation. (see: http://www.doleta.gov/oa/aag.cfm) *Note: be sure to notice the examples of acceptable use of the grant money. The application period isn’t over until April 2015, by the way.

What’s an “American Apprenticeship”?

In the Dept. of Labor’s words, “Learn and earn models that meet national standards”. So that means a person who is in the program is an apprentice who’s learning, earning while meeting national standards. Oh, just so you know, the U.S.Dept. of Labor is encouraging P3s to use ‘leveraged resources’ to make the program a true success. See their pdf of FAQs for the parameters: Registered_Apprenticeship_FAQs_2014

I spy Common Core supporters, do you?
I spy Common Core supporters, do you?

‘Win Win’ for Everyone, Right?

According to the employer toolkit promoting the American Apprenticeship Program, benefits abound for everyone!! How exciting…here are their words,

“Benefits for Business: Highly-skilled employees, More diverse workforce, Reduced turnover costs, and Higher productivity. 

 Benefits for Workforce Intermediaries and Education Organizations: Proven model to help job seekers immediately start working and increase skills and earnings, Effective strategy to connect with employers in diverse fields and to use as part of industry sector strategies.

Benefits for Workers: Increased skills, higher wages,  National credential , and  career advancement.” *Note: do you see which of the 3 groups benefits the most? Do you see which group benefits the least?

Here’s how they illustrate it all:

Keeping the alignment rolling along.
Keeping the alignment rolling along.

In the Dept. of Labor’s Apprenticeship Model concerning 2 year or 4 year schools, see how segmented our students can become:


You’ll really want this ToolKit for a resource to fight Career Pathways in your state; Career Tech Education, College/Career Readiness Standards, and all the other names used to have CCSS aligned education. There are many other things I’d like to share, but it’s important you have this in its entirity to do your own digging. Be sure to share what you find, especially with those who are against Common Core, but are fully supportive of Workforce and all it encompasses. Do they know there’s a direct link? Will they care to know? They MUST know!  apprenticeship_toolkit

States Registry:

Yep, the grant money application period isn’t even behind us, but there’s a U.S. Dept. of Labor Registered Apprenticeship State Registry. (By the way, have you noticed the incentives for business to register? Do you find it odd that no one seems to pick up on all this registering is for tracking purposes? More data mining, for certain!) How to get to the Registry: http://www.doleta.gov/oa/contactlist.cfm What the Registry will tell you about our state is this who the contact person is for your state’s Apprenticeship and Training Bureau. If you access the “educators” link on the left hand menu you’ll be taken to a page where you’ll see this:

Bringing you even MORE Career Pathways!
Bringing you even MORE Career Pathways!

Here are the groups behind the RACC: “The Consortium’s principles are agreed to collectively by the higher education community; National Registered Apprenticeship sponsors; the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration, Office of apprenticeship; and the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education.” I urge you to download the RACC’s Framework. You’ll need this for your fight against CC aligned post-secondary education. RACC_framework

How the Dept. of Labor is ‘selling’ Apprenticeships: http://www.dol.gov/apprenticeship/ 


The one thing I kept noticing as I was digging into the research for this topic. It won’t take you long to discover by clicking on all the related resources the U.S. Dept. of Labor provides you before you realize you’ve been guided here before via previous posts of mine, and/or other’s articles. Warriors, we must keep sharing all we, as citizens, we’re finding out. Many think there’s no way all this can be connected to Common Core, but it’s proven..again and again. Help raise awareness with your elected officials. If they truly want Common Core out of their states, like you do, they MUST know Workforce is also Common Core aligned.

Tech Thursday: Post Secondary Publisher CC alignment

For profit post secondary schools aren't missing out on the Common Core.
Post secondary schools aren’t missing out on the Common Core.

Today’s “Tech Thursday” post has us look up close at the big name Common Core aligned publishers and their venture into the educational realm beyond high school.

Post Secondary Textbook Publishers:

Cengage Learning, supports Career and Technical students. They also participate in the SkillsUSA competitions (secondary and post secondary schools: public, proprietary, or private). Aside from Cengage name itself, other Cengage subsidiaries are ‘Chilton’, ‘Delmar’ covering the automotive field via the Transportation, Distribution, and Logistics Cluster.  If you’re not familar with “Delmar” if you have an ASE (Automotive Service Excellence) mechanic or are one, “Delmar” is the test prep provider. ‘Delmar’ is in the Architecture/Construction Cluster as well. ‘Milady’ is Cengage’s contribution to the cosmetology trade (in the Human Services Cluster) According to their “Cengage Learning” website, their publishing subsidiaries include:  “Cengage Learning’s brands include Brooks/Cole, Course Technology, Delmar, Gale, Heinle, South-Western and Wadsworth.” If you’d like to see Cengage’s higher education economics course (called “Mind Tap”): http://assets.cengage.com/pdf/wp_mindtap_econ.pdf


Click to enlarge to see which companies Cengage considers competition

If you’d like to see more about Cengage’s Higher Education page: http://www.cengage.com/search/showresults.do?N=16 If you’d like to search their “Common Core Support” results, http://www.cengage.com/search/showresults.do?N=16&Ntk=APG&Ntt=common%20core%20support&Ntx=mode+matchallpartial

Pearson Publishing’s Higher Ed:

http://home.pearsonhighered.com/, so much information is here, you may be a bit overwhelmed, at first. However, pick a spot that interests you and jump in. For example, since you’ve been following my blog, you’ve been able to see how the Workforce is tied to Common Core in a post secondary way. So, I chose “Workforce” from the selections offered at the bottom of the page (look for the dark gray portion). Here’s what I got in return. A bit of information and a short video. Check both out: http://pearsonworkforceeducation.com/agency/learn.php If you’d like a sample chapter of how Pearson ‘sell’s the Career Tracking throughout a student’s education, http://www.pearsonhighered.com/educator/product/Career-Trek-The-Journey-Begins/9780131193048.page 

Back in 2013, here’s one of the things Pearson was up to, “Released in 2013 and in response to a growing demand for career education, Connections Education’s more than 20 Career and Technology Education courses allow students to explore a variety of careers and gain career-specific knowledge in fields such as sociology, criminal justice, law, astronomy, finance and more. Linking school-based learning with workplace knowledge and skills, the courses include engaging multi-media content, personalized study guides, interactive exercises, and more. The courses are organized in 16 different “Career Clusters®” developed by the National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEc) and span STEM, Law, Public Safety, and Corrections & Security. The courses are offered as electives to high school students enrolled in Connections Academy virtual schools; school districts and other organizations may purchase the courses from Connections Learning by Pearson.” To access Pearson’s on-line CTE “Connections Academy” page, http://www.connectionsacademy.com/curriculum/career-technical-education.aspx You might want to know that Connections is not like you think it may be. What do I mean? Read this, “Connections Academy is a leading, fully accredited provider of high-quality, highly accountable virtual schooling for students in grades K–12. Through tuition-free public schools, full-time and part-time private school programs, and turnkey online courses for brick and mortar schools.”

One last thing, Pearson Publishing has a plethora of subsidiaries. DK Books, Penguin, the Financial Times, and many others. So each of this are more than likely aligned in CCSS content as well.

MacGraw-Hill’s Higher Education: 

From their report about Career Core Technical Education (CCTE) that is tied to Common Core via the Career Clusters,

  •  “A new industry sector approach to job training called “Career Pathways” that has been tried and proven successful at increasing employment in several cities and states;
  •  A multi-state consortium that has established common standards for a Career
    Readiness Certificate that employers count on to validate work and job-training
    readiness; and
  •  A new approach from McGraw-Hill Education — Contemporary Workforce
    Connects™ — that coordinates and connects for the very first time all facets of
    the search for work with the resources and curriculum necessary to acquire basic
    skills, contextualized to specific occupations, which applicants need for
    workplace success.”  See the rest of the report, http://www.mcgraw-hill.com/user-media/New-approaches-to-building-careers-white-paper.pdf

From McGraw-Hill’s “Common Core” page, ‘As a trusted partner in adult education, Contemporary/McGraw-Hill Education is committed to providing adult educators and students with the instructional materials, resources, and professional development tools needed to raise the bar for College and Career Readiness and meet the requirements of groundbreaking reforms such as the Common Core State Standards and new and emerging exams being used to assess high school equivalency and College & Career Readiness.‘ Access the rest, http://www.commoncoresolutions.com/adult_education.php

A glimpse at how McGraw-Hill has promoted their ‘new’ ways:

On a related Career Tech topic:

One of the main groups responsible for promoting and helping organize Career Tech Ed that’s been aligned to CCSS is hosting a National Policy Seminar in March 2015. “Skills for the Hill”. Prices are hefty, but you’ll get the absolute latest in all that is going on in post secondary, secondary, and related CTE news. March 2-4, 2015 in Washington, D.C. Here are just a few of the reasons why those fighting CCSS at the adult level should be there

‘Cultivate your advocacy skills and make a direct impact on Capitol Hill at the National Policy Seminar 2015!

  • Join more than 400 education professionals from across the country to show policymakers that CTE programs provide the skills students need
  • Hear the latest updates on legislative and regulatory issues impacting CTE
  • Influence CTE-related policy initiatives, legislation and funding
  • Educate your congressional leaders about local CTE programming needs

If you’d like to learn more about attending OR make reservations to be a voice of truth among all the lies:


Tech Thursday: Career Tech/Common Core and Alternative Education

Today's post, a look at Career Tech Ed (Common Core Aligned) and Alternative Education
Today’s post, a look at Career Tech Ed (Common Core Aligned) and Alternative Education.

Before we look at how Common Core via the Career Tech Education has impacted “Alternative Education”, we need to know how “AE” is defined. So, for that, I’m using the U.S. Dept. of Education’s Research Report “How Do the States Define Alternate Education?” (I must cite it as the following: Porowski, A., O’Conner, R., & Luo, J. L. (2014). How do states define alternative education?(REL 2014–038). Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance, Regional Educational Laboratory Mid-Atlantic. Retrieved from http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/edlabs.)

According to the Report’s Summary, “Alternative education programs—broadly defined as educational activities that fall outside the traditional K–12 curriculum—frequently serve students who are at risk of school failure. Because individual states or school districts define and determine the features of their alternative education programs, programs may differ in key characteristics, such as target population, setting, services, and structure.” The Report goes on to share that depending on the State, legislation may have differing definitions. For example, only 43 States and the District of Columbia have formal definitions of what alternative education is. Things considered that need to be clarified are what age groups are being targeted? Are the alternative education programs to serve those with special needs? Will there be other services provided like anger management, counseling, etc. Will the alternative education be separated from the more traditional education or will it be included among the more traditional settings?

A bit further into the Report, this definition of what alternative education can be defined as is cited, “Alternative education programs—broadly defined as educational activities that fall outside
the traditional K–12 curriculum—include home schooling, general educational development
(GED) programs, gifted and talented programs, and charter schools (Aron, 2006).”

*NOTE: If you’ve been following my blog long, you know I’ve already addressed how the GED is now aligned to Common Core and how charters, home education are finding Common Core Standards in their choices as well. If you haven’t been following for long, please be sure to use the search feature.

A federal definition of alternative education was included in the Report, “At the federal level an alternative school is defined as “a public elementary/secondary school that addresses needs of students that typically cannot be met in a regular school, provides nontraditional education, serves as an adjunct to a regular school, or falls outside the categories of regular, special, or vocational education” (Sable, Plotts, & Mitchell, 2010, p. C-1). This definition does not address alternative education programs within schools.”

The Report goes on to state that ‘Alternative Education’ has changed. Curriculum and content have been aligned to meet specific needs or goals. This means it drives the approach to the students. You’ll want to look at the tables included to see where your State lands, 


What CTE means for “Alternative Education”:

According to a special report from the Association for Career and Technical Education on Drop Out Students,(see: http://www.acteonline.org/WorkArea/DownloadAsset.aspx?id=2094) The Dropout Prevention Center/Network notes that CTE (Career Tech Education) is one of its 15 solutions or strategies. The Center/Network believes “such as individualized instruction, service-learning, community collaboration, mentoring, active learning, and educational technology. According to the Center, “A quality CTE program and a related guidance program are essential for all students.” CTE was identified to have five potential benefits to at-risk students by Schargel and Smink in Strategies to Help Solve our School Dropout Problem. These benefits include enhancement of students’ motivation and academic achievement; increased personal and social competence related to work in general; a broad understanding of an occupation or industry; career exploration and planning; and acquisition of knowledge or skills related to employment in particular
occupations or more generic work competencies.” The Association for Career and Technical Education’s Report for Students With Special Needs, titled “Transitioning Students with Special Needs into Work” (see:
Transitioning-Students-with-Disabilities-into-Work). In the picture below, be sure to enlarge it by clicking on it. CTE is dependent upon the WorkKeys assessment (which has been shown in print and video here on my blog and others to not only be Common Core aligned, but a massive data mining tool as well)


Regardless of how your student may be considered as ‘alternative’, some truths remain the same:

1) All CTE is Common Core/Workforce aligned. (refer back to any of my Thursday posts)

2) You’ll be eligible for a “Certificate”, a “Certification”, a “License”, or a “Degree”.

3) You will be assessed multiple times and at some point need to use the WorkKeys assessment which will assign a national number. Many employers will not consider you without that national number.

4) Because Career Tech Ed has 16 clusters, you will be inserted into someone’s ‘talent supply pipeline.’

5) One of CTE’s biggest reasons for existing: Driving America’s competitiveness in the ‘global economy’.

(see: Competitiveness)

Project Search:

This program was referenced in the resources from the Assoc. for CTE (above) as a business led model for those students with special needs. Being heralded as a great P3 (Public, private partnership) look at the involved groups,

Below is a “Project Search” promo video. When you view it, please consider all that you see and hear through the lenses of Common Core aligned CTE. Since this video has been made and released the State Superintendent for Public Instruction (VA), Mary Wright has retired and Steve Sharp in now overseeing VA’s Public Instruction. He recently approved over $1 million dollars to be used for CTE equipment. (see: http://www.doe.virginia.gov/administrators/superintendents_memos/2014/201-14.shtml)

Here’s a short video about one of the ‘certificates’ available to our students courtesy of WorkKeys. Notice the “Workforce” Ready logos strategically placed throughout the settings. Again, view through the lenses of Common Core, CTE.

How I Know Common Core and CTE are related:

One of the earliest websites I discovered when embarking on research to track down Common Core beyond high school is http://www.careertech.org/CCTC  Even when you look at the page you’ll notice Common Core, but what you’ll realize is the shrewd placement of the two words. “Common Career Technical Core’. Once on the site, run your mouse over the second tab and you’ll see a drop down menu feature those “Career Clusters”, then look a few spaces down and bingo! “Common Core State Standards”, in living color. Want to find out where CTE is in your state? Use this link: http://www.careertech.org/cte-your-state If you go back to the main page and read their ‘fine print description’ you’ll see the misguidance of information. “State-led”, ‘rigorous’ are just two of the errors. Where you will really want to spend some time is the Common Core and CTE resource page: http://www.careertech.org/common-core-state-standards

Their stance on alternate education? This 2013 presentation supports UDL (Universal Designed Learning) for teaching all ‘special populations’ (their phrase, not mine)
http://www.careertech.org/sites/default/files/C1MahadevanUDL_AccessibletoAll.pdf  (originally out of the Texas Education Administration); from Alabama, a presentation on streamlining all students into CTE: http://www.careertech.org/sites/default/files/C5MSmithcareercluster-1.pdf

California’s presentation has a total transformation of the Common Core/CTE Standards, all based on information that has been created by the Common Core Machine (meaning it is based on either CCSS supporter funding or a CCSS partner). See for yourselves how they envision all people fitting into the CCSS/CTE mold: http://www.careertech.org/sites/default/files/E2WeikleExtremeMakeoverCTEStandardsEdition%282%29_1.pdf

Consider this:

Since Common Core is a one size fits all and the definition for alternate education ISN’T, which do you think will have to bend to conform to the other? I have a guess that it won’t be the Common Core. We are hearing many stories of those outside the traditional models of education. I leave you today with this short video from my wonderful anti CC warrior friend, Gretchen Logue’s Common Core/Special Needs presentation.

Sic’ ‘Em Saturday: Thank You Letters

This Thanksgiving, send a note to your teachers, superintendents, legislators, and governors expressing your thoughts about Common Core.
This Thanksgiving, send a note to your teachers, superintendents, legislators, and governors expressing your thoughts about Common Core.

On this Saturday BEFORE Thanksgiving, why not send a note concerning Common Core Standards to your student’s school. You can widen the circle by sending letters to school boards, chambers of commerce, local representatives or senators, state level legislators, your governor, your US Representatives and Senators, and the list can go on. What? I’m sure you think I’ve lost my mind, but read on, my followers..I’ve got a plan that may help rid us of Common Core!

The Plan:

Simply put, this old Southern mindset can serve our anti CCSS fight well. You catch more flies with honey than you do vinegar. Widely misunderstood as ‘weak’ or ‘meely mouse’, this mindset has been able to be applied to successfully bring down many a nasty person or plan. You might think it’s a bit too late for being nice in such a nasty fight, however, knowing we must be able to work with these people to free our students from CCSS, it does bear putting into practice..especially when we’re so close to our season of thankfulness.

The Letter:

So, maybe you aren’t gifted with smooth words in tense situations. That’s okay. When I began speaking out against Common Core, I didn’t always have eloquent words either. BUT, I did speak from my heart. Guess what? So can you. You know how fighting Common Core has caused you to feel. Isn’t time others did too? What if you’ve BEEN telling others how you feel and you might as well be talking to a brick wall. That’s okay. keep trying..your sentiment WILL get through.

In the interest of our ‘Sic’ ‘Em Saturday’ theme, where we have some kind of action to put into play, here’s a sample letter you can write and send. If you choose to email your letters, super! If you send your letters via private message or even Twitter, that’s great! In this sample, I’m writing Senator Do-right. Feel free to use this sample OR use it as a template to create your own. Yes, I understand your receiver may be on vacation, but, that’s okay, your words WILL get through to them at some point. Persistence is key.

Date: Today’s the Day!

Ms. I’m Fed Up
1234 Get Rid of Common Core Way
No Deposit, No Return, USA 56789

Dear Senator Do-Right,

I thank you for your service to our great state of “No Return”. You, have given much to our citizens and it is time for us to give back to you. While you have many issues which vie for your attention and many people and communications fill your every moment, I’d like to take just a few moments to express to you one issue that is on my mind constantly. This issue troubles me to my very soul as I see its damage played out everyday in my local school and I fight it on a personal level every night when my children struggle with homework.

What is so important to me that I would take time to share with you? Quite simply, Senator Do-Right, it’s Common Core State Standards that has me so consumed. While I’ve been fighting on this side of the capital city, I know that you have been busy fighting as well. Your presence on the Education Committee has been tremendous. However, Senator, I know there’s even more we can do, together! Please find below the points I feel most strongly about. I would be happy to schedule an appointment with your office to share even more evidence that Common Core State Standards are NOT right for the students in No Deposit, No Return.

1) The Common Core State Standards are illegal, frankly Senator Do-Right any other issue pales in comparison to this fundamental fact that is widely ignored. Our 10th Amendment is violated. At least 3 federal education laws have also been broken and no one has been arrested, fined, or jailed. I know for a fact you didn’t vote for the Common Core Standards, because none of our legislative members did!

2) No study has been found that proves ‘international benchmarks’ exist. I know you’ve seen the evidence to support the drastic drop in grades our state has experienced. Why is the legislative body not more actively addressing this? Has any law been passed that cannot be re-written so that the BEST for our students is once again protected?

3) Senator Do-Right, if you aren’t aware of this, I know it is my civic duty to tell you that Common Core goes before and beyond K-12th grades. Preschools have Common Core! Post-Secondary education has Common Core! Carefully crafted laws, initiatives, programs, and funding have tried to hide this, but I have the documented proof that YES, Common Core is in all our educational choices, institutions, and budgets. I know you and your fellow Committee members fought hard for Career Tech Education, but, sir, that’s only a portion of where Common Core hides beyond high school! That Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act recently signed in Washington has Common Core embedded, data mining that will join with the U.S. Department of Education’s Student Longitudinal Data Base System! We must dispel the rumors that Common Core is only K-12 and is only known by “Common Core”.

Thank you, I look forward to continuing our conversation very soon.

Respectfully yours,

Ms. Fed Up


When writing letters, spell all titles out (ex: Senator, NOT Sen.)

Be respectful, yes, the person you write may not know you OR may not like you BUT they are still in a position of power that can be helpful to fighting CCSS.

Make your letters as personal as possible. An official receiving a chain letter will more than likely throw it away before reading it.

Keep letters to one page, these folks are immensely busy people. It’s better to give them a little important information and then schedule a follow up meeting where you’ll have more time and can take hard copies of any evidence. Remember, they work for US, not we cower to them! Be sure to leave a way for them to get in touch with you. You’d be surprised that most officials will be curious about learning more IF they are treated with respect, dignity.

Always begin your letters with thanks. If it takes you a little while to find something they’ve done to be thankful for, that’s okay. The point is, you start off with as positive a footing as possible, not  a negative footing.

Do your homework before you mention any voting records, etc. Nothing kills credibility like incorrect facts.

If you know the official has ties to any of the known CCSS issues (like data mining, testing, etc.) use that knowledge to let them know you are a savvy citizen and are fully aware of what’s going on.

Remember that sometimes the officials don’t know about all the places CCSS hides simply because they are SO busy. Yes, they may have the resources to find out, but without the time to find out or the direction to look into, they aren’t going to be as informed as we are. That’s where we can really shine!

What if who I’m writing to is a well identified CCSS supporter? Then, my friends you do 2 things: 1) still use thanks and respect, 2) give them as many credible facts, figures, links, reports, etc. as possible. Leave no stone un-turned. The truth sets us free, it’s time they faced the truth. We know some will not be able to handle the truth that CCSS is a horrid mess, that’s okay, because, thankfully, we can exercise our freedom to replace them come next election.

Tech Thursday: Perkins Gets the Common Core Squeeze

Tech Thursdays for me are an opportunity to share with you what I’ve uncovered about Common Core beyond high school. Those who have orchestrated Common Core have hidden post-secondary Common Core with names like “CTE” (Career Technical Education) or “Career Pathways” which have been embedded in the 2014 WIOA (Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act). I’ve written extensively about these. If you are new to my blog, you’ll need to refer to my very first Tech Thursday post where I broke open the myth about no Common Core beyond high school (see: September 4th’s post “Common Core After High School: Reality Check”)

Notice "US Dept. of Education" is at the top of the graphic.
Notice “US Dept. of Education” is at the top of the graphic.

So for today’s “Tech Thursday” I’d like to take you a bit further into the fact I shared with you a few days ago about the Perkins Act funding being used to force more Common Core upon our students (see: Sunday’s Post “VP, Unions, Career Tech and Common Core”). For a quick review, here’s an excerpt from Sunday’s post about the Perkins Act,
“The Perkins Act was created back in 1984, since then it’s been updated a few times. However, the original intent was to increase the quality of education that was considered technical or, at the time, vocational. With the advent of Common Core via the Career Tech, Career Clusters, Career Pathways, it’s not longer ‘cool’ to use the word ‘vocation’, now it’s ‘career’. Last updated in 2006 here are the 3 parameters that MUST happen with the Act.:
“1. Replaces “vocational education” with “career and technical education”

2. Maintains the Tech Prep program as a separate entity with federal funding within the legislation
3. Maintains state administrative funding at 5 percents of a state’s allocation
The new law also requires the development of articulation agreements and strengthens local
accountability provisions. The Perkins Act provides almost $1.3 billion annually to career and technical education programs in all 50 states until 2016.’ Each state gets to decide how to split the funding between secondary schools and post-secondary schools.”

So, today’s in-depth look will find us delving into just HOW the Perkins Act funding is promoting CTE in our students’ lives.

First stop, CTE’s blog:

According to the Career Tech Education’s blog where I typed in ‘Perkins Act’ and got the following results (see: http://blog.careertech.org/?p=11101), we can see that there’s been a study conducted on how each of the states has been able to use the federal funds to have career technical classes and programs in our schools, both secondary (high school) and post-secondary (community colleges, technical schools or colleges, and proprietary schools or colleges (for profit schools). CTE’s blog tells us the study was prepared by the NCICTE (National Center for Innovation in Career Technical Education) and the NASDCTEc (National Association of State Directors for Career Technical Education Consortium) is the group which collected study data. As usual, with most studies, it was concluded that even MORE research needed to be conducted to measure student outcome based education. As you may of noticed above Perkins funding is to be split in each state between the secondary and post-secondary institutions. Each state’s method will be a bit different in HOW they divide the funding. To help us understand HOW, consider these facts:

State financing approaches broke down into three main categories: foundational funding only, funding for area CTE centers and categorical funding.

Foundational Funding Only – All states distribute basic state aid to finance secondary education programming using a variety of formulas. In this approach, local administrators decide how to distribute funds across instructional priorities, including CTE. Nine respondents indicated they rely exclusively on foundational funding. At community or technical colleges, 30 states reported distributing funds to postsecondary institutions through block grants and not distinguishing funding for CTE.

Funding for Area CTE Centers – Through this method, funds are dedicated to support programming at area CTE centers that deliver CTE services to part-time students. Centralizing CTE programs can be a cost-effective strategy. Seven states reported having separate state funding for these centers at the secondary level and sometimes use a categorical funding approach to distribute funds.

Categorical Funding – This approach dedicates funding to support career-related instructional services and typically targets state funding for the exclusive use of CTE programming. In fact, 37 states earmarked state funds for secondary CTE using one of the following formulas: student-based (21 states), cost-based (7 states) and/or unit-based (9 states). At the post-secondary level, seven states indicated providing categorical funding, while most opted to allocate funding through basic state aid.”

Perkins Act funding is also used in a PBF (Performance Based Funding) way. Which means depending on how the students perform, complete courses and gain credentials and/or have success finding jobs is to how the funding is used. If you read the entire blog entry, you’ll see most states, at this time, do not use the PBF method.

Second stop, The Study:

Named “State Strategies for Financing Career and Technical Education”, I must include the following to honor the public domain, “U.S. Department of Education, Office of Career,
Technical, and Adult Education, State Strategies for Financing Career and Technical Education. Washington, D.C., 2014.” Did you notice the Study didn’t have the NCICTE or NASDCTEc titles BUT did have the U.S. Dept. of Education? Let’s find out why.

The Study/Report was prepared FOR the US Dept. of Ed BY the NCICTE and the NASDCTEc.  NCICTE_CTE_Finance_Study

What Perkins Money actually covers:

According the the Introductory portion of the Study,  The Perkins Act (updated 2006), “Allocations at the secondary level are based on the number of
youths ages 5–17 who reside within a local educational agency’s (LEAs) boundaries and who live in poverty. Funds for institutions of higher education (IHEs) are distributed
proportionate to the number of students who receive Pell grants or aid from the Bureau of
Indian Affairs.”

Those 3 Different Methods of Funding:

As we saw above, there are 3 main methods to fund CTE using Perkins financial allocations. The data collected by the NASDCTEc shows for the K-12 funding:
1) Categorical use can be found in 3 ways, “Student-based formula (21 states)—Funds are distributed relative to the number of CTE students enrolled in an LEA. States typically use one of three approaches: (1) proportional allocations, in which LEAs or programs receive a
funding allocation relative to the number of students enrolled; (2) weighted
student funding, which provides supplemental funding for CTE students in
state basic aid formulas; and (3) differential weighting, which allocates funding
for CTE students based on the program type in which they participate or to
align with state instructional priorities.”
Unit-based formulas (7 states)—Allocations are based on a set of educational
inputs used to deliver CTE services, such as the number of instructors or
administrators employed by an LEA or the equipment used to deliver
Cost-based formulas (9 states)—LEAs are compensated for CTE services based
on their actual reported costs from the prior academic year. States may cap or
limit the rate at which eligible expenses are reimbursed, meaning that only a
portion of an LEA’s expenditures may be covered.

For Post-Secondary Funding, Categorical Funding is used in 2 different ways.
Student-based formulas (two states)—As in secondary education, states use this
approach to distribute funds based on the number of students enrolled in CTE
programs. Both states weight CTE student participation according to program
Unit-based formulas (three states)—Three states tie state funding to CTE
instructional units as a way to fund the differential costs of course delivery. An
instructional unit is defined as the ratio of CTE instructors to student credit
According to the Study, most states are not using the PBF yet, but knowing how the 21st Century Community Learning Centers are becoming more entrenched, I wouldn’t be surprised to see PBF Perkins funding occur. (PBF, from what I could tell based funding from a community perspective, not the LEA or Higher Learning Institute’s).

So how much money ARE we talking about?

The Study shares that “The federal government offers categorical funding to states through its Perkins IV legislation. Annual contributions, which totaled $1.1 billion in fiscal year (FY) 2013, have been at roughly 4–7 percent of total spending for CTE services. In addition to federal funds, all states provide funds to support the delivery of educational services at the secondary and post-secondary levels, some of which are earmarked for the provision of CTE instruction. Finally, many local CTE programs generate their own funds to support classroom instruction, which may be monetary contributions, gifts of equipment and supplies, or in-kind donations from business, industry, and labor representatives.” (In other words, Public Private Partnerships or P3s)

Enter, the Squeeze:

As with any federal funding, there is bound to be the squeeze; meaning the strings that are attached. Because the States have accepted CTE funding, they now have to comply with the following items:

At the K-12 level:
Funding must be used to promote certain CTE fields or programming.
Serving a larger area from one campus where all the state-of-the-art technology is housed.
Aligning the CTE goals with the state’s Workforce Training Agenda.

At the Post-Secondary level:

Block grants each State can use at their discretion.
Using competitive grants which support statewide CTE initiatives.
Usually, funding is based on student enrollment.


Why We Need to Look at PBF:

While not widely popular at the moment, anything ‘performance based’, especially tied to Common Core, Career Pathways, Career Tech Education, will be the string that ties us down the most. How? In the context of CTE, Common Core, Performance Based Funding has you basing education on benchmarks, standards, and/or outcomes. The Study refers to the ‘U.S. Department of Education’s Blueprint for Transforming Career and Technical Education calls for establishing common performance metrics and providing incentives for high-performing programs as part of the Perkins IV re-authorization (U.S. Department of Education 2012).’ This will tie the States to seek funding based on how many students complete secondary CTE and are placed into post-secondary; how many attain jobs and/or remain employed.

Pay-as-You-Go CTE:

Also included in the Study was a series of questions the States had to answer about ‘market-driven’ models for education. “capitalizing on educational programs and social services that offer a positive return for society. Referred to by a variety of names, including “social investment bonds” and “social impact investing,” these financing vehicles draw upon funds contributed by private and philanthropic investors to offset the start-up and operating costs of innovative, research-backed programs proven to improve the economic outcomes of individuals and families (Callanan, Law, and Mendonca 2012; Social Finance 2012).” (in other words MORE P3s) Of course, used as evidence for success, a country other than the US is cited.

Final Thoughts:
Considering how the WIOA of 2014 (The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014) also has much rhetoric of CTE, Career Pathways and P3s, we would be best served by diving in, looking at this with a very fine tooth comb and getting word to our local school boards, state legislators. Common Core should NOT be around our communities’ necks like a noose. Career Tech Education, aka Adult Common Core should not be the vehicle that drives our States right into losing our students, our freedoms, or our quality of educational choices. Yet, if we sit back and allow this to transpire, that, my friends is exactly what we face.






WYBI Wednesday: Flying Minds, Common Core

For today’s “Would You Believe It Wednesday”, we’ll be taking a closer look at the Common Core Talent Supply Pipeline. All thanks to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Ed and Workforce Center.

We are human! We are NOT pipeline material!
We are human! We are NOT pipeline material!

Personally, I absolutely despise referring to people in such a debase term as ‘talent supply’ or to suggest they are ‘pipeline’ matter. I think it is offensive, degrading, and inhumane to place fellow human beings into this kind of terminology. However, when you have a bunch of non-educators running education, hoping for correct terminology is a stretch.

USCCF (U. S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation): 

Since it’s public knowledge that the Gates Foundation gave millions of dollars to the US Chamber of Commerce to promote Common Core, we don’t have to go into the Foundation’s history to trace the ties to CC as we normally do for most of our groups.

So determined to undermine the value of a human being, this Foundation has an entire website devoted to “Business for Core”, complete with toolkit, videos, pledges, and more. There’s even a page for “Leaders and Laggers” where data from the states is used to shame some states and glorify others..all in the name of Common Core, college-and-career-readiness. Aren’t you thrilled with this American institution? I know I’m not.

“Make Minds Fly with Common Core”:

This portion of the USCCF has its very own website, http://www.maketheirmindsfly.org/

The site is set up to mimic a paper airplane being launched. The spiel is “By nature kids are thinkers, doers, creators, innovators..until they learn NOT to be.” By this point in the scrolling graphic you see a traditional America school house, with the banner “American School System: since forever”. (Someone clearly has no clue about the timeline for the American education system) The creators of the website are quite good. Why do I say this? Because that paper airplane launched at the top of the page now joins several others in a gutter on the roof of the schoolhouse. We’re about to go down the pipeline attached to the gutter. (called the ‘no fly zone’) As you progress down the line, you’ll see many jabs at the American education system. Then, the screen brightens up and you see ‘Change is coming…it’s called Common Core’. Below this, you’ll spot that teachers suddenly have MORE freedom to help students. Then the real rhetoric begins. What would that be? The future of our economy. To have a great economy, you need a great workforce.

I invite you to share your stories with me about how FALSE this statement truly is.
I invite you to share your stories with me about how FALSE this statement truly is.

When you visit the above website and get to the point you see the same picture as above, click on the arrow and read the Open Letter to businesses. It’s truly a piece of work.

To further the USCCF’s agenda, solidify the need for supporting the CCSS, and making sure those businesses get a great return on their investment, is this promotional piece. Be sure to listen for ‘talent supply’, ‘clear career pathways’, and ‘how all involved share the cost of the talent supply.


 CC supporters not ashamed to associate with the US Chamber:

As if there isn’t enough to turn your stomach so far, here’s an article by the CEO of Amplify, who happens to be the Executive VP for News Corp. The article, titled “Time to Disrupt Class” expresses how much we need the new technologies offered in our classrooms (hmmm, self promotion or greed? I’ll let you decide) Read the article:


This article, “A Nation at the Crossroads of Excellence”, stresses the need for education to be exactly like business…where outcome (or produced good) is the goal, NOT the process, the details, or the concepts. Read it: http://www.uschamberfoundation.org/nation-crossroads-excellence

A President’s remarks:

President of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation is John R. McKernan. He was, at one time, the Governor of Maine. Here’s an excerpt of what he feels we need to know about the Foundation’s word in education, ”

The Chamber Foundation is tackling these issues* head-on because we want America’s economy to grow, business to be competitive, and all students to have the opportunity for success. Essential to turning around those dismal international comparisons is setting high expectations for all students. We know from decades of experience that setting low standards in grades K–12 results in high remediation rates in 2- and 4-year institutions and workers without the skills employers require.  Rigorous college- and career-ready standards are what students deserve, what higher education requires, and what the business community is demanding. The Chamber Foundation supports the business community through expertise, resources, programming, and communications tools to advance college- and career-ready standards, such as the Common Core, and aligned assessments to ensure students are meeting these higher goals.” (*Note: issues: skills gap, strong education, thriving economy. In the President’s words ‘we work to strengthen the pipeline from early childhood education to post-secondary education and training.’)

Institute for a Competitive Workforce:

Never heard of this institute? It’s part of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Actually, an affiliate. If you’re looking for a website address, the only one you’ll need is about under the UCCF. No matter what story or link I found, when I clicked on the title “ICW” it always lead me right back to the Chamber’s Foundation. I’ve featured for you below one such source that came up in my searching, which referenced ICW.  Oh, I almost forgot, ICW is a non-profit, non-partisan group dedicated to rigorous education standards.


The National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability describes the ICW (Institute for a Competitive Workforce) as ‘charged with establishing the US Chamber of Commerce as a leader in workforce development strategies. Why? Because through local chambers of commerce, much can be carried out toward streamlining education/workforce. See this and more, http://www.ncwd-youth.info/node/118

National Career Pathway Network:

Website link: http://www.ncpn.info/ This network is a ‘members only’ one that includes educators, employers, and anyone along the way involved in Career Pathways, Career Technical Education, or any related educational reform. The Network is housed under CORD (Center for Occupational Research and Development). The CP Network is staffed by a  ‘subject matter expert for the U.S. Department of Education’s Designing Programs of Instruction for Career Pathways “Communities of Practice” and serves on the National Advisory Group for the Alliance for Quality Career Pathways initiative.’ Her name is Debbie Mills. To read more about the 3 staff members and their ties to other organizations friendly with CCSS, CTE: http://www.ncpn.info/ncpn-staff.php (take note of the advisory board, too) The Network is a non-profit, non-partisan one dedicated to leading changes in education.

Where the two meet:

ICW and NCPN meet in a publication titled “Thriving in Challenging Times: Connecting Education to Economic Development through Career Pathways”.

Because the Network is housed under CORD, Cheryl Carrier (a board member of ICW as well as the Program Director for 21st Century Education Programs, Ford Motor Company, known as “Ford PAS”), wrote this in the Foreword of the publication, “There are four key areas that businesses must consider when we make an investment in education:
• The first is the development of “human capital.” Human capital has become more important than land and buildings, or tax incentive packages. Through a meaningful and educational engagement with students, we are developing a talent pipeline of students who are ready for college and careers. The cost to communities of not taking action — the lack of a skilled workforce — will cause existing businesses to leave and new businesses to stay away.
• The second area is to help educators prepare students with 21st century workplace skills. Businesses of all sizes are looking for employees who possess higher order thinking and leadership skills. Organizations have become lean and need to empower their employees to make decisions using 21st century skills, such as critical thinking, problem-solving, synthesizing data and information from multiple sources, and the ability to be part of a cross-functional team
• The third area is boomer retirements. The aging of the American workforce and the impending retirement of older workers in key occupations is well-documented. For example, the utility industry projects that 20% to 40% of their workforce will retire within five years, while the pipeline of young workers is insufficient. In coming years, many organizations with a significant number of workers in STEM fields could find themselves with significant worker shortages.
• The fourth area is the increased need for homegrown talent. Communities cannot depend on attraction strategies to strengthen their local workforce. The Millennial generation, today’s new employees under age 26, are less likely on average to relocate than preceding generations. That means communities owe it to themselves to better prepare their own students for not just college, but careers close to home as well.
Thankfully, more and more business leaders are coming to understand the direct linkage between workforce and economic development and K-12 education. However, there is still plenty of work to be done.”

Other nuggets from the publication include:

It’s up to our public schools to produce ‘pools’ abundantly filled with capable workers

Refers to Career Pathways as ‘education with a purpose’ (you’ll find the familiar ‘rigor’ rhetoric in this section)

“Strengthening the High School to College Pipeline” (where you’ll see dual enrollment, early college touted)

Programs from around the nation, such as “AchieveTexas” highlighted as Career Pathways success stories. (be sure to note Georgia’s program, too. That’s the one Act, Inc uses as a promo video clip on their website for WorkKeys assessment where you’re told, ‘no national number, no job’) *If you’ve not seen that promo, here’s the You Tube link:

Lastly, in the publication, you’ll find certain Career Clusters highlighted as how successful all this streamlining of our ‘talent supply’ is.  Want the publication? Here it is: Thriving_in_Challenging_Times(web) Be sure to note the partners, the participating schools, businesses, and the funding sources throughout the publication. Be sure to read the Career Pathways handy-dandy checklist, too. What 4 words you will NOT see: “Common Core State Standards”, but you’ll see enough to connect the dots (especially if you’ve been reading my posts very long).


Well, my friends, fellow warriors of the Common Core, and those who are just joining me, I hope and trust you will find the above trail of research help you abundantly. Any contributions you would like to share, please know that I will do my utmost to respect your privacy. Our voices, our stories, and experiences will continue to raise awareness. Your voice is vital. Thank you for all you are doing.






Tech Thursday: College/Career Readiness Success and Common Core

Click to enlarge this wheel.
Click to enlarge this wheel.

CCR, College and Career Readiness:

Hardly a new subject for me to write about, but more Common Core aligned evidence is popping up. Where did I get the above image from? A CCR Success Center!! You, too can visit their website to see just how fabulous of a job your state is doing when it comes to CCSS transitions from high school to college! http://www.ccrscenter.org/

Please first notice who houses this “Success Center”…AIR! (American Institutes for Research) A well known CCSS (Common Core State Standards) supporter, data miner! Funding, you ask? Why, the U.S. Dept. of Education, of course! Others involved ar the American Youth Policy Forum (AYPF), Forum for Youth Investment (FYI), National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEc), Quill Research Associates, LLC (QR), Achieve, Inc., American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), Campaign for High School Equity (CHSE), Change the Equation (CTEq), Collaborative for Academic, Social,  and Emotional Learning (CASEL), College Board, CCSSO (Council of Chief State School Officers), IDEA Partnership (includes the U.S. Dept. of Ed’s Office of Special Education Programs), National Association of State Directors of Special Education (NASDSE), The National Center for Analysis of Longitudinal Data in Education Research (CALDER), North Carolina New Schools, SHEEO (State Higher Education Executive Officers), and Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship. To read a short description of each and to see how they have a hand in our higher education’s CCSS pot: http://www.ccrscenter.org/about-us/our-partners

Among the organization’s advisors is Dr. David Conley. I hope you took my advice from a couple of days ago and looked into his educational background, current educational philosophies and Common Core participation. You’ll be seeing his name in this post again.

Other things the “Success Center” does for our students:


Helping align our states to Common Core and create ‘success’ are what are called “Content Centers”. There are also “Regional Content Centers”. The Content Centers are run by WestED, AIR, Edvance, Temple University, and the National Institute for Early  Education Research.

Regional Centers have the States divided into the color coded sections you see above. Each group is run by a select few organizations: WestED, SEDL(formerly Southwest Educational Development Laboratory), ICF International, University of Oklahoma, Educational Testing Service, AIR, Mid-Continent Research for Education and Learning, RMC Research, Education Northwest, and the Pacific Resources for Education and Learning. So just what will I find for the state I live in? Plenty! Since you all know I live in NC, the first thing I noticed is the group of states with NC are in the “Southeast Comprehensive Center”, but I see SEDL (seen above). So my first question is “Why, when I don’t live in the Southwest, is North Carolina overseen by this group?”

Guess I have to click on the Southeast Group to find out. So, I do. I see lots of vivid colors, I see a smiling face of a lovely lady..then I see below her smile, these words, “she focuses on curriculum and instruction, particularly the Common Core State Standards, effective literacy practices, early childhood education, and professional development to improve literacy outcomes in districts and schools.” This lady is considered an expert. However, there are many other experts whom I found. Each with what their areas of expertise are and how it’s devoted to the CCSS.  I click on the tab with my state’s name and instantly see 10 current Common Core projects going on!! It was curious for me when I saw the words “Past Projects”, so I found the tab for that, clicked and was appalled! CCSS projects, one after another.. From 2005 to 2012! Current projects range from early childhood education, to community wide readiness, to videos for math and English. I go on to discover the Southeast Center is developing a CoP (Community of Practice) with the neighboring states also included in our Grouping. Take a look at all that will be shared: http://secc.sedl.org/resources/community_of_practice/cop_resources.php  

So what are the neighboring states up to? Well, according to this SE Center, Alabama’s getting the college/career readiness standards, Georgia’s getting the Career Tech Standards, South Carolina is assessing teachers, and Mississippi is getting the little learners ready for school success. Lovely, just lovely.

What I don’t see on this particular website, is where in NC, the office is located. Hhmmm..where can I find that? By going to the other SEDL Center…Texas! Once there I see that each of the Southeast states do indeed have contact information. NC’s is out on the Coast. (hint: if you are curious, look under the ‘contacts’ on the SEDL’s main site)

More ‘successes’:

Since our original intent for Thursdays is to expose Common Core beyond high school, let’s look at other post secondary ‘college/career readiness success’ resources.

Lumina Foundation’s publication from 2013 “A Path to Alignment: Connecting K-12 and Higher Education via the Common Core and Degree Qualifications Profile”. Authors are Dr. Conley (Educational Improvement Policy)  and Dr. Gaston (Kent University). According the the “Executive Summary” of the paper, ‘The heart of the white paper lies in sections 5 and 6, which provide a crosswalk between the CCSS and the DQP. These sections show how alignments and differences between the two may point to a comprehensive preparedness strategy. They also offer a proposal for a multifaceted strategy to realize
the potential synergy of the CCSS and the DQP for the benefit of high school and college educators and their students — and the nation.”  Here’s the entire report: A_path_to_alignment

Achieve, Inc’s “Common Core State Standards and Career Technical Education: Bridging the Divide Between College and Career Readiness” study is also featured as a key resource. Like the Lumina publication above, the CCR Success Center wants to help you know, they are ‘all in’ to the success of Common Core alignment for your students. Now, I’ve written about this particular study before, so I know it’s loaded with tons of information you can use to inform legislators, school boards, and others who are convinced post high school CCSS is a myth.

The study was published in 2012, has the details on the CCSS/CTE/CCR teams that were formed. Here’s an excerpt from the “Executive Summary”, “Common Core State Standards & Career and Technical Education: Bridging the Divide between College and Career Readiness aims to provide guidance to state education leaders about how they can maximize the opportunity to better align academics and CTE through the implementation of the new CCSS by:

» Summarizing what state leaders are currently doing to integrate the CCSS and CTE;
» Providing specific strategies and supporting examples of what particular states are doing and 

» Identifying common barriers and challenges that state leaders face.”

The study will also reveal how the Perkins Act is the main federal funding source for CTE (Career Tech Education) and how the CCSS is taking advantage of this. Here’s another excerpt you’ll find eye-opening: “To establish a reference point on the current level
of CTE involvement in CCSS implementation, Achieve and the Meeder Consulting Group
developed a survey for state CTE directors and state CCSS coordinators to take collectively. The survey was implemented during a two-week window in November 2011. Drawing from the survey findings, eight states were selected for more in-depth interviews: California, Illinois, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, Ohio and Oregon.
The purpose of the survey was to determine how state education agencies are including CTE leaders as stakeholders or partners in their CCSS implementation efforts.”

You’ll especially like that the study includes CCSS being written into CTE curriculum (see page 13, where Chapter 4 begins). Page 19 shares how CCSS/CTE align teachers were brought into the mix. Chapter 8, begins on page 22, and expressly details the alignment of post secondary education with Common Core, “To represent true college and career readiness, postsecondary administrators and faculty from the core academic disciplines and technical areas should be aware of and involved in implementation of the CCSS. Postsecondary CTE faculty can provide information about the kinds of literacy and
math skills that will be necessary for students to succeed in their postsecondary CTE programs. Technical colleges are particularly important in these efforts given their role in delivering CTE at the postsecondary level. If secondary CTE educators are reluctant to embrace the CCSS, then this kind of input from postsecondary CTE faculty can reinforce the case for strengthening literacy and math in CTE programs.” See the rest: http://www.achieve.org/files/CCSS-CTE-BridgingtheDivide.pdf

A video: 

From the CCR Success Center’s You Tube Channel (where you’ll find several CCSS/CCR/CTE webinars), here’s the one from the National  High School Center back in 2013.


I hope you have really found some very useful information in the last 3  posts. Each one has involved SHEEO, CCSSO, AIR, and the U.S. Dept. of Ed. The articles have been designed to be a one, two, and three punch in the face of the CCSS Machine. If you like, think of it in the ‘3 Strikes’ analogy. However you think about it, realize because each of these Three posts, ALL educational choices are involved. How? Because no matter what choice you’ve made for education in preK to 12th, we all have post secondary opportunities that are either publicly or privately funded. Some use both types of funding. It is becoming almost impossible to find a post secondary school NOT embracing either Common Core, Career Tech Common Core, College/Career Readiness or a combination of any of these. Remember, STEM is also woven into this mix, so the net that’s been cast over a our nation, has certainly gotten even wider than we first knew.