Tag Archives: CCS

Monday Musings: Anti CC Phrases, Galore!

After much research, time, and effort: my 2014 jpeg creation showing CCSS is preK to post-secondary.
After much research, time, and effort: my 2014 jpeg creation showing CCSS is preK to post-secondary.

This Memorial Day Weekend, the anti CCSS Warriors have been super in participating in the #my3anticcswords or #myanticcswords campaign.! We know the Core stinks! We know the damage the entire educational reform is reeking on our students of ALL ages and educational choices. If we’re not seeing it in our current educational choice, it’s there waiting in the next chapter of our education. NO! This is NOT right.

We should have freedom to choose our education choice, we should be free from massive indoctrination, over assessments, aligned careers to suit corporate America and not our own desires.

We’d had enough!!!!!!!

All this weekend (ends at midnight tonight), your anti CCSS words have been collecting. Some have chosen to reply directly to this blog in the comments. Some are firing back to the posts on Facebook. Others are ‘re-tweeting’ posts on Twitter. The point is

You’re expressing what the legislators need to know!

Below are just a FEW of the responses you’ve shared. THANK YOU for speaking up to make a difference in our students/teachers lives. THANK YOU for standing up for America. THANK YOU for speaking truth to drown out the lies the CCSS Machine spins daily.

Cheryl wrote via the blog, “Destroying children’s choices.”
Rhiannon shared via the blog, “NCBL, my ass.”; “Lost IEP rights”; “Special Education ruined forever.”
From Twitter, Luz wrote, “punitive and ineffective.”
Groovy shared, “unconstitutional spirit breaking.”
Missy tweeted, “sadness, madness, illness.”
On Facebook, Jeremiah posted, “illogical disguised as logic.”

There are many others that are out there. If you can, head over to Twitter now and see for yourselves. If you’re not able to, that’s fine. I can share more later. Thank you for proving the idea of when parents speak up, we roar!

Lies won't stand on their own for long.  Truth, however, does. You've shared your truths. Thank you for your courage.
Lies won’t stand on their own for long.
Truth, however, does.
You’ve shared your truths. Thank you for your courage.

Sic’ ‘Em Saturday: The Power of an Anti CCSS Warrior

In a war, togetherness is a great weapon.
In a war, togetherness is a great weapon.

Hi, my fellow anti CCSS Warriors! I’ve got a great idea for us to band together this Memorial Day weekend. We all want to see CCSS end, right?! We can do this in less than 5 minutes..How, you ask?

Simply use the #myanticcswords on Twitter or Facebook (or other social media) this weekend.

Together our list will grow from the 3 sets of words I’ve used to be the examples. Then, when this weekend is over, the list will be able to be sent in one giant message to those in our state and federal legislative bodies in time to put a serious dent in any re-authorization plans for the ESEA and HEA (Elementary and Secondary Education Act and the Higher Education Act). Both are being overseen by Sen. Lamar Alexander. Both are full of more federal overreach into our lives; more CCSS and CTE college/career readiness agenda; data mining; workforce training, and more!!

We MUST act as one AND we must act quickly!

Here’s the shot I took of my 3 tweets (with 3 words each):

Celebrate Memorial Day by helping me get the Anti CCSS words off the ground and off to D.C.!!
Celebrate Memorial Day by helping get the Anti CCSS words off the ground and on to your states capitals and D.C.!!

Just think: 3 little (or big) words can carry SO much power… ‘I love you’; ‘Here I am’; ‘I want to help’, etc.

Three words can carry an image or stir feelings…’I hate tyranny’; ‘I am a patriot’; ‘Common Core Standards’; ‘Career Tech Education’; ‘breaking the law’, etc.

Three words can send a distinct message when they are joined by others. For example, when I was setting up the hashtag, one anti CCSS group picked it up immediately and retweeted it to others. It’s a small start, but it’s a start that will only continue to grow.

So, join me, anti CCSS warriors!! This weekend, tweet as many 3 word phrases as you can so we can retweet them to others, and use them to make such a distinct message of the people’s voices as together we fight the Common Core Machine!

Always hang on to this, my fellow Americans, we’ve been sold a load of ‘snake oil’ via CCSS/CTE and all the other connections. Let’s show the salesmen what they can do with their product!

Let's do the patriotic thing this weekend, fight for our country.
Let’s do the patriotic thing this weekend: fight for our country.

Sic’ ‘Em Saturday: Using Community Colleges for More ‘Core’

It’s not new news that community colleges are Common Core aligned via either their ‘dual enrollment’ courses (which serve high school students) or the Career Pathways/Career Clusters tracks. However, I have found a new document that gives 21 ways to make the bonds of the CC even STRONGER.

SREB, Southern Regional Education Board:

“The Southern Regional Education Board works with 16 member states to improve public education at every level, from pre-K through Ph.D. A nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, SREB was created in 1948 by Southern governors and legislatures to advance education and improve the social and economic life of the region. Member states are Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia.”

I’ve written about SREB a few times before. so I know how supportive of CCSS they are. Recently, the entity has published a Community College Report. Titled “Community Colleges in the South: Strengthening Readiness and Pathways” The work going into this is the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

As I normally do, I’ll only give you the highlights from the document. You can access the entire document from here to research on your own. What if you live outside of the SREB’s domain? I’ll be sure to show you how to find the Regional Education entity in your area by the time we’re through.

Point #1:
Community colleges are essential to achieving state goals — increasing educational achievement of the population, increasing access and completion, eliminating achievement gaps, closing opportunity gaps, and addressing workforce and economic development objectives. These complex institutions are also flexible, adaptable, affordable, community-based, user friendly and proximate to the state’s population.”

Point #2:
“Community colleges serve students, employers and communities.” (think P3 involvement on hyper-drive)

Point #3:
“SREB’s Community College Commission met several times during 2013 and 2014 to recommend policies and practices to increase students’ college and career readiness through effective community college and K-12 pathways. Composed of community college system leaders, legislators, national experts and others.” Below, are the numbers the Report provided:

Point #4:
“In an effort to tighten the connection between state goals and funding, approximately half of the states in the nation are moving to outcomes-based funding. In states such as Ohio, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Mexico, Tennessee and Washington, state support — all or in part — is derived from a funding formula with metrics specifically designed for community colleges. Program designs in most states would reward institutions on a range of measures, including rewards for students who reach momentum points such as successful completion of a specified number of credits, transfers, success with underserved populations and at-risk students, completion of STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) programs, as well as completion of certificates and degrees. Programs with higher rates of completion receive incentive funding for contributing to a state’s educational attainment goal. Although now used widely, outcomes-based funding is still controversial…”

Point #5:
Addressing the admittance policies that could be changed, “The urgency to redesign both placement and developmental education is fueled recently by the impending, new college- and career-readiness standards and associated assessments being implemented by most states. These nationwide standards and assessments are more rigorous, especially with respect to reading and writing, and the more demanding assessments most likely will publicly reveal a much more severe readiness problem. To these points, the recent National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) 12th grade achievement-level results for literacy and math — which apply performance expectations empirically linked to college success and to the new common readiness standards — show that only 38 percent of students perform at or above the Proficient level in reading, and 26 percent perform at the Proficient level in math. Hence, these placement and remedial challenges must be addressed so that colleges and students come closer to meeting the postsecondary completion goals set by most states…” 

Point #6:
“….emphases in the emerging new common college readiness standards, there is a growing call to address the fundamental and logical importance of students being able to read with comprehension moderately complex texts across a variety of content areas.”

Point #7:

Regarding math readiness, “In fact, numerous examples in postsecondary education (public and independent) have resolved this issue by requiring math other than college algebra (or precalculus) as a free-standing degree requirement. For non-STEM majors, many institutions accept, for degree credit, math courses such as finite math, introductory statistics, contemporary math and quantitative reasoning. It is thought that the logical and critical reasoning and thinking skills required for a degree — for future careers and perhaps for successful study in other areas of the curriculum — can be nurtured through rigorous engagement in these courses. The four major math associations (American Mathematical Society, American Statistical Association, Mathematical Association of America, and Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics) will issue recommendations this year that college algebra no longer be a general education course requirement.” Not much further down the page the discussion of which math areas would be considered as alternatives, “The construction and implementation of these new approaches to developmental education centering on these courses is proceeding through the work of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching’s Quantway and Statway projects and the New Mathways Project from the Charles A. Dana Center at the University of Texas.”

Point #8:
“…placement and readiness evaluation tend to identify and assess literacy skills based on students’ abilities to read texts of moderate- to lower-level complexity, within a narrow range of academic disciplines. Too often, these evaluations do not challenge students’ abilities to read and understand academic or technical texts, or to analyze and explain their meaning in writing. This ability to read more complex text in many subjects is critical to students’ abilities to succeed in postsecondary education. For example, the most commonly used placement tests, Accuplacer and Compass, use relatively simple texts and writing prompts. The lack of challenging literacy readiness standards and assessments explain why math skills have been viewed as the area which most contributes to the readiness problem.” Not too far down the page, “Moreover, many state K-12 systems have adopted new literacy standards, such as the Common Core State Standards and others, that are based on the deep and effective reading of complex information texts across different disciplines and the ability to engage in expository writing that parallels the higher text complexity.”

Point #9:
“Public schools need the direct support of community colleges to meet the immense readiness challenge. Community colleges need to lead in making more students ready for postsecondary education, especially in supporting systematic high school efforts to raise achievement in literacy and math skills. Community colleges need to engage in the following activities jointly with local public schools:  *Send specific, concrete messages about the literacy and math readiness skills needed.  *Support the need for junior-year readiness assessments based on specific readiness skills and standards*Support the provision and required enrollment of students in 12th grade bridge or transition courses based on the literacy and math readiness skills. These courses should be taken by students assessed as not ready by the junior-year assessments and provide a way to move developmental education from the community colleges to K-12.  *Provide concrete, actual examples of first-year community college course work to high schools. SREB will use its convening and advocacy capacity to bring together groups of states to address these recommendations; in light of the controversial nature of the recommendations…”
Point #10:
“One of the most underutilized strategies to support student degree completion is the emphasis on a well-defined, rather narrow pathway that students should adhere to in order to complete an associate or bachelor’s degree in a timely manner.” Not long after you read this, you’ll read this, “A structured guided pathway is an academic program map where faculty have sequenced the courses and identified well-defined learning outcomes. Pathways imply structure and guidance toward timely completion and next steps along the path. Structure and guidance are both important and costly. They include adequate and appropriate advising that focuses on careers and programs, rather than courses, and keeps students on track, requiring them to have a plan and declare a major early. Pathways help students build credit toward a certificate or skill base, should they leave the institution before completing a certificate or degree. They provide the opportunity to take accelerated courses such as dual enrollment and Advanced Placement.” Wait, there’s this as well, “While the definition of a structured or guided pathway may vary somewhat, policy-makers, educators and business leaders agree that postsecondary programs of study that lead to certificates and associate degrees must be better aligned with local, regional, and state workforce needs. Additionally, the programs and courses should be regularly evaluated against workforce needs.”

There is SO much more you need to read in this report! Access it: CommCollegeCom_2015
Of interest: The SREB upcoming College/Career Readiness Conference! Set for July 2015 in Atlanta. (see: http://www.sreb.org/page/1615/CCSSConference.html)
Who funds SREB? Here’s the list of CCSS funders we’ve seen so many times before:
*Alfred P. Sloan Foundation
*Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
*Consolidated Management Resources
*Lamar Plunkett Family
*Lumina Foundation
*National Board of Professional Teaching Standards
*National Research Center for Career and Technical Education, University of Louisville
*National Institutes of Health
*National Science Foundation
*The Pearson Foundation
*U.S. Department of Education

Want to learn more about SREB’s preK-PhD work? http://www.sreb.org/page/1068/about_SREB.html

Other regional Education Boards:
WICHE, Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education: http://www.wiche.edu/
MSC, Multi-State Collaborative: http://www.sheeo.org/projects/msc-multi-state-collaborative-advance-learning-outcomes-assessment#What
NEBHE, New England Board of Higher Education: http://www.nebhe.org/
MHEC, Midwestern Higher Education Compact: http://www.mhec.org/
Consortium of State and Regional Education Research Associations: http://www.srera.org/
American Educational Research Association: http://www.aera.net/

WYBI: CCSS Supporter Profiling Higher Ed Degrees

Back in 2011, The CCS/CTE/CCR (Common Core Standards/Career Tech Ed/College, Career Readiness) and other higher education institutions got a ‘leg up’. Thanks to Lumina’s desire to be a part of the “Goals 2025”. What IS the ‘leg’? What is Goals 2025? How does Lumina play a part in this; better yet, what is Lumina? Come along my friends, fellow anti CCSS Warriors, and associates…We’ve got lots to go over.

Lumina Foundation:

For our more seasoned warriors against CC, we know what Lumina is. However, for those who are new to the war against the Core, Let’s see what kind of foundation Lumina is.
Their website: http://www.luminafoundation.org/ Lumina is private and independent (meaning it’s not for profit, non stockholder group) Their main reason for existence? Getting more Americans into higher education. Their budget to do this? Over $1 billion dollars. To access their fact sheet: http://www.luminafoundation.org/about
On the policy page of the website, here’s the first sentence you’ll read, “Any effort to make meaningful social change is notoriously difficult and inherently risky—and some aspects are too risky for anyone but foundations.” You’ll go on to read how they do not support legislation one way or the other; that they hold the public’s trust. Their leadership influences both federal AND state levels. What a pity all that power and money is devoted to aligning American students to the agenda behind Common Core. Lumina’s been around since 2000.

Profiling Your Degrees:
As stated above, this written report was published in 2011. Lumina enlisted the help of the Institute for Higher Education Policy (IHEP), Center for Higher Education Management Systems (NCHEMS), a professor and author from Kent State University, and Association of American Colleges & Universities (AAC&U).
From some of the pages, I was able to glean the following points. Quality outcome based education always lends itself to needed assessments; benchmarks for students for all 3 levels of higher learning institutions graduation requirements (meaning associates, bachelors, and masters); the profile will guide both students and instructions in regards to curriculum and lessons so that the students goals and understanding align with the institution they are attending; field specific training and competency based learning are also some of the main goals (I’m not quite sure how that’s higher quality..I mean I want my oldest daughter about to enter grad school to MASTER her field. After all, it is called a “Masters Degree” and not a “Competency Degree”!)
Here’s a visual of how this is to look (you’ll need to enlarge it):

The 5 areas? Applied Skills, Civic Skills, Broad/Integrative Knowledge,Specialized Knowledge, and Intellectual Skills
The 5 areas? Applied Skills, Civic Skills, Broad/Integrative Knowledge,Specialized Knowledge, and Intellectual Skills

Here’s the PDF. Please, research it. There is much more to be learned in this document. While it was published 5 years ago, it should give you a better understanding how and why higher learning institutions are becoming more and more common. They have to be, look at the CCSS Machine. It relies on total alignment from PreK to Career. The_Degree_Qualifications_Profile
Goals 2025:

This initiative relies on outcome based education. It operates on the premises that by the year 2025, America should have a 60% higher education graduation rate. While that doesn’t sound so bad, remember Lumina’s all about CCSS/CTE/CCR. Even their description of the Goals 2025 uses the phrase ‘obtain a high quality degree or credential’. This program began in 2009. If you looking for more of the same old rhetoric about global achievement and where we supposedly lag; how America MUST be globally competitive; how business need skill-based workers…then this is your jackpot! This Goals 2025 initiative also has all the redesigns for those 21st century learners, too. Gee, aren’t we lucky?! You see by having more graduates, we’ll have a better socially gifted country, we’ll have better economics, too. Of course, all this will have to be conducted in the ‘Even Steven’ fashion. God forbid we should let anyone NOT attain a high quality degree or credentials. By the way, just WHOM or what entity ensures these degrees and credentials are worth more than the paper they’re printed on? According to Lumina’s 2013-2016 Strategy Plan for Goals 2025, THEY WILL! Access the Strategy:

University Innovation Alliance:


This brainchild is funded by not only the Lumina Foundation, but the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation as well. Website: http://www.theuia.org/#home You won’t find the above fact on the website, in plain sight. No, access the Prospectus ( UIA-Vision-Prospectus ) This document will not only give you ‘facts’ and figures, but you’ll be able to see how, as this Alliance grows, more involvement with ‘subject experts’, technology, and other public, private partners will be a great thing. You’ll also see the memo sent to the U.S. Dept. of Ed for their input toward the re-authorization of the HEA (Higher Education Act).

Here’s the YouTube Video for the Alliance which I found on Lumina’s website:

Lastly, Lumina’s Common Core Devotion:

Connecting K-12 and Higher Ed via the CCSS:

Guiding schools and school districts toward successful implementation of the Standards:

Here’s the Heartland Institute’s report on the biggest foundations fund CCSS. Lumina is among them.

From the Stop Common Core NC website, this article on how Lumina helped fund a “NC Ready for Success” program.

From the SREB, Southern Regional Educational Board, their account of how they are working with Lumina. Note, you’ll see the Gates Foundation there, as well.

From Oregon’s “Core to College” website, how Lumina and the big members of the CCSS Machine, are involved in several states with this same program. (Note: 2011 is when all this began).

FYI: Most of Lumina’s money, if not all of it, comes from the sale of it’s original company to Sallie Mae. As in THE Sallie Mae and student loans. You see, Lumina began its life as USA Group. USA Group is what Sallie Mae acquired.
Here’s a press release: http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/sallie-mae-completes-usa-group-transaction-new-executives-and-board-members-named-72598737.html

NY Times stated this transaction took place in 2000. Their article states $770 million. So how Lumina’s been able to turn that into billions? I don’t think we need to guess too hard. http://www.nytimes.com/2000/06/16/business/company-news-sallie-mae-agrees-to-buy-usa-group-for-770-million.html

I’ll be looking more in depth at some of the other groups mentioned above which helped Lumina with the Degree overhaul. Stay tuned for the follow up!

FOM Friday: Best CCSS Fallacies

It's Friday, you know what that means! Time to measure what's truth, what's fallacy/fib or what's in between.
It’s Friday, you know what that means! Time to measure what’s truth, what’s fallacy/fib or what’s in between.

Think of today’s “Fib-o-Meter” as the collection of the biggest fallacies we’ve heard/seen/experienced about CCSS so far. Enjoy!

Aligned School Leaders:

So far, 3 articles about Common Core and superintendents! Not only do students get penalized by Common Core, or teachers, but superintendents are being held to the Standards as well. Given that many of our state level superintendents are pro Common Core, you’ll need to see the first one from Sept. 2014: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/09/19/fib-o-meter-friday-state-superintendents-common-core-standards/ Not only will you see the attempt to rebrand CC, you’ll get to see how. Follow that with the 2nd CC/Super article that was created via reader/follower requests. It’s from Sept. 2014 as well and features more switcheroo tactics as well as bold face lies! See: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/09/26/fib-o-meter-friday-more-cc-aligned-superintendents/ The final CC/Super article from Oct. 2014, features Teach for America troops in addition to the final requested state superintendents. See: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/10/03/fib-o-meter-friday-even-more-state-superintendents-common-core/ For research purposes, see how aligned each of these Supers are. More than likely they will still be just as CC discipled as before.

Related article:
School counselors are some of the best leaders in schools with access to not only faculty and students, but parents as well. Don’t think for a moment the CCSS Machine has missed the opportunity to ensure these counselors are selling the Career Pathways, Career Tech Education, and other CCSS related courses. While not a Fib-o-Meter Friday article, it WAS a Friday “Breaking News” post. See to what extent the federal overreach goes when it comes to the guidance students receive. See: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/10/10/fridays-post-breaking-news-you-need-to-know/

The Fallacy About CCS and IB Schools:

Maybe your student doesn’t attend a traditional school. Maybe they attend an IB (International Baccalaureate) one. Think Common Core isn’t there? Oh, my friends..it is. In fact, because IB schools are rooted in the UN (United Nations), CC is certainly there. Think about it, the global citizen aspect so much in Common Core. UN and UN related organizations helped shape that. See: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/11/14/fib-o-meter-friday-ib-international-baccalaureate-schools-common-core/

Fallacies About the Core Itself:

Lastly, for those new to the fight, you might find the fallacies of the Common Core interesting.
Originally written as a ‘see how much you know about the Core’ presentation for an audience, I shared in on the blog. There are many lies out there, would you know these? See: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/09/12/fib-o-meter-friday-history-of-ccs/

In Jan. 2015, I wrote another FOM Friday about the lies of CC. See how many of these you know: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/01/16/fom-friday-update-truths-lies-of-ccss/

Got something related to Common Core you’d like to see run through the Fib-o-Meter? Let me know and I’ll do my best to research it. Thanks!

Tech Thursday: Recapping Higher Ed CTE/CCSS

How interesting the 'who's who' in CCSS, CTE, Career Pathways is becoming.
How interesting the ‘who’s who’ in CCSS, CTE, Career Pathways is becoming.

For today’s “Tech Thursday” article, I’ll be recapping some of my past anti CCSS/Career Tech Ed (CTE)/CCR (College Career Readiness) articles. Why? New followers who don’t have much information about Adult CCSS have been requesting help. Helping new warriors? I’m on it!

A Beginning:

Not long before we were saddled with Common Core Standards (I leave the ‘States’ out from time to time when writing. The States had nothing to do with CCS), a plan hatched by the PCAST team (President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology). The plan? Creating more science and tech jobs. The means? Common Core Standards. The report was released so close to the rollout, language in the document stated carrying out the jobs agenda via the CCS. The date? 2010 The title of the report? The official title of the report is “Report to the President, Prepare & Inspire K-12 Education in STEM for America’s Future” The original article has the pdf for you to download, a bullet point list of all kinds of educational overhaul you’ll want to refer to. See: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/09/02/from-the-files-pcast-stem-and-common-core/

If you’d like an example of STEM woven into a state’s Workforce Training (ie CTE, CCR), check out my article about the STEM edcation waivers (thanks to Race to the Top). https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/12/02/wybi-wednesday-rttt-stem-ed-waivers-and-more/

A Pause:

Wait a minute above it says K-12? I thought this was about College/Career Readiness, etc. If you new to the fight against CCSS, you’ll be glad to know that CCSS not only was the vehicle of choice for STEM, but it’s being used as the vehicle for CCR Standards, too. And to think, CCSS is a brain child of P3s, not educators. CCSS is in complete violation of the 10th Amendment to the U.S. Constiutution AND 3 federal education laws! (my very first post has the education laws and how CCSS violates them. See: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/08/30/welcome-introduction/ )

Adult CC Standards:

Post Secondary Common Core was always a part of big idea in aligning American education. To assume it ends at 12th grade is a mistake. Back in 2013, the U.S. Dept of Vocational Education published a report. The gist was because there hadn’t been cohesive Adult Standards before then, aligning them was a good thing. What’s of interest is some of the very same CCS writers were on board for writing the Adult version! Meaning anyone from community college to a 4 year higher learning institution would be in the sights of more alignment via CCS. You’ll really want to see how much better these aligned standards are than the previous ones. See: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/09/04/common-core-after-high-school-reality-check/

An example of how Adult Common Core can impact your state’s post secondary education? NC’s is a great one! See: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/01/20/ftf-tuesday-career-readiness-and-data/

HR5’s Claim on Post Secondary CCS and Your Students:

Because post secondary education has students of all ages and all educational backgrounds, it is a fallacy to assume that coming from somewhere CCS wasn’t taught into a CCSS aligned school, your students won’t be impacted. They absolutely will! It is happening on a daily basis as we speak. So, the ‘acclaimed’ HR5 (Student Success Act) made sure (buried in the bill, of course) that CTE (Career Tech Ed) would be embedded. If you’ve not read the text of the bill (it’s a doozy, over 600 pages). You’ll want to see pages 113 and 280. You’ll also want to see each reference to the Perkins Funding and/or IDEA funding. See my article from earlier this year will all the information and links related to this impending nail in education’s coffin.

Related information: Since we have all kinds of educational choices in America, have you ever wondered HOW those students outside a more traditional approach are defined? Yes, the U.S. Dept. of Education has even defined what ‘alternative’ education means. However, with the snares and mandates of HR5, how would your non traditional students fare? See: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/12/03/tech-thursday-career-techcommon-core-and-alternative-education/

To see the over 200 businesses and organizations wanting to see HR5 succeed, visit: http://opportunitynation.org/latest-news/dear-congress-a-letter-from-200-businesses-and-organizations1/


I have been asked by Women on the Wall to speak twice on a national phone in conference call about Common Core in post secondary education. I’ve provided both links for you here so you can access not only the information I shared, but the information from other experts as well. The first interview was in late 2014. The most recent one was a few weeks ago.
2014’s: https://soundcloud.com/alice-linahan/woman-on-the-wall-conference-call-with-lynne-taylor-and-mary-bowen

2015’s: https://soundcloud.com/alice-linahan/wow-conference-call-with-common-core-diva-lynne-taylor-on-workforce-development

Want to know how aligned post secondary education can be? Imagine your student on any one of the 3 tracks you see.
Want to know how aligned post secondary education can be? Imagine your student on any one of the 3 tracks you see.

WYBI Wednesday: ICE, Chilling Our Education

Typically ice cubes make our drinks more enjoyable. However, when ICE hits education, it's anything but enjoyable.
Typically ice cubes make our drinks more enjoyable. However, when ICE hits education, it’s anything but enjoyable.

In yesterday’s post, I revealed quite a bit about an international credentialing company tied to Common Core. Today’s “Would You Believe It” Wednesday post, looks at the American based companies. Will they, too, be tied to Common Core?

ICE (aka: Institute for Credentialing Excellence):

Here’s how they describe themselves, “The Institute for Credentialing Excellence, or ICE, is a professional membership association that provides education, networking, and other resources for organizations and individuals who work in and serve the credentialing industry.  ICE is a leading developer of standards for both certification and certificate programs and it is both a provider of and a clearing house for information on trends in certification, test development and delivery, assessment-based certificate programs, and other information relevant to the credentialing community.” {note: website address is http://www.credentialingexcellence.org/p/cm/ld/fid=32)
Below is a screen shot from the latest Annual Report showing the USA and where ICE members are located.


Who Is Shaping the Credentials? Again, using the 2013-14 Annual Report, you can find there are members from the Alpine Institute, Pearson VUE (gee, what a surprise), Cisco Systems(data mining), and a Psychometrician (Careers in Psychology have this description for what psychometrics are),

“Psychometrics is the science of measuring people’s mental capacities and thought processes through a systemized manner. In other words, it’s a way to create tests to determine how smart we are or what are personalities are like. Psychometricians are the scientists behind those interesting – and sometimes nerve wracking – aptitude and personality tests. The tests that these professionals create help to better understand how the mind works. They are able to measure the how a mind functions and how it compares to other groups of people.” The Report: 2013-14 ICE Annual Report v3 Final

ICE’s “Other” Arm:
NCCA (National Commission on Certifying Agencies)
This particular part of ICE was created to ensure all of the citizens in America were actually safe while we used the many services ICE accredited. For example, if I wanted to work in aviation, ICE would accredit the National Aviation Business Association and NCCA would keep them accountable so I’d be able to earn my credentials to get a job. (You’ll need to look at the many healthcare agencies they oversee, especially knowing CC aligned courses are being taught). What I found interesting about this arm of ICE, is their “Career Center” page. If you want, you can become employed by AIR, Inc. (America Institutes for  Research, Inc.; as in Common Core related assessment measuring AIR, Inc.) as a psychometrician!! See the actual job posting, http://careers.credentialingexcellence.org/jobseeker/job/21233199/
{Note: heading up the NCCA? A member from the Alpine Testing Solutions, Inc.}

Alpine Testing:

I must confess, I mistook this company for another one by a similar name and was about to pass it over, when a search turned up a post by the President of Alpine Testing Solutions (according to their own website, the name “Alpine Media Corporation” was used from 1998-2005). The president then was Arana Greenburg. Her paper, “WBT: The New Millennium: Training at the Speed of Change”. {note: WBT stands for ‘web based training’} (see: http://www.isoc.org/inet99/proceedings/2a/2a_1.htm ) You’ll want this paper. Why? It details the purposed transition of not only assessments (which now lead to credentials), but how computer testing was in need of becoming ‘COOL’ (Collaborative, Objective Based, On-line, Lifelong Learning Oriented). She goes on to cite B.F. Skinner’s work, how students will go from one knowledge based to ‘just enough’. She details shifts in how learning parameters have shifted, how assessments were to become the core of education and oh, so much more that we now have been able to connect to CC. What else you might find interesting is that the author graduated with a social policy doctorate. You’ll need to see who she used to work for.
One more note about Alpine Testing, they are affiliated with NRMERA (Northern Rocky Mountain Education Research Association). How does NRMERA feel about Common Core, Career/College Readiness?? They embrace it! See this presentation from 2012 titled “Success for All” : http://www.nciea.org/publication_PDFs/NRMERASuccessForAll_BG100412

Take a look at the ICE 2014 Conference Book, there you’ll find Pearson VUE presented several workshops on various topics surrounding credentials that span the globe; you’ll see Cisco Systems also among those who presented. ACT, Inc. (which is also a partner of the International group I shared with you in yesterday’s post about international credentials being tied to CCS) also was at the conference. See the resource, http://issuu.com/credentialingexcellence/docs/2014_ice_exchange_final_program

If you’d like to see who is funding all the research for ICE, http://www.credentialingexcellence.org/p/cm/ld/fid=181

The Gates Foundation, the U.S. Dept. of Ed and the Rest of the Credential Bunch:

After a bit of digging I found the pdf file for the 2009 Round table discussion that was to help both the Gates Foundation’s and the U.S. government’s initiatives concerning post-secondary education get moving toward globalization via credentials, degrees, and whatever else in between you could master. Here’s an excerpt, “The intent of the round table is to identify and define the nature of the array of post-secondary subbaccalaureate credentials (e.g., certificates, certifications, licenses), ascertain the nature of the institutions involved in granting and overseeing such credentials, and discuss the implications for public policy.” Download the document, Subbac-Roundtable-Mtg-Notes_110309

The Business Roundtable’s Efforts for Credentials and Your Students:

Extremely pro Common Core/STEM supportive group “Business Roundtable” released last July (2014) what they are doing to ensure CC credentialed education. Here’s a tiny portion of what’s happening, ”

“Defining clearly the attributes of quality, valid industry credentials, making it easier for students, learning centers and employers to know which credentials and certifications matter.”

Want the entire ‘game plan’? See, http://businessroundtable.org/resources/taking-action-connect-learning-work Oh, if you’d like to see HOW the Business Roundtable plans to help the workforce become as aligned to CC as possible, be sure to read their “Action Step List”, where the number one priority is to  “Fully adopt and implement the Common Core State Standards” (Action List: http://businessroundtable.org/resources/taking-action-on-education-workforce-preparedness)

If you’d like to see more of the BRT’s CC supportive materials, search their website, trust me, you’ll find plenty.

One Last Resource:

Back in 2002, a dissertation by Kathy Emery, titled “The Business Roundtable and Systemic Reform: How Corporate-Engineered High-Stakes Testing Has Eliminated Community Participation in Developing Educational Goals and Policies”. Quite detailed, super ammo for the anti CCSS warrior. (Emery_Dissertation_all


So, while the past two days have given you plenty of ties that bind our students to credentials bought and paid for with funds from CCSS, I hope you’ll be able to use the resources, information provided to wage war on the Core, thereby melting any tainted ICE you find.

FTF Tuesday: IASSC..Universal Certification

IASSC (International Association for Six Sigma Certification) is a third party in the field of workforce credentials. If you’re not familiar with how credentials play into Common Core, think WorkKeys assessments (from the ACT, Inc. folks), Career Tech Ed, and THAT arm of the CC Machine. What’s interesting to note is this credentialing company has this tag line,
“THE Universal Certification”.  Unlike “WorkKeys” which is used in aligning your students academic path (for those in 12th grade and under; whereas for those beyond 12th, the assessment is used to pigeonhole one in a job), IASSC uses classes of certification that sound like a karate class. Green Belt certified, Yellow Belt, and the best, Black Belt. Or you could go for the “Get Lean Six Sigma Certified” for your workforce career.

Belts…Binding You to a Job:

The Yellow Belt Worker: Is considered a basic level professional. This worker bee will sit through a 1 and 1/2 hour exam. This proctored exam contains 60 questions, is offered in over 100 countries and to date, and given in 8,000 testing centers. The goal? Can this worker be a great team member or lead small projects? (for more: http://www.iassc.org/six-sigma-certification/yellow-belt-certification/)

The Green Belt Worker: Is considered suitable for leading projects. This exam has less questions, but the time to assess is expanded to 3 hours. Like the Yellow Belt, over 100 countries and 8,000 testing centers. (see: http://www.iassc.org/six-sigma-certification/green-belt-certification/)

The Black Belt: this successful assessed worker will be different than the yellow or green belts (these are for part-time workers) in that they will be suited for full-time employment. The candidates are considered leaders of teams. Testing centers and countries which offer this are the same as the others.

The Six Sigma: not a ‘belt’, but an on-demand approach to high stakes job assessment initiatives. Here’s a quote, “IASSC is now offering a breakthrough approach to high-stakes certification testing. Facilitated completely and available online 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days per year.” Then, “IASSC provides multiple avenues for achieving your Black Belt, Green Belt and Yellow Belt Certification or integrating the IASSC Lean Six Sigma Certifications into your initiatives, programs and offerings.”

Enter Pearson Vue:



If you don’t know this branch of the Common Core Machine, you should. Why? Each year millions of people take exams or assessments through them. Working with over 400 credential owners (meaning those groups in charge of setting up credentials are worth, etc.), Pearson, as we know, has us covered. Here’s an excerpt,  “From downloadable practice tests to high-stakes, proctored exams that require the industry’s most secure testing environments, Pearson VUE is the leader in computer-based-testing — and much more.”  So, since we know Pearson’s record of massive profits with Common Core alignment how does it connect to the IASSC? PeopleCert. PC is a global ‘leading player’ in the certification industry. Here’s the sales pitch straight from Pearson’s website:

“Get certified today for the globally recognized project management and ITSM qualifications 

Boost your resume with a PEOPLECERT certification! PEOPLECERT exams via Pearson VUE currently include: 

  • ITIL® Foundation exam (English)
  • PRINCE2® Foundation exam (English)
  • PRINCE2® Foundation exam (German)
  • MSP® Foundation exam (English)
  • M_o_R® Foundation exam (English)
  • MoP® Foundation exam (English)
  • IASSC Lean Six Sigma – Yellow Belt
  • IASSC Lean Six Sigma – Green Belt
  • IASSC Lean Six Sigma – Black Belt”

What’s an “ITSM”?  It stands for “Information Technology Service Management”, it is usually coupled with ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library).  If you want to understand how these factor into all the assessments, certifications, think about how much in CCS is pushing digital learning, coding classes, and even data mining.. (a good website of information is http://www.itgovernance.co.uk/ {Note: you can even find publications for taking all the information from silos to implemented programs and services!} If you’d like to see more from Pearson’s Vue website about PeopleCert, http://www.pearsonvue.com/peoplecert/ If you wish to go straight to the PeopleCert website, http://www.peoplecert.org/en/Pages/Peoplecert-Home.aspx {Be sure to note which well known CCS corporations are in the thick of things.} If you wish to see what other assessments PearsonVue is in control of, http://home.pearsonvue.com/About-Pearson-VUE/Discover-Pearson-VUE/Pearson-VUE-businesses.aspx {Note, there’s the GED and many others}

Why is this a big deal? If you look a bit behind all the ads about credentials, better careers, ease of access to take an assessment, you’ll find things like this, from PeopleCert’s CSR webpage, “Our goal is to act as a responsible corporate citizen and as such our commitment to sustainable development is an integral part of our business strategy.” This is followed by this juggernaut paragraph,

“Fully aligned with the EU strategy for Information Society to make IT and Communications technologies accessible to all, PEOPLECERT focuses on 3 key initiatives:

  • In cooperation with national institutions, PEOPLECERT free ECDL and City & Guilds certifications to teenage offenders, offering support and training for their re-induction to society.
  •  In addition, PEOPLECERT’s systems have been designed to include the Automated Test Evaluation facility, so that visually impaired individuals can take any PEOPLECERT exam.
  • GetBusy: Developed by PEOPLECERT Microsoft and the Hellenic Professionals Informatics Society (HePIS) to boost the skills of young people and improve their employment opportunities. Part of Microsoft’s Youthspark Global programme, getbusy.gr was designed to help young people aged 18-27 test their skills through an online quiz and improve their know-how through an informative portal which offered ‘How to’ tips on areas such as CV and interview techniques, presentation skills, basic principles of entrepreneurship and fundraising techniques, as well as on basic ICT skills based on the globally recognized ECDL certification. “

The Six Sigma/Lean Six Sigma:

If you’re not familiar with “Lean Six Sigma” it’s a business model based on the “Six Sigma”. The biggest difference, the lean one is based on a model to reduce waste. Now, if you’re talking waste as in using too much paper, that’s one thing, but remember..what are these credentials and assessments measuring? It’s not paper..IT’S People!! One of the best resources for the use of Lean Six?? From IBM! (gee, another CCS supporter, profit maker). The paper details how IT (information technology and those who are in charge can collaborate, streamline and align, have businesses go in and measure or monitor any data they choose). See: http://www.redbooks.ibm.com/redpapers/pdfs/redp4447.pdf 

‘Six Sigma’ found its start in 1986 from Motorola before it was moved to GE in 1995. The basics were to apply to manufacturing using an empirical method of people. The mastermind creator? Jack Welch. McGraw-Hill Publishers (more CCS profit makers) has a book that details Six Sigma. Called the “Six Sigma Handbook” by Thomas Pyzdek and Paul Keller. ISBN# 9780071623377

Related information:

The design is you have two similar models that can become a part of your credentialed path, the DMAIC or the DMADV via the Six Sigman (either in full form or lean form). Where to two models are almost in total agreement…using only fact based information..NO intuition is needed. Where the two disagree the most…levels of control. Here’s what a website I found explaining the 2 shared; see below and click to enlarge the graphic.

Common Core trained workers will need to be many while Common Core managers will need to be few.
Common Core trained workers will need to be many while Common Core managers will need to be few.

Source for the above related information: http://www.isixsigma.com/new-to-six-sigma/design-for-six-sigma-dfss/dmaic-versus-dmadv/

How CC benefits from Six Sigma:

Jack Welch, that’s how. Common Core Institute is another. Daily Censored wrote about all of the connections, see: http://www.dailycensored.com/get-a-black-belt-in-common-core-curriculum-implementation/  Here’s an excerpt, “Jack Welch. Welch was affectionately known as Neutron Jack, for his policy of getting rid of employees at General Electric while leaving the buildings intact. After his retirement from GE,  New York City schools chancellor Joel Klein  tagged Welch as chief advisor to a new academy to train principals. Caroline Kennedy, then-chair of the city schools fundraising effort,, said  corporate heads were eager to chip in $30 million here and there for this venture. ”
Link to the Common Core Institute: http://commoncoreinstitute.org/cart.aspx
Link to the C2 Collaborative (also a part of the CCI): http://c2ready.org/

Note: since many teachers are being run through the Six Sigma models, you’ll have to factor in the universities which offer these educational degrees! The Daily Censored article gives you two. University of Ohio and University of California. I’m sure there are more.


I truly hope that each of you anti Common Core warriors will use the above information to help stress to our legislators WHY Career Tech Ed/Career Pathways/Workforce aligned CC IS not only un-American, it’s downright playing right into the hands of the loss of individuality for our students. As I’m sure you’re tired of me saying this every time this subject comes up, but I’ll state it again..it matters NOT where our students learn, traditional schools or home; young students or older…ALL will be ensnared. Look at all the evidence and decide how you will get involved in this battle.