Tag Archives: Census Bureau

FOM: Trying to Turn the Tide to CCSS

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.

Just released from the Common Core Standards laden group, Foundation for Excellence in Education, is a report titled (and this is NO joke) “Turn and Face the Strain”. The report is a true ‘gloom, doom, and we’ll all perish UNLESS we adhere to FEE’s way of aligning education’..This one’s going to be good, so, let’s crank up the Fib-o-Meter, shall we??!!

The Website Address: 

You’ll want to download the reports, I’m sure, so here’s the official website for all things Strained, http://excelined.org/FaceTheStrain/

The Truth?! Are You Kidding Me?!

Before we begin the Fib-o-Meter, let’s take a couple of minutes to see the 2 foundations behind this ‘grinding, binding, and trying to frighten us’ report. First up, Foundation for Excellence in Education. If you’ve been following the CCSS saga long, you’ll know that Jeb Bush is responsible for this organization AND is a huge voice FOR Common Core! The other foundation is the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice. According to their website they state school choice is their stance. That stance includes private schools, homeschools, however, look at the graphic they use:

friedchoice

http://www.edchoice.org/School-Choice/What-is-School-Choice

If you haven’t clicked on the picture above to enlarge it, you’ll miss the ‘smoking’ pro CCSS gun: “ESAs”. How do I know this? When you type in “Education Savings Account Common Core” into your general internet search bar, the results are astounding. Credible groups, one after another, have written how this ‘false choice’ is NO choice BUT CCSS. (for example, see these 2 stories:
http://dailysignal.com/2014/12/20/why-even-common-core-supporters-are-changing-their-minds/ OR http://www.educationviews.org/establishment-educators-maintaining-pro-common-core-position/ )

That brief look at the groups behind the report should help you understand the agenda behind the report. Even the title of the report is designed to be incite a fear tactic. I guess they think the CCSS bandwagon is parked outside our doors, ready to swoop us up and carry us away. Sorry, Foundations for CC, not today, you don’t!

Fib-o-Meter, Take One:
One of the first sentences from the Strain that we’ll pull through the Fib-o-Meter is this one,

‘fierce battle looming between the needs of public health care and education’ I have a question for you..did you know we have a fierce battle between the two topics?? I didn’t think we did. I mean we know both are important issues BUT a battle?? This one gets a ‘Total Fallacy’ just for the appeal to fear logic. What IS “Total Truth” about healthcare and education IS that via CCSS they are united. It’s hard to have a fierce battle when you’re on the same team, now isn’t it? Dr. Duke Pesta and Mary Black do an excellent job of tying the two together in the presentation from Freedom Education Project

There are others who’ve written about the co-joining as well. I’ve featuring my stories about the CCSS laden health care reform here. See: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/09/30/from-the-files-health-care-gets-a-common-core-transfusion/ (titled “Health Care Gets a Common Core Transfusion”) or these 2 about the federal budgets that ties health and education together:
https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/12/13/sic-em-saturday-more-fed-budget-watch/ and https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/12/12/fom-friday-2015-fed-ed-budget/

Fib-o-Meter, Take Two:

Here’s the next sentence the Fib-o-Meter will measure:
‘A crisis is fast approaching that makes comprehensive improvement of America’s public schools more important than ever.’  Yes, another statement that forecasts dire doom for us all IF we don’t reform, reform! “Total Fallacy” for the appeal to fear (again). A related “Total Fallacy” that has been misrepresented AND exposed is the jobs for those graduates who will be caring for an aging population. “Restore the GED Fairness” has at least 2 great articles about HOW we’ve been mislead with those U.S. Dept. of Labor unemployment numbers. (it creates the illusion we’re worse off as a nation than we truly are). Here’s one of the articles,  http://restoregedfairness.org/latest-news/32-common-core-and-the-pearson-vue-ged-an-economic-con-job From their “Latest News” page, this graphic:

http://restoregedfairness.org/latest-news
http://restoregedfairness.org/latest-news

Fib-o-Meter, Take Three: 

Census Bureau data..yes, all that data. What’s worthy of the Fib-o-Meter is that this report relies so heavily on data presented as hard evidence for reform, reform and more reform! Think about it. Our last US Census was 2012. Those numbers were hit with tons of controversy over their factual existence. So, suddenly I’m to trust the data from the Census because it was in this report?! (see: http://nypost.com/2013/11/18/census-faked-2012-election-jobs-report/)

So (and I’m guessing here) that by the report using 2010 data in their large printed paragraphs and blurbs to get your attention is to help you feel better about the 2012 data NOT being used. But then, the report says it’s using other years of data to..all to make the ‘facts’ and ‘figures’ add up to their agenda.

On page 17, 2005’s data is introduced. Here’s an excerpt,  “The 2005 Census Interim Projection forecasts an increase in population ages 5-17 of 8.4 million and 11.3 million for ages under 18 between 2010 and 2030. The more recent Census Bureau 2012 National Population Projection forecasts that the country will gain more than 4.6 million residents age 5 to 17 and 5.4 million age under 18 during that same time period.” 

The Fib-o-Meter doesn’t take kindly to smoke and mirrors, fact twisting, or the like. The point of the “Fallacy” by the data is simply this: your most recent past figures should be the ones used, not bits and pieces from several years and then continuing to feature only one year as your ‘projection base’ (ie: 2010 figures projected to the year 2030)

Fib-o-Meter’s Fifth Measure:

Read this excerpt: ‘Regardless of which of these projections ultimately proves more accurate, millions more students will be hitting American classrooms. Given the challenges looming with the elderly, it seems safe to say that K-12 education faces huge challenges as well.’ 

From this point in the report, the rhetoric shifts a bit to the massive amount of state debt we’ll see surrounding education spending. Add to that all the elder care money, and we’re all sailing down the creek without our proverbial paddle. The “Total Truth” of this excerpt is yes, many students will be in American classrooms. Does that mean it has to be the CCSS classroom, though?? NO! Again, more ‘Total Truth’ about Common Core, there are several U.S. Federal Agencies hooked into the Core, the top three: U.S. Dept. of Education; U.S. Dept. of Labor AND the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services!! Of course they findings, reports, and resources all point to the ‘fierce battle’! If these departments can divide us in a false battle, we’ll be easier to be distracted about what’s going on. We must be attentive in our fight against Common Core. Don’t just take one side’s information and assume it stops there!

How do I know the 3 are co-joined? Refer to the 2015 Federal budget articles presented above. If you’ve already read those, here are 2 more from “Prevent Common Core” website, http://preventcommoncore.com/?p=1187 (titled “Common Core and the Workforce”) and http://preventcommoncore.com/?p=1201 (titled “More Common Core and the Workforce”)

The Report Goes Downhill Still:

As if, by now, you haven’t had enough Fib-o-Meter detecting, I’ll leave the rest of the report for you to dive into. Note though, that it’s from the above points to the conclusion that the mindset you are to glean is one of ‘we must act now’! How do they try to sell it? Minds-are-horrible-to-waste, our-system-is-flat-lined-in-education, our-global-competition-game-needs-some-moxy, we-must-rely-on-the-twisted-NAEP-scale-to-measure-our-schools, and more. “Total Fallacy” enough to keep your Fib-o-Meter churning for hours.

The download: ExcelinEd-FaceTheStrain-Ladner-Jan2015-FullReport-FINAL2
For further research:
Here’s a related one tying the U.S. Dept of Health/Human Services to CCSS:
https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/12/14/rmt-sunday-beware-of-project-aware/

Here’s a related one tying the U.S. Dept of Labor, as well as state level departments to CCSS: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/11/06/tech-thursday-workforce-commissions-education-and-common-core/

Here’s a related one I wrote tying the Vice President to the Workforce that’s CC aligned and is designed to ‘bring on jobs’:
https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/11/02/rmt-sunday-vp-common-core-and-jobs/

Closing:

As we shut down the Fib-o-Meter for another week, please know that I do understand we have many problems in America that do need serious attention. Education is at the top of the list. Certainly caring for our families is of even more importance than education. At least from my backyard view, it is. However, I cannot understand how aligning all that we do and all of whom we are is the sensible solution. We must remember that CCSS is a violation of our U.S. Constitution! We must realize our federal government has already so grossly abused its power in BOTH healthcare and education that the fierce battle isn’t between education and healthcare, it’s between a country and her people. It’s us against Common Core. The battle IS there, the warriors ARE here, but let’s be frank Foundations who created this report: you didn’t speak the truth about WHERE the battle lies! So, they want to turn the tide to CC, we can turn the tide AGAINST CC!

A strained face you can believe. This "Strained Report", notsomuch.
A strained face you can believe. This “Strained Report”, notsomuch.
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RMT: Will You Help?

Every second wasted in mediocrity is another supportive move for CCSS aligned workers.
Every second wasted in mediocrity is another supportive move for the “CCSS Machine”.

Here’s the riddle for this Sunday: Want to keep Common Core Standards?

I sure don’t!! However, there are those who not only believe CCSS is the way to go, but are proposing legislation to help keep it for our students. Please continue to read on to see how you can help STOP the “Common Core Machine” dead in its tracks!

Washington Requests Our Input:

An avid reader of my blog and active anti CCSS warrior, Dr. V sent me a ‘heads up’ notice recently. The notice? A Washington, D.C. based legislator wants feedback on his bill to make sure we keep CCSS via an amendment to No Child Left Behind. Now, I know I’m not the only one writing about this, but I feel it only fair to alert you to the fact WE, the warriors AGAINST Common Core have an opportunity to leave feedback for this legislator. We don’t get opportunities like this often, so we need to active swiftly. We need to act with respect while being firm, truthful, AND fierce in what we have to say. Before I get to the body of the bill he’s proposed let me give you a direct quote from the good doctor, “You can write him Chairman Alexander who has asked for input on his proposal here: fixingNCLB@help.senate.gov (Note, the Chairman is actually Senator  Lamar Alexander, a Republican from Tennessee). Why the clock image above matters? Comments will only be taken until Jan. 21st, 2015!!

The Bill:

Officially, this Amendment to the No Child Left Behind Act of 1965 to be known as
“This Act may be cited as the ‘‘Every Child Ready  for College or Career Act of 2015’’ ” The Amendment is over 300 pages (387 to be precise). As my fellow warrior pointed out, on the surface the Amendment is being considered a great thing. BUT, as is usually the case with the Common Core Machine, there’s another side that IS a terrible thing. So, why would the Senator from TN offer this?? We’ll address that riddle AFTER we look into the ‘terrible thing’ embedded in this Amendment.

The Hidden-in-Plain-Sight Agenda?!:

From page 2 of the Amendment,  “SEC. 4. STATEMENT OF PURPOSE.  The purpose of this Act is to restore freedom to parents, teachers, principals and other school leaders, States,  Governors, and local communities so that they can improve their local public schools.” IF this could be a reality, then, yes, it WOULD be a fantastic thing..it would actually be honoring our U.S. Constitution!!

However, let’s look a bit deeper..other things that have been updated (oops, sorry, in legal speak, amended) the definition of ‘college and career ready’ now includes NO Remediation AND closing the skills gap (so I guess the false argument will not be gospel because it’s in an amendment that could become law?) LEA grants will be a whopping $15 billion per year until 2021. Add to that $400 million for assessments. Federal money will be relegated for the states to have ‘technical assistance’ in these 2 areas.

Okay, so , so far, nothing really contradiction-wise yet. After this above information, you’ll begin to see the part of the Amendment that is ‘the States this, the States that’.  The states will be held accountable to the federal government for several things beyond assuring that ‘challenging state academic standards’ have been aligned, adopted,and implemented.  It appears this is especially the case for the English Language Arts and Math (including the participation in the Nation’s Report Card, student data mining, continued teacher assessments, and, because of Perkins Funds and IDEA legislation those ‘career pathways’ will be cemented in education). What I kept noticing is the amount of power the LEAs will be granted under this Amendment (this includes PreK, post-secondary, outside the classroom, etc.)

Other nuggets of a darker side: family financial data as supplied by the U.S. Dept. of Commerce, The U. S. Dept. of Commerce’s branch, The Census Bureau (especially their American Community Survey, which is a mandatory on-going process that helps determine how tax dollars are used). For more about the ACS (American Community Survery, see: http://www.census.gov/acs/www/ ,  the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics; proposed sharing of assessments, standards on a voluntary basis between states, thereby saving money; ‘Developing challenging State academic standards and aligned assessments in  academic subjects for which standards and assessments are not required..’; ‘Refining State assessments to ensure  their continued alignment with the challenging  State academic standards and to improve the  alignment of curricula and instructional materials.’; ‘Evaluating student academic achievement through the development or improvement
of comprehensive academic assessment instruments, such as performance-based assessments  that emphasize the mastery of standards and  aligned competencies in a competency-based education model, technology-based academic assessments, computer adaptive assessments, and  portfolios, projects, or extended performance  task assessments.
Collaborating with institutions of higher education, other research institutions, or
other organizations to improve the quality, validity, and reliability of State academic assessments.’;
 the use of formative and summative testing will continue as well.

Renaming doesn't change alignment of education as a stark reality.
Renaming doesn’t change alignment of education, it is a stark reality, as we’ve experienced.

On page 113, ‘Career Technical Education’ will be replacing ‘Vocational Education’ if this Amendment is adopted. Why is this bad?  CTE (Career Tech Ed) is the Adult version of CCSS! By the end of the page, be sure to note the seemingly harmless word changes. For example, ‘student’s progress’ would be known as ‘improve student achievement’. More of these are in the next few pages which follow.
 Page 116 uses a phrase about information being made available to all interested educational parties. From what I’ve researched that could mean almost anyone, especially in the public/private partnerships seeking to redefine education.

Be sure you note the activity the Amendment would allow the Secretary of Education to exercise. (now, bear in mind, in the earlier portions, many restrictions were laid out) If the Secretary were to enact this exercise, Congress would only have 30 available for review/comments, the public would have 90 days. Whatever it is he could put in motion is expected to cause the States tremendous burdens. (see the pages 117-121).

Teacher reform is laid out in detail in this Amendment. So is having school leaders help transform curricula via technology. As with students, the States will have to submit accountability plans for teacher training, etc. (As above, the states accountable to the Feds..hhmm, does anyone sense something amiss??)

Page 145 gives you CCSS without ever mentioning it or the catch phrase ‘challenging state academic standards’. See for yourselves, ” providing programs and activities to  help students prepare for post-secondary level  coursework, including early college or dual enrollment programs, Advanced Placement and  International Baccalaureate programs.” (don’t see the CCSS ties in AP or IB? Consider who oversee AP courses..the College Board. As far as IB? Yes, it’s Common Core via the United Nations) I’ve written about both, as have others who are fighting CCSS. (here’s one of my articles about how indoctrinated IB schools/programs are with CCSS: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/11/14/fib-o-meter-friday-ib-international-baccalaureate-schools-common-core/ )

Page 150 states that among all their professional development only certain types of groups will be included. Here’s an excerpt, “promote innovative instruction and learning strategies by nationally recognized organizations with a proven track  record of effectiveness in providing preparation and professional development activities and programs for teachers, principals, and other school leaders, particularly in  underserved areas.”  Pardon me, but who will be responsible for overseeing these ‘proven’ organizations? With so many private businesses with their fingers in the educational mix which don’t have any business there, does this mean they’ll be given the green light to continue to step in and reform education?? Not too far after this section of the Amendment is a bit about money from 2003 that’s not been touched could get tapped IF the Secretary of Education deems it needed. Where would these funds be used? National Programs!

This Amendment also allows for any non-profit OR for-profit entity to jump in a student’s education..as long as achievement is the goal (pages 153, 154).

Par for the course in American education, the Amendment continues to do all it can to promote outcome based education…both for STUDENTS and TEACHERS. Institute of Education Sciences will be key to all the evaluations of effective programs (page 164) This is only a few sentences before a section that tells us the Secretary of Education (or any other federal employee) can’t mandate states. This includes curricula, standards, and assessments.

Pages 189/90 mention National Professional Development Project and a National Clearinghouse. Be sure when you leave comments, you ask for more details about what these are, who they involve.

On beginning on page 193 is the ‘Healthy and Safe Students’. Now, do not misunderstand me, I’m all for healthy and safe students..just not under the federal government’s plan of the 21st Century Community Learning Centers (also a huge portion of CCSS, Agenda 21). What do I mean? Read the Amendment text, “The purpose of this title is to improve students safety, health, well-being, and academic achievement during and after the school day by (1) increasing the capacity of local educational  agencies, schools, and local communities..” Items 2 and 3 cover a student’s mental health and drug awareness/abuse. Have we not yet had enough evidence of the federal government’s increased efforts to know this can’t be a good thing?? As far as the mental health component? Several authors, including myself, have stressed grave concerns on CCSS aligned ‘professionals’ charged with the mental health of our students. When you add that money and the allotment of it is added to this, I’d be raising a red flag!

Beginning on page 217 is the “Empowering Parents/Expanding Opportunities” section. Great!? Especially when you find that the empowering/expanding has to do with charter schools and magnet schools. (Note: I have nothing against these 2 educational choices, however, both have been largely considered as CCSS free..guess what? Not!) This section lays out how even MORE charter schools will be provided for. They’ll be known as ‘high quality’ ones. Not sure being concerned about charter schools/CCSS? Read: http://ladyliberty1885.com/2014/07/07/guest-post-common-core-in-charters-private-homeschools/ and https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/10/07/ftf-tuesday-clarity-for-sale-aligned-to-common-core-for-free/

As far as the Magnet schools?? “magnet  schools that will substantially strengthen the knowledge of academic subjects and the attainment of tangible and marketable career, technological, and professional skills of students attending such schools..”  Yep, MORE Career Tech Education to be written into law!

Be sure to ask for more information on the “Rural Education Initiative” and the “Rural Education Achievement Program” (page 280) This is yet another big way to write in CTE Common Core Standards garbage.

Page 287 lays out how the Secretary of Education will award in a competition style method money to states with a certain criterion for low-income based schools. (gee, does anyone remember this style of funding?? Can we say “Race to the Top”?) State level agencies will get to award money like this as well..to the satisfaction of the Dept. of Education.

Page 300 makes a point to include the Hawaiian Workforce Development Council in the mix..hhmm..we know Workforce is tied into not only the U.S. Dept. of Labor BUT Career Tech Education, Career Pathways as well. Be sure to ask about your state’s Workforce Council.

Page 318 is where in-home instruction for Alaska students will be impacted. State money will go towards education ‘readiness’ for preschool Native American residents. Near page 323 is how military children(U.S. Dept. of Interior enters the data mix when military activity is involved) will be impacted. I especially found the phrase ‘federally connected children’ unnerving. (NOTE: Puerto Rico and other U.S. Territories are included in this entire document)

How our tax dollars will be collected/used is also included under “Impact Aid”.

Almost at the end of the document is this nugget (pages 348/49) seeking a change in verbiage. As we’ve seen changes in wording are HUGE, especially where CCSS is involved. ” by striking ‘‘until an agreement for the  extension of United States education assistance
 under the Compact of Free Association for each of the freely associated states becomes effective after the date of enactment of the No Child Left Behind  Act of 2001’’ and inserting ‘‘except during any period for which Secretary of Education determines  that a Compact of Free Association is in effect and contains provisions for education assistance prohibiting the assistance provided under this Act’’ “

This is followed by the teachers using aligned standards, assessments, curricula, and programs all tied together. (page 350-51)!

For the entire Amendment, alexanderamendnclb

Act Now or Forever Hold Your Peace!

If you’ve not read enough to cause you to be extremely wary of this Amendment, I would ask that you review how CCSS got started, where it has spread, who it impacts, how it continues to ‘align and mine’ our students, and it continues to penalize teachers. Our time to act is short, but we MUST act NOW! How can you help? Go to the link featured here, http://www.fixingNCLB@help.senate.gov/

FYI:
The Senator behind this bill is not only a former TN governor, but a Common Core Supporter. See: http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2014/03/24/sen-lamar-alexander-let-s-don-t-talk-about-common-core/

Mr. Alexander was also, at one time at a federal level position. To see more about him and to gauge his involvement in CCSS or CTE,
http://votesmart.org/candidate/biography/15691/lamar-alexander#.VLrVdivF-hQ