Tag Archives: Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools

Raising the Bar for $20K?

Anti CCSS/Fed Ed Warriors, we have heard the phrase ‘Raising the Bar’ SO many times by the CCSS Machine, it is probably one of those phrases we easily dismiss. However, I really wonder if we should.  Many pro CCSS educators/leaders/supporters will use the phrase to wax heroic over how great this year has been especially at graduation ceremonies; how the aligned education has served our school districts well (in testing, especially) and how it (lessons, alignment, and testing) will be even better next year; as well as to inspire everyone.

BUT…what are they really saying? What is really meant when ‘raising the bar’ is used to make next year (2017-18) sound ‘appealing’? From what I can tell, there is NO GOOD thing, much less, anything appealing for ANYONE in education in 2017-18.

The Truth in the Words:

“Raising the Bar” is a business phrase. NOT an educational one. The screen shot below is from a website for business people, not educators. It gives you a brief history of the phrase and its business roots..NOT educational roots.

bizbar

To read the entire article, which is also mostly interchangeable in the  CCSS Machine way of ruining education, see: http://bizshifts-trends.com/2013/04/11/raise-the-bar-push-harder-dig-deeper-move-goalpost-meaningful-change-set-high-expectation-praise-results-recognize-achievement/

The business website’s article link will tell you (should you read the entire article) that minimums, averages, and being normal or traditional are unacceptable. THIS is what we are seeing in a CCSS Machine aligned education, too! Warriors, it will only continue to fail with ESSA, too. (ESSA: Every Student Succeeds Act)

 

 

Shifting Education to Workforce (Raising the CCSS/Workforce Bar):

A simple statement you can use which conveys the epic truth. CCSS LOWERS the bar in education!

For a bit more in-depth statement:

“Common Core Machine (Common Core Standards, Career Tech Ed, Career Pathways or Clusters, STEM Pathways or Clusters, American Apprenticeships, among others, with P3 backing) + WIOA (Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act) + RttT (Race to the Top) + ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act) + HEA (Higher Education Act) = Lowering the Bar/Shift from academics to workforce!” (source: Lynne M Taylor)

 

 

Just seen today (6/9/16):

During the noon time news, the slot below was shared as not only a great achievement by the CharMeck (Charlotte-Mecklenburg) School System, but used to congratulate the newly employed students. How does ‘raising the bar’ play into this story?
The CCSS Machine member CMS Superintendent used the phrase to spur listeners on in not only hopes for next year, but in anticipation of the scores, the end of year assessments will show.

junefb

While I cannot access the WBTV clip (I think the noon news hasn’t been uploaded yet), I can show you HOW the CMS (CharMeck School System) is already well on the CCSS Machine Career Path track.

CMS’s Raising the Bar (CCSS/Workforce Aligned Education) for $20K?

The Strategy Plan (titled ‘Strategic Plan 2018’) for workforce based education is NOT exclusive to CMS. It is in every state. CMS, however appears to based their strategy on a contest.

Yes, you read correctly..a contest! GE (General Electric, a HUGE P3 CCSS Machine member) conducted a global contest with a $20,000.00 prize.

Here is an excerpt of explanation given in the Strategic Plan 2018,
General Electric is an American company and a global giant. GE manufactures appliances, healthcare products, aviation and train engines, advanced energy  technology devices, medical equipment and more. The company’s Niskayuna, NY-based research lab draws on the expertise of its own engineers from around the world—and everyone else through online design contests. The recent GE Engine Bracket Challenge offered a reward to anyone who could design a lighter, better bracket for a jet engine to increase fuel efficiency. The prize was $20,000. The New York Times columnist Tom Friedman reports that, in all, 697 contestants from around the world – companies, individuals, graduate students and designers—competed, with a majority of them coming from outside the aviation industry. What did the GE contestants need to successfully compete? Higher-level thinking skills. Digital and technological competency and access. Literacy, numeracy and content mastery. Creativity and the ability to innovate. Motivation and the desire to compete. Communications and entrepreneurship skills to share ideas.”
Every student in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools today will enter a workforce that requires the same skills and competencies needed to successfully compete in the GE contest. In the rapidly changing workforce of tomorrow, jobs that require easily replicated, rote skills will be gone—automated or outsourced. The factory model job is gone and it’s not coming back. The jobs that remain will be those that require creativity, agility and critical thinking. It is our challenge—our privilege and responsibility as educators, caregivers and members of the community—to ensure that every student in every school leaves CMS with those skills and competencies. Working together, we can provide the schools our students need and deserve. We can provide schools that move beyond the four walls of a classroom to offer global teaching and learning experiences, unfettered creativity and inspiration to become lifelong learners.”
(Page 3 of the 32 page Plan)

So why am I showing you CMS’s Strategy? It is the biggest school district in the State where I live. Again, look at the number graduating over the next few days from CMS: 9,000. That is larger than some towns! Each and every one of these young people has been force fed in the CCSS workforce based educational system.

The Charlotte news station was BRAGGING about it! The CMS Superintendent was glowing over it! All the while, the listeners are more than likely thinking, ‘great for everyone’. Graduates with jobs already!

To see the rest of the Workforce Based Strategy:
http://www.cms.k12.nc.us/mediaroom/strategicplan2018/Documents/StrategicPlan2018.pdf

Below is a page from the Plan I just couldn’t leave unseen. Be sure to find the 6 accompanying goals to make all that appears in the highlighted portions a reality. (see Page 5)

cmsstrat
Oh, when did all this Strategy TRULY begin? According to this CMS Plan, 2012. The date this Strategic Plan was published? 2013. I am sure if we dug deeper, we would find the foundation dates back further than 2012.

I am leaving you with one final screen shot from the CMS Strategic Plan 2018. I think you can see why. ‘Raising the bar’, whether in Charlotte, NC or elsewhere, is a BAD thing when the CCSS Machine is the force behind the educational reform. IF this is ‘raising the bar’, we are certainly ‘lowering our freedoms’.

cmstruth

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Monday Musings: Alignment for Wee Ones

To find out more about this NC offering for education, http://getreadywithwords.org/
To find out more about this NC offering for education, http://getreadywithwords.org/

How many times in my anti CCSS research have I found things I shake my head over? Too many to count. However, when I find something that bring Common Core to those who aren’t even school age, I REALLY shake my head..and my fists!

What brought me to this NC created educational offering? Quite simply a TV commercial. When I saw this commercial, I couldn’t believe it. I knew I had to check it out. What I’ve found, I’m sharing with you. Even if you don’t live in NC, with the plethora of social media, instant access to any kind of multi-media resources, we know where we live isn’t really a factor.

About “Get Ready with Words”:

From their ‘About Us’ page, the following excerpt, “Get Ready With Words is funded by a grant from PNC as part of PNC`s Grow Up Great program, which helps children from birth to age 5 prepare for school. It is a collaboration between Charlotte Mecklenburg Library, Discovery Place, and Community School of the Arts.”  PNC is a banking institution. Discovery Place is a kids science museum. We’ll look into the ties each of the partners in this birth to 5 years project in a bit. First, however, let’s see if we can find any other ‘smoking guns’ of CCSS alignments or connections.

One of the things that cause me to suspect CCSS ties is several of the ‘read more about here’ tags take me to those ‘404 error pages’ we hate to see when searching. Why would an error message cause me to suspect CCSS? Think about it, in our anti CCSS quest for fact based evidence, how many times have we been directed to a particular website or document, only to find it’s been removed? More times than not, it’s because someone or some group doesn’t want that particular information to be known. That’s where looking in between the cracks (or in this case words) to see where I can find information that’s fact based.

Aside from the ‘about us’ page, the “Get Ready with Words” website doesn’t have much more information at all. There are the ‘Words of the Week’. So far, there are only a few pairs of words.

I did find another resource that shared a press release type bulletin about the collaborative effort. See: http://www.thecharlottepost.com/news/2015/09/26/local/word-up-vocabulary-initiative-helps-kids-develop/ Why I offer this particular website, is it clearly states 2 things we anti CCSS Warriors need to know. 1) it’s an initiative with an educational vent to it and 2) it’s a P3 or a public-private partnership. As you know, many P3s have meddled too much in education, especially since the Common Core State Standards Initiative came into being.

PNC’s Grow Up Great Program:

Before I share much more about this banking institution’s foray into education, see the screen shot below. Notice, how innocent it appears.

pncprogram

Now that you’ve seen the shot, you might think, ‘oh, that’s not so bad’. Oh, but my fellow Warriors, there’s more to this $350 million early education effort.  Read their reason for doing all this early education activity, “The research is compelling: A focus on the years from birth to age five helps reap dividends for society and the economy — better achievement in school, more graduates of high school and college, higher salaries, less crime and drug abuse, fewer people on welfare…on and on. Even better: the chance to feed the passions and curiosity of all those young minds.” In case you’re curious, this educational effort began for PNC back in 2004.  They are advocates of education in each of the state capitals as well as at the Capitol. They offer reading resources, too. Those reading resources? Sesame Street readers. Sesame Street has aligned with CCSS. According to two different websites, ShareMyLesson.com and a blog by a teacher, Vicki Davis, you can search over 1,000 Sesame Street aligned resources. Ms. Davis blog entry from July of 2012, shared this excerpt, Sesame Street has taken more than 1000 videos and resources (all for elementary school) and aligned them with Common Core standards on the sharemylesson website. This is a great account for elementary teachers to follow on the site.” (see her blog, http://vickidavis.me/post/26820599057/sesame-street-resources-aligned-to-common-core) Over on ShareMyLesson, I found much about the CCSS aligned childhood classics.
See: http://www.sharemylesson.com/mypublicprofile.aspx?uc=2246999&page=1&SFBC_FilterOption=2 (*Note: be sure to scroll down and just read how many have ‘aligns with the Common Core State Standard’)

PNC’s educational resource page (which includes not only the Sesame Street readers, but other lessons as well) has this ‘lovely’ statement at the bottom of their website page, ” Common Core State Standards Initiative: These lessons are aligned with the Common Core State Standards (“CCSS”). The CCSS provide a consistent, clear understanding of the concepts and skills children are expected to learn and guide teachers to provide their students with opportunities to gain these important skills and foundational knowledge.*” (Note: the asterisk PNC provides you is a note which leads you to an embedded link…directly to the Common Core Standards homepage!) To see it for yourselves, https://www.pnc.com/grow-up-great/resources/lessons.html (*Note: you’ll also need to look at what other groups provide content for the CCSS aligned lessons.)

Let me pause here, last week, I shared with you how USA Funds measures our post-secondary students by their ROI value (return on investment value). PNC has done it with the youngest of our learners as well! “For every dollar spent on high-quality early education, society stands to gain up to $16 in long-term savings.” Please, read the rest for yourselves, https://www.pnc.com/grow-up-great

Discovery Place:

This science museum for kids is an interactive based one. It also is tied to Bank of America (a huge CCSS supporter) and is a STEM career readiness location. Here’s an excerpt, “Uniquely located adjacent to Discovery Place in the Bank of America STEM Center for Career Development…” In Discovery Place’s education resources you can find Next Generation Science Standards, as provided by NASA, Toyota and others. Get the guide: DPedguide
Why this is important, Discovery Place is a public place. Meaning its educational resources are available to any educational choice. Including private schools, homeschools, faith-based schools, day care programs, kindergartner programs, and charter schools. So again, CCSS is not intended for just K-12 public schools! To see more about Discovery Place, visit:
http://www.discoveryplace.org/education/resources/

Charlotte’s Community School of the Arts:

From their “Giving Tuesday Share” website page,Community School of the Arts (CSA) is a nonprofit arts education organization with the mission to “transform lives and inspire community through outstanding and accessible arts education.” The School reaches 4,000 students annually through high-quality music and visual arts programming, with nearly half paying reduced or no tuition through CSA’s extensive financial aid, merit scholarship, and outreach programs.” See the rest, http://sharecharlotte.com/nonprofit/community-school-arts
Among the funding groups CSA has, PNC (back in 2012) gave plenty for new educational endeavors. You’ll also find Discovery Place in the mix too. You’ll see the NC Governor give his ‘thumbs up’ to this news as well. NC’s Governor has made no mistake about his stance on Common Core. To see CSA’s article about the big grant to involve the littlest of learners as well as school age children: http://www.csarts.org/resources/news/154-pnc-grants-530-000-for-new-pre-k-science-and-arts-programs-for-charlotte-children
The CSA also receives funds from the Arts Science Council(ASC). Even their logo screams CCSS! See below.
asclogo

Before I share with you how ASC is connected to CCSS, please know the aforementioned groups are not the only financial backers of the CSA.

ASC, Arts Science Council:

This NC Council works directly with Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools. CMS is the largest school system in the state and is very CCSS loaded. From ASC’s Education page, you can find the following, “All programs are meant to align the cultural community’s resources with the Common Core State Standards and the North Carolina Essential Standards.” To find out about the 5 year plan the ASC has in mind for education, see: 
http://www.asceducation.org/who-we-are

I’ve included the ASC Common Core aligned lesson plan for the Holocaust. Those of you who’ve shared the horrible times and events during that time in our world’s history is being either marginalized or left out. c3588941-c2d0-4b50-8389-7ce35994a0c5

As far as the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library’s involvement? Between the STEM Act of 2015 and my previously published article about all public libraries aligning to CCSS, you can guess where their educational efforts will be focused.
For the libraries alignment, see:
https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/10/27/monday-musings-hitting-the-books/
For how the STEM Act of 2015 will involve libraries, museums, and more:
https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/10/21/wybi-tying-stem-to-ccss-again/

Closing:
Remember, my fellow anti CCSS Warriors, all this is connected to not only every child from birth to 5 years, it’s full of so much alignment, agenda, and indoctrination. The CCSS Machine may be trying to roll over us, but with information like this, I hope you not only share it, you contact your legislators NOW! If you live in NC, you can contact the Governor or any legislator. If you live outside NC, start looking? Has your state received PNC programs for education? Has your state received NASA educational aids? What P3s are in bed with STEM, CCSS, Next Generation, or any of the other CCSS acronyms. Don’t forget the career readiness components woven in the lessons.

FTF Tuesday: The “Core” is “Ready”, Are You?

This is the cover of a series of books by Pam Allyan available through Pearson, Amazon, and Barnes/Noble.
This is the cover of a series of books by Pam Allyan available through Pearson, Amazon, and Barnes/Noble.

Like we need a reminder about Common Core and the ridiculous question, “Are you ready for the Core”?! Notice how whimsical the above picture is made to look. Almost like a storybook. From what we’ve all learned about the inappropriateness of the Standards for students, it ought to be a horror tale. However, where our files will be pulled from today isn’t in a storybook setting.

“Core Ready Schools”, http://corereadyschools.org/:

From their overview, “The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) articulate inspiring, ambitious goals for student learning. The CCSS elevate what educators have always known to be good instruction, including development of critical thinking, collaboration, and communication skills. But in most schools, translating these goals into results for students will require significant shifts in instruction, professional learning, and school leadership.” Before we get too far into more about CRS, you need to know that this is a project of the Aspen Institute. A HUGE CCSS supportive group. (more about Aspen in a bit)

According to the CRS (Core Ready Schools) the purpose is quite simple, have all schools ready not just for the “Core” but for College/Career Readiness. Published back in 2013, the Implementation Guide to help schools become CRS stated this:
“The Aspen Institute Education and Society Program, along with Education First, Insight Education Group, Student Achievement Partners, and Targeted Leadership Consulting, have developed clear advice, planning tools, and metrics to help schools accomplish this significant transition.” 

Built into the implementation “high-impact actions, measures, and tools”. Are we sure we’re talking about schools where students are taught OR a military strategic maneuver? Of course to be totally successful at being CRS: time and money..lots of both. ‘Highly skilled instructional coaches’ are the ones to make sure your student’s school is “Core Ready”. Now, you’ll love this next part. Only a team very knowledgeable about the Common  Core Standards can determine the plan of action for the school desiring to become CRS. Are you beginning to sense the theme here? I hope so!

Other “Core Ready” moves: ‘Ensure the alignment of instructional resources used by teachers and students with the goals and expectations of the CCSS.’  Then there’s the showing-teachers-how-to-use-data taken from assessments to align everything following to CCSS. You’ll ‘love’ the added bonuses of making parents and other ‘stakeholders understand how CCSS is success for your student.

According to the publication, a further bit down,  the leadership team accomplishing all this. This is where, we as citizens, need to be looking. Who are the leaders? How did they obtain that leadership? Is it transparent to you, the citizen/parent? At which turns will all the measuring, high impact plans, and tools be used–will they be many or few? How in-depth? What recourse as a parent do you have? The file I’m providing has many links embedded to direct you to just what those knowledgeable CCSS leaders must do, what data is used, how the measuring is to occur, and other key things you need to use as information. (remember, every bit of this will be from the ‘pro’ side of the CCSS). See: corereadydoc

An update to the CRS from November 2014:

You, as anti CCSS warrior, you HAVE to watch this over 1 and a half hour You Tube video that details for you much about not only the “Core Ready Schools”, but information about the in-depth goings-on of Aspen Institution as well as their partners.

Notes:

1) ‘Curmudgucation’ also has written about CRS.  You may know that, you may not. Here’s a link to that article: http://curmudgucation.blogspot.com/2014/11/core-ready-schools-aspen-and-achieve.html

2) The You Tube video above refers to the ‘corereadydoc’, also located  above.

3) Of interest to my fellow NC anti-CCSS fans, the Aspen Institute and Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (back in March of 2012 when Peter Gorman was still the School Superintendent) worked together. Also working with Aspen: Ann Clark (who currently is serving on the NC Academic Standards Review Commission). Here’s the excerpt, “Thank you to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Public Schools teachers, principals and central officestaff who participated in this study. Special thanks to Pete Gorman, Ann Clark,Andy Baxter, Vanessa Benton, Mary Martin, Susan Norwood, Sam Sipes and Tom Tomberlin. Thank you also to Ross Wiener, Erin Hammond and Ariel Jacobs of the Aspen Institute Education & Society Program for guiding the development and production of this case study.” {for those outside of NC, Char-Meck is the largest school district in the state.} Why is this note worthy? Great question! Here’s a bit more directly from the published study, “CMS is developing a system that will measure teacher performance and linking compensation to
it by 2014. The district began to develop its own value-added formula in 2009, with the goal of ultimately being able to provide a value-added score for every teacher. In 2010, CMS adopted the new state teacher evaluation standards, augmenting them with indicators aligned to the district’s priorities and beginning to use it to assess teachers’
classroom practice. The system tackled the issue of developing value-added scores for teachers whose classes are not included in the state assessments by piloting summative assessments in non-tested grades and subjects in the spring of 2011. This work on summative assessment will be expanded in 2012, working in collaboration with the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction and its Race to the Top plan. The district is also exploring other metrics it will use in measuring teacher effectiveness, such as student surveys, leveraging what it is learning through implementation of its Teacher Incentive Fund grant and as a partner district in the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Measuring Effective Teaching (MET) study.” 

4) I wrote about the MetLife connection to Common Core on the website “Prevent Common Core” a few months ago. You can access that article with all kinds of information about CCSS, http://preventcommoncore.com/?p=1154 

5)Even if you don’t live in NC, you’ll benefit from having this publication because it is laying the ground work for how not only teachers, but principals are to be measured with high stakes assessing. Which we all know now is a vital part of CCSS. For my warriors in NC, it’s great because it details Superintent Gorman’s plans and how the NC DPI overrode them. (see: aspennccharmeck) You might be interested to know that Mr. Gorman now works for “Amplify”, a company knee deep in not only CCSS curricula materials, but assessments. Its partners are well connected to CCSS as well. (to see Amplify’s leaders, Mr. Gorman’s one of them: http://www.amplify.com/leadership) Oh, before I forget, Ms. Clark is the acting CMS Superintendent due to the hasty resignation of Mr. Gorman’s replacement, Dr. Heath Morrison.

6) Aspen’s ties to Common Core? That’s easy. The Washington Post reported the Gates Foundation ‘investment’ into CCSS with Aspen among those groups which benefited. See http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2013/05/12/gates-gives-150-million-in-grants-for-common-core-standards/) Among the Board members of Aspen Institute? David Koch (of THE Koch Brothers); Condolezza Rice; a United Nations expert who specializes in humanitarian advocacy; Salman Khan (of Khan Academy, another Gates Foundation CCSS recipient), and others who are connected in some way to CCSS. (see the Board of P3 members (public, private partnerships): http://www.aspeninstitute.org/about/leadership

So, folks, ready or not..the ‘Core’ is coming for your students. Question is, what will we do to kick the “Core” to the door?