Tag Archives: collective communities

Monday Musings: Learning for Whom?!

Have you heard of this group? They've got your school's data.
Have you heard of this group? They’ve got your school’s data.

We all know that the CCSS Machine is sparing no expense to grab onto our student’s personal information, today’s post will highlight this particular company’s foray into the educational world.

What “Learn Sprout’s” All About:

According to their website, they are here to help us all with school data. That’s one thing because, in these times, data is rather abundant. Where we anti CCSS warriors are concerned is HOW that data is used; whom it is sold to or shared with; and other CCSS bonuses gained from possession of sensitive facts. If you look at the mission statement it seems fairly harmless, but we’ll be looking further into the company than simply its mission statement. “Our mission is to help K-12 educators use data to understand the past, analyze the present, and anticipate the future.”  Okay, not too informative, but its what companies and advisors “Learn Sprout” relies on that is the bigger concern to me as an anti Common Core warrior. For example, one of “Learn Sprout’s” is “Power School” as in Pearson Publishing’s data miner. Another “Code for America”. I’ve written quite a bit about the ties to coding (computer programming) and Common Core. Here’s the link for all those articles: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/?s=coding 

“Code for America”:

So, in a nutshell can I tell you what “Code for America” is? Sure, I can! For instance, their 2011 Annual Report tagged the effort as ‘a new kind of public service’. If you look very closely at the report, you’ll begin to notice just how data is being harvested, where it’s been used, and what organizations are funding this. Common Core supporters such as “Google”, “Microsoft”, and the “Rockerfeller Foundation”, among others. Back in 2013, “Watchdog Wire” reported how the data mining, Common Core, and foundations such as Rockerfeller’s (and others) are making huge bucks off our kid’s data. See: http://watchdogwire.com/florida/2013/08/08/data-mining-using-common-core-cha-ching-cha-ching/ To access “Code for America’s” report: http://www.codeforamerica.org/2011-annual-report/2011_CfA_Report.pdf

While this may not sound so bad, consider this: one of the 5 kingpin agenda items for “CfA” is ‘changing people and practices’. See the screen shot below:

Find out more: http://2014.codeforamerica.org/
Find out more:
http://2014.codeforamerica.org/

Back to “Learn Sprout”:

On the website (https://www.learnsprout.com/ews) you’ll find the false argument for ‘closing the skills gap’ that’s been so overused by the CCSS Machine. You’ll see how “LS” has an ‘early warning system” available for use in regards to the skills gap.
Excuse me, are we discussing students or weather systems here? I don’t need an early warning system for my school, I need care and concern for my students. Early warnings are more suited for impending weather emergencies and the like, but NOT people!! (*Note: Many researchers and/or publications have presented all kinds of evidence about the “skills gap”. If you conduct an internet search, you’ll find several credible articles which state those seeking to reform education have skewed the information to create a big mess. Business say education is to blame for the not-skilled-enough-workers; education counters with not-enough-jobs. It’s a mess.In the meantime, we, the warriors can easily get side-tracked about skills OR no skills..all the while the CCSS Machine churns on with its P3, public-private partnership overreach into our students lives. We MUST not be swayed!) You’ll also find the “College Readiness” can be at your disposal with the company. (see: https://www.learnsprout.com/product) The “CR” will take your student’s data and turns it into action items for their future. Wow…that’s a comfort for us as parents, isn’t it? NOT! My child’s performance data on assessments, etc.  shouldn’t be used against them! While the site claims to have honorable intentions, I can’t trust that when I know Pearson and others supporting CCSS are somehow involved. Their track records speak another message to me. As far as the student data, the LS company has a ‘snazzy video’ about transparency, but again, consider what companies LS partners with. Companies known to abuse student data. Here’s their video clip:

Notice, that throughout this website and all I’ve presented so far, you’ve not seen or heard Common Core. However, I’ve shown you ways in which LS is tied to CCSS. I’m not done yet……

Those 21st Century Tones:

Having researched so much about all that’s connected to CCSS, the undertones of so much 21st Century agenda got me a bit curious. Could Learn Sprout be a part of the P21 movement? Wait, what’s the P21? Oh, great question! P21 is short for “Partnership for 21st Century Skills”. I’ve written quite a few articles about just HOW P21 is devoted to Common Core. Here’s the link  to each of the articles: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/?s=p21 (*Note: you’ll really want to take the time to read each of these as there are many of the same ‘players’ in P21 as Code for America and/or Learning Sprouts). If you want to see which companies have aligned themselves to P21:
 “Adobe Systems, Inc., American Association of School Librarians, Apple Inc., Cable in the Classroom, Cengage Learning, Cisco Systems, Inc., The College Board’s Advanced Placement Program (AP), Crayola, Dell, Inc., EdLeader21, EF Education, Education Networks of America, Ford Motor Company Fund, GlobalScholar, Goddard Systems Inc., Hewlett Packard, Intel Corporation, Knovation, KnowledgeWorks Foundation, LEGO Group, Mosaica Education, National Academy Foundation, National Education Association, Pearson, Project Management Institute Educational Foundation, The Walt Disney Company, Wireless Generation, Verizon Foundation, and VIF International Education.” (To see the article from which this excerpt is from {details how P21 is behind Next Generation Science Standards},
https://computinged.wordpress.com/2012/06/13/disappointing-support-for-new-nrc-framework-for-science-standards-from-p21/ )

Related:
My article from “Prevent Common Core” about EdLeader21 (which is eerily close in agenda to all the CCSS rhetoric we know). See: http://preventcommoncore.com/?p=1263

Articles laying out how truly community aligned Knowledge Works is setting out to make America: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/?s=KnowledgeWorks (*Note: the first 5 articles are the ones to focus your research on.)

From Prevent Common Core, my “Skewed America” article:
 http://preventcommoncore.com/?p=1247

From my fellow anti CCSS warrior, Gretchen Logue about P21’s CCSS Toolkit:
http://missourieducationwatchdog.com/relativism-one-of-the-goals-of-a-21st-century-learner/

From fellow warrior, LadyLiberty1885, her 2 articles about Pearson’s Power School debacle in NC: http://ladyliberty1885.com/?s=power+school (*Note: refer to the first 2 articles you’ll see)

From P21’s website, be sure to see who and what companies are a part of the efforts to align, mine, and confine Americans to the CCSS Machine’s way. See: http://www.p21.org/about-us/strategic-council-members One last common link to all of this I’ve presented to you? Pearson Publishing. They are involved in each one of the organizations above. As far as how they are involved with P21, they fund an ‘Exemplar’ School Program. Schools must be committed to school, college, work, and community readiness. See: http://www.p21.org/exemplar-program-case-studies/1255-about-the-exemplar-program

FOM: “Collective” Education

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.

Literally, a couple of days ago, I shared with you about an organization called FSG and was able to tie it, not only to Common Core, but to the Gates Foundation. Before we fire up the “Fib-o-Meter” for its weekly measurement of “Total Truth”, “Neutral”, or “Total Fallacy”, I wanted to introduce to you a group that’s a result of the combined efforts of FSG and the Aspen Institute (a huge proponent for CCSS). It’s called the “Collective Impact Forum”. In the screen shot below, note the tone of voice the opening paragraph gives.

Nothing says 'alignment' quite like the 'collective good'.
Nothing says ‘alignment’ quite like the ‘collective good’.

First Up, the Funding:

If you log on to the CIF’s website, you’ll see alot about togetherness, community, and collective good. Then, on the right hand side of the screen, you’ll see a set of 3 boxes. One is about the funding. So, I clicked there. Seems CIF isn’t as ‘community oriented’ as they want us to believe. Why? You have to be a registered ‘funder’ to see whom else funds the Forum! For not being very neighbor-like in a community for collectiveness, “Total Fallacy” for denying access to those who respect transparency in our organizations. Oh, those other 2 tabs, one is labeled ‘Backbone Community’ (but you have to be a registered ‘backbone’ to view the rest of the others with backs). “Total Fallacy” for again, denying transparency to the general public.

The last one is labeled simply “Community”. That one I could access without being registered. Alas, this too is packed with general access. If you scroll down and see the pdf file they have to highlight their efforts in OUR communities, you have to be a registered member to have the document. I don’t think I like these neighbors very much, so far.
*NOTE: After digging around and being denied entry into several portions of this online community, I was able to find out the funding foundations. Fib-o-Meter’s rating this group as one big blob. For their collective efforts in funding our collective demise: “Total Fallacy”!

cifmoney

Next up, a “Total Truth”, Sort Of:

If you’re thinking there’s not much the Fib-o_Meter can measure today, just remember, we’ve not gotten very far. However, I did find this that from the perspective of the CIF, they feel is a “Total Truth”.

Those of us fighting CC, should consider it a chilling reminder why we fight so hard for our individual students. Visit, http://collectiveimpactforum.org/what-collective-impact, and as you scroll down, you’ll understand how the Fib-o-Meter measured this “Total Truth”.

I can share with you by snooping around the website a bit more the CIF considers the 2011 Standford Social Innovation Review’s article about collectiveness to be a foundation for what CIF does. The description CIF gives of the article shares it’s about large scale change with a common agenda for all. Here’s an excerpt you need to see concerning education.The scale and complexity of the U.S. public education system has thwarted attempted reforms for decades. Major funders, such as the Annenberg Foundation, Ford Foundation, and Pew Charitable Trusts have abandoned many of their efforts in frustration after acknowledging their lack of progress. Once the global leader—after World War II the United States had the highest high school graduation rate in the world—the country now ranks 18th among the top 24 industrialized nations, with more than 1 million secondary school students dropping out every year. The heroic efforts of countless teachers, administrators, and nonprofits, together with billions of dollars in charitable contributions, may have led to important improvements in individual schools and classrooms, yet system-wide progress has seemed virtually unobtainable.” Did you notice the “Total Truth” about those major funders? All 3 have been identified as pro-CCSS supporters. To see the rest of that 2011 article (where the Strive Together program is touted as successful; I’ve also written about Strive’s ties to CCSS), visit: http://www.ssireview.org/articles/entry/collective_impact

The “New” Neighbors?!:

In finding a page where you could actually find something other than ‘you must be a registered ____________.’, Look at the ‘neighbors’ committed to helping us all become more collective. (click to enlarge the picture)

cifneighbor

For each of the above groups you can conduct your own look into them as far as their ties to CCSS or this collectiveness. Just by the sheer fact they are named in a joint project by two OTHER pro CCSS groups, might be proof enough for you. As an example of what you can find, look at what  Fib-o-Meter did find out about United Way Worldwide (one of the organizations above). UWW  is committed to global education and has corporate ties with other supportive CCSS groups such as Ford Motor Company, Exxon, WalMart, AT and T, and more. (see: http://worldwide.unitedway.org/pages/corporate-partners )

For this, Fib-o-Meter, rates UWW’s activity in this as “Total Truth”. For more “Total Truth” about the US United Way’s design on aligned education, see their “Birth to 21 Continuum”. You can access the timeline AS well as see what else they are doing in US education, http://www.unitedway.org/our-work/education/

uwusa

Finally, Another Partner in the CIF You Should Know About:

Before the Fib-o-Meter shuts down for another week, let’s see how it rates this last group we’ll look at today. Called “The Integration Initiative”. 

Why is this one so special? Let’s find out. Here’s the reason Fib-o-Meter finds it ‘special’, see below and click to enlarge it.

Find out more: https://www.livingcities.org/about
Find out more:
https://www.livingcities.org/about

Those most powerful institutions behind this Initiative? Straight from the TII’s website:

The Financiers:

  • The Annie E. Casey Foundation
  • AXA Equitable
  • Bank of America
  • Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Citi Foundation
  • Deutsche Bank
  • Ford Foundation
  • The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
  • The JPB Foundation
  • JPMorgan Chase & Co.
  • The Kresge Foundation
  • The McKnight Foundation
  • MetLife, Inc.
  • Morgan Stanley
  • Prudential Financial, Inc.
  • Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
  • The Rockefeller Foundation
  • Surdna Foundation
  • W.K. Kellogg Foundation
  • Wells Fargo

Affiliate Members

  • The Cleveland Foundation
  • The Skillman Foundation

Did you notice any group listed above as ones you already know as CCSS friendly, supportive, or profiting from? Fib-o-Meter did! More “Total Truths” from the TII about ‘cradle to career’, ‘data mining useage’ and more can be found at:

 https://www.livingcities.org/search?q=education

Notice the amount of P3 (Public Private Partnerships) involvement in our education system. Certainly not a great thing at all! If you consider that P3s are how we were saddled with CCSS in the first place, you know what a “Total Fallacy” this concept is!!

Closing:

Each week, since I’ve begun my blog, we’ve looked at the fibs the CCSS Machine would like us to believe and exposed them. We’ve searched out and found the truth the Machine has wished to remain buried and brought them to the surface. I hope you’ve been able to see from this article and the one just 2 days ago that the collective mindset is ruining our education. It’s eroding our society. It’s simply a bad fit for America.

WYBI: Seeds of Gates for CCSS

We anti CCSS folks know how far and wide the Gates Foundation has spread the seeds for CCSS.
We anti CCSS folks know how far and wide the Gates Foundation has spread the seeds for CCSS.

In today’s post, we’ll see how the CCSS is being sprouted in ‘compact cities’. All thanks to the SEED Foundation, the Gates Foundation, and more than likely, a few others.

The Seed Money:

In 2013, the Gates Foundation gave the SEED Foundation $200,000. to help create College Ready Compact Cities. Purpose? Here is the excerpt straight from the GF: to explore partnerships with current and potential College Ready Compact cities that have the greatest likelihood of partnering with the SEED Foundation to pilot and spread college ready strategies related to teacher effectiveness, common core state standards, and personalized learning models.” To see the rest of the grant details, http://www.gatesfoundation.org/How-We-Work/Quick-Links/Grants-Database/Grants/2013/11/OPP1098082

Other Gates Foundation grants to SEED, 2011, $250,000.00; 2010, $75,970.00. All are conditioned by ‘college readiness’. (*Note: you can access these grants by using the search term “The SEED Foundation” in the search bar for the Gates Foundation website.

The SEED Foundation:

Founded in 1997, this group is especially interested in urban areas and schools. It was featured in the educational movie “Waiting for Superman”. The Foundation has also been featured on “60 Minutes”. In 2011, the Foundation was awarded several million dollars from what appears to be a P3 (Public, Private Partnership). The purpose? Public boarding schools. To see more of their history, http://www.seedfoundation.com/index.php/about-seed/history

Sowing the Seeds of CCSS:

I was able to find a 2014 SEED Summit Presentation that is expressly promoting CCSS. Here’s just one quote, “Many skills are reflected throughout the CCSS but some are outside the scope.” I’ll leave you to find the rest of the presentation’s soil worthy rhetoric for yourselves. See: JC-Brizard_2014-SEED-Summit-Presentation

From the SEED Foundation’s 2010 document titled “Practices and Programs That Prepare Students for College Graduation”, a screen shot pointing to yet another Gates Foundation joint effort to align students. This time, it’s with Jobs for the Future, however.

To see the entire 2010 report, visit:  http://www.seedfoundation.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/Practices-and-Programs-that-Prepare-Students-for-College-Graduation.pdf
To see the entire 2010 report, visit:
http://www.seedfoundation.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/Practices-and-Programs-that-Prepare-Students-for-College-Graduation.pdf

You might find it interesting that the 2010 document (in the above screen shot) also got some help from a company called “FSG”, as in FSG Social Impact Consultants. Their website: http://www.fsg.org/  If you’ve never heard of them, you’re not alone. I hadn’t either. However, here’s just a tidbit of what they do, “FSG is a mission-driven consulting firm supporting leaders in creating large-scale, lasting social change. Through strategy, evaluation, and research we help many types of actors – individually and collectively – make progress against the world’s toughest problems.”  From the ‘collective’ standpoint, they have partnered with the Aspen Institute to bring about social changes in our communities. (Aspen’s a HUGE CCSS supporter). From another angle, called “Shared Values”, you’ll find some of the same large name corporations which support CCSS, also in on this effort. To see more about this non-profit and what’s it is up to, visit: http://www.fsg.org/AboutUs/Overview.aspx   (*Note: I found on the FSG blog an entry about CCSS you might like to have access to. See: http://www.fsg.org/KnowledgeExchange/Blogs/CollectiveImpact/PostID/412.aspx )

The ‘seed money’ to FSG from Gates? Oh, yes. Since September 2009. A $50,000 grant to FSG to host an educational meeting at Stanford University (according to the GF grant data base the purpose was “College Readiness”). Then, in 2012, $100,000 more for a non descriptive collective youth project. In 2013, $200,000 for community collectives. Then, last year, 2014 saw the FSG being granted $33,000 to support a study on how great student’s self-directed learning is. (see all the other details: http://www.gatesfoundation.org/How-We-Work/Quick-Links/Grants-Database/Grants/2014/06/OPP1112836 )

Jobs for the Future:

Website: http://www.jff.org/ The most current thing you need to know about them. They are in full support of the re-authorization of the ESEA. In fact, their wish is to see total alignment for career paths! See the document: JFF Senate HELP letter_Chairmans_draft

To access the policies, advocacy of JFF, visit:

 http://www.jff.org/policy-advocacy#.VOyXrvnF-hQ

JFF has long been a recipient of the Gates Foundation’s grants. So much so, the GF Grant Database has 3 pages full of awards. Most have to do with the post secondary success, college readiness, etc. I counted 21 different grants totaling $67,437,160. See: http://www.gatesfoundation.org/How-We-Work/Quick-Links/Grants-Database#q/k=Jobs%20for%20the%20Future

Closing:

I’ve no clue if any of today’s information is new soil to your anti CCSS fight or not, but one thing we’ll all gleaned about the CCSS Machine, the more we uncover, the more we can till the soil, root out the weeds, and break up the pests in our educational system.