Tag Archives: college and career ready

When it comes to the  Common Core machine, I didn't just fall off the turnip truck!

Summer Salad

summersalad

I was recently asked by a fellow anti CCSS Warrior and Research expert how the CCSS Machine has been so successful in its march to align our nation’s education to a massive agenda NOT of our choosing.

From what each of us has found, it is enough to make our heads hurt. Trying to get others to understand? Well, we were struggling for a way to get the points across while remaining true to the evidence. We summarized it with this, the far left leaning politicans and groups have the funding, the far right leaning politicans and groups have the laws. In the middle? Those of us wanting the truth. Those of us sick to death of the overreach by BOTH sides.

Since that conversation with my dear friend/Warrior, I wanted to challenge myself to see if there was a simple, yet effective visual which embodied our chat.

Above, is the results. As the informed anti CCSS Machine Warriors, we can share WHAT is happening with our fellow citizens who have not yet seen how decieving ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act) truly is. We can share this visual to help remind the seasoned citizens and patriots who stand with us.

Why a ‘Summer Salad’?

1) It is hot outside, or about to get hot. When we are hot, our tempers are shorter. An anti CCSS Warrior with a temper, is a force to be reckoned with.

2) Summer veggies are plentiful, so are the anti CCSS Warriors.

3) Most of the layers of a summer salad, have seeds. Seeds can represent the anti CCSS Warriors truth/facts/research. Planted in the right locations, these seeds yield tremendous results!

4) When you factor in the massive amounts of money ONE side of the CCSS Machine has poured into ‘growing agenda filled products’ (produce) and combine it with the massive amounts of supportive legislation from the OTHER side of the CCSS Machine, you have a ‘recipe for demise’.

The screen shot above, shows you how this has been assembled to resemble what we THINK is a great and healthy summer ‘treat’.

5) Summer is the prime time the CCSS Machine will crank up the PD (Professional development), the Conferences (where the latest and greatest technology, resources, and curricula can be found), the extra curricular activities and camps, and more!
Each and every one of these will LOOK, TASTE, and FEEL fresh, bright, new, different, and LOCALLY GROWN, but alas, dig deeper. Suddenly, your tasty, layered salad becomes rotten. A bitter top-down taste has been left in your mouth.
Warriors, the CCSS Machine is getting desparate to disguise what we have come to know as CCSS and ‘dress it up’ as ESSA. As the full implementation date of ESSA gets closer, you will see ‘bumper crops of crap’ produced. You will see pro-ESSA webinars, products, services, and propaganda flood your lives. WIOA, and the HEA, as well as other laws have been treated in the same fashion.

The CCSS Machine has mistaken us Warriors as ‘dumber than dirt’. Why else would they work so hard to decieve so many? They assume we will not dig into their deceptions; they think we will not know the ‘produce’ from the ‘weeds’ (or that we will take the time to look at the ‘weeds’ planted to distract us).

Wickedly, the CCSS Machine has placed ‘master gardeners’ in our  midst who look like ‘Warriors’, but who, in fact, are  CCSS Machine members themselves. All the while deceiving us daily with their influence, subjective research, and lies.

Lastly, the CCSS Machine is working over time to promote ‘locally grown’ education as a reality with ESSA and all the rest of the legislative strings to the other laws. Pure compost we NOT feed upon!

Coming this Summer:

Use this link to see a presentation geared for ‘ESSA compost’ by pro CCSS Machine member organization, ‘Education First’ for all States. Note the Summer dates included. See which States are already ‘farming for ESSA’.
http://education-first.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/Education-First-Making-the-Most-of-ESSA-May-2016-1.pdf

If your State has not already had a slick CCSS Machine member/organization presentation given to your legislators about how great a ‘producer’ ESSA will be in your  State’s college/career ready economy, you might want to see this one given in Feb. 2016 to the NC Legislators by Jeb Bush’s ‘Foundation for Excellence in Education’:
http://www.ncleg.net/documentsites/committees/house2015-175/February%2024-25,%202016/Claire%20Voorhees_ExcelinEd%20Presentation%20to%20the%20NC%20House%20Select%20Committee%20on%20Education%20Strategy%20and%20Practices%20(February%2025,%202016).pdf

Over 1, 000 Summer 2016 Educational Conferences will be held (or have just wrapped up) across America. These Conferences encompass ALL educational choices!

Look closely at who the main speakers are; find out what workshops are available and look into the leaders guiding you through them; research the sponsors, and the exhibiting vendors.

I bet you my bag of fertilizer, CCSS Machine member organizations and representatives will be at EACH and EVERY one..spreading false rhetoric all the while. See: http://www.eventsinamerica.com/trade-shows/education/general/date/100000/

So, Warriors, will you be there?! If so, buy someone a salad, and share the truth.

Winter 2016: A Look Ahead, NC and the USA

Bond, bad bond

I call this picture above, “Bond, bad bond”. Why? As a dedicated education policy and law researcher who has uncovered many ties to Common Core and its related entities, I can smell a foul stench when I see something like this. The great news is, I am NOT alone! I will go back to the Bond later in this article, but first, these important pieces of the ‘picture’ NOT seen above:

A) With the recent news of the ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act) and its purposed exclusion of the phrase “Common Core State Standards, or, CCSS”, we have all been told CCSS is dead, is no longer an issue.
Ha, ha, I am not laughing. Nor are many of the other anti CCSS Warriors I know. Why? We have discovered the ESSA replaced CCSS with the following (interchangeable phrases):

1) ‘College and career readiness’, ‘college and career readiness standards’ (in some instances ‘career pathways’ and ‘career technical education’  were also variations)
2) ‘Challenging state academic standards’
3) ‘Workforce’ (WIOA, Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act) which was usually located in the direct vicinity of ‘education’.

If you missed my articles exposing these phrases and their locations in the ESSA, please see: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/?s=ESSA

B) So what does the ESSA have to do with ‘Bond, bad bond’?

In my opinion, it will have a  great impact. However, knowing that the workforce based education movement involves not only education, but labor and commerce, we need to know what those projects will be as well. And since we, across America, have seen how non-transparent a lot of the projects are, we must be ever watchful!

C) So, if you don’t live in NC, what can you glean from this type of bond activity?
1) As always, use it as an example of what is going on in your state!
Every state has departments for education, labor, commerce. Every state has bonds placed on their ballots.
2) In this day and age if one side says the bonds are imperative for education, find out how and WHY!
3) We can NO LONGER assume the supportive side in ANYTHING related to education is all that we are being told it is. NOR, can we always assume the non-supportive side in ANYTHING related to education is being up front.
4) With 2016 being SUCH an important election year, we CANNOT let any sneaky move by the CCSS Machine pass. Their omnibus bonds, bills, etc. CANNOT live on! Why? Not only does it grease the Machine’s gears, it lassos our future generations into MASSIVE debt.

 

Back to Bond, Part One:

Returning to the graphic you see and the statement I have about NC higher education being sold out, here is what I am referring to.
“Here’s the basic idea about state policies in education, at least in the CBP(Competency Based Pathway) Way:
a) ‘good’ policy moves include using students outcome to drive precedents.
b) ‘guarding’ those high quality academic standards
c) ‘create’ a community wide education effort (ie: must include ALL ‘stakeholders’)
d) offer incentives to help force certain outcomes and remove any rules or regulations not encouraging ‘more ways to learn/earn’.” (source: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/08/06/tech-thursday-career-pathways-meet-competency-based-pathways/) In  this August 2015 article, you can not only see NC’s progress in CBP but how it encompasses CTE (Career Tech Education)! You can find the links and other resources for what to look for in your state, too!

The Connections:

So, what has the supportive side for this mega bond for NC stated? The Bond’s real name is Connect NC. According to the Raleigh News and Observer, the entire Bond will be for infrastructure projects. Here is an excerpt,
“The $2 billion worth of projects expected to be paid with bond dollars include university and community college infrastructure, parks and North Carolina Zoo improvements and N.C. National Guard and agricultural projects. On its website, NC Against the Bond points out that the funding wouldn’t pay for transportation projects or K-12 education programs.” (see the rest of the article: http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/politics-columns-blogs/under-the-dome/article53288900.html)

I would like to pause to remind you, my fellow anti CCSS Warriors, that this media source is very CCSS Machine friendly, and has slanted many articles concerning education in the past.

Another media source, from a smaller county in NC (Alamance) had this to report in support of Connect NC: “If voters do approve, Alamance Community College would get $6,100,339 out of $350 million earmarked for state community colleges. President Algie Gatewood said ACC’s Board of Trustees would need to talk about how best to spend the money, but much of it would probably go to nursing and other medical training programs.”, Wait, there is more you need to read! “BOND SUPPORTERS, and there are many, say the focus is on funding education in growing areas of employment like the medical professions, engineering and the sciences.“This allows the community college to train more nurses, medical assistants and nurses’ aides,” said Dan Ingle, ACC trustee and chair of the Alamance County Board of Commissioners. (see the rest of the article: http://www.thetimesnews.com/article/20160109/news/160109142)

I would like to point out that the ACC President is stumping this Bond. It is in the article.

Back to the Bond, Part Two:

Now, as far as the Connect NC Bond, it is part of a movement. It has the Governor’s blessing. If you missed my Weekend News article, it focused on the NC State Board of Education resolving to align education NOT to true academics, but to career tech education/college and career readiness/workforce related education for BUSINESSES and the ECONOMY in 100 % support of the Governor’s plans!(See:https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2016/01/08/weekend-news-tangled-webs-of-educratic-moves/)

When you take into consideration the Resolution in support of the gubernatorial office to the alignment to all things CCSS/CTE/CCR related it isn’t hard to see where the statement made in support of Connect NC is too far removed. Here is an excerpt, “The $2 billion bond will connect North Carolina to the 21st century through statewide investments in education, parks, safety, recreation, and water and sewer infrastructure.”

In the screen shot below, you can see the Connect NC projects are already in the works to some degree. In this PDF you can see Alamance County’s project specifically states ‘new construction, repairs, renovations’
With as crafty as the CCSS Machine is, you can see the education updates will most likely fall in the renovations portion of the funding. Very non- transparent, don’t  you think?! Get the pdf:
http://connect.nc.gov/Final%20Bond%20Project%20List_12.11.15.pdf

connectingnc

Oh, if you are wondering, there is NC State legislation for the Bond. See:
http://www.ncleg.net/gascripts/BillLookUp/BillLookUp.pl?BillID=H943&Session=2015

It is here in the language of the law you can find the loophole Alamance County appears to be taking advantage of with its plans to use the bulk of its Connect NC Bond money for educational courses. “It is the intent of the General Assembly by this act to provide, subject to a vote of the qualified voters of the State, for the issuance of two billion dollars ($2,000,000,000) general obligation bonds of the State for the purpose of providing funds, with any other available funds, to update the State’s public facilities for the 21st century, including, without limitation, construction, repair, renovation, and furnishing of new facilities in order to (i) enhance other economic development efforts of the State and (ii) attract new and assist existing industry, business, technology, and tourism for the benefit of the State and its citizenry.” (NOTE: you can access the rest of the ratified law by clicking on the embedded link to it from the website above.)

Again, if you don’t live in NC, how can you find similar activity in your state? Use the upcoming primaries to see what bonds, taxes, etc. are being added which are connected to education in ANY way. Then, see what connecting legislation (and/or policy) is being used as the justification!

More Connections:

Since STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) are part of CCSS, CCR, and CTE; as well as being so specifically pointed to in the Bond and the Law providing for it, we need to see where NC has STEM (already in the works, too).

From the NC level:

https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/12/02/wybi-wednesday-rttt-stem-ed-waivers-and-more/ (This ties our Race to the Top funding to STEM as well as CCSS)
https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/11/09/monday-musings-global-readiness-and-ccss/ (Since Global economy and global competency were including in the NC SBE Resolution, this article will be important)
https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2016/01/07/the-great-education-experiment/ (This shows not only NC in the thick of STEM, but Workforce alignment to CCSS/CTE, too)From the federal level and to where to watch for in 2016:
https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/07/28/ftf-update-for-stem-workforce-and-the-hea-part-one/
https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/07/30/tech-thursday-part-two-of-the-hea-stem-the-workforce-and-america/
2) https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/06/17/wybi-nc-businesses-and-common-core/
3) https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/03/25/wybi-job-development-grants-and-ccss/Again, if I am not an NC resident, why should I read these?
Since all 50 states have state governments, are aligned to the CCSS Machine via federal funding in some fashion, have jobs and careers where those businesses are forming the educational plans, educational institutions which must carry out the P3 (public private partnerships), we can use each others PRO CCSS movements to see where in the other states similar activity may be.

Career Clusters, Part of the Whole Mess: 

Notice that Alamance County Community College wants to use the bulk of its money for updating courses. (see above) How does that factor into the CCSS Machine and Connect NC Bond? The short answer is they are part of the Career Technical Education arm of CCSS.These clusters usually begin in the K-12 area of education, but are also in post-secondary education. My article from 2015 about the Clusters and data mining may be of help in your state as well. Linda Darling-Hammond is connected. See: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/01/20/ftf-tuesday-career-readiness-and-data/
Impacting all 50 states is the U. S. Dept. of Ed’s Career Clusters road map for education, see: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/03/12/tech-thursday-difference-between-careers/
How special needs students and those deemed as ‘alternative’ will be sucked in: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/12/03/tech-thursday-career-techcommon-core-and-alternative-education/

And the biggest way in which not only NC is tied to this, but your state as well: Perkins Funding! See: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/11/20/tech-thursday-perkins-gets-the-common-core-squeeze/

Closing:

If you want to find out more about NC Against the Bond, you can find them on Facebook. Here is their link: https://www.facebook.com/AgainstTheBond/


If you wish to sign the petition against the Bond and pledge your vote to a ‘no’ on March 15, 2016, visit: http://againstthebond.com/petition/
(I will happily share that I am among those who are saying “No!”)

As far as a federal level of education bonds or legislation which would impact infrastructure in education’s name, that will be another article for another day.

Monday Musings: The CCSS “Are You Kidding Me?!” Files

While this cartoon was depicted a U.S. Congress run by monopolists, it can easily resemble the 'CCSS Machine' running  education.
While this cartoon was depicted a U.S. Congress run by monopolists, it can easily resemble the ‘CCSS Machine’ running education.

As October winds down, anti CCSS Warriors, the hype supporting CCSS appears to be ramping up. Today’s post will show you how. Use the information to keep the pressure to STOP ‘Common Core’ (and all its aliases)!

First up, Special Needs:

Those running the CCSS/CTE Machine have made it no secret that ALL students, regardless of their educational choice OR abilities are to be run through the streamlined fare ‘Common Core Standards’ and all its accompanying resources. This, sadly, impacts our special needs kids. IF your family receives any IDEA funding, you are being subjected to CCSS in some way. When the schools receive their IDEA funding (and this includes post-secondary schools or all kinds), your students are most definitely being slammed with Common Core, Career and College Readiness, STEM, and, Career Ed Tech.  To find out MORE, please refer back to https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/10/19/monday-musings-idea-when-good-goes-ccscte-bad/
If you would like the ECS (Education Commission of the States) document from 2014 where plans to collect more ‘measurements’ of special needs students progress as well as their parents, see: SPtracking To see another way the special needs students were tracked, is a report from 2004. See: SpecNeedsDataCollect If you’d like to learn just how toxic the re-authorization of the ESEA (Elementary and Secondary Education Act) via HR5 (Student Success Act), please read Anita Hoge‘s article where she speaks in plain English how special needs students (as well as all the other types will be marginalized horribly).
http://www.newswithviews.com/Hoge/anita113.htm

 

Here Come the STEM, CCSS latest moves:

Most folks balk at me when I even dare to mention how STEM is tied to CCSS, yet, the evidence is there. In case you didn’t see the news about the STEM Act passed into law at the federal level, here’s the article where I shared all the news about it. The Act is named “The STEM Education Act of 2015”. Why would a new Act concerning education be a problem? First, it’s at a FEDERAL level! As in ‘federally led education’. On Twitter anti CCSS Warriors refer to it as ‘fed led ed’. Secondly, the federal level law dictates a certain type of course now be included in STEM. Seriously?! Yes!! So where was the parental input? Where was the local level of education? It was excluded…just like we’ve seen from D.C. more and more in our recent past. This Act involves several other federal agencies in education, alignment, and data mining! This Act is so overreaching into education, it will not stop at the school yard’s boundary. No, this one takes education into almost every informal learning environment we could possibly use. For example, your libraries, museums, field trips, and so on. Again, HR5 (see above) has stealthily embedded the CCSS tied-STEM into the language as part of the  ‘afterschool programs’ and ‘wraparound services’.
Read all about it: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/10/21/wybi-tying-stem-to-ccss-again/
If you’d like to see the archive where I was able to find the STEM tie to HR5, refer to:
http://wpllc.net/tag/hr5/

Rumor Has It:

I’m including my release of this past “Weekend’s News” because you have to get the vital information somehow! What do I mean? I’m referring to the ‘block’ I received from social media when I was sharing the truth about what’s up in America and CCSS. Once again, (this isn’t my first time being blocked), and, as other anti CCSS Warriors have experienced, the CCSS Machine tried to stop me. But, the funny thing about truth is..it ALWAYS wins! Thankfully, several of my fellow Warriors, picked up the story and passed it on for me. However, there are many others who didn’t get the what’s up. So, I’ll state briefly WHY the “Weekend News” was so controversial it got blocked.
1) It named certain people as being involved in the corruption of education in America
2) I openly displayed the social media site in some of my screen shots
3) Point by point CCSS/CTE/STEM tied programs were specifically named and tied back to a well known university
4) Of those named, two are legislators in NC and another is running for the US Presidency
5) I exposed the fallacy which was shared over social media that NC had removed CCSS recently, when in fact, the original source was from 2014 AND didn’t tell the entire story!
Get it while you can: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/10/25/weekend-news-ccss-rumors-abound-at-least-in-nc/

I urge you, read the article. It IS so vital to our War Against the Core! You need to see just how far the CCSS/CTE Machine is going to place specific people in very educational influential positions. Yes, we’ve seen this before, BUT the operators of the CCSS Machine are becoming less and less stealthy about it! We MUST act! We MUST continue to expose the injustice that is happening every day in America via education reform! We know the bottom line isn’t an academic education, it’s about a ‘talent pipeline’ to feed a ‘workforce agenda’.

From ‘Your’ U.S. Dept. of Ed:

As you read this, the US DofEd is hosting a “Parent Camp”. I kid you not. If you use Twitter, be sure to look up ‘#ParentCamp’. You won’t believe the ‘shuck and jive’ dribble about education leading parents. Better yet, why not scoot over to the US DofEd’s Family Engagement page. There you can find all kinds of things the Dept has put together to show you HOW to parent THEIR way! Think I’m joking?! Read this excerpt, “If effective cradle-to-career educational partnerships between home and school are to be implemented with fidelity and sustained, engagement initiatives must include a concerted focus on developing adult capacity, whether through pre- and in-service professional development for educators; academies, workshops, seminars, and workplace trainings for families;” Want to read the rest? Be sure not to miss that one of the 4Cs in this parental persuasion is ‘human capital’!
USDofEDparent

 

From The US Chamber of Commerce’s Education and Workforce Committee:

Their latest efforts? Using local Workforce Boards to highlight the skills gap needs to be closed. As I’ve shared in the past (as have other anti CCSS Warriors, there is NOT a skills gap! The CCSS Machine has presented the fallacy that such a gap exists, but it does not)

The skills gap 'fear factor' fallacy is successful because those spreading it, use the wrong numbers s their source.
The skills gap ‘fear factor’ fallacy is successful because those spreading it, use the wrong numbers as their source.

By the way, the article to which the Chamber refers is worth reading. Get it:
http://www.ocregister.com/articles/county-688751-employers-workforce.html
Here is the picture the “Register” chose for the article:
skilltree

So, my fellow Warriors Against CCSS, we have MUCH to do and not much time in which to accomplish it!

Monday Musings: IDEA: When Good Goes CCS/CTE Bad

Source: ideamoneywatch.com
Source: ideamoneywatch.com

Fighting CCS and CTE for those with special needs is especially heart rendering. I’ve had the honor of speaking with several parents of these wonderful students. In my educational experience, I’ve worked with these families and seen how an education that fits them, NOT streamlines them is a delight. However, when I speak with parents today, they are not delighted, their students are miserable, and all involved feel absolute anger and frustration toward the misuse of education and IDEA funding.

What’s IDEA funding? It is a federal statute set up in 1975. It’s original name was “Education for All Handicapped Children”. Congress, at some point, began to refer to it as “IDEA”. The name then or now isn’t so important as WHAT the funding does.
From what I’ve found the Act has 2 purposes: a) due process detailing parental rights, and b) permanent grants available to states for ‘free, appropriate public education to all children with disabilities in the least restrictive environment’.
(*Source: http://atlas.newamerica.org/individuals-disabilities-education-act-overview)

.

Where Good Went Bad:

Let’s see if we can pinpoint what other groups are supportive of the shift where IDEA went from its original purpose (stated above) of ‘appropriate education in the least restrictive way’ and when it aligned with Common Core

From 2009, a pdf file from the NASDSE (National Association of State Directors of Special Education). Why this pdf? See the screen shot below:

badidea2

To access the entire pdf: idea_partnership
Why this matters in 2015: 1) if you’re a new anti CCSS Warrior, this may be information which is new to you; 2) knowing the dates of the pro CCSS Machine’s activities can help those who’ve been fighting CCS and all its other entities by tracking when and where it showed up in their states, who might be involved and knew what the states were in for, but went along with it, etc.

So what’s the NASDSE up to now, in 2015? Currently they are conducting 8 projects. One of which might be of particular interest in our War Against the Core. It is called the “National Center on Educational Outcomes Subcontract”. (NCEO for short). This particular subcontract is through the University of MN. Working with the NASDES, the Univ. of MN, is the CCSSO (Council of Chief State School Officers)! The goal of their teamwork? Assessments! More assessments for our special needs students. To read more about this project, see: http://www.nasdse.org/Projects/TheNationalCenteronEducationalOutcomesNCEO/tabid/421/Default.aspx
(*NOTE: this page will have an embedded link to the NCEO’s website. Go to that website. You’ll find “College and  Career Readiness Standards”, formative assessments, Universal Design of Assessments, and, you can access any of their publications {which date back to 1996}. You can access the 2015 publication where you can find out how CCSSO is driving IEPs to be written, as well as how assessment for ALL learners was discussed: 2015ForumReport Be sure if you live in CO, AL, or KS, you see how your states are used as success models.)

Somewhat related is the 2006 Report I found featured on the website for the National Assoc. of Secondary School Principals  (which just this past weekend I showed you how aligned to CCSS/CTE they are).  This particular report is addressing the need for IDEA to become ‘fully funded’. Take note of the other groups in the IDEA Partnership involved in the full support of this. It can help you trace IDEA funds timeline, especially where the 2004 re-authorization of the ESEA (Elementary and Secondary Education Act) was concerned. See: principalsreport
Another project of the NASDSE is the “Idea Partnership”. Fully funded and equipped to work across  ‘federal agencies, federal investments, national organizations, State agencies and stakeholder groups’. To see the full description of this project, see: http://www.nasdse.org/Projects/IDEAPartnership/tabid/413/Default.aspx


To see the 2015 list of all the IDEA partners: http://www.ideapartnership.org/the-partners.html
One of the IDEA Partnership ‘Working Together’ activities? The “Cradle to College and Career Pipeline”! When did this happen? 2011, according to the website. You need to have the rest of the information on this directly from the website. Visit: http://www.ideapartnership.org/working-together/collaboration-on-issues.html?id=1572:overview-on-cradle-to-college-career-collection-work&catid=400:cradle-to-college-a-career-ccc-collection
Below is a screen shot from the IDEA Partners stating what they believe to be their purpose in the Pipeline.

cradlespecial

Be sure to click on the website address directly above the screen shot, scroll down and click on ‘Dialogue Guides for Cradle to College and Career’. Once there you can see an ‘Early Learner’ Guide, which is for pre-K to 3rd grade; for Middle School, it’s the “Breaking Ranks” reports I told you about in this past weekend’s news. Lastly, the transition for middle to high school in included. Other than the national group of those secondary school principals I told you about, you can see how the ECS, ‘Education Commission of the States’ is cited as a source for the dialogue documents.  If you are curious as to the alignment of the ECS to CCSS and CTE? Don’t be. It is 100% evident on their website. See below.

This group claims 'they don't take sides' in education. The states pay to belong to this group. They also span P-20 education.
This group claims ‘they don’t take sides’ in education. The states pay to belong to this group. They also span P-20 education.

As far as not taking sides, I would have to disagree. Why? Here is an excerpt of just one of the education projects they are conducting, ‘ECS is continuing the Blueprint Project, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Designed for state leaders, the Blueprint features a menu of 10 critical policies that promote college readiness and success.’
Briefly, the 10 policies most critical according to ECS:
1) high school policies (has 4 distinct subsections)
2) higher education policies (has 4 distinct subsections)
3) policies for bridging from high school to higher education (has 2 which include data mining)
To get the “Blueprint”: ECSBlueprint (*Note: 2 states which didn’t take CCSS, TX and VA, are used in this report as shining examples of college and career readiness.)
To learn more about ECS, http://www.ecs.org/html/aboutECS/home_aboutECS.htm
(*Note: I will be digging into this group more in the near future. There’s a lot more information we need waiting there.)

Bottom line for the musings today: We’ve got some great information for using to fight the Core, let’s get busy!

FTF: Ascending and Aligning

Warriors Against the Common Core State Standards Initiative: You’ve heard of all the on-line aligned courses and schools out there full of all the CCSS/CTE/CCR you can stand. Among them are Blackboard and Ascend Learning. You may know about Blackboard‘s alignment to the CCSS Machine and agenda, but do you know about Ascend’s? Did you know they are the ‘children’ of the Providence Equity Partners, LLC??

This group has over $40 billion in capital..That's quite a bit of money to use for educational undermining.
This group has over $40 billion in capital..That’s quite a bit of money to use for educational undermining.

The Parent Company:

From Providence Equity Partners, LLC‘s “About Us” webpage, this group is not just about education. In fact, education isn’t even their main business venture! Their goal for all the industries they are investing in is simply industry experts building companies that are not only exceptional, but endure as well. Here in lies the rub: business, as I’ve said before (and have many other Anti CCSS Warriors) has NO PLACE  in turning education into business!! As we’ve seen before, this type of interaction between education and business doesn’t run education  properly, IT RUINS IT! Especially when you factor in the CCSS (Common Core State Standards), the CTE (Career Tech Education), the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math), the STEaM (Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts,and Math), and CCR (College and Career Readiness), or any other acronym the CCSS Machine throws is.
If you’d like to see for yourselves, the rest of the PEP (Providence Equity Partners, LLC) is ‘about’, see: http://www.provequity.com/about

As we’ve also seen from the corporations, businesses which think they belong in the classrooms across America (and the world), PEP is also practicing good community involvement. Included in this aspect is social issues. What else? The environment, health care, safety, labor, and government. How is a company and mindset like this, how do they consider themselves successful? When all the ‘stakeholders’ are satisfied! Acting under the guidance of the UN Principals for responsible investing. See their community involvement guidelines: providenceabout

investprove

 

Ascend Learning, One of the “kids”:

This portion of Providence is a ‘private equity’ one. It is also stated that it is the ‘leading provider for on-line learning, especially in healthcare fields and other vocational based areas of work in America. To access the entire Ascend page, http://www.provequity.com/portfolio/ascend-learning

Ascend Learning is just one of the eight educational ‘private equities’ PEP holds the keys to. Here’s a screen shot of all 8. In case you cannot access the screen shot, the eight ‘kids’ are: Archipelago Learning, Ascend Learning, Blackboard, EDMC, ITT, PADI, Twenty Eighty, and Vector Learning.

privateedu

Ascend Learning is the main company for several health care based careers. To see each of the other companies Ascend Learning holds, visit: http://www.ascendlearning.com/companies/  Once there, you’ll notice nursing, assessments, and much more. The proof of alignment to CTE (Career Technical Education) can be found in a press release from 2014. Here’s an excerpt, “Ascend Learning, a leading provider of technology-based education solutions for healthcare and other vocational industries, today announced that Scott Hess has joined the company as vice president of Community Partnerships in the Career and Technical Education group. Hess will be responsible for helping state departments of education and school districts design, implement and assess career and technical education programs that ensure students are career- and college-ready. Hess also will oversee Ascend Learning’s professional development and services delivery, and will establish community partnerships among school districts, community colleges, employers and non-profit organizations.” To read the entire press release and see where Hess was ‘plucked’ from to work for Ascend, http://www.ascendlearning.com/news/hess-named-vp-of-community-partnerships-at-ascend-learning/

Another interesting ‘tidbit’ of information about Ascend Learning is directly from their website. It is the the fact that PhD staff are hired “who specialize in psychometrics and research foster and continuously improve rigorous assessments utilized to determine student outcomes and create new methods of learning.”


Archipelago, another ‘child’ of PEP:

Archipelago was purchased by PLATO Learning back in 2012 and is now known as “Edmentum”. Below is a screen shot of all their educational selections.

edmend

What evidence is there that Edmetum in CCSS aligned? What about CCR or CTE?  The company has an entire section available. Included will be the CCSS alignment proof, the Next Generation (state by state) Assessments, the Career Readiness proof, and the Career Technical Education proof. Access: http://www.edmentum.com/resources/white-papers

Directly from their website: “Edmentum offers a wide variety of innovative learning programs to empower 21st century teaching and learning.”

 

What About the other PEP ‘kids’?:

Vector Learning holds 2 other companies and is devoted to the construction and engineering career fields. Leading Vector is a board full of folks who are either tied to Ascend Learning or Harvard University (they partnered with Pearson Publishing to begin the “Pathways to Prosperity” movement that’s slam full of CCSS/CTE/CCR and Workforce agenda). There’s even one board member who sat on Microsoft’s Partner Advisory Council!
See the board members: http://www.vectorlearning.com/about-us/board-members.aspx
To access any of Vector’s ‘white papers’ you have to register with them first. Their CTE tie? McGraw Hill Publishing. Are there others, yes. Dupont is among them. Here’s a pdf file from their “RedVector” e-learning brand. (be sure to scroll through and see what the data warehouse holds). See: redvector

Twenty Eighty is geared for nothing but Workforce. PEP has this kid overseeing 11 other companies. See: http://www.twentyeighty.com/our-companies/

EDMC (Education Management Corporation) belonging to PEP is extremely interesting. Especially when you consider their purchasing partner (Goldman Sachs)! In a March (2006) press release, it stated that EDMC “is among the largest providers of private post-secondary education in North America, based on student enrollment and revenue. EDMC has 72 primary campus locations in 24 states and two Canadian provinces. EDMC’s education institutions offer a broad range of academic programs concentrated in the media arts, design, fashion, culinary arts, behavioral sciences, health sciences, education, information technology, legal studies and business fields, culminating in the award of associate’s through doctoral degrees. EDMC has provided career-oriented education for over 40 years.”  See the press release: http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/education-management-corporation-announces-agreement-to-be-acquired-by-providence-equity-partners-and-goldman-sachs-capital-partners-for-43-per-share-in-34-billion-transaction-55239807.html In a 2014 press release the CCSS tie was revealed, “The company is now privately held and two of its new board members announced Tuesday are John Danielson, chairman and managing director of the Chartwell Hamilton Group LLC, a New York-based educational consulting firm; and Johnathan Harber, the founder of Schoolnet Inc., a firm that develops online learning solutions and helps schools implement learning standards, including Common Core.” See that release:
http://www.santacruzsentinel.com/business/20150414/for-profit-school-firm-education-management-restructures

As for the others, I think you can see that each one is somehow tied to the CCSS Machine in some way. No matter if it’s “Common Core”, the workforce, or career tech education, on-line learning, or data mining.. Providence Equity Partners has an investment in it. I’ll be diving into the others I didn’t cover here, sometime in the future.

Warriors? Isn’t it time we boot business OUT of the classroom?!

FYI: Post Secondary Common Core Intel

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

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

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

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

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

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

https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/09/18/tech-thursday-common-core-community-college/
Why your legislators need to know this: the movement to make community colleges into workforce stations, as well as offer courses for ‘free’. There’s a dangerous misinformed mindset out there surrounding ‘free tuition’.
As we’ve seen, NOTHING about Common Core is ‘free’ or worth investing in.

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

From October 2014, Workforce through the Common Core filter.

https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/10/30/tech-thursday-workforce-common-core-style/
Why your legislators need to have this article’s information: if we are to truly be against Common Core, we MUST also oppose it’s damage in our workforce.

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

https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/11/02/rmt-sunday-vp-common-core-and-jobs/
https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/11/16/rmt-vp-unions-career-tech-and-common-core/

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

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

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

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

https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/12/03/tech-thursday-career-techcommon-core-and-alternative-education/
What your legislators need to know. CCSS/CTE is a one-student-learns-the-same-as-all-the-others system. Students in the ‘alternative’ category will be the MOST damaged by this. There should be NO place in ANY education level that supports or accepts alignment as a great thing!
The one paragraph they should read? ” This 2013 presentation supports UDL (Universal Designed Learning) for teaching all ‘special populations’ (their phrase, not mine)
http://www.careertech.org/sites/default/files/C1MahadevanUDL_AccessibletoAll.pdf (originally out of the Texas Education Administration); from Alabama, a presentation on streamlining all students into CTE: http://www.careertech.org/sites/default/files/C5MSmithcareercluster-1.pdf “

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

https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/12/12/fom-friday-2015-fed-ed-budget/
https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/12/13/sic-em-saturday-more-fed-budget-watch/
What your legislators need to know: the 10th Amendment plainly states NO federal involvement in what wasn’t laid out in Amendments 1-9! Education, along with several other states rights issues, are to NOT have ANY federal influence..including money! As one who has been elected to represent the citizens and taken an oath to uphold our U.S. Constitution, these legislators should NOT be seeking federal funds for education..period. Common Core/Career Tech at the post secondary level included! They also need to know how other federal level agencies are chiming in and using funds in the name of CCSS/CTE for post secondary levels.

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

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

https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/01/06/ftf-more-evidence-for-aligned-ccss-higher-education/
What our legislators need to know: those very groups so eager to help them are part of the CCSS Machine. NEA, AFT, and the list goes on. They also need to know that all the alignment in post secondary education ISN’T just for the students! All staff will be aligned, just as in Pre-K through 12th grades. Show them the networks, the documents in this article!!

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

https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/01/08/tech-thursday-national-career-pathways-network/
What the legislators need to know: “Career Pathways is post-secondary Common Core and is coming at our students (regardless of age or school choice) via the recent Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014.”

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

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

FOM: The CCSSO’s Hungry Eyes

This is a special Fib-o-Meter Friday for those of us opposed to Common Core Standards and all that goes with them. Come along with me as we look at the truths, fallacies, and other mutterings from the Council of Chief State School Officers from this past week’s gathering.

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.

Set Your Minds:

In order to frame this article in the proper context, I would ask that you try to remember an 80s song called “Hungry Eyes” by Eric Carmen. There’s one line that suits the CCSSO’s grasp on not only American Education, but our entire American set of values, ways of life, and how we live them.

“You’re mine tonight. Now I’ve got you in my sights.”

The Evidence:

Fib-o-Meter’s first set of evidence for the CCSSO’s power grab will be for the children. See the screen shot below:

While your kids may be in their sights, WE are watching them!
While your kids may be in their sights, WE are watching them!

Yes, warriors, it’s “Total Truth”, at least in their plans to have our kids achieving the ‘collective good’. What other evidence can we find to support this? Let’s see….from the CCSSO President Dr. June Atkinson’s prepared remarks in her address to her underlings in the CCSSO, the following excerpt, “In North Carolina, for example, we have a statewide technology platform called Home Base. This comprehensive technology system incorporates student information, a parent portal, instructional improvement, educator evaluation and professional development tools all in one place.” Yes, it’s the “Total Truth” that “Home Base” is in use. BUT, what wasn’t shared was the fact that Pearson Publishing runs the platform. So, all that student data gets mined through Home Base! Data that is VERY private about NC’s students! Data that goes to a wide variety of ‘customers’.
If you’d like to see my article on NC’s Governor’s Teacher Network (which goes into more detail about “Home Base”, as well as CCSSO’s tie to the companies behind it, see: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/02/04/wybi-the-gtn-of-north-carolina/)

Need a bit more evidence? May I offer the following: Pearson’s ‘Power School’ which is a portion of the “Home Base”, has turned out to be a resounding dud in NC, but that “Total Truth” wasn’t mentioned in the CCSSO address. To get the rest of THAT story, see: http://ladyliberty1885.com/2014/11/11/pearsons-powerschool-redefines-epic-fail-in-nc/. Be sure to access her links in the article. There are first person accounts of just how far the data trail goes.
If you want to see how “Home Base” and “Power School” are connected, see: homebasepresentation

If you’d like to see the CCSSO’s real agenda for your students, be sure to check out their priorities as tied into HR5 (Student Success Act or the re-authorization of ESEA). First on the list: assessments! See: ESEAKeyProvisions

Fib-o-Meter’s Second Bit of Evidence:

This, also from the prepared statements of Dr. Atkinson, “Speaking of progress, it is important note that for the first time in our nation’s history, we have a shared set of rigorous and relevant learning standards.” Now, she does go on to explain the exceptions to the statement (like a few states have since decided to use other standards, some elected to NOT use CCSS in the first place). “Total Fallacy”, President Dr. Atkinson! Research has proven the CCSS is NOT rigorous, students are bearing out the fact the Standards aren’t even relevant! Good grief. Interestingly enough however, see what showed up on Twitter that shows you how the Chief of the Chiefs really feels! See the screen shot:

ANDTo see the rest of the prepared statements so you can do your own “fact checking”, http://www.ccsso.org/Documents/2015/FINAL_SOS-1.pdf

To see the Tweets connected to the CCSSO Legislative Session, which cover the push for re-authorizing the ESEA (HR5, or Student Success Act) to meeting with Congress, Sec. Duncan, and more drama than a bad soap opera, use the “CCSSOLeg” handle next time you log on to Twitter.

Fib-o-Meter’s Third Item for Today:

Grabbing and shaping the leaders is also a big part of the CCSSO’s hunger. What do I mean? I found a 2012 document of a 3 prong, pro-CCSS task force where the findings are to be used from the SEAs (State Education Agent) level all the way to the LEAs (Local Education Agent)! The 3 prong force? That’s easy. The CCSSO, the NGA (remember, both own one half each of the CCSS) and the NASBE (National Association of State Boards of Education). I recently wrote about NASBE and just how sold out to CCSS they are. Gates Foundation funding has helped them further align their design for education. See: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/02/14/sic-em-saturday-do-you-know-nasbe/ 

As far as the SEAs and LEAs, I’m including the entire Task Force Report for your research. Suffice it to say CCSSO believes it is their ‘responsibility and promise’ to ensure EVERY student is college/career ready AND that those teaching will be in total alignment with the process. See their report: Our Responsibility Our Promise_2012. For the CCSSO to assume every student’s future is their responsibility/promise is “Total Fallacy”. How presumptuous can one organization be?!

Before we move on, I did find one interesting document from the CCSSO archives from 2006 about the SEAs/LEAs role in controlling  assessment data. Now, while I know systems have been updated, the document has a 5 year plan, which means 2011. About the time CCSS hit us. Various states and what works best for them are highlighted, data flow systems are described, and more. If you want a good idea of the recent past in your states education assessment tracking, this is a good resource. See: http://www.ccsso.org/Documents/2006/Validity_Threats_Detection_2006.pdf (*NOTE: the CCSSO has an entire collection of resources to increase SEAs/LEAs via more of them and how they are to operate. For example AND still being offered as a great resource on their website is the 2010 SCEL (State Consortium on Education Leadership; a part of CCSSO) report about increasing district leadership. Included is partnering with others to increase effectiveness. See: SCEL_Draft_Toolkit_2010)

The Collective Aspect of CCSSO’s Hunger:

Lastly, the Fib-o-Meter offers you the “Total Truth” of how vested CCSSO is in ‘collective’/’greater good’, etc.
Look at their partners, their joint projects. The most telling example is with “Knowledge Works”. As I’ve shared with you before the the ‘community cradle to career’ movement is not only strong, but already growing across America. Totally social minded in that the community must be ‘all in’. Totally aligned with the agenda of CCSSO’s ‘responsibility/promise’ rhetoric. If you’ve not seen the CCSSO partner page, you really should. http://www.ccsso.org/Who_We_Are/Business_and_Industry_Partnerships/Corporate_Partners.html

Fib-o-Meter gives you a bonus “Total Truth” for the CCSSO’s collective, aligned, maligned, college/career ready CCSS. To date the Gates Foundation has granted the CCSSO $90,789,605.00!! Including the development of CCSS curriculum which is available through Common Core, Inc.! See all 22 grants, http://www.gatesfoundation.org/How-We-Work/Quick-Links/Grants-Database#q/k=CCSSO
****************************************************************************

A Personal Note:

 As many of you may know, I am a full time care taker to my mom since her diagnosis with a terminal disease earlier this year. That said, my Diva family and I will be gathering this weekend to celebrate her birthday. I am looking forward to joining my warrior family (that’s you) back on Monday, March 30th. 

WYBI Wednesday: ICAPs, Common Core and More!

Recently, one of my fellow anti-Common Core Warrior friends in Colorado shared with me (along with others on Facebook) about ICAPs and Colorado. Individual Career and Academic Plans combine not only Common Core Standards, but Workforce, College Career Readiness, Career Tech Education AND IEPs (for those with learning disabilities)! So, being who I am, I became curious…are there other states with ICAPs? Indeed there are! Let’s dig in, shall we?

The U.S. Dept. of Education’s Archives: Knowing the US. Dept. of Ed. has so much information on all things related to CCSS, I started here. By searching for “Individual Career and Academic Plan”, I found the following archive, titled “THE RELATIONSHIP OF INDIVIDUAL CAREER PLANS TO PROGRAMS OF STUDY AND CAREER PATHWAYS “(see: http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED521422.pdf). published in Jan. 2011, it shares that back in the 1960s/70s, ICPs (Individual Career Plans) were a tool used by school guidance counselors. Then in 1983, a researcher named  Gysbers provided an early definition of the

Individual Career Development Plan, which focuses on the development of an instrument and a process. She defined an ICP as “As an instrument, a plan can provide a place for people to record the aptitudes, interests, values, and competencies they possess, and an opportunity to itemize those they may wish to work on or acquire. It can become an organizer for personal, educational, and occupational information, which can then be
updated periodically. As a process, a plan can become a pathway or a guide through which individuals may use the past and the present to look forward to the future.” 

Fast forward to modern day and Council of Chief State School Officers’s new label of ILP (Individual Learning Plan) and their definition, “personalized student education plans that include information such as high school courses, post-secondary education and career interests, and extracurricular activities. State approaches to developing and implementing ILPs are as varied as the information that goes into them.” From the report, here’s a sample screen shot from IL (remember, this is from 2011) (as always, be sure to click on the picture to enlarge it)

According to the report, there are many different names for the same agenda via Career Tech Education, Career Pathways, Common Core, and more.
According to the report, there are many different names for the same agenda via Career Tech Education, Career Pathways, Common Core, and more.

How It Works:
Depending on which state you live in, you may or may not already have an ICAP (or other similarly named program OR you may not know it’s there. For example, my anti warrior friend told me about CO, but I’ve found VA and MS also have ICAPs. Below is a screen shot of sample ICAP I found on the state of VA’s Dept. of Education website:

vaicap

Questions in the ICAP are designed for students at the 7th grade levels, however, as I’ve found in researching college/career readiness and CCSS, we know plans start much earlier than 7th grade. For example, one set of questions asks the students about what talents they have. Another asks what they accomplish well. Then, there’s a question about which family member has an occupation you like. Questions for the 9th and 10th graders are great about selling the post secondary CCSS aligned courses at community colloges, dual enrollment, etc. Both groups are asked if they are aware of the Career Clusters/Pathways and what they do outside of school that enforces their possible career. (See the entire document: acp_template Oh, one more note, according to the state’s website, the template.

*Note: MS and OH also have ICAPs;  CA’s is called “Linked Learning”; NC’s is “Career and Technical Education”. The names will vary, the agenda won’t.

ICAP Task Force?!:

From the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO)’s report on ICAPs (which falls under the ‘college/career readiness’ rhetoric), here are the members (note how many you’ve seen in other CCSS events, reports, panels, and other related capacities)

Members of CCSSO Task Force on Improving Career Readiness:
Terry Holliday, Task Force Chair, Commissioner of Education, Kentucky
Chris Minnich, Executive Director, CCSSO
June Atkinson, State Superintendent of Schools, North Carolina
Tony Evers, State Superintendent of Schools, Wisconsin
Lillian Lowery, State Superintendent of Schools, Maryland
John White, State Superintendent of Education, Louisiana
Brenda Cassellius, Commissioner of Education, Minnesota
John Barge, State Superintendent of Schools, Georgia
John Fischer, Deputy Secretary of Education, Vermont
Eric Spencer, Director of College and Career Readiness Bureau, New Mexico
Scott Ralls, President of the Community College System, North Carolina
Scott Stump, Dean of Career Technical Education of the Community College System, Colorado
Gene Bottoms, Senior Vice President, Southern Regional Education Board
Kim Green, Executive Director, National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium
Tim Lawrence, Executive Director, Skills USA
John Fitzpatrick, Executive Director, Educate Texas
Gary Hoachlander, President, ConnectEd: California Center for College and Career
Maura Banta, Director, Global Citizenship Initiatives in Education, IBM
Jason Tyszko, Senior Director, Policy, US Chamber of Commerce Foundation, Education and Workforce
Chauncy Lennon, Managing Director, Global Philanthropy, JP Morgan Chase
Matt Gandal, Task Force Facilitator, President, Education Strategy Group

According to the report there’s an urgent need to have college/career readiness. Why? Accountability purposes! To whom? To what? It appears to be the individual states labor markets! You’ll also find the same CCSS supportive groups are cited as reliable sources for things like ‘more rigor’, ‘global competitiveness’, and ‘closing the skills gap’. Who;s leading the charge in the community? It’s not so much the schools…it’s the businesses!

See the entire report: CCSSOTaskForceCareerReadiness120114

What’s at stake:

From all that I can glean from the reports and research, it appears the diplomas of our students will be ‘held hostage’ to college/career readiness, ICAPs (or whatever moniker your state is using), and any other CCSS related post-secondary track available. ICAPs are sprouting up in colleges, too. If you go back and look into CO’s ICAP system, you’ll learn their community college network is all tied in. The same is happening in NC, where I reside. I can imagine your state’s in the mix too. But what about those 4 year post-secondary schools? Yes. I found the below graphic from the Research and Curriculum Dept. of Mississippi State University’s website:

Don't look now, but special CTE leaders are being groomed.
Don’t look now, but special CTE leaders are being groomed.

When you consider the aligned dreams CCSSO has for the ‘cradle to career’ movement, having schools groom college/career ready students (regardless of age or where they attend school) is a key component. If you’re not aware of the other arms of the CCSSO, please refer to my previous posts about their efforts (see the entire collection, https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/tag/ccsso/)

Tech Thursday: Career Tech/Common Core and Alternative Education

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/edlabs/regions/midatlantic/pdf/REL_2014038.pdf

What CTE means for “Alternative Education”:

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

altedcc

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

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

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

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

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

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

(see: Competitiveness)

Project Search:

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

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

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

How I Know Common Core and CTE are related:

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

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

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

Consider this:

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

FTF Tuesday: CCREC (College and Career Readiness Evaluation Consortium)

I don’t know if you’ve heard of this group, but I can’t help but think “CC Wreck” not “CCREC” when I see the acronym. Although it could stand for something like “Common Core Rots Education/Curriculum”. Well, enough pithiness, let’s get down to finding out more about CCREC.

College and Career Readiness Evaluation Consortium:

(http://www.edpartnerships.org/college-and-career-readiness-evaluation-consortium-ccrecAccording to their website, their purpose in our lives is: “The College and Career Readiness Evaluation Consortium (CCREC) is a Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) member state organization that currently includes: Arizona, Idaho, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. The purpose of the Consortium is to foster collaboration among its members; demonstrate the impact of GEAR UP across local, state, and national levels of implementation; and build a culture of evidenced-based assessment and decision-making.”

Partnering at the states level for GEAR UP is Act, Inc. (as in Aspire, Plan, etc.  assessments). At the national level for GEAR UP is the NCCEP (National Council for Community and Education Partnerships). What makes NCCEP so special is that it’s the U.S. Dept. of Education’s agent to not only manage things but to assist in technical needs and policy needs. Since Act, Inc. is a partner, you know their assessments will be ‘the boss’ when it comes to pigeon holing students for careers.

Vision of the Consortium is to uphold the federal college program (GEAR UP) and to conduct high quality research, assessment of the program. The mission for the Consortium is something else entirely. See the excerpt below,

“The mission of the College and Career Readiness Evaluation Consortium is to enhance the administration of GEAR UP projects, consistent with the federal GPRA and Annual Performance Report guidelines and requirements. Interstate collaboration, entailing adoption of common standards, indicators, data elements, diagnostics, and data collection and reporting methods, will strengthen the formative and summative evaluation and practice of GEAR UP as a whole.” *Note: as we’ve learned before, formative assessments are helpful while summative are harmful)

Planning for CCREC’s system, 2011-12, research/evalutation, 2012-13, and implementation, 2013-18. To see the entire 3 page pdf:  http://www.edpartnerships.org/sites/default/files/basic_pages/CCREC_Summary.pdf

EdPartnerships:

Did you notice that the CCREC’s website address had ‘edpartnership’ in it? I did. So, who are the partners? Let’s find out! Their website, http://www.edpartnerships.org/

Begun in 1999, by ACE (American Council on Education) for a 6 month ‘experiment’. Among its vision, mission, and goals? Heavy on P3s (public private partnerships), education reform, collaboration to have students contribute to the economy and “Education must relate to workforce needs.” 

The partnership is also known as The National Council for Community and Education Partnership, as mentioned above. (to see more mission, vision, and reform, http://www.edpartnerships.org/mission-and-vision

Funding NCCEP? Oh, you’ll love this list: “NCCEP is especially grateful to the Ford Foundation, W. K. Kellogg Foundation, AT&T Foundation, Kresge Foundation, Lumina Foundation, GE Foundation, James Irvine Foundation and USA Funds for its philanthropic leadership over the past decade.”

From the federal level, the U.S. Dept. of Ed and the National Urban League also help fund NCCEP.
NCCEP is also an advocacy voice in Washington, D.C. The efforts have been so successful in promoting GEAR UP to Congress that many millions of dollars are now funding GEAR UP that might not have been earmarked if not for such strong urging. (according to the website, it’s about $302 million now)

If you’ve heard of Youth Congress, College Savings Account Technical Assistance, or the Superintendent Leadership Institute, then you’ve had access to NCCEP. All of these are designed to deepen the commitment to GEAR UP.

Oh, and curriculum that supports all this? Yep..there’s “16 Summers” and “Éxito Escolar”. The former targets ‘at-risk’ students while the latter targets the Latino population. The ’16 Summers’ uses a Hollywood actor to portray the message, while the Latino version features a dual language approach.

Among the partners are the ‘Pathways to College Network’, The CEF (Committee for Education Funding), The Hispanic Education Coalition, and a shameless plug for more ‘strategic’ partners. You’ll even find a tool kit to help lure them in! See the rest: http://www.edpartnerships.org/strategic-partnerships

Ahhh, I knew I’d find it, the Common Core, rigor, STEM, and whatever else is rhetoric Resource page! (see:

http://www.edpartnerships.org/resources/list?resource-category-tid=30 (if you go there, you won’t see a whole lot, but you might see a place that says ‘click here’), to save you the trouble, I’ve provided the Prezi below:

http://prezi.com/embed/f4v0xjupjjoi/?bgcolor=ffffff&lock_to_path=0&autoplay=0&autohide_ctrls=0&features=undefined&token=undefined&disabled_features=undefined

Note what you saw that was able to connect STEM to CCSS..it’s definitely there!

GEAR UP:

The acronym was spelled out above for you, so refer to there if you aren’t sure what the entire name of the program is. The short of it is it provides funding for low income or at-risk students to be able to attend college. It’s competitive, of course. Students start in 7th grade and continue through high school with early college awareness programs. As per any federal government program, mandates include p3s (Public private partnerships) must be involved. Creating a ‘common agenda’. The federal law backing all this? ” Title IV of the 1998 Amendments to the Higher Education Act of 1965 (HEA) and was signed into public law (P.L.105-244) on September 29, 1998 by President Clinton.” To ensure federal money can continue to flow to GEAR UP is the Sec. of Education’s supply of data. See this excerpt: “To ensure that GEAR UP merits continued federal financial support, the Secretary of Education provides Congress with performance data (as mandated by the Government Performance Results Act of 1993, (GPRA). These indicators are important to GEAR UP professionals as they define the reporting and evaluation mandates of the U.S. Department of Education (USDOE).”

The NCCEP website will refer you to the U.S. Dept. of Ed’s GEAR UP website. I followed the trail and found GEAR UP Resources. Topping the Resource list?! The College Board! Now, we know we’ll find CCSS there, so let’s see about the other resources highlighted.
“Project Grad”, I was able to find the CC in 2 clicks of a mouse, “The GRAD Academy curriculum requires teachers to act as coaches, guides, and facilitators, and to lead students to build authentic and meaningful projects tied to state and national Common Core Standards.”

“I Have a Dream Foundation”, while the CCSS search didn’t turn up those exact words, I saw enough evidence to convince me they are definitely tied in. Some of the most familiar CCSS supportive organizations are linked to the website, Lumina Foundation, the College Board, and many others. I’ve given you the link to the Education Reform page of the website so you can find, not only the Career Pathways information (more post secondary CCSS) but some other interesting information as well. See: http://www.ihaveadreamfoundation.org/html/broader_ed_reform.htm

“National Mentoring Partnership”, in the past was very supportive of the social action surrounding “Waiting for Superman” which included urging state officials to implement CCSS. Here’s the pdf file: ccssmentor

With a past like that, I highly doubt the effort has changed its course.

“America’s Promise Alliance”, finding CCSS there? Let’s see, so many CCSS resources, I’ll just include the link for you to follow (oh, be sure to look for ‘college and career ready’ as well), http://www.americaspromise.org/search/node/common%20core%20standards

Finally, back at the U.S. Dept. of Ed archives, you can find the GEAR UP Benchmarking paper! Access it:
http://www2.ed.gov/programs/gearup/gu-bench.html

Why would you want that? To see how the GEAR UP measures students constantly.

What NCCEP looks like on a state level:

Here’s NC, where I live:

To access GEAR UP for your state, use the 'find GEAR UP' on the NCCEP website.
To access GEAR UP for your state, use the ‘find GEAR UP’ on the NCCEP website.

If you need to enlarge the graphic, click on it. There you’ll see NC is tied to CCSS, College/Career Readiness until 2019, all courtesy of “GEAR UP”. Your state will have it’s own GEAR UP page. Mine took me to UNC (University of North Carolina), there I found an entire web page of links (look to your right). I also found the NC GEAR UP map card. This map is a color coded map of all 100 counties and other related info as to where all those millions of dollars in grant money are going.
See our map: gear_up_nc_map_card_2012-19

Remember how in the beginning of this only 15 states were mentioned? Well, what if you don’t live in one of them? Well, the bad news is GEAR UP is everywhere, the good news is you can access just where, by visiting, http://www.edpartnerships.org/advocacy/programs