Tag Archives: competency based learning

ESSA in a Nutshell


Anti CCSS Warriors, the ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act) is meant to be tough. It is meant to embed educational reform as we have never before seen. It was meant to be SO tough, no one would ever truly know the rotten insides lurking underneath the ink.
It is full of CCSS, CCR, CTE(Common Core State Standards/College Career Readiness/Career Tech Education), and a host of other programs, initiatives, and WASPs (Wrap Around Service Programs) which will conduct anything and everything in the name of student outcomes, student achievement, and/or student competency.

BUT like every tough nut, the ESSA is NOT impossible to pry open to reveal the rottenness inside of it! In today’s article, I will do my best to expose the rottenness in one ‘crunch’!
The following lists are from the ESSA Final Conference Report. They will also be in the ‘Final Law Version’, but the page numbers will be different.


Data (and all that goes with it), Technology, and the In Home Assessments:
Page 123; 138; Page 255; Page 363; Page 450/451; Page 463/464; Pages 485-488; Page 508; Page 630; and Pages 943/ 944. (A complete explanation as to why these are so rotten:
https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2016/02/05/weekend-news-the-ies-and-the-essa/ )
In a crunch: almost $900 million for more technology to data track, data mine, and sell to almost anyone connected in or outside of education. All in the name of ‘student success’. Assessments will be part of this rotten portion. (Section 9210 is where you need to crack open the in home assessing.)

Teachers,  School Leaders, Non-Profits, For-Profits Inside and Outside the Classrooms:
Pages 300/301; Page 302; Pages 323, 324; Page 344; Pages 347-349; 351-357; Page 406; and Section 9210 (yes, as in the Data paragraph above). In one ‘crunch’, see my “School Board Special Part 3”, for not only more revealed rottenness for teachers and leaders, but you will see more about intrusive data mining, as well as whole community alignment all in the name of ‘challenging state academic standards’ for student competency based education.

Timeline the States Will Have to Adhere to:
In a crunch, just keep July 1, 2016 circled on your calendars and share with your legislators this date. There will be others, but this one will hit the States bank accounts rapidly.
See the ESSA timeline of the MOST important dates (there are others that we will discover as the school year 2017-18 approaches. To fund this straight path to alignment rottenness, the FY 2017 Federal Education Budget Requests.
Timeline: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2016/01/28/school-board-special-part-4/
Big Bucks for ESSAhttps://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2016/02/11/fed-ed-2017-are-you-ready/ (*Note: be sure to follow the 2017 Budget’s rottenness is the related articles.)

Workforce/Career Tech/Career Pathways/Career Clusters/STEM/Apprenticeships:
This is a huge part of the rottenness in the ESSA! The passage of the ESSA embedded workforce based education in a multitude of page numbers, programs (existing or about to be introduced). The supposed lack of business trained workers is what we are told the career paths are for and why they are needed in education ON THE SURFACE, but underneath? The rottenness: more data mining, tracking, and aligning students (0f all ages) for the sake of Mr. and Mrs. Businesses. ESSA directly ties to WIOA (Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014).
In a crunch know that the WIOA and HEA (Higher Education Act) are mentioned in the ESSA over 160 times!  To see the rest of the rottenness surrounding this ESSA/WIOA marriage: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/12/05/weekend-news-essas-untold-ties-to-hea/

The WASPs (Wrap Around Service Programs):
Unlike the nuts we’ve crunched so far, the WASPs won’t be inside the nuts, they will, however, be close by the nuts. This will be another huge part of the ESSA rottenness.
Look for Promise Neighborhoods, 21st Century Community Learning Centers, SEL (social emotional learning) interventions, and much more. Page numbers and all the stinging news will be seen: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2016/01/04/meet-your-new-neighbor-essa-seriously/
and here: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2016/01/23/the-school-board-special-part-one/

Is There More Rottenness?
Absolutely, we could break the above categories down into smaller ones to reveal even more rottenness disguised as good legislation for education. However, we know if we are to share this with legislators, we must, out of respect for their busy schedules, keep the information concise. In my researched findings, this is about as concise as I can make the over 1, 059 pages. ( ESSA FINAL CONFRPT_112915 ) or its shorter Final Law version ( Finalessa.391pages ) Why do I continually refer to the larger document? It is easier to read, therefore easier to sift through.

Not a Nut, but a Cog:
I have kept the nut theme going for a reason. Nuts all look the same on the outside, of course depending on their variety. You usually can only tell when the meat inside is rotten once it is cracked open, crunched in an inertia device, etc. However, you know I have long referred to all the activities in the education reform we are witnessing, as part of the CCSS Machine. Below, I leave you with my ESSA, CCSS-Machine-like screen shot. You certainly may share this with your busy legislators, but please be sure to make it as relevant to your state as possible. I have one specifically for NC, that I will be sharing with the NC General Assembly. If you live in NC and would like that graphic, please contact me.

Tell ’em it’s from the Common Core Diva when you share this!!


ESSA and Digital Overload


It’s a virtual (digital) overload out there!

For today’s ‘Tech Thursday’, we will look in the ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act) for all the digital parts of education via College and Career Readiness (the new ‘Common Core’ name). (*Note:  in the ESSA, ‘Standards’ is innocently stated as “Challenging State Academic Standards”). Why do I point this out? The law (ESSA) uses both phrases for education!

Why is digital learning a topic worth looking into? An Initiative called ‘Digital Promise’, fits oh-so-nicely into the CCSS Machine’s plans for education overhaul. As we have seen with top-down initiatives in America, where there is a plan, there are P3s (public private partnerships) who stand to profit BIG. Education is the new cash cow!

Where the Digital References Are:

The following list is from the ESSA Final Conference Report. They will also be in the Final Law Version, but the page numbers will be different.
Page 138: Your LEAs (local education agencies) will assist in the development of digital learning skills to improve academic achievement.
Page 363: Students via literacy instruction will be able to navigate, understand, and write about complex print and digital subject matter.
Page 450: States, communities, schools, and LEAs must work together:
a) to provide a well rounded education experience
b) to improve school conditions for students to learn more
c) improve the use of technology for academic achievement and the digital literacy of all students (*Note: ‘blended learning’ quickly follows this portion)
Page 451: Some element of on-line or digital learning must be included in education.
(*Note: further down the page is the ESSA’s definition of what this means)
Page 463: Rural access to high quality digital learning opportunities must be in place.
(*Note: the parameters are on Page 464)
Pages 485-488: The consortia for digital learning and state funding. What the uses of the funding mean and how they tie to digital overload.
Page 630: Preschool and ‘Ready to Learn’ digital content, especially via PBS (Public Broadcast Stations).
Page 943 begins Section 9210 of the ESSA Law. This is the biggest overreach of all!
Why? “Student Home Access to Digital Learning Resources”! To find out how successful students are at HOME, a Study conducted by the Director of the Institute of Educational Sciences (IES) no later than 18 months AFTER all portions of ESSA are in place! Details of the Study will be found on Page 944.

What This All Means:

First, the ‘Digital Promise Initiative’. Back in 2011, from the White House came this report,
Digital Promise is a new national center created by Congress with bipartisan support to advance technologies that can transform teaching and learning. It is being launched today with startup funds and support from the Department of Education as well as the Carnegie Corporation of New York and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. Answering the President’s call to action, a number of prominent leaders in education and technology will help lead Digital Promise. Board members, who were appointed by Secretary of Education Arne Duncan based on recommendations from the House of Representatives and United States Senate, include John Morgridge (Chairman Emeritus of Cisco), Larry Grossman (former President of NBC News), Irwin Jacobs (co-founder of Qualcomm), Gilman Louie (founder of In-Q-Tel), Eamon Kelly (President Emeritus of Tulane University), Mark Dean (IBM Fellow and Vice President), Shae Hopkins (Executive Director and CEO, Kentucky Educational Television), Vince Juaristi (CEO & President, Arbola, Inc.), and Shirley Malcom (Head of the Directorate for Education and Human Resources Programs, American Association for the Advancement of Science).”
To read the entire report of facts, https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2011/09/15/fact-sheet-digital-promise-initiative
Be sure you note the other related initiatives for Digital Promise. I would like to point out two names I saw which jumped out at me and are also very heavily tied to the CCSS Machine. NSF (National Science Foundation) and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math). Why this two? I have researched both extensively and have shared with you in previous articles just how embedded in the CCSS Machine’s agenda they are.
To see the Digital Promise website: http://www.digitalpromise.org/
(*Note: be sure to read the Manifesto.)

Next, the Digital Promise League of Innovative Schools. See their webpage:
Here is the number of students/schools, League members represent more than 3.2 million students in 73 districts and 33 states. Their experiences reflect the diversity and shared challenges of public education in America.” (*Note: Be sure to look at the initiatives the League has. You should be able to spot another huge  CCSS Machine member: Verizon. Also, note the adult level of activity.)
One of the featured schools? (*Note: you can find more of them, as well as the school I am about to feature in the League’s News category.)
Right in my town of residence: Mooresville, NC! This was the President’s (as in the U.S. President) ‘school of choice’ for the national address he gave about the success of digital technology. What he didn’t share is that the Superintendent of the MGSD (Mooresville Graded School District) was hand picked by Pearson Publishing for his success in Project Red (digital technology and data mining all in one slick program.) Anti CCSS Warriors, he was picked to come to a small school district to implement this digital shift in education! How do I know all this? See: http://ladyliberty1885.com/tag/project-red/ and the follow up article,

(*Note: Digital Promise is also written into the HEA (Higher Education Act, 2008) in Section 802)

Next, Rural Education is something to dig a bit deeper into. Let me point you back to the U.S. House’s version of the re-authorization of the ESEA (Elementary and Secondary Education Act), known as HR5. Why? The recently passed into law, ESSA, is in fact, a big compromise of the House and Senate. Certain portions of the House’s wish list for education AND portions of the Senate’s found their way into the ESSA. Rural education was brought into the mix back on Page 280 of the HR5! I wrote about it,
This article will show you how Rural Education via the New Schools (another CCSS Machine member) will be all about College and Career Readiness,
(*Note: The U.S. Dept. of Agriculture will surface in this one.)

What about the consortia for digital learning and the state use of funds for digital learning?
First, the consortia members include any number of groups involved in education, especially your communities, but, secondly, it is the language used which is alarming.
“ensuring that all service and  community partners are aligned with the  academic expectations of a community school in order to improve student success…” Then a bit further down the page you find this, “USES OF FUNDS.—Subject to section 4106(f),  each local educational agency, or consortium of such agencies, that receives an allocation under section 4015(a) shall use a portion of such funds to improve the use of technology to improve the academic achievement, academic growth, and digital literacy of all students, including by meeting the needs of such agency or consortium that are identified in the needs assessment conducted under section 4106(d) (if applicable), which may include….”.
You need to read Pages 486 and 487 for yourselves to see what those inclusions are. Let me just summarize that those including are students, teachers, and school leaders; that funds are to used in not only assessments, but purchases of digital technology; and more!

Those PBS broadcasts are our last area of focus.
When I wrote about the PBS presence among the Board members of the Urban Institute (a CCSS Machine member), it was in regards to early learning research and how it will encompass immigrant children as well. The catch? CBE or Competency Based Education. See: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/11/10/ftf-prek-research-ccss-cbe/
Then there was their involvement in higher education, ‘American Graduation Day’.
See: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/09/28/monday-musings-national-graduates/
Then the PBS characters from Sesame Street surfaced in another early learning program where the reading books had been aligned to the CCSS. See: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/11/02/monday-musings-alignment-for-wee-ones/



The IES and their upcoming Study?
That, my Warriors Against the Core, is the next article to be written.

For my look into STEM and how it is tied to CCSS Machine:

For my first look into the NSF:

To read the ESSA Final Conference Report for those pages you should see for yourselves:


The School Board Special, Part One


This Weekend News begins a special series for all those ‘anti CCSS Machine Warriors’ out there running for their school boards this election year. No matter if it is a local school board race or a state-wide race, this compendium is for you!!

If you should have an issue you would like more information on and you do NOT see it below, please do not HESITATE to let me know how I may help your campaign. Why would I do this? I want to support each of you as best as I can with information you can use to stand for a school system FREE from the CCSS Machine and ALL its overreaches into birth to pre-K, pre-K to K, K-12, community colleges, public and private colleges and universities, for profit post-secondary schools (proprietary), and any OTHER place Common Core (or as it’s new buzz phrase is known as “College and Career Readiness”) is found!

As the first in this series of articles, I would like to  devote them to these brave men and women who are seeking office for the RIGHT reasons! 1) To be a child’s hero; 2) to stand for the Constitutionally protected state sovereignty where education is concerned; and 3) to wipe out the CCSS Machine’s grasp on their local community and/or State!


Birth to Pre-K, Pre-K to K:

As we have seen and heard, NO age group, nor educational choice will be free from the illegally based (and now, rubber stamped via the ESSA, Every Student Succeeds Act) educational reform begun by the CCSSI (Common Core State Standards Initiative). My fellow anti CCSS Warrior from CA (Lydia Gutierrez) has a great Facebook post from 2014 which details Sen. Lamar Alexander’s plan to grab our students from birth and track them to career.
Why would I mention Sen. Alexander? He is one of the main sponsors of the ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act). His plan from way back when, just got a HUGE advancement via the ESSA! To see Lydia’s post: https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=10152814417575498&id=226850210497 (*Note it has the embedded You Tube video from the 1980s where Alexander speaks his ‘Orwellian plan’ for our students.)

To see the birth to Pre-K plans via the ESSA from the Final Conference Report (that mammoth 1,061 page booger):
Section 2223 which begins on Page 373 and details “Subgrants to eligible entities in support of birth through kindergarten entry literacy.”.
Leading up to Section 2223, the following pages are also of great importance:
1) Page 365 where you can see how LEAs (Local Educational Agents) will encompass birth through 12th grade literacy, early childhood education programs including home based literacy programs, and more.
2) Page 370 where you will find percentages of funding the states are to have for any program or activity to ready birth through Kindergarten for school.
3) The bottom of Page 370 and into 371 where you will see birth to 5 years programs for low income families targeted.
4) Page 372 states the following for those teaching our youngest students: “Coordinating with institutions of  higher education in the State to provide recommendations to strengthen and enhance pre-service courses for students preparing to teach children from birth through grade 12 in explicit, systematic, and intensive instruction in  evidence-based literacy methods.”
5) Page 374 will show you how ‘data analysis’ will be used in regards to birth through kindergarten entry.
6) Page 375 details the assessments of the birth to kindergarten for the sake of successful entry into school.
7) That damnable educratic, pro Common Core term ‘pipeline’ (in reference to our students) is used on Page 600. “PIPELINE SERVICES.—The term ‘pipeline services’ means a continuum of coordinated supports, services, and opportunities for children from birth through entry into and success in postsecondary education, and career attainment. Such services shall include, at a minimum, strategies to address through services or programs (including integrated student supports) the following:  ‘‘(A) High-quality early childhood education programs.” (*Note: There is more, but you need to read it for yourselves.)
8) Page 615 will focus on the children (from birth) in the lowest income cities with a continuum of ‘high quality’ services. While this may not be a terrible thing, consider that further down the page, the data collection and reporting of said data goes to the U.S. Dept. of Education’s Secretary!
9) The homeless children’s lack of records will also be included in all this new education reform. See Pages 881, 889,  and 900.
10) Page 959, The States are to keep parents up to date on all the ‘mixed delivery systems’ of programs for birth to kindergarten entry level.
110 Lastly, on Page 967, you will need to know that the States will be assessing the families for successful improvement among  family members.

If you do not have access to the Final Report: ESSA FINAL CONFRPT_112915

In the much shorter U.S. Law version of the ESSA (391) pages, you will find Section 2223 is still the same. Page numbers, however, will be different. To find where the students from ‘birth’ and up are mentioned, see: 136, 138 (twice), 139 (5 times), 140, 223, 238, 326, 329, 333, 354, and 357. Each of the topics found in the Final Report have made their way into the Law version. To access the Law version: Finalessa.391pages

As Far As My Research, I Would Like to Offer You:

Zero to Three Common Core which has received the American Academy of Pediatrics backing as well as a major insurance company (MetLife)! See: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/07/04/sic-em-saturday-pint-sized-common-core/
What you, as a candidate, need to know about this article: Look to your area’s Early Head Start Program; that each of the 50 States has a ‘Baby Fact Sheet’; that some States (especially those deemed as successes with their Race to the Top funding) have a ‘Preschool Development Grant’ from the U.S. Dept. of Education; that the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER), is backed, supported, and funded by some of the biggest names in the CCSS Machine!

Then here is my article pertaining to the massive amounts of research being conducted on our youngest students in the name of education. See: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/11/10/ftf-prek-research-ccss-cbe/
What you, as a candidate, need to look for from this article: Your state’s funding and use of TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) and how CCSS has got its grasp on this money; how competency based education (is largely workforce based learning in nature) is being designed for our little people in the classrooms and related programs; how our youngsters are bringing shaped into BRICKS (I kid you not), and more!

How will the birth to pre-K and kindergartners figure into the WIOA (Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014) which is also expressly tied via the language of the ESSA (as law)?! See my article: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2016/01/05/essa-ties-to-wioa-2014-and-new-citizens/
What you, as a candidate, need to know from this article: Those ‘sub grants’ for ELA (English Language Arts) are to be used so that EVERY student, including these younger ones, will be in line for the cradle to career education;  how the language shift FROM “Common Core State Standards” TO ‘Challenging State Academic Standards’ is not only more of the same education reform, but will have massive amounts of money attached!

Encompassed into the Promise Neighborhoods and the 21st Century Community Learning Centers and/or Community Schools will be not only the youngest learners, but the ENTIRE family! See: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/08/17/supportive-acts-to-back-initiative/
What you, as a candidate, need to know: That while the Promise Neighborhoods is NOT a new piece of legislation, HOW it is included in the ESSA is new! Those 21st Century Community Learning Centers (which can also sometimes be referred to by a number of catchy names) are part of a White House Initiative, as well as a P3 (public-private partnership) effort to have entire communities aligned to the Common Core State Standards Initiative.  To see that information and to learn more: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/10/24/fom-friday-knowledgeworks-or-knowledge-quirks/ (*Note: This article lays out for you the cradle to career aligned community network already in place across America.)


No matter where you are in America, the ESSA, the CCSS Machine, the Initiative and agenda behind Common Core, is going to continue to wreck our nation! This is just a look at a FEW of the researched pieces of evidence I have concerning birth through Kindergarten. Take the time to read each article, investigate for yourselves the reports, links, and programs featured. Ask LOTS of questions, be ferocious in your campaigns! Our children, our schools, and our nation are MUCH too precious to not protect. Part 2 of this series will address K-12 education.

Weekend News: Heads Up, Higher Ed CTE Update


This Weekend News is an update to the continued Common Core/Career Tech Education/Aligned Apprentices efforts our post secondary students are facing. What can we do to fight this? How can we inform others? Read on, my fighters!!

A White House “Fact Sheet”:

Dated September 9th, 2015, this news release gives us several key pieces to the continued alignment of our students. We know this is part of the ‘cradle to career’ agenda so prevalent in the CCSS Initiative. What is stunning, is that the White House continues to promote these efforts.
WHfactsSo, what are the ‘key pieces’? Here’s my list:
1) “Education and job training are among the surest pathways to the middle class.” (The old school ‘American Dream’ wasn’t middle class, it was MUCH bigger)
2) “President, the First Lady, Dr. Jill Biden, and Secretary Arne Duncan will travel across the country in the coming days to highlight the need for affordable, quality career and education choices..” (in my past articles, I have shared how the Vice President was tasked by the President to come up with Workforce/Education ideas)
3) “President will announce new steps to expand apprenticeships and to continue to build momentum nationwide to make community college free for responsible students.” (in past articles, I’ve shared with you how the nation’s community colleges are already CCSS/CTE aligned)
4) Specific agenda items the “Touring Team” will promote:
a) Dept. of Labor grants “Grants to 46 public-private partnerships marrying the efforts of employers, organized labor, non-profits, local governments, and educational institutions to expand high-quality apprenticeships.”
b)  “independent creation of the College Promise Advisory Board, led by Chair Dr. Jill Biden, and Vice-Chair former Wyoming Governor Jim Geringer and directed by former Under Secretary of Education, Martha Kanter.”
c) “Heads Up America will call on everyone to join the movement to make two years of community college free for responsible students around the country.”
d) Those “American Apprenticeship Grants “ will help train and hire more than 34,000 new apprentices in high-growth and high-tech industries as diverse as health care, IT, and advanced manufacturing while scaling up proven programs in construction, transportation, and energy over the next five years.”
e) “Over 140 employers, colleges, and labor organizations have signed on to be ApprenticeshipUSA LEADERS (Leaders of Excellence in Apprenticeship Development, Education and Research) by expanding their own training programs and encouraging their peers to get on board.” 

To summarize the rest of the news release, it is basically affirming that the White House is over-stepping its authority again, blaming Congress for not being supportive enough when it comes to WIOA (Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act). It is also revealing the massive amounts of money, the number of citizens to be involved in MORE career pathways for life.

The College Promise Advisory Board:

Helping the efforts of ‘free’ community colleges will be the following:
Walther Bumphus (American Association of Community Colleges) I exposed his ties to CCSS/CTE in my 2 part series: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/05/06/wybi-upskilling-america-part-1/  AND https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/05/07/tech-thursday-upskilling-america-part-2/
Lily Garcia(NEA), Randi Weingarten(AFT), LaVerne Srinivasan (Carnegie Corp.), Ellen Alberding (Joyce Foundation), and Randy Boyd (TN Economic and Community Development). There are many others, but these individuals above are well known CCSS/CTE/CCR supporters. (you can see the entire list by accessing the news release’s link)

Those 46 P3s:

The grants are broken down by regions across the USA. In the Northeast, MA, NY, CT, RI, and VT were the ‘winners’. The bulk of the grants appear to be workforce education, outcome based education, or economic based. Some of the programs include The United Way, various department of labor current activities, and more. In the South, SC, GA, AR, TX, and FL ‘won’ money. Money awarded in these states appears to be ’21st Century Initiative’, ‘compressed education’, economic, and workforce based. Mid-Atlantic ‘winners’ are WV, MD, DC, VA, and PA. Their money will be devoted to all kinds of apprenticeships, including a grant to the International Brotherhood of Teamsters! The Mid-West states getting grants are IL, MI, MN, and WI. Illinois received the bulk of the grants. Among the apprenticeships, workforce, education alignment, you’ll find STEM and MAP+ (MI). In the West, HI, CA, OR, NM, WA, NV, and AK will get the big bucks. It appears the bulk of the money will be for either community wide efforts (including community colleges).

Each grantee will have a specific dollar amount, what organizations will benefit by receiving the money and what purpose the money will serve. All kinds of ethnic groups, special needs, and much more are included. The grant information can be accessed:

“Heads Up”:
This website gives us only two choices 'yes' and 'maybe'.

This website gives us only two choices ‘yes’ and ‘maybe’.

This website is so full of agenda driven motives it isn’t funny. For example in the ‘toolkit’, you’ll find ‘willing to work for it’ defined. Part of the definition? Good grades, credits that will follow you, and a commitment to serve your town. As an example of the ‘service’ TN is featured. “Required community service” there when you get ‘free community college’.
“Heads Up” is being called a nation wide grassroots activity. They’ve got a Twitter account (#HeadsUp) The group is really pushing for everyone to get on board with the program, too. One of the ways is to embed their website or Twitter handle in every communication you have access to. Here’s a quote, “Spread the word through social media and by organizing events on your campus and in your community! Think creatively about ways you can make a lasting impact. Every time you spread the word, use our official hashtag ..Make sure you keep an eye on all @Comm_College, @CCTrustees, @AchieveTheDream, @WhiteHouse and @ScholAmerica social media accounts for the latest campaign updates and progress as well. And spread the good news. Let’s do this!”

Here’s the ‘toolkit’, wait until you open to to see how ‘grassroots’ this really isn’t. HeadsUpAmerica_toolkit

The White House Press Release: https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/09/09/fact-sheet-providing-more-americans-affordable-access-education-and-job

One last quote from the news releaseThe Administration has also undertaken efforts to better align community college programs to in-demand jobs.”


 To access my articles about the Vice President’s role in aligning America to CTE, Apprentices, and more: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/08/06/tech-thursday-career-pathways-meet-competency-based-pathways/ (*Note: this article will link you to two other articles about the VP, CCSS, CTE, and Achieve.)

To access the article about those “Aligned Apprentices”, see: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/02/12/tech-thursday-aligned-apprentices/

To see how all this ties to the current NCLB (No Child Left Behind) re-authorization bills (HR5, The Student Success Act and the S1177, Every Child Achieves Act), read:

FOM: CCSS/CTE “Hype”, D.C. Style

Much of the information coming out of D.C. surrounding HR5 and the HEA is pure hype, don't 'buy' it.
Much of the information coming out of D.C. surrounding HR5 and the HEA is pure hype, don’t ‘buy’ it.

In the scheme of things lately, we anti CCSS (and CTE) warriors shouldn’t be surprised at the amount of hype being used to drown out the truth about the presence (or from the hypester’s perspective the non-presence of) Common Core Standards and it’s adult version, Career and Technical Education.

However, it’s a “Total Truth” that not only is much hype being created, but the bulk is from Congress itself. Oh, you can be sure the more private part of the CCSS Machine is busy churning out a lot of hype too.


Let’s get the Fib-o-Meter going, shall we?….

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.

The Education and Workforce Committee:

The Ed/Workforce Committee  concerns itself with higher education, or as it’s also known, ‘post secondary’ education. The re-authorization of the HEA is supposed to be voted upon soon. It’s also related to the K-12 re-authorization known as HR5. Let’s see how the Ed/Workforce has taken hype and placed it into overdrive to try and divert us from what’s really embedded in that bill.

In one of my previously published Higher Ed articles, I shared with you some of the documents being produced to sell us on the supposed advantages of the HEA re-authorization. In particular, the U.S. House of Representative’s priority list for the Higher Ed Act. (see: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/06/11/tech-thursday-more-alexander-hea-and-the-next-america/) *Note: the document I refer to is in the “Related Resources” paragraph, item #4.

A related article to our topic today:

The Ed/Workforce Latest Hype:

Pushing the ‘competency based’ fail so prevalent in all things Common Core and Career/Tech Education, is the Ed/Workforce ‘Fact Sheet’. (you can access the fact sheet and other related hype, http://edworkforce.house.gov/highered/)

Titled “Advancing Competency-Based Education Demonstration Project Act”, this document lays out the guts of HR3136 and its relation to the updated version of the HEA.
The “Total Fallacy”? Their words as follows, “As part of an effort to reauthorize the Higher Education Act, the House Education and the Workforce Committee is working to support more innovation across the nation’s college campuses.”
The “Total Truth”? Sec. Arne Duncan gets more power! See this direct quoted excerpt:
“Promotes innovation in higher education by directing the secretary of education to implement competency-based education demonstration projects. The secretary is authorized to waive current statutory and regulatory requirements that impede the creation of competency-based education programs.” 

More “Total Truth”, this level of power means those education waivers our states have can be manipulated to fit this higher education competency agenda. In this 2014 bill which was passed, you’ll notice that the vernacular uses the word ‘entity’ when talking about who can lead the competency based education projects, but doesn’t condition these entities to schools of learning. You’ll also notice P3 involvement and MORE assessments! All “Total Truths” left out of the hype’s main page, feel good message of improving education. Here’s the bill, so be sure to read it for yourselves to see what I mean. h.r._3630_-_ans_-_final


One Last “Total Truth”:

Did you notice the above paragraph mentions a 2014 bill, but the introduction stated the latest hype? How can 2014 be the latest hype? Simple, here’s a screen shot of the recent Tweet the Ed/Workforce Committee shared on the social media giant, which led me to the 2014 bill.

A triple whammy of hype for us from the U.S. Education and Workforce Committee.
A triple whammy of hype for us from the U.S. Education and Workforce Committee.

WYBI: CCSS Supporter Profiling Higher Ed Degrees

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

Lumina Foundation:

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

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

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

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

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

University Innovation Alliance:


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

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

Lastly, Lumina’s Common Core Devotion:

Connecting K-12 and Higher Ed via the CCSS:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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