Tag Archives: competency

Prerogatives Not Needed

Anti Fed Ed Warriors, have you ever looked at your children and told them that one day they would grow up and go work for ‘The Man’? Have you ever looked in the mirror and told yourself, ‘Gee, I’m glad I have to earn money for my boss today.”?

wannabees

Certainly not! What I imagine you’ve told them is the same thing you were told, ‘Go to school, get good grades and then see where life takes you’. For some of us, it was straight to work. Others left and went on to college. Some folks elected to do both, while others took a break and ‘found themselves’ before ‘getting on track’.

Warriors, these were all prerogatives for us. We had some choices, but they were OUR choices. In today’s educratic system, NO ONE has a true prerogative anymore. Some test tells Johnny and/or Suzy what they must complete in school  now to work somewhere else later. By the time the kids are in middle school, they already know where their future income is coming from.

For us as grownups? Our future’s just as aligned. We’re told we must update our ‘credentials’ via courses. We’re constantly monitored for ‘quality control’.

Every single education/job move we make isn’t so much about our U.S. Constitutionally guaranteed right to ‘pursue happiness’, it’s about checking off the boxes on a pre-determined list of where we’ll fit in best when it comes to the CCSS Machine.

This type of conformity appears to be the true goal of the merger between the U.S. Department of Education and U.S. Department of Labor. However, the conformity doesn’t END there.

We, the Anti Fed Ed Warriors, owe a huge debt of gratitude to a fierce Warrior, Karen Bracken. She created a ‘short and sweet’ petition to protest the planned merger. It was released Sunday, June 24th. As of today, June 27th, the petition has just over 1,000 signatures. Not only did I sign the petition, I’ve joined her in getting the word out as much as humanly possible. While 1,000 citizens speaking up is great, we’ve got to have 100,000 JUST to be recognized by the White House.
karenwords

Warriors, if we don’t speak LOUDLY, we cannot have a seat at the table to help STOP the merger!! The CCSS Machine cannot be allowed to continue this cycle of robbing our children (and ourselves) of our prerogatives as Americans!

ESSAskel

The framework to realign our federal government has a plethora of ways to continue the overreach into our lives. How? The biggest ‘change agent’ on the planet is education. (The source for THAT ‘sentiment’? The United Nations)

From what I found and can easily tie back to the CCSS Machine, the framework supporting the President’s Executive Order #13781 has close to 20 ways in which education is woven throughout. How?? Jobs and economy. My top 3 (based on research) are below:

eoframeworkedu

Many of the other ways in which the framework supports MORE educratic overreach surfaced back in 2017. When I researched and wrote that article, it was to detail the many federal departments with plans to align education to workforce, NOT simply Education and Labor! The framework for the President’s restructure has some of these same agencies shifting. The danger is simply this:

With existing alignment plans in place, how many will survive the moves to their ‘new homes’??? How many will be strengthened? How many will continue the ‘student data rape’ between the SLDS (Student Longitudinal Data System) and the WQDI (Workforce Quality Data Initiative? Will any of these aligned plans DIE in the moves?

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Warriors Speaking Out:

Recently, I made several posts and a few FB live videos to raise the truth about HOW this type of overreach is playing out. (*Note:  my live feeds aren’t professionally created. They are from my heart and passion about helping inform you with TRUTH. Yes, I make mistakes in them. The bottom line is not my popularity, it IS our nation. It IS our children. It IS about us. It IS my duty as an American to stand up and SPEAK OUT!)
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There are others speaking out about the fallacy of the merger. The most recent is from my friends and fellow Warriors at Freedom Project Media. My Warrior friend Nicholas Tampio has this to say. If you represent a group and wish to sign a letter directed to the President, go here. Nancy Bailey’s article protesting the merger shows how corporations ‘win’ while our kids suffer. Cheri Kiesecker’s written a scathing look at the merger for Missouri Education Watchdog.

We know Congress is acting like animals in heat over CTE (Career Tech Education) . They’re foaming at the mouth telling the nation how desperately we all need MORE CTE in our lives.  Below, is what fellow Warrior, Dr. Victoria Young posted on Facebook. (added emphasis is mine)

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To see the 2017 article, that’s here. To see the May 2018, go here.

The brutal honest truth is this: CTE is Common Core Workforce Training.

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If you think the Ed/Labor merger will ‘bring back vocational schools’ like you may remember them to be, the merger won’t. I’ve shown you through years of research how ‘vocational schools’ were re-branded TO Career Tech Education. It was when Common Core’s alignment AND standards were inserted. The merger WILL only INCREASE the amounts of workforce aligned education FOR every AMERICAN. Not just public K-12th grade students. If you think private education, homeschooling, on-line schooling are exempt, I urge you to realize that BOTH education AND labor will cover preK to grave for every American.

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Closing:

American education has been creating ‘new levels of mediocrity’ since the U. S. Ed Dept was created. The merger will create an even newer level of conformity with workforce training taking the place of academics.

The merger will do exactly what I’ve warned you before: scatter education programs like cockroaches all over DC. As hard as it would be to close U.S. Dept. of Ed and U.S. Dept. of Labor, RIGHT now, merging will bury ALL the overreaches so we may NEVER be free of federal overreaches!! The best plan, is REPEAL ESSA first, Restore FERPA, THEN begin to close the illegally based departments DOWN!

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DC is convinced that ALL education is workforce development, therefore all education must be aligned. Forget Johnny’s or Suzy’s ability to think freely or read well. Forget your ability to be able to pursue your own happiness. The goal is conformity for economic gain.

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Warriors, don’t let another minute pass..go to the petition page, sign, confirm, and share!! A whopping 84% of Americans opposed Common Core and the federal overreach. Where are you now?! Don’t let your child’s prerogatives die at the hands of Congress. Don’t allow your freedoms to be sacrificed at the corporate altar.

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Four Parts, One Truth

Hello, my fellow Anti Fed Ed/CCSS Warriors! I’m back from a brief break and so honored to share with you all 4 segments of the special video project I told you about back in April 2017.

Freedom Project Media recorded and produced the Series titled “Alternative Education in the Crosshairs”. The Series is a result of the education research and activism of not only myself, but Kirsten Lombard (Resounding Books) and Mary Black (Freedom Project Academy)

Since I began my fight (2009), I’ve purposed to look in every area the push for national standards has been taken. Most Warriors, early on, were easily finding the push/reform in public/traditional classrooms across America. However, I knew, from other ‘non traditional’ educators that NO educational choice would escape the national standards.

The problem was, not many outside this group,  believed it. To this day, even some inside the ‘non traditional’ education community still think they will escape the national overhaul in education. This, quite simply, is a purposed lie produced by the CCSS Machine’s propaganda.

As you know, many (myself included), have brought this overlooked reality into the forefront. Since ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act) passed, it is really becoming QUITE clear, just how menacing these national standards are to ALL educational choices. 

Kirsten, Mary, and, I knew we had to do more. In less than 3 months, we met, wrote, traveled, and, filmed these 4 segments. They are geared for anyone outside the ‘traditional’ public education system. That stated, there is plenty in each segment, for anyone involved in education. Be it teaching, leading, researching, advocating, etc.

The results of our efforts? Four open conversations. One distinct truth: ESSA does not reserve itself for public PreK to Career classrooms or educational resources. It encompassses every single citizen in this nation. We tell you HOW in plain terms.

On behalf of Kirsten and Mary, I ask you to share these segments. They are about 20 to 28 minutes each. They are in segments so that you, the Anti Fed Ed/CCSS Warrior, can take listen/watch as your schedule allows. Take what you can and use it LOCALLY. Learn from it and hold fast to the truths revealed on the FEDERAL level.

Segment 1: Workforce Shift in Education embraces all ages and at every educational institution. What’s already in place and what’s about to march into your home towns.
We expose the word games being played on us, as American citizens.

competentdef

Segment 2: Data Mining as New Currency especially impacts all ages at every educational institution to support the ruse of ‘personalized learning’ AND big profits for big businesses as well as your States. 

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Segment 3: The Danger of School Choice again will reveal for you the word games being played out from the federal level on down to your local districts. If you think ‘school choice’ in ESSA will be allowed, listen to the evidence we have uncovered. Control by the CCSS Machine lurks behind those ‘education savings accounts’, too.

sctruth

Segment 4: Local Control/Exclusion of Parents via ESSA is not, at all, what we’ve been led to believe! We’ve all heard and seen the passionate speeches about ESSA returning control to the States. We’ve all seen the States begin to turn in their ‘local’ ESSA plans. We show you HOW every bit of this will remain in the hands of those in the FEDERAL level. In fact, the federal grasp, especially through P3s (public private partnerships), will INCREASE!

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Closing:

Warriors, if you have enjoyed this Series, let us know. Any questions or comments you have should be directed to mblack@fpeusa.org
We are already receiving great (and helpful) feedback from those Anti Fed Ed Warriors who have already viewed them.
Join us, Warriors; we so need to have more discussions centered on researched evidence the mainstream media will not acknowledge.

If there is a topic you would like Kirsten, Mary, and I to address, please, let us know!

hoye

Weekend News: The IES and the ESSA

cookie-cutter-people27
ESSA molding education to become less than what it should be.

In yesterday’s ‘Tech Thursday’ article, I gave you plenty of information about the CCSS Machine’s efforts via the ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act) and digital education. In the ‘Closing’, I assured you we would look at the IES (Institute of Education Sciences) next.
Why? Section 9210 of the ESSA discusses the IES’s role in federal overreach into not only education, but our homes as well.

 

Section 9210, Bottom of Page 943:

In the ESSA Final Conference Report (that is the 1,059 page document; the Final Law Version is 391 pages long), this section is titled “Report on Student Home Access to Digital Learning Resources”. (Lines 14 and 15)
Beginning on Line 16 and ending on Line 20, is the General Statement for this Report. “In General-not later than 18 months after the date of enactment of this Act, the Director of the Institute of Education Sciences shall complete a study on the educational impact of access to digital learning resources outside the classroom.” So what does this mean? Anytime between December 9, 2015 and July 9, 2017 this Study will be conducted!
Lines 21-24 of Page 943 begin the Contents that will be studied. (The Contents description ends near the bottom of Page 944) Below is a summary of these Contents:

1) Analysis of student habits related to digital learning resources outside the classroom.
2) Location of where the resources are.
3) The types of devices and technology used for educational purposes.
4) Barriers students face in accessing digital learning resources outside the classrooms will be identified.
5) Descriptions of challenges students without home internet access face daily.
6) Related challenges to #5 will encompass a student’s ability to complete homework as well as how engaged in the classrooms they are. It will also measure their participation in class.
7) How the challenges of #5 and 6 impact a student’s educator and their instructions.
8) How SEAs and LEAs (State Education Agencies and Local Education Agencies), schools, P3s (Public, private partnerships), and others can develop ways to break down the challenges and barriers of digital learning access outside the classroom.

What follows the Contents of the Study? How the Director of the IES will include the general public in results of the Study. What other groups get the results? The Committee on Education and Workforce (U.S. House) and the HELP (Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions) of the U.S. Senate. Finally, all this data will be shared electronically with the U.S. Dept. of Education and posted to their website.

 

Warriors Against the Core: Do you see the process? Do you realize the implications? Do you recognize the 2 main parties receiving the results (Congress and the Dept. of Ed) are the same ones who help plot and plan the HR5 and the S1177 which were combined to give us the ESSA?!
The HELP, the Ed/Workforce also have their hands on the SLDS (Student Longitudinal Data System from the U.S. Dept. of Ed); are helping oversee the re-authorization of the HEA (Higher Education Act); have access to  the WQDI (Workforce Quality Data Initiative from the U.S. Dept. of Labor); and will now be measuring our students OUTSIDE the schools! So where does this usually point? Homes! After school programs! Will this include their trips to Grandma’s or a favorite hang out location where they meet friends, too? While not specified, the descriptions in the language are so opened ended, it does make you wonder.

If you are a number cruncher, here is what all this looks like in our tax dollars:

ESSAedtech

IES, Up Close:

Well, if the IES will be measuring our students and homes so up close and personal, maybe we should be looking at THEM rather closely.
The website: http://www.ies.gov
The Director: Ruth Neild (her  bio:
https://www.nagb.org/content/nagb/assets/documents/what-we-do/quarterly-board-meeting-materials/2015-08/06-Ruth-Curran-Neild-Bio.pdf)
To see her requirements in conducting research: https://ies.ed.gov/director/sro/legislative.asp

From what I have been able to find, the Study mentioned in the ESSA is not available on the IES website. However, I have been able to find some related documentation which may help us in our War Against CCSS.

For example, the IES is great about granting large sums of money to others in the name of research. I was able to find one such grant given to UCLA back in 2008. The sum? Over 9 million dollars. The name of the grantee, specifically? National Research and Development Center on Instructional Technology: Center for the Advanced of Technology in Schools (NCATS). The money was good for 5 years.
See: https://ies.ed.gov/funding/grantsearch/details.asp?ID=630
Another one was a slightly over one million dollars given to the CAST, Inc. back in 2011 (good for 3 years) and combined technology with the Universal Design for Learning, struggling readers, and more digital learning. See:
https://ies.ed.gov/ncer/projects/results.asp?ProgID=18&InvID=129

I  was also able to find a pdf document where activities for social, emotional, and behavior competencies; student outcomes in school and in life for PreK to Adults are in need of studying, measuring, and researching, especially for virtual learning. See the document:
https://ies.ed.gov/funding/pdf/2016_84305C.pdf

Want to access the ‘Future of Education Technology’ the IES has published?IESfutureedtech
One thing I noticed in relation to this publication was the E-Rate legislation. I wrote about how that is also tied to Common Core in the past (2014). See:  http://preventcommoncore.com/?p=1223
(*Note: This is a huge piece of ‘ammo’ for our cause!)

Want to access the ‘National Education Technology Plan (2016)’ which aligns to the ESSA’s “Effective Use of Technology”? It is from the U. S. Dept. of Education, so no wondering what alignment there may be there, right? See: http://tech.ed.gov/netp/
(*Note: the ESSA language about outside the classroom can best be described in a picture. To see what the U.S. Dept. of Ed has put together:
http://tech.ed.gov/netp/infrastructure/)

If you are curious as to the picture I included showing the dollar amounts for technology in the ESSA, please see the rest of the article, you won’t be disappointed.
http://americanactionforum.org/insights/education-technology-in-the-every-student-succeeds-act

6edtech

Lastly, the recent announcement of the White House Initiative for Computer Science for All? Yep, same agenda, same players from the CCSS Machine, and our tax dollars are joined together to continue the grinding down of our educational system and all those involved!
See: https://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2016/01/30/computer-science-all

Weekend News: HEA (Higher Ed Act) and the ‘Common Core’

States are ensnared in the alignment of education and workforce.
States are ensnared in the alignment of education and workforce.

Greetings, Warriors! What’s the latest on the re-authorization efforts concerning the Higher Education Act, but HOW is the “Common Core” involved? The quick answer is “Career Technical Education”. (what I’ve proven to be the ‘adult version of the K-12 “Common Core Standards”). Another short answer is the ” Initiative behind the entire alignment of education.”

What is Congress up to concerning the education/workforce? We’ve seen what they’ve highlighted so far in the “Student Success Act” and the “Every Child Achieves Act”.  The HEA hasn’t been talked about much lately, that’s true. However, the CCSS Machine (my reference to the entity that involves and surrounds the “Common Core State Standards”), has plenty of plans.

The above image is from Oregon. Does your state have a similar ‘track’ for the aligned “K to Career”? Here’s one from California that is specifically for higher education.
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From Indiana:
inworked

 

From the U.S. House of Representatives:

NC Representative, Virginia Foxx said this back in March, ” In recent years, as the postsecondary student population has changed, many institutions have developed new approaches to delivering higher education, including competency-based curriculums and online classes. The federal government should make every effort to support these innovations, as they have enabled more Americans to earn a degree or certificate faster, with less cost, and without additional disruption to their daily lives.” She then states the following a bit later on, “these pillars will translate into meaningful federal reforms that reflect the evolving needs of students and the workforce.”
To see her entire statement, visit: http://edworkforce.house.gov/newsroom/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=398559

From the entire U.S. House of Representative’s Education and Workforce Committee’s March 2014 Budget and Fiscal Views for 2015, “In critical areas such as early learning, workforce development, and higher education, the Obama administration’s latest budget proposal aims to make an existing maze of programs even more costly and confusing. Spending more money on broken programs will not provide the support our most vulnerable children, workers, and families desperately need. Education and workforce policies are vital to the success of our country and the future prosperity of our citizens. We all want to ensure students receive a quality education and workers acquire the skills necessary to compete in today’s workforce. To achieve these goals, we must abandon the status quo and enact meaningful reforms that lay the groundwork for a stronger, more prosperous nation – without piling more debt on future generations. Throughout the first session of the 113th Congress, the House Education and the Workforce Committee successfully advanced responsible proposals to revamp the nation’s job training system, raise the bar on K-12 education, promote workplace flexibility, and strengthen higher education.

What follows in the rest of the Budget for Fiscal Year 2015, is simply astounding in its support for the “Student Success Act”. As we witnessed, much evidence has been produced to show just HOW embedded the HR5 (Student Success Act) is with the ‘workforce’ agenda which BEGINS in the K-12 portion AND extends to Higher Education! Read the document for yourselves, Edworkforcebudget

From July 2015, a  press release from the Education and the Workforce Committee, headed up by Rep. John Kline, shared the following,  From Rep. Kline, “There is a lot of work to do in the coming months, and I am confident we will be able to craft a bicameral education bill that reduces the federal role, restores local control, and empowers parents and education leaders.” From Sen. Lamar Alexander, “Fifty million children and 3.5 million teachers deserve to get a result, and we should be able to achieve that this fall.” Also speaking up, were Sen. Patty Murray and Rep. Bobby Scott. Murray’s comments included this, “As we head toward conference, I look forward to continuing to improve the final bill to make sure all students have access to a good education.” Scott shared this, ” I stand committed to producing a bipartisan bill that eliminates resource inequities and effectively addresses achievement gaps.” To see the rest of the press release gloating about the greatness of BOTH the HR5 and the S1177, http://edworkforce.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=399220

From the U. S. Senate’s HELP Committee:

HELP is short for “Health, Education, Labor, and, Pensions. This is the committee that’s comparable to the House’s Education/Workforce one. Here’s an excerpt from their homepage on the website, “The HELP Committee is ensuring our country’s workforce is prepared to meet the challenges of the 21st Century through a lifetime of learning for our citizens. We have jurisdiction over various issues related to education and workforce development, including Head Start, the No Child Left Behind Act, Higher Education, the Arts and Humanities, Student Financial Assistance, Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), Job and Vocational Training and the Workforce Investment Act.”

At a July 2015 hearing concerning re-authorizing the HEA, members of the HELP heard from the Lumina Foundation, The Higher Learning Commission, and others.
To see the entire archived hearing, visit: http://www.help.senate.gov/hearings/reauthorizing-the-higher-education-act-exploring-barriers-and-opportunities-within-innovation


Tied to HELP:

Lumina is KNEE DEEP in the CCSS Machine! Here’s the link to my June 2015 article where I exposed Sen. Alexander’s views on the upcoming re-authorization of HEA in a conference featuring Lumina, Gates Foundation, and the National Journal‘s sponsorship. https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/06/11/tech-thursday-more-alexander-hea-and-the-next-america/
Wait, there’s more proof! Here’s my article where I shared how the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) is producing research in support of MORE CCSS alignment between K-12 and post-secondary institutions. Lumina Foundation is among the pro CCSS groups FUNDING the SREB. This article will also give you the other regional education boards as well as other groups helping fund a continued bridge from one educational system to another. See: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/04/25/sic-em-saturday-using-community-colleges-for-more-core/
Lumina also has ‘profiled’ higher education degrees. See: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/04/22/wybi-ccss-supporter-profiling-higher-ed-degrees/ Embedded in this article is the Lumina Foundation statement for alignment of K-12 to Higher Education.

Why so much information on Lumina? During the Senate’s HELP hearing, the president of the Foundation spoke about the 3 most important things to be included in the re-authorization of the HEA. The #1 priority? Building (or redesigning) clear pathways to careers! It’s also important because the president also uses Western Governors University as the most consistent example of higher education CBE (Competency Based Education). I shared with you back in March 2015, how WGU (Western Governors University) is part of the CCSS Machine. See: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/03/13/fom-achieving-cc-aligned-competencies/ The Lumina Foundation’s president also shared this fact, “In fact, more than 30 institutions have formed a nationwide network – the Competency-Based Education Network, or C-BEN – to keep the momentum going. These models are meeting students where they are, recognizing the learning that they’ve already obtained – whether in classrooms, on the job, in the military or through life experience.” You’ll need to see the other things this leader testified about. He includes Starbucks and Arizona State University. Both are pro Common Core/Career Tech Education. See: http://www.help.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/Merisotis.pdf

As far as the Higher Learning Commission, (HLC) and it’s devotion to Common Core/Career Technical Education? We’ll get there in a minute or so. First, though, the HLC is one of 6 regional accreditation organizations spread throughout the USA. Nineteen states are served by the HLC. To see which ones, https://www.hlcommission.org/About-the-Commission/about-hlc.html

Here’s a document where the HLC has an Illinois post-secondary school’s Career Tech Education alignment. The document is one of the HLC’s action projects. See: HLC CTE project
HLC is also the group accrediting a U.S. Army school where Common Core is taught. See:
http://usacac.army.mil/organizations/cace/cgsc/achievement (one of the explanations given for this? “Natural career progression”. (In case you missed it, the U.S. Army has issued a fully supportive CCSS statement. See: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/04/16/tech-thursday-common-core-military-special/)

Related to the HLC is CHEA (Council for Higher Education Accreditation). I exposed how tied to the CCSS/CTE they were back in April 2015. See: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/04/14/ftf-chea-cte-ccss-and-america/

C-BEN:

Access to their website: http://www.cbenetwork.org/
Lumina
is a supporting member of this network. Public Agenda is, too. Public Agenda is known for all kinds of policy reform. Here’s an excerpt about them. “Since 1975, Public Agenda has helped foster progress on K-12 and higher education reform, health care, federal and local budgets, energy and immigration.”

From C-BEN’s resource library, a study by WICHE (Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education). WICHE‘s been awarded a slew of grants for CCSS/CTE work from the Gates Foundation. See: http://www.gatesfoundation.org/How-We-Work/Quick-Links/Grants-Database#q/k=WICHE
New America Foundation
is also among those in the Resources section of C-BEN. How is New America tied to Congress and/or the CCSS Machine? See my two part article set:
https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/06/10/wybi-sen-alexander-the-hea-and-next-america/
AND https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/06/11/tech-thursday-more-alexander-hea-and-the-next-america/

To access the C-BEN’s resources for supporting outcome based education: http://www.cbenetwork.org/resource-library/

One resource you’ll definitely be interested in is the Lumina Foundation/Gallup, Inc. It’s all about the redesigning of higher education WITH competency based education as THE only way to learn. See: http://www.cbenetwork.org/sites/457/uploaded/files/Americas_Call_for_Higher_Education_Redesign.pdf

Closing:

Expect more Competency based education in higher education and the re-authorizing of the Act. Expect MORE CCSS Machine rhetoric for Career Technical versions of the Standards. Expect to see Sen. Lamar Alexander speak in favor of MORE alignment. Lastly, expect this: WE, the opposed to the CCSSI (Common Core State Standards Initiative), WILL NOT STOP FIGHTING!

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:
https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/03/19/tech-thursday-ccss-workforce-pushing-labor-reform/

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.

FTF Tuesday: Competency vs Mastery

It is the 'classic' battle of the educratic words.. competency vs. mastery.
It is the ‘classic’ battle of the educratic words..
competency vs. master

First up, The ‘file’:

I’m focusing today on a ‘file’ that’s full of so many educratic Common Core/College-Career-Readiness buzz phrases, it could start its on fertilizer patch! If you’ve followed me for long, you know I’m one to look behind the words thrown around meant to impress us with how great CCSS is (and all that goes with it). So, today. we’re getting in the ring with this competency vs. mastery!

The blog article is called “Three Key Characteristics of Competency Based Learning” (see: http://blog.blackboard.com/3-key-characteristics-of-competency-based-learning/) The very first sentence states,Competency based learning empowers learners to focus on mastery of valuable skills and knowledge and learn at their own pace.” In all fairness, the author does tell you to use the lexicon guide to understand what competency based learning is. So, I went there. Guess what? There’s no ONE definitive meaning.

So, here’s a clue..since people are so different and there’s no ONE way to constrict competency based learning, WHY BOTHER?? Maybe I’m being too simple minded, but as an educator, I didn’t (still don’t) have time, luxury, or desire to try to adhere to something that has to fit a mold. I certainly will not force my students to adhere to this system of learning. It’s disaster filled. You want a student who can learn at their own pace, look at how Benjamin Franklin achieved this. He was a self-taught person. Thomas Edison..horrid in a traditional school, fabulous in his own setting. Why those who are funding CCSS and running the education of American won’t look at this kind of REAL learning? It will not fit their agenda. So, instead, they seek to conform, relegate, and belittle those in the classrooms.

Words that Confuse, Round One:

“Mastery”, what does THAT mean? Well, as far as the ‘helpful’ lexicon the author refers you to? You have to download it..Come on..be helpful..show me in the article, don’t tout your project and then send me somewhere else! I have enough downloads now! Below, is the American Policy Center’s definition of ‘Outcome Based Education’ otherwise called, ‘Mastery Learning’:

“OBE is not a curriculum. It is an anti-intellectual, highly politicized, psychological process designed to create students who are accepting of and susceptible to control by selected authorities. Successful OBE programs produce students who reject individual goals and achievements in deference to the needs and goals of a group. Student acceptance of individual competitiveness, parental authority and traditional societal structures are seen as barriers to achieving a successful education process. Assessment tests and national standards are established to determine if a student is accepting the new set of attitudes, values and beliefs.  Concerns for academic achievement are never considered in the OBE process.  LEARNING: a change in behavior which persists. Under the OBE behavior-modification system, a child is said to be learning when assessment tests show that he/she has begun to succumb to and accept the predetermined set of values and outcomes prescribed and preset in the OBE process.   Where once a student answered “white,” but now says “gray,” the OBE process says he/she is beginning to learn. Soon he/she will answer “black” and the education establishment will declare that the student has “mastered” his/her “core subjects,” ready to add to the “Goals 2000″ 90% graduation statistic to prove how the new education process is working.” (if you’d like to read the rest of the article: http://americanpolicy.org/1999/03/29/how-to-understand-the-double-speak-of-the-educrats/)

The Dictionary, Round Two:

When in doubt, turn to the dictionary!! My personal favorite is my old, beat up Random House Collegiate one. (I’ve seen the updated versions; ghastly in their rewritten, modern forms) So, just WHAT does the dictionary say ‘competency’ is? Adequate, sufficient; certain minimum requirements of age, soundness of mind, citizenship, and the like.”

‘Mastery’, according to the dictionary, “The state of being a master {person with ability, power to use, control or dispose of something}; power of command or control. Command or grasp, as in a subject. Expert skill and knowledge.”

‘Empower’, “To give power or authority. To permit or enable.”

Closing thoughts, Final Round:

Now, go back and apply this to the opening sentence: It should sound something like this:Sufficient,  minimum requirements enable  learners to focus on being a master while complying.”  

From this context, the rest of article is a mass of mixed messages. Very few true masters of anything were minimal. Take DaVinci, he was 24/7, full throttle..wide open. Now, imagine someone like him under the constraints of Competency Based Learning. He’d probably be out the door (if not dead) in less than a week. Filter the rest of the article with this in mind. Especially when you get to all the practical, buy-in, everyone wins part.

When did education become so much about ‘buy ins’, ‘leverage’, ‘lowering’, and collective? Those who support the Common Core, seem to be wholeheartedly behind this OBE, Competency based learning.  Look, at not just this article, but others like it. Talk is big about how great it all is, the students can learn SO much..and at their own pace. If you’ve not seen the pattern yet, there’s not much time, desire, or energy left for ‘individualized learning’ in this model.

You either want a student to succeed at his or her best or you don’t. You cannot have a student be both competent based AND mastery based. It’s either setting the bar too low or teasing them. To be competent, you only have to meet the standard, to be an master takes years of hard work. Look at any expert down through the ages..they weren’t awarded ‘mastery’, they toiled for it. Common Core will not give us real masters in education. If it did, why are the Standards written by those who are competent in education? No real expert or master of education stands behind them! You want sub-standards in education, CCSS gives you some ‘bang up’ models then! You want real mastery in education, keep looking..Common Core has set our students up for failing..for just getting by..for minimalist ‘education’ as prescribed by someone else that will not help your student be THEIR own person, nor be THEIR best!

CommonCore-Equal-Fail

Tongue-in-cheek assessment of Competency Based Learning, The Knock Out Punch:

There’s an old phrase, the educrats seem to have laid aside, “Jack of all trades, master at none.” Who wants to be THAT person? Who wants their students to be THAT person?? I don’t! It’s time to stop the falsehoods, folks. Let’s get back to real education in America.