Tag Archives: Condolezza Rice

Do You Know This GA?

Sure, we Anti CCSS/Fed Ed Warriors know there are General Assemblies of all kinds. We have them in our communities, our legislatures, and even global ones. But, did you know there is a CCSS Machine ‘General Assembly’ group?

How I Found Them:

As an avid researcher, it is easy to find one group when investigating another group. Add in an educational topic, and the groups appear to be not only tied at the hip, but plentiful.
My latest ‘connect the dots’ findings come from when I was looking into WhiteBoard Advisors and found General Assembly, a Global Educational Group.

In case you missed my Weekend News, my third point in the publication was to point you to the WhiteBoard Advisors and their May 2016 Education Insiders Report. I noticed in several instances on the W/A (as they refer to themselves) website, General Assembly was brought up. Thinking it meant that the W/A had a General Assembly (GA), I tried to find out who serves on it. However, what I found instead was the linkage between the two separate groups. All in the name of education reform, to boot! While there will be plenty to share about W/A in the near future, I will be using the rest of my Monday Musings to look at the General Assembly Educational Group.

The General Assembly:

galogoThe website: https://generalassemb.ly/
The Co-Founders: Matt Brimer and Jake Schwartz

Their message: General Assembly (GA) is a global educational company on a mission to empower a global community to pursue work they love. Focusing on the most relevant and in-demand skills across data, design, business and technology, GA is confronting a skills gap through best-in-class instruction and providing access to opportunities. GA works with students online and in person across 15 campuses in 4 continents. GA also works with companies as partners in course development and graduate placement as well as helps companies stay competitive in today’s digital landscape. Additionally, GA’s focus on affordable and accessible education combined with our education-to-employment approach is helping to create a diverse talent pipeline.”

Warriors, do you see the CCSS Machine agenda? I do!

GA’s tie to the WhiteBoard Advisors is the Sr. Vice President and Co-Director of Research for W/A, David DeSchryver. See below:

daviddes

To see the rest of DeSchryver’s bio: http://www.whiteboardadvisors.com/david-deschryver

To access the Beyond Bootcamps Report: General_Assembly_Beyond_Bootcamps_Policy_Report

What in the Report is of note?
1) Former Governor for NC, Bev Purdue (also a Senior Advisor for W/A) wrote the Forward in the Report. Bev Purdue, is a ‘card carrying member’ of the CCSS Machine. (*Note: her company DigiLearn is proof.)
2) The Report is from 2015.
3) It gives a ‘Top Ten’ list of policy making considerations to boost state and local economies via skill based education.
4) Both authors (DeSchryver and Kelly) are tied to other CCSS Machine member organizations. Kelly is tied to the Gates Foundation funded Education Week; DeSchryver has been in the thick of education reform since the NCLB (No Child Left Behind) days.
5) The Report falsely carries the notion of the ‘skills gap’ (*Note: I have shared documented evidence with you in the past that the skills gap is narrative of panic the CCSS Machine is using to further their involvement of workforce based, P3 (public private partnership) driven education.)
6) Cities are giving grants to GA to come and operate there. An example is New York City and can be seen on page 6. (A related NYC article: http://www.businessinsider.com/hustle-con-presentations-on-startups-from-nerdwallet-teespring-general-assembly-thirdlove-2015-4)
7) The Report details how GA is helping transform America’s economy.
8) GA is working with an official from the  U.S. Dept. of Ed to help accelerate learning.
9) The Report details how all this will be regulated in various States. Usually either the Workforce Training or the Higher Education Committees.
10) Employers are expected to not only be clear about their workforce needs, but to help in the credentialing process for education.
Lastly, of the Top Ten priorities for state and local policy makers? Outcomes! Not true education, but outcomes of our students…of all ages!

What organizations have invested in GA? In 2014, the following:
GSV Capital, Rethink Education, Maveron, and Western Technology Investment also participated, and GA’s funding now totals $49.3 million.” See: http://techcrunch.com/2014/03/07/general-assembly-raises-35m-led-by-new-investor-ivp-to-add-more-tech-courses-new-campuses/

In 2015, more investors jumped on the GA Bandwagon: “Our new investors are Advance Publications and Wellington Capital Management LLPSee: http://techcrunch.com/2015/09/30/general-assembly-raises-70-million-closing-in-on-25000-alumni-worldwide/

More Nebulous Connections:

From the list above, you may (or may not) see any further CCSS Machine connections. However, there are a couple which really stand out to me, GSV Capital and Rethink Education. In a short sentence, GSV is tied to the CCSS Machine through investments.
Rethink Education is tied back to W/A (WhiteBoard Advisors) via Ben Wallerstein, one of the co-founders. That said, let’s see what else I can point you to about each of THESE CCSS Machine member organizations.

GSV Capital: I first exposed this group by in 2014. See my article:
https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/09/16/from-the-files-tuesday-down-in-the-valley/
In this article, I showed you the ‘GSV’ in GSV Capital stands for Global Silicon Valley. The Capital’s goal? Re-imagining education…we are talking well-known heavy hitting big name CCSS Machine members are involved; we’re looking at least $4 trillion dollars in the global education market, Warriors! We are also looking at how this group wants to eliminate school boards in the process. To see where in the list of priorities THIS bombshell is, be sure to enlarge the picture when you read the above article.

Okay, that was 2014, what about GSV Capital has changed? From their Blog titled A2Apple,
“While there was plenty of competition for “mindshare”, last week we co-hosted the seventh annual ASU GSV Summit in San Diego, a gathering of leaders from across the global innovation economy with the mission of accelerating exponential ideas in education and talent. We welcomed over 3,500 entrepreneurs, educators, business leaders, policymakers, and investors, as well as 350 game-changing presenting companies.” (*Note: ASU is short for AZ State University, another well known CCSS Machine member.) See the screen shot below from the Blog.

GSVGates
Yes, Warriors, we knew Gates would be involved somehow. To read the rest of the article where both the excerpt and the picture are from: http://www.a2apple.com/change-your-mind/ (*Note: be sure to scroll down and see the pictures of the other speakers. Among them are Ted Mitchell, of the U.S. Dept. of Ed. and Dr. Condoleezza Rice of the Jeb Bush-backed FEE (Foundation for Excellence in Education. Be sure to look at the rhetoric and the research sources.)

By visiting the GSV Capital’s Strategy webpage, be sure you read the Making Private Public section to see where education comes into play. See:
http://gsvcap.com/about/strategy-purpose/

Rethink Education:
The website for this education venture investment firm: http://rteducation.com/
Tying them back to the W/A group is WhiteBoard Advisor co-founder, Jake Schwartz.(*Note: he can be found among the Rethink Education Portfolio Investors.)

Also among the Rethink Education folks, is Tom Segal, one of the co-founders. He is regularly featured on EdSurge (another CCSS Machine member). Tom also posts blog entries on the Rethink Education website. His entry about the beginning of Rethink is worth noting. Why? Both co-founders have a long history of ties to CCSS Machine connected entities, like Head Start and CUNY (NY). I have tied both of these back to the Machine in previous articles. As far as EdSurge’s ties: One of the Board members represents GSV Capital!
To see the beginning of Rethink Educationhttp://rteducation.com/where-we-came-from/
To see the GSV Capital Board member: http://about.edsurge.com/board/ (*Note: When you read Matt Hanson’s bio, be sure to see where it mentions he is also tied to GA, as in the General Assembly Global Education group!) 

To read a related article about Rethink Education and how it is a great new thing for education to be incentivized by private groups: https://www.edsurge.com/news/incentivizing-innovation-in-education-or-a-role-for-for-profits-in-education

Closing:
Warriors, do you see the nebulous ties above? It is insane how these groups are so closely in-bred. Not only are we having to fight the federal and state levels of government over Common Core and all that goes with it, but we have a plethora of private groups strangling our voices! Our governments and our schools should NOT have ANY private investors except the parents! By this, I am not talking investing money, but parents investing with their hearts because they are simply trying to do the best for their students. ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act), WIOA (Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act), and the HEA (Higher Education Act) mock us. The P3s mock us. The CCSS Machine not only mocks us, but is doing its best to silence us!

Be sure to note that I will continue to delve into this subject and report what I uncover. I will also be exposing more about WhiteBoard Advisors soon.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

An update to the CRS from November 2014:

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

Notes:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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