Tag Archives: Critical Thinking Company

FTF: Crossing into CCSS Land

Every noticed a subject so important yet so not discussed properly?
Every noticed a subject so important yet so not discussed properly?

Sometime in the last 2 weeks I promised you, my readers and followers, that I’d get back to looking into where CCSS/CTE hides in plain sight among us. Today, I’ll pick that trail back up. It’s a very important aspect of the CCSS Machine we shouldn’t ignore.

If you’ll recall, I’d just been to an educational conference which was targeting home educators. (see the original article:
https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/06/16/terrific-tuesday-anti-ccss-news/ 
) In the original article, I shared with you the grabs for attention marketers use to draw in folks from ALL educational choice avenues. Remember, those avenues could be a private charter, a public-private charter, a virtual school, a private school, a homeschool, or a faith-based school.

While the advertising may not always shout “Common Core” or “Common Core related”, look beyond the slick sales pitch and “Boom!” there you find it. UGH! What’s an anti CCSS Warrior to do? Get informed, show others, and help beat the CCSS Machine’s propaganda. The remainder of today’s article will look at some other curricula sources with CCSS  ties.

Why Would Companies Want to Be Overt?:

This is a question I’ve asked myself a million times. Especially considering how many companies know they can reach those in private education (which, in my current state of residence {NC}, includes home education). I firmly believe it has a two-fold purpose: a) makes the company more profitable b) feeds the lie that somehow those students who aren’t using CCSS tied resources will be left out, fall behind, or not measure up. What a crock of CCSS crap! (pardon my language, please)

“The Critical Thinking Company” (http://www.criticalthinking.com/full-curriculum):

A long-time trusted resource for many who choose to educate outside the traditional public schools. They’ve also thrown their hat into the CCSS ring. Here’s a portion of their statement:
“The skills and concepts taught in our products are the result of our surveys of state and national educational standards. We will continue to avoid any topic in any set of standards that is overtly political. We firmly believe it is not our place to attempt to influence the politics or values of any student. Most Common Core Standards are already found in various state standards, but the list of Common Core Standards is not complete. Since a large number of states (45) have signed on to Common Core Standards, The Critical Thinking Co. will now include Common Core Standards in its broad survey of state and national standards to determine the skills and concepts taught in each grade level subject, but we will not base our products solely on any one set of standards.”

Warrior Warning: Critical thinking is NOT in its purest form in the Common Core Standards. Research and proof of this is available. There are alternatives to Common Core with critical thinking that ARE in a pure form. Don’t be fooled by the CCSS Machine’s weak argument that ‘critical thinking’ via the Standards is worthy.

“Kumon Learning Centers” (http://www.kumon.com/resources/kumon-and-the-common-core/):

Kumon’s website tells you they aren’t necessarily aligning to the CCSS, but they are certainly in the game of augmenting it. See for yourselves with their statement on literature: “With over 50 years of experience, Kumon is internationally benchmarked and contains the elements essential for studying college-level calculus and advanced literary texts such as Shakespeare. The Common Core aims to be internationally benchmarked, has a broad array of learning goals and shares many core competencies such as proficiency in advanced algebra and understanding Shakespeare.

Warrior Warning: Research and proof have shown how Shakespeare are advanced algebra are used in Common Core. 

“Learning By Grace” an Online Homeschool, (http://www.learningbygrace.org/):

This is indeed one of the trickiest brochures I’ve seen. If you aren’t super observant, the highly identifiable logos of PearsonMacGraw-Hill, or, the many others there will go unnoticed..and that’s, I believe, the plan of the those running the CCSS Machine. Here’s a screen shot to show you.

Be sure to enlarge this one.
Be sure to enlarge this one.

(*Note: Let me pause here to point out that not only are these resources available to home educators, but in some cases these are used in private schools, private charters, or by those in the more traditional education choices as extra curricular resources. When it comes to Common Core, we must investigate the resources carefully!)

Funcation Academy, (www.funcationacademy.com):

This one is very puzzling to me. The flyer I received said absolutely nothing about Common Core. The website has almost no information about the Standards, that is easily seen. The mission statement certainly doesn’t tell you anything that would be identifiable as CCSS related. However, visit the virtual academy and slowly the CCSS begins to appear. For example in the ‘enrichment programs’ you’ll see the “IReady” program. “IReady” is from Curriculum Associates. CA is most definitely CCSS aligned. The “Funcation” site is based in FL, however, the Curriculum Associates page I’m providing as proof of evidence for CCSS alignment features NC (North Carolina). See the below link for Curriulum’s proof:  http://www.curriculumassociates.com/products/ready-north-carolina-overview.aspx#.VYit3_lViko

See “Funcation’s Enrichment” page:
http://funcationacademy.wix.com/favirtualcampus#!enhancement-program/c1t8g

Lastly, for Funcation’s information, you’ll want to see what the owner of the Academy says about Common Core.
Here’s a quote from a conversation she was involved in in 2014,
“I am aware that each state has a different curriculum. I personally love CCSS. I was just speaking to why some might be resistant because not all states have figured out their curriculum. I fully understand the difference between the curriculum and standards and I am glad it is working in your state.”
To see the entire context of the conversation, see: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/08/18/ednext-2014-survey_n_5688376.html (*NOTE: the conversation is in the “Comments to Article” section)

Warrior warning: Are you spotting how purposefully the CCSS is being hidden by these companies?

“Logic of English” (www.logicofenglish.com):
When I spied the booth for this company, even the slogan used caused me to wonder about the connection to CCSS. “Combining the Science of Reading with the Joy of Learning”.  Once on the website, the suspicions were confirmed. In the K-1st grades, a program of theirs called “Foundations” is 100% aligned to the Common Core. Don’t take my word for it, read theirs, Foundations takes children from non-readers to independent readers over the course of three engaging and multi-sensory levels of language arts instruction. The curriculum meets the Common Core standards for Kindergarten and First Grade.” If want to see the 160 lessons with the CCSS strands by number: https://www.logicofenglish.com/schools/common-core

Warrior warning, I spotted a comment from a charter school employee. Proof these companies aren’t just for one educational choice.

Are There Others Out There?:

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