Tag Archives: Curmudgucation

State Digital Education

knewtondigital

Anti CCSS Warriors, if you have seen my last two articles, then you know the ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act) has mandates for digital education embedded, a massive and invasive data collection study in the works and more.
But what about the digital education push from your state’s level?In case you haven’t read the articles, please note both are very detailed, so be sure you take your time reading them. Today’s is also jam packed, but it it imperative we read and share!

Thursday’s Article: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2016/02/04/essa-and-digital-overload/
This Past Weekend’s Article: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2016/02/05/weekend-news-the-ies-and-the-essa/

 

The U.S. Dept. of Ed’s Latest Propaganda:

In preparing for this article, I stumbled upon the U.S. Dept. of Ed’s latest Twitter video. It fits right into today’s question concerning the state levels for digital education. What a slick sales pitch for College/Career Readiness AND digital learning!
See:

https://amp.twimg.com/v/dcb95af5-160a-47b5-a48a-5a293dfe2e18

Now that you have watched the video, look at this screen shot (also from the Knewton Presentation seen above).
facilitatedigitalIf you would like to see the entire Knewton Presentation, see:
https://www.knewton.com/infographics/the-state-of-digital-education-infographic/
(*Note: Knewton is hardly anti-CCSS or for that matter, anti-ANYTHING that goes with them.)

See:
1) http://curmudgucation.blogspot.com/2014/03/who-puts-scary-in-pearson-meet-knewton.html

2) Access this YouTube video from my fellow anti CCSS Warrior, Nicole Revels:

So, What’s in Your State?

The video above was specific to an NC meeting. However, look at the information presented, it doesn’t stop at the NC state lines! The data mining, digital education tie is in ALL 50 States! So where do you look to find the amounts of money, people, and legislation allowing all this to happen? How will the newly passed ESSA law (with all its digital education mandates) change all this already in place?

1) State Policy Network (SPN) claims their digital education toolkit is the best available. However, I tend to see their toolkit as a subjective view NOT an objective one. Why? First, look at the toolkit’s main page and you will see an embedded video from KIPP ( a very big CCSS Machine member) See my previously published article: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/12/18/tech-thursday-the-latest-faux-pas-in-education-workforce/
Then, check out the Gates Foundation Grant Database, where KIPP has been generously awarded money for alignment to all things CCSS: http://www.gatesfoundation.org/How-We-Work/Quick-Links/Grants-Database#q/k=KIPP
The KIPP connection is but one clue the SPN Toolkit is subjective. There is more:
See: http://nonprofitquarterly.org/2013/11/14/corporate-money-in-network-of-right-wing-state-policy-think-tanks/

There are 5 goals the SPN states as to WHY digital education is so vital today. You can see the excerpt, “Evaluate students (based on what they know, not how long they are in a place);
Certify and evaluate teachers (based on how well they teach what they know, not the credentials obtained); Evaluate courses and materials (based on state standards); Provide access (instead of getting in the way); and Pay for all of it (with proper accountability).”
To see the entire Toolkit: http://www.spn.org/digital_education/

2) SETDA and the Friday Institute have a June 2015 report detailing the 50 States and Digital Education. Before we look at it, however, consider that BOTH are also Pro-CCSS/CCR/CTE (Common Core State Standards, College and Career Readiness, Career Tech Education) See: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/05/15/fom-sbac-and-parcc-revisited/
Then: http://ladyliberty1885.com/2015/08/30/possibly-the-most-arrogant-and-insulting-common-core-article-ive-seen-in-a-while/

According the the 2015 Report, there are 5 States heralded as leaders in digital education:
Alabama, North Carolina, Utah, Indiana, and Kentucky. There are also 5 main components of digital education every State will have, thanks to ESSA.
5digital
As I have shared with you in past 2 articles detailing the digital mandates in ESSA, the Infrastructure will be one of the biggest clues as to where to look in your State. What are the plans for better internet in your area? Are your service providers upgrading their systems? Has your state recently passed legislation for Rural Education funding? There are other similar questions for you to ask.

To access the June 2015 Report (where just below this screen shot you will see the descriptions of how each of the 5 goals will be obtained): DigitalLearningExemplars_June2015

As an example of legislation passed, here in NC, to support digital learning, read this excerpt from the Report, “State Law 2013-12 requires the North Carolina
Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI) to assist districts in the transition from textbooks to digital materials by 2017. These materials must be effective for all learners and align with the curriculum and standards. Such a law promotes progress toward some level of digital learning statewide.” What if you don’t live in one of the 5 States mentioned as leaders? The Report will also detail all the other States and where they are in the path of mass alignment.

Since AL is considered to be the #1 leader in the shift to digital education, see this article about the Governor pushing for more fiber optic connections throughout the State:
http://www.centerdigitaled.com/k-12/Alabama-Governor-Pushes-Fiber-Optic-Cables-for-Schools.html

If you would like to see how SETDA is modernizing the E-rate in your State, see:
http://www.setda.org/priorities/equity-of-access/e-rate-modernization/

So Where in ESSA are the Libraries?

Based on the ESSA Final Conference Report (I shared the document with you in the Thursday article mentioned above), here are page numbers concerning digital education and libraries:
1) Page 138, school libraries and their programs to be updated to digital
2) Page 323, school libraries and their programs must offer digital courses to all school leaders
3) Page 343, school libraries and their programs to lead all school employees in digitally led courses as part of ‘safe schools’
4) Page 384, possible U.S. Dept. of Ed Secretary awarded grants for school libraries and digital led programming
5) 387, all libraries (school or public) are included, with museums, non-profits, and post-secondary educational instututions
6) Page 515, after school programs via extended public library services/hours
7) Page 1,000, authorizes the LSTA (Library Services and Technology Act) grant money to be used for technology upgrades and/or purchases for digital education for all
8) Page 1,037, embeds the Museum and Library Services Act, MLSA

 

 Related Information:

Kipp has partnered with several post-secondary institutions in America to continue the CCSS Machine’s alignment. See:
http://www.kipp.org/our-approach/kipp-through-college/college-partnerships

The Gates Foundation-friendly Education Week has an article you will need to access as well. It deals with the E-rate legislation (a federal level law which impacts all 50 States) and its role in digital education. See: http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/DigitalEducation/2015/10/e-rate_application_toolkit.html
In contrast, I wrote an anti CCSS Warrior article about the E-rate legislation back in 2014 for Prevent Common Core’s website. See: http://preventcommoncore.com/?p=1223

The Federal Learning Registry is slam full of massive data mining via digital education.
See: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/01/12/monday-musings-assessments-data-mining/

SETDA’s role in ridding the world of printed textbooks:
https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/11/01/sic-em-saturday-creatively-turning-the-usa-common/

For LSTA (Library Services and Technology Act) see my previously published article:
https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/10/27/monday-musings-hitting-the-books/

For how much MLSA (Museum and Library Services Act) grant money your State has been awarded, see:
https://www.imls.gov/grants/grants-states


 

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Monday Musings: Supportive Acts to Back the Initiative

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

Much has been written lately about the S1787 (Senate Bill 1787) which is to continue to implementation/support of the ‘Community Schools’ overhaul.  This means, the neighborhood schools you know as they are NOW will be laced with the Common Core Initiative (meaning it will be not just the Standards being embedded,  but ALL the other resources identified as part of the agenda BEHIND all this alignment. In practical terms, this means: one one stop community place where everyone will go for everything they need government wise. It’s a social justice makeover for your towns. The biggest insult to us as citizens? This is all done in the name of education reform!

Don’t believe what I’m saying?! There are many credible pieces of evidence available to prove out my statement. (for example, Charlotte Iserbyt’s resource: http://abcsofdumbdown.blogspot.com/2015/03/21st-century-schools.html) Try Anita Hoge’s resource, http://abcsofdumbdown.blogspot.com/2014/06/the-school-of-hub.html

This screen shot is from Mrs. Hoge’s article and is a copy of an actual document!

How is the "Community School" makeover thriving? "Promise Neighborhoods".
How is the “Community School” makeover thriving? “Promise Neighborhoods”.

If you missed my “Weekend News” posted yesterday, the “Women on the Wall” Conference Call went into this subject of 21st Century Community Learning Centers to some degree. The subject also was discussed on the “Negdog Radio” interview. Here’s the link to both:
https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/08/16/weekend-news-anti-common-core-media-files/

To access my previously published expose of the “Community Schools”, see:
https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/06/19/fom-a-new-ccs-coalition-for-community-schools/

What I’ve Found About S1787:

Not to repeat the excellent in-depth writing of those who’ve targeted this particular bill, (links will be posted below) I wanted to share with you what I found. All of the bills (S1787 and the others mentioned are amendments to the re-authorization of the ESEA (Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965).

1) The Bill is ‘in Committee’ (This means it is being looked over by the HELP Committee (Health, Education, Labor, and, Pensions Committee). In case you aren’t familiar with HELP, the committee was key to the passage of the Senate’s re-authorization of the ESEA (Elementary and Secondary Act of 1965) known as “Every Child Achieves Act”.
2) Related in some way to S1787, are currently 6, 260 OTHER bills! (This means that there are many angles to pulling together education reform from a federal level and there’s obviously mulitple bills to cover those overreaches.) Among the related bills? BOTH the “Student Success Act” (HR 5) and the “Every Child Achieves Act” (S1177).
3) Directly related is the “Promise Neighborhoods Act of 2015”, H2882 written and sponsored by Rep. Payne of NJ. The Senate has their version (same name) sponsored by Sen. Murphy (CT). Payne’s version has 20 co-sponsors; Murphy’s has 5. Payne’s version is currently in the House’s Education and Workforce Committee; Murphy’s is in the HELP committee’s hands. What the alarm should be about either of these: a) they are updated versions of previously introduced legislation from past sessions of Congress b) they support a federal program ALREADY in place. (See: http://www2.ed.gov/programs/promiseneighborhoods/index.html) According to the U.S. Dept. of Ed’s “Promise Neighborhoods” page, the following is already in place:

“Promise Neighborhoods, established under the legislative authority of the Fund for the Improvement of Education Program (FIE), provides funding to support eligible entities, including (1) nonprofit organizations, which may include faith-based nonprofit organizations, (2) institutions of higher education, and (3) Indian tribes. The vision of the program is that all children and youth growing up in Promise Neighborhoods have access to great schools and strong systems of family and community support that will prepare them to attain an excellent education and successfully transition to college and a career. The purpose of Promise Neighborhoods is to significantly improve the educational and developmental outcomes of children and youth in our most distressed communities, and to transform those communities by a) Identifying and increasing the capacity of eligible entities that are focused on achieving results for children and youth throughout an entire neighborhood;  b) Building a complete continuum of cradle-to-career solutions of both educational programs and family and community supports, with great schools at the center; c) Integrating programs and breaking down agency “silos” so that solutions are implemented effectively and efficiently across agencies; d) Developing the local infrastructure of systems and resources needed to sustain and scale up proven, effective solutions across the broader region beyond the initial neighborhood; and, e) Learning about the overall impact of the Promise Neighborhoods program and about the relationship between particular strategies in Promise Neighborhoods and student outcomes, including through a rigorous evaluation of the program.”
4) Another directly related bill to the “Community Schools” overhaul is S412 “Schools Utilizing Comprehensive and Community Engagement for Success” by Sen. Mikulski (MD) This bill has one co-sponsor and is the the HELP’s hands as well. It’s  based off the “Judy Centers” success Maryland has experienced. Here’s an excerpt from the bill,Integrated services and comprehensive supports, such as before school, after school, and summer activities, family engagement, health and mental services, and other services and supports, are necessary components of effective, school-based efforts to dramatically affect dropout prevention rates, increase graduation rates, and improve student achievement. In one national study, 98 percent of students receiving such services and supports stayed in school, 89 percent had fewer suspensions, and 85 percent of such students who were eligible high-school seniors graduated. Through the Judith P. Hoyer Centers, or Judy Centers, the State of Maryland has operated an integrated services and comprehensive supports model geared towards young children, and their families, and have seen remarkable increases in school readiness among children who enter kindergarten having attended a Judy Center.”

To learn more about “Judy Centers” (be sure you note the Kindergarten Assessment), see:
http://www.judycenter.com/

5) H718, “Supporting Community Schools Act of 2015”, sponsored by Rep. Honda (CA) is also directly related to the all the communal alignment efforts. It’s a ‘recycled’ bill (meaning it has shown up in previous Congressional sessions), it has 7 and is being reviewed by the  Early Childhood, Elementary and Secondary Education Committee. This is a sub-committee of the House’s Education and Workforce Committee.  What we need to know about this one is laid out in the “Congressional Findings”. (in other words, what they’ve deemed as worthy of creating legislation for) The excerpt:

The community school model effectively leverages multiple education funding streams, which results in greater resources for a school. Community schools increase and sustain capacity through diversified financial support and leverage, on average, 3 dollars from private and other sources for every 1 dollar of State funding provided to the schools. According to Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, for every dollar spent on community schools, the United States is getting back 5, 6, or 7 dollars from the business community, nonprofit organizations, social service agencies, and State and Federal governments.  According to Linda Darling-Hammond, the Charles DuCommon Professor of Education at Stanford University, community schools, which make local schools the hub of education and health services for children and families, have proven to be highly successful and are cost effective and replicable. Community schools are a force for development and stability that strengthens families and communities, and such schools offer childcare and early learning, family literacy and job-training, tutoring and enrichment before and after school, and on-site health clinics.”

Are There More Like These?

Absolutely! I’ll be looking into some of the others over the next week or so. What we, the opposed to the overhauling of our communities via the collective mindset of the CCSS Machine (or the Common Core State Standards Initiative), need to do is contact Congress BEFORE they head back to D.C. Why?! When these leaders are at home, they are more accessible. It is easier to gain an audience with them.

As you can see, each of these bills is laced time and time again with some of the same folks we’ve seen responsible for the educational nightmare we’re in; we’ve seen reform from the public-private partnerships now being supported by legislation which could become the law of the land; we see the same agenda points of rigor, assessments, college and career readiness, and more from these few bills above. While the statistics show some of these are facing a slight chance of passage, ANY of these bills could be easily promoted IF we do nothing.

Access to the articles about S1787:
https://whatiscommoncore.wordpress.com/
http://curmudgucation.blogspot.com/2015/07/christies-education-truth-gap.html

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?