Tag Archives: curriculum

Disastrous Course

Anti Fed Ed Warriors, I’m changing things up a bit today. Rather than give you tons of resources exposing more CCSS Machine (Common Core State Standards) involvement than we EVER thought could be possible; I want to leave some hard hitting questions before you. When I first began thinking about all I’ve seen and connected for you this past week, I wanted to name this article “To Hell in a Handbasket”, it certainly fits.
However, I know some folks may not understand that this old-as-time phrase means ‘on your way to a disastrous course’.

Warriors, WE ARE on such a course!

usbasket

I urge you to talk about these questions among your family members, close and extended. I urge you to talk at your neighborhood get-together events, at school meetings or parents nights.

Most importantly, I urge you to petition your pastor, reverend, preacher, deacon, or any other church leader you know. Try to do this ASAP.
We’ve got work to do!

*Remember, just because ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act) exists DOES NOT mean we are free of Common Core and all that goes with it!

essaumbrella
A Bit of Context:

Why would I ask you to contact clergy members where education is concerned? After all hasn’t our government protected us from the ‘separation of church and state’?

Yes and no. We know the ‘separation of church and state’ was embedded in our Constitutional amendments. We also know that the context Jefferson meant was different. However, I’m not debating Jefferson’s meaning.

I using how the federal government has applied the separation when it comes to education and religious activity.  Because the federal government has split hairs over the topic, we’re definitely seeing an overreach into faith based education.
 Look below:

separatechurchstate
               
However, due to the ‘hair splitting’ the overreach into ALL education also risks our freedoms, even in religion.

Churches are told to stay out of the ‘State’s business’, but the “State” isn’t as respectful when the tables are turned.

clear-as-mud-1

Questions To Ponder/Discuss:
1) Why are our churches and/or religious based publishing groups supporting the CCSS Machine?

2) Why is the government allowed into churches or faith based organizations, especially in the name of education?

3) Are there groups which oppose one type of religion and have used laws to insert their choice of religious activity ‘instead of’ OR ‘in addition to’?

4) Since the 14th Amendment has been so connected to the 1st Amendment, why are more clergy members NOT helping guide their congregations AWAY from federally led education?

One Point:
1) If we all do not speak up, and loudly, we will lose our nation at the hands of outside forces THROUGH education. We cannot rely on a select few when so many of us are opposed.

Evidence to support Qs 1-4:
Q1) How can we expect future generations to
discern where P3s (Public Private Partnerships) aka “Blending Finances” are when they are helping the CCSS Machine with co-operation like this?

groupalign

Q2) Consider the government funds given to churches and/or their education programs for immigrants. This is a huge overreach into private education embedding extremely secular curriculum.

Q3) The After School Satan Clubs were successfully implemented when Satanists protested their First Amendment rights were being denied. The tie between the Clubs and the UN (United Nations) is spooky, indeed.

Q4) Back in 2015, Christianity Today published a pro-CCSS embracing church instilling the illegally based standards into VBS (Vacation Bible Schools). In 2016 I showed you a VA based church’s VBS where STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and, Math) was a part of the overreach between church and state. *Note: STEM is a tool of the UN’s SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) in American education as well as our entire lives.

Closing:

Warriors, this doesn’t even come close to fully addressing the problem of state overreach into private education. Remember, David Coleman’s presence in education has been embraced by the Catholics.
Churches around the nation are opening their doors for STEM after school programs. All the while NO ONE bats an eye at the egregiousness of illegally based education darkening the halls of institution where honesty is a commandment.

Even if you are not a Christian, the blurring of lines between government and families is dangerous. If you are a homeschooling family (exercising religious freedom or secular), curriculum and assessments slam full of Common Core has been thrust upon your family. Yet, very few of our leaders seem to care.

https://youtu.be/-yNIGRDv-Cg

“Don’t be surprised!” Be vigilant, Warriors!

“Anthracnose” in Education?

Anti Fed Ed Warriors, maybe you’ve heard of ‘anthracnose’. It’s a fungus which attacks olives.

Why in the world would I share this with you? Warriors, we’ve known for a long time the symbol for the UN (United Nations) contains olive branches. In the Bible, olive branches were used as a symbol for peace.

blue-un-logo-vectorised-md

In a twisted manner, the UN has taken that same symbol and used it as a way to promote peace in It’s version.

Warriors, if you’ve followed my blog, you know how many times I’ve connected the UN to the CCSS Machine as well as how demonic the agenda from the UN is. (*Note: several other Warriors have uncovered much about the UN’s agenda showing up in American education, too. One of these Warriors, Alex Newman, is, in my opinion, right up ‘there’ in knowledge about this. Also, my friend, Tom DeWeese’s article about the push for global education in America was one of those ‘sparks beneath my feet’ moments back in 2009.)

An “Anthrancial” Bill In Congress:

Warriors, if you’ve not heard of HR 1111 (Department of Peacebuilding Act of 2017), don’t feel bad. I’d not heard of it either, until I did a general search on Congress.gov for ‘teachers’.

HR1111
The Feb. 2017 article


How Education Fits into HR 1111:

In this 43 page Bill, ‘education’ is embedded 34 times. Below is a list of those ties to American classrooms.

Page 2 is part of the index to HR 1111. It mentions peace education training.
Page 6 cites the UN’s Action on a Culture of Peace.
Page 11 embeds ‘nonviolent conflict resolution’ education for schools.
Page 12 ties the peace and tolerance alignment to public education and counseling.
Page 14’s lines 14-17 are worth reading and re-reading.
Page 17’s lines 15 and following will find you needing to take a moment.
Page 18 peace curriculum for as young as Pre-K students; think (birth to grave).
Page 19 states schools will be nonviolent  zones with peaceful education environment.
Page 20’s lines 5 and beyond (look for how grants are involved).
Page 23 is where “Section 104” begins.
Page 24 lays out the peace curriculum parameters.
Page 26 embeds a community wide peace; ties to skilled workforce and peace officers.
Page 28 is where you’ll find how the U.S. Dept. of Education ties into all this.
Page 30 mentions ‘primary universal education’.
Page 42 will tie all this to the ESEA (Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965), which, as we know was updated in ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act); shows how the SEAs (State Educational Agencies) will be impacted.
 
Finally revealed in HR 1111, Warriors, this new Executive level agency of “Peacebuilding” will have a Secretary. That person will be APPOINTED.

Warriors, HR 1111, hasn’t seen any action in months. However, we’ve seen too many times how a ‘sleeping’ bill has been not only brought back to life, but fast-tracked to fit the CCSS Machine’s agenda.

HR 1111 also cites that the U.S. Dept. of Education would have to work with the US Institute of Peace (USIP). USIP develops curriculum used in all kinds of classrooms. USIP also trains teachers specifically to meet the ‘peace keeping’ mandates given by Congress. Built into the USIP’s peace curriculum is a Conflicts Styles Assessment.
You can access the assessment here. The curriculum also uses a ‘Curve of Conflict’ for students to see how all the phases interconnect. You can bet the assessment’s results will put the students somewhere on this curve.

curve
Also woven into the USIP’s curriculum is a group called “Kids for Peace”. See some of their partners below:

kidspeace

Warriors, does the USIP have a connection to the UN? Absolutely! Below is from the Obama Administration’s era:

USIPUN Warriors, President Trump’s Administration is also using USIP.
Does USIP support the UN’s SDGs? Absolutely. Back in 2015, a meeting to discuss how those Sustainable Development Goals, the US, and, peace could work together. Below, a screen shot of the Goal 16 of the UN’s SDGs:

UNsdg16

To learn more about all that surrounds SDG #16, visit here. You’ll also find more at this location.

Warriors, how do SDG #16 and education (SDG #4) intersect? Listen to this UN Messenger of Peace on financing education.

Look below from an “Unpacking Guide” for the UN’s SDG #4.

unpackSDG

Warriors, if you’ve not seen all the research I’ve found connecting the SDGs to the CCSS Machine’s overreach in American education, I’m giving you the entire set of evidence to use.

Closing:

Warriors, If you noticed in the first HR 1111 screen shot, you may of noticed Rep. Lee’s name. I’ve not touched on how Rep. Lee (CA) is connected to the UN, but in case you are wondering
repleeRep. Lee’s got quite a collection of big campaign donors. Apple, Inc. is one of the top ones. Apple, Inc. of course, is a global giant. I wrote back in August 2017, about Apple’s connections to global education.

Warriors, I hope you’ve seen how rotten this ‘olive branch bill’ (HR 1111) truly is.
I trust you’ll use the information I’ve shared as a way to continue to inform others just how wretched Congress has become when it concerns America’s freedoms. I know you’ll recognize the illegally based overreaches in education are being continued in bills like this.
Not to mention the expansion of  government by creating a new federal agency at taxpayers’ expense without the people’s voice involved.

RMT: Have You Heard of the CCCII?

cathcomm

Happy Sunday, anti CCSS Warriors! Today’s “Riddle Me This” topic is one an avid reader of my blog asked me to look into. This mom is an active person in her child’s school. Her child was reading their faith formation guide when they stumbled across the words ‘rigourous’, ‘rigor’, and ‘assessments’. As she stated, ‘all clues’ to what she hoped wouldn’t be true. That CCSS had been inserted.
She sent me the link where I was able to get the screen shot you see above. Be sure to enlarge the shot. In the event you aren’t able to, I’ll share below what is so vital to see.

The emblem you see belongs to the National Catholic Educational Association (http://www.ncea.org/my-interests) “NCEA is the largest private professional education organization in the world.” 

The NCEA:
“NCEA guides Catholic schools on the path to educational excellence through ongoing initiatives such as the Common Core Catholic Identity Initiative (CCCII), and the New Directions Initiative. Our research efforts consistently highlight the strengths and benefits of Catholic education and emphasize the importance of strong Catholic identity.” 
NCEA also offers professional development for teachers in the Catholic schools.
Below is the NCEA’s promotional video. Watch careful and you’ll see the Pearson Publishing booth at an NCEA Convention.

Here’s the screen shot of the NCEA Partners. The website address to see the entire list is included.
nceapartners

Here’s an excerpt from their position paper on Common Core, “Catholic schools have a long-standing commitment to academic excellence that is rooted in the faith based mission of Catholic education. The Common Core State Standards in no way compromise the Catholic identity or educational program of a Catholic school. The Common Core State Standards initiative, begun in 2007, is a state-led, bipartisan effort that is not a requirement for participation in the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB) or any other federallyfunded program, and there are no mandates for any Catholic school to follow any federal rules if they adopt the Common Core. Adoption of the Common Core is voluntary; individual states, Catholic dioceses and other private schools make their own decisions about whether to adopt the standards. The Common Core State Standards are a set of high-quality academic expectations that all students should master by the end of each grade level. The standards establish consistent learning goals for all students that focus on preparing them to succeed in college and careers in a globally competitive workplace. The standards define and clearly communicate grade-specific goals and inform parents about learning outcomes, making it easier for parents to collaborate with teachers in helping their children achieve success.” If you’d like to read the entire position paper, http://www.ncea.org/sites/default/files/documents/ncea_commoncorestatestandards_053113.pdf

The CCCII (http://cici-online.org/):

cccii

As stated above, CCCII stands for ‘Common Core Catholic Identity Initiative’. *NOTE: As part of the NCEA’s accountability aspect, assessments that are standardized, both state and nationally, are used. All kinds of data is collected for use not only for NCEA, but federally, too. Among the data, students who are considered Title One. As we know, the re-authorization of ESEA (the current Student Success Act, HR5) would greatly impact any school receiving Title One funding. To access the data page on the NCEA website, http://www.ncea.org/data-information/catholic-school-data I found their statement concerning HR5 on their ‘public policy’ page. See: http://www.ncea.org/data-information/public-policy


So what does the CCCII look like? Here’s the promo video:

Did you hear that?! Wow, if you are like my reader who asked me to look into this, I hope you will respond with truth about CCSS to the NCEA!

From the ‘white paper’ about CCCII’s success with CCSS, The Reality of Implementing the Standards: As part of the conference, one diocese explained its experience with the Common Core outlining the process from curriculum alignment and professional development to the assessment and results based on the Common Core Standards. The journey was three years in the making.
In year one, emphasis was placed on instructional shifts, preserving Catholic identity, and building the capacity of instructional leaders and the understanding of teachers. This included professional development for principals and teachers through various modalities. The other component for its first year was the creation of English-Language Arts and Mathematics unit plans. In year two, instructional specialists were engaged to provide a multitude of resources and to help capture the work of the Common Core Catholic Identity Initiative. The two challenges were getting teachers to shift from using the textbook as a curriculum to using the textbook as a resource and aligning four Mathematics textbooks as a resource to the unit plans and standards.
In its third year, there was a new form of assessment that used different types of questions to assess student academic progress. In preparing for the new assessments, interim assessments that were aligned to the Common Core were implemented, as well as an increase in the instructional time for Mathematics. Based on its experience, it was recognized that the Common Core challenges included:
• deconstructing the standards
• reviewing all materials for Catholic appropriateness
• funding and time for quality professional development
• differentiating professional development for schools and teachers that are now at different places along the transition continuum
• meaningful use of the assessment results to improve teaching and learning.” To read the entire 4 page report, http://cici-online.org/resources/articles-research/130-common-core-and-diocesan-catholic-school-leadership-white-paper

Related resources:

The ELA Rubric: cici-unit-review-rubric-form-rev-08-20-2014 When you access this document, read the fine print at the bottom of the page. “EngageNY” is the CCSS laden NY state level board of education.

A Summative Assessment “Mini Lesson”http://cici-online.org/images/Resources/Section-1-Mini-Lessons/CCCII-Mini-Lesson-Assessment.pdfThe letter to settle a CCCII disturbance: http://www.ncea.org/sites/default/files/documents/cccii_superintendent_letter_15oct13.pdf


A pep talk about implementing the Standards so your Catholic school can be a Blue Ribbon School (U.S. Dept. of Ed ‘honor’): http://www.ncea.org/department-news/implementing-your-strategic-plan

The precursor to today’s article was last Saturday’s expose about CAPE, of which NCEA is a member ofhttps://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/04/18/sic-em-saturday-grab-a-cape-ccss-warriors/

One last thing:
That New Directions Initiative mentioned above in the paragraph describing NCEA? Oh, that’s all about blended learning! Here’s just one of the workshops NCEA has on it: http://www.ncea.org/events/2015-ncea-new-directions-blended-learning-symposium

WYBI: The Elephant in the CCSS Room

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

You know me, if there’s a Common Core related topic not being exposed, I’m your gal. So, imagine my surprise at some of the rhetoric shared during the last NC Academic Standards Review Committee meeting. I truly hope the Committee can access the documented truth behind it before it’s too late.

The Announcement That Got Me So Excited:

A few weeks ago, a press release stating that Dr. Sandra Stotsky and Dr. James Milgram, along with WestEd’s Dr. Perks would be presenting information to the NC ASRC (Academic Standards Review Committee)was released. This is the group charged with seeing if CCSS is right for NC or not. If not, what course of action is needed? If CCSS IS right, I hope there’s a mass exodus out of the state. In case you didn’t see the announcement, here it is:
http://stopcommoncorenc.org/nc-asrc-press-release-for-march-16th-meeting-stotsky-milgram-to-attend/

The Previous Testimonies I’d Heard:

Like most other anti CCSS warriors, I’ve seen several of the YouTube video recordings of the, as I call them, Dynamic Duo taking on what’s wrong with CCSS. I’ve also read several of their published criticisms that have been shared among those against CCSS. Somewhere in my mind I envisioned a packed meeting room, a bank of reporters lining the walls, and succinct, compelling testimony from them. On the other hand, having researched WestEd so well and knowing how sold out to the CCSS the non-profit is, I knew the expectation bar would be set for extremely low come time for that presentation.

The Meeting:

So, imagine my surprise on meeting day when I make the trip to Raleigh, get up to the top floor of the State Board of Education building, and find that maybe 20 people are there! What?? Where are the angry parents? Who forgot to tell the TV Stations? How come more people from all sides of the education spectrum aren’t here? Now, true, my guest and I were about 20 minutes early, but THIS meeting was to be HISTORIC!

When, just one year ago (March 20, 2014), the public was invited, encouraged, and sought after to make an appearance to speak either for or against CCSS. Folks lined up (number was capped at 60). However, those speaking arrived earlier. They were waiting on the doors to be unlocked. THAT was historic!!

So, knowing so many across the state of NC have been fighting against CC for so long, I assumed the Milgram/Stotsky/Perks presentations would be even more attendance worthy. Yes, the ARSC does use 1 pm to 5 pm as their meeting time. Yet, there were those of us who did take the time to attend. I can tell you that by 2 pm, there were about 30 folks..so we did see a gain in attendance. As far as the bank of reporters? There were a few. I think I counted 2 video cameras. One was in the possession of a true American patriot who fights CCSS. The other one?? No clue.

Oh, one fun fact before I get into the elephant in the room, one of the members of the validation committee for CCSS (yes, THAT committee) was seated directly to my left. While she did approve the CCSS as worthy (meaning her name is there with the others who signed off), she was not asked to speak (at least yet) to the ASRC. I’m glad no one could hear her comments during the meeting..they weren’t very pleasant. I can happily tell you that every time she looked my way, my big anti CCSS lapel button was the first thing she spied. I’m also happy to report, no bloodshed was seen during the entire meeting.

The button that can stop a supporter dead in their tracks.
The button that can stop a supporter dead in their tracks.

The Presentations:

By and large, the Dr. Stotsky and Dr. Milgram presentations were full of very good information. Even Dr. Perks’ presentation was full of information. The difference was 2 were open about their feelings for Common Core, while one appeared content riding a fence. (Gee, I sure hope they have splinter removal kits at WestEd.)

Several of the comments spoken by the “Dynamic Duo” received rounds of applause. My patriot friend, Major Dave took the time to video their entire talks. I’ll include the links so you can hear all of them for yourselves.

Dr. Stotsky’s:

Dr. Milgram’s:

Dr. Perks’:

Those Damned Elephants of CCSS:

While what I’m about to share could be taken as I’m being critical of the meeting, that is NOT my purpose. My only purpose in sharing the following is to help shed light on how deceptive the education reform (largely in part due to CCSS) can be. It’s the biggest elephant in our students’ lives! If we don’t start talking about it, we’ll not have any room when the elephant sits on us and crushes us!

Elephant #1:
Beefing up professional development for teachers. (Dr. Stotsky)

Alone, that statement is accurate. However, knowing how many dollars, for profit, not-for-profit, and non-profit groups dedicated to this is staggering, especially when you consider that almost every single one of them has been or is being funded by pro CCSS supporters. (I just published an article about Duncan-led teacher alignment) We MUST be careful who’s in charge!!

Elephant #2:
Doing away with traditional high schools and their diplomas. (Dr. Stotsky)

The good doctor gave some examples of how successful these are from the New England states. However, again..CCSS research is showing that this type of education reform is not only embedded, it has been tied to Workforce, or Career Tech Education..ALL of which are CCSS aligned!!

Elephant #3:
NC currently isn’t using mathematical researchers to build standards. (Dr. Milgram)

Alone, this statement is not only honest, it’s crucial. However, If the researchers include anyone tied to CCSS (past, present, or future) in any way, shape, form, or fashion, we’ll be no better off than we are right now.

Elephant #4:
Research mathematicians are out there, just not in the USA. (Dr. Milgram)

Comparisons to several countries were made during the meeting by several people, not just Dr. Milgram. However, isn’t international benchmarking and the global competition crap helping feed the CCSS Machine??!! We cannot be a strong America if we don’t think American. We are losing so many bright students due to crappy education because we are trying to be un-American in how/what we teach. Remember, at one time in our nation’s history, our students (and other citizens) were at an almost 100% proficiency rate for important school subjects. We were great at one time in education. We can be great again. I think constantly looking overseas will not only strain our necks, it will cause us to lose focus on our nation. I don’t want my students to be like every other global student. I want my students to be the best students they can be!

Elephant #5:
The Standards Contiuum (Dr. Perks)

This visual (which wasn’t to plain to see from several feet away from the screen or the bad lighting in the room) was a real eye opener. My interpretation of the visual is below:

Dr. Perks also shared standards should be vertical.  A continuum is horizontal.
Dr. Perks also shared standards should be vertical. A continuum is horizontal.

Elephant #6:
Dr. Perks addressed Mr. Peek (ASRC co-chair) formally throughout the presentation, except once when he was sharing how to understand standards (CCSS or any other). He was stating that  you needed to look at the nouns used. Dr. Stotsky countered with verbs were worth considering as well. In fact if a standard is written correctly, no unpacking it is needed. It’s clear, concise, and easy to begin!

Now, this is an elephant (switch from formal to casual) only if you wonder (as I do) are these two really that familiar with each other? I certainly saw plenty of questioning faces when this slip happened. Have IBM and WestED conferred on CCSS’s behalf?? Who knows..it was awkward, however.

Several other elephants in the room by Dr. Perks were given. You can see them for yourselves in his clip above. However, be sure to count the educratic buzzwords throughout all the presentations. I was really surprised.  Be sure you listen for who among the doctors is for ‘radical education reform’.

What Was Downright Dangerous:

During the ASRC’s question/answer time for each of the experts presenting, one was asked by Katie Lemon (an NC Teacher of the Year) about ‘rigor’ in the classroom. Quite a spirited banter ensued. While the long/short of it is that you need to define what ‘rigor’ means and how much of it you want, it was the resources suggested that had me sit up in my seat and think (almost out loud), “NO!!”.

Dr. Perks was steering the ASRC to Dr. Marzano and the Fordham Institute for resources to help define rigor. Where’s the danger? Dr. Marzano is known for a socialist, emotional learning vent in education. Fordham flat out lies about education. Dr. Perks also stopped short of advertising for his company, but you certainly could tell he was heavily suggesting the need for more professional development and collaboration among teachers.

The Biggest Elephant of All:

The ASRC is being held up on funding yet again. It was shared in the meeting that the funds are somehow tied to the NC Coal Ash bill, Senate Bill 14 (see: http://www.ncleg.net/Sessions/2015/Bills/Senate/PDF/S14v3.pdf)

So knowing that the bill which created the NC ASRC included funding was to be used to get speakers like the 3 from the meeting AND knowing the funding is still tied up..how did NC pay for the guests? Why were they all rushed away before the public could speak directly to them after the meeting?

Final note: If you’d like to access any of the articles I’ve written about Dr. Marzano or his research institute, Fordham, WestEd, etc. Be sure to use the search bar on the blog.

Tech Thursday: Blast from our “Workforce” Past

A Common Core aligned Workforce's closet is full of these skeletons: Manpower,Jobs Corps, CETA, Workforce for Year 2000, School-to-Work, Goals 2000.
A Common Core aligned Workforce closet is full of these skeletons:
Manpower, Jobs Corps, CETA, Workforce for Year 2000, School-to-Work, Goals 2000 and WIOA 2014.

Each Thursday, since I began my blog, I’ve devoted Thursdays to the lesser talked about post secondary Common Core aligned schools, curricula, etc. Just recently, a question from CT along the lines of when did the Dept. of Ed. and the Dept. of Labor really join forces to do all this, was asked of me. Excellent question. I’ve been burning many hours trying to find the information.  From the incredibly researched Charlotte Iserbyt, the answer, start looking around “Goals 2000”. Her advice was to begin there. As usual, with the government, there’s more than one skeleton in the closet..Especially when that closet is connected to CCSS.

Let Me Tell You a Story:

In searching, I was ‘silly’ enough to think if I typed in the 2 U.S. level Departments, I’d get an instant result that would be worth cheering over. But alas, it wasn’t to be. If you do an internet search with only those 2 names, you’ll get results that are more than likely suitable for filling an encyclopedia, not open a good ‘mystery’ novel.  So, taking one Department at a time, we’ll be introduced to each skeleton in this story.

U.S. Department of Labor’s website revealed, this big skeleton:

Begun in 1913, it turned 100 back in 2013. It’s motto:  “To foster, promote, develop the welfare of wage earners, job seekers and retirees of the US; improve working conditions; advance opportunities for profitable employment and assure work-related benefits and rights.” From what I could glean from their historical timeline, the Dept. pretty much stayed out of the U.S. educational system until 1958, when a policy group began to address the concern of an adequate supply of trained workers for the future skills that would be needed (possibly) by 1978. From there, in 1962, the “Manpower Act” was established. It was to develop and train the unemployed. There was also research into training workers. Then 1969, “Jobs Corps” was moved from one government office to the Dept. of Labor. Both the 1962 and 1969 actions were part of the “Great Society” and “War on Poverty” that President Johnson was promoting. Some of Pres. Johnson’s other programs: “Neighborhood Youth Corps”, “Special Impact”, and “New Careers” programs.

In 1973, CETA (the “Comprehensive Employment and Training Act”) replaced the “Manpower Act”. President Carter revamps CETA in 1977 into “Jobs Corps” (not to be confused with the earlier program). In 1978, a “Private Sector Initiatives Program” began. It’s purpose? To have the most disadvantaged be trained for jobs by private companies. Then, fast forward to 1983, CETA gets replaced by JTPA (the “Job Training and Partnership Act”). This moved workforce training from a national level to state controlled one. During 1985-87, “Work Force for Year 2000 Project” began and co-operated with “Project Literacy US” to meet future skill needs.

In 1990 the “Secretary’s Commission of Achieving Necessary Skills” was appointed. This group, whose work was completed by 1992 found that competencies needed were a)effectively be able to use resources, b)  interpersonal skills, c) information, d) systems and technology. Enter 1993, the (then) Secretary of Labor begins to really hone in on building skills for the workers. By 1994, when the ” School-to-Work Opportunity Act” rolled out, it was to ease the transition for many in high school to go to work. Followed by “Goals 2000”, which established national skill standards to certify workers. States were given money to establish ‘one-stop job centers’. Since then, from 1997-2001, Sec. Perez oversaw the reorganization of the “Workforce Investment Act”. 1998, due to the WIA, means were created for businesses to participate in workforce training and career pathways. It also replaced the JTPA of 1982 as well as gave funding to communities via local, state, and federal resources.

From there, workforce/education mixing is involved in the 2010 release of the “Affordable Healthcare Act” with Title Four. Most recently, the revamped “Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act” ties Common Core to Workforce via the “Career Pathways” in, at least 21 ways (which I detailed on Prevent Common Core’s website in my article, “Common Core and the Workforce”).

Added note: For a fascinating objective review of some the above mentioned government workforce programs, http://www.cato.org/pubs/pas/pa077.html

Dept. of Education, the next big skeleton:

Directly from their website’s historical page: ‘Beginning in the 1950s, political and social changes resulted in expanded federal funding for education. The successful launch of the Soviet Union’s Sputnik in 1957 spurred nationwide concern that led to increased aid for science education programs. The 1960s saw even more expansion of federal education funding: President Lyndon Johnson’s “War on Poverty” called for the creation of many programs to improve education for poor students at all levels—early childhood through postsecondary. This expansion continued in the 1970s with national efforts to help racial minorities, women, people with disabilities and non-English speaking students gain equal access to education. In October 1979, Congress passed the Department of Education Organization Act (Public Law 96-88). Created by combining offices from several federal agencies, the Department began operations in May 1980.’ (source: http://www2.ed.gov/about/overview/focus/what_pg2.html) Page 3 of their history lays out their 4 main goals, 1) all things financial aid, 2) data mining, 3) identifies major problems and nationally addresses them, 4) ensures everyone behaves in schools. {if you want a more serious look at what the DOE does, be sure to access their website}.

What about the “Goals 2000” Mrs. Iserbyt talked about?

Ahh, my fellow anti CCSS readers, you’ll love this skelton. G2 established a national framework that identified world-class academic standards, upped the assessments factor, all while giving students all the tools they needed to meet the 8 goals (see the six above and add on these 2: a) teachers development and b) parent participation).

It was here, with G2, we got the every child will begin school at a certain performance level; that nationwide graduation rates would be 90% or as close to it as possible; that mandatory assessments at certain grade levels must occur. Focused on was the competency of math, English, science, and foreign languages. Civics, government, economics, art, history, and geography must also ‘measure up’. All to ensure that all students, every school be a responsible member of society, be productive and most of all, contribute to the economy.

It was with G2, we were told we’d be #1 globally by doing all this, especially in math and science; that our illiterate adults would be able to overcome that, possess knowledge and skills to compete in the 21st century. It was here, we were told our teachers would become a force and that every school would participate with others, especially the parents. It was, in fact, the creation of the National Education Standards and Improvement Council that the standards began their journey to become national, in more ways than had ever been seen before.

It was G2 that also created the National Skill Standards Board to develop rigorous occupational education grouped into clusters, thus creating a system of unified instruction, assessing, and certifying. In short, ‘Goals 2000’  was ‘all encompassing’ in paving the way for where we are now in our current fight.

There is more about the U.S. Dept. of Education’s role in Career Pathways, Common Technical Education Core, and the like, by accessing my previous Tech Thursday posts. (if you are new to my blog, please feel free to start there or to read this and then go back) However,  let’s move on, I’ve got a surprise ending you just have to read!

Money and Data, the ‘biggest, baddest’ skeletons in the closet:

The reason I’m lumping these two together is, thanks to our federal government, they have so masterfully intertwined these two you’d need a board certified ghost buster to separate them. Thanks to my querying reader, I was able to uncover a bevy of documents detailing when each of the (to date) 29 states involved in this aligned Workforce Career Pathways Training was granted money…and lots of it. For a two fold purpose; this is the ‘surprise’ ending, but before I tell you, do you think you can guess?

Workforce Quality Data Initiative, one of the newest skeletons:

This is being conducted through the U. S. Dept. of Labor, HOWEVER, it’s what the initiative does, who it involves that you’ll want to know about.  The program takes educational data and workforce data and combines them to better align to each other!

All that student longitudinal data? Here’s just one of the places it lands! Look at the 2nd goal the Initiative has:

“Enable workforce data to be matched with education data to ultimately create longitudinal data systems with individual-level information beginning with pre-kindergarten through post-secondary schooling all the way through entry and sustained participation in the workforce and employment services system.”

While there is even more to this skeleton, this by itself is huge! Yes, just like Race to the Top, this Initiative involves lots of money that has been handed out in rounds to certain states. As with any government funding, there are strings for those states accepting. By taking the money, they MUST, within the 3 years the grants are good for, begin the database or expand their existing ones.

Where I live, Where You Live:

As you may know by now, I live in North Carolina. NC was in the group of states awarded grant money via Round 3 of the WQDI, in 2013. We got $1, 156,348 to ‘align and mine’. Round 1 states, got their money in 2010, Round 2 states, 2012. Round 4 states were awarded their money this past June (2014). There are states yet to be awarded, but, don’t be surprised if and when they do.

Here’s the press release that accompanied NC’s award (as see on the DOL’s website):

“The U.S. Department of Labor today announced the availability of approximately $6 million in grants for the third round of the Workforce Data Quality Initiative. These funds will enable up to six additional states to build or expand longitudinal databases that link workforce and education data, enabling them to improve the performance of workforce programs. “These grants will provide access to high quality data, which will help improve how the workforce system serves those who need assistance most,” said Jane Oates, assistant secretary of labor for employment and training. “Better data means better guidance for consumers, practitioners and policymakers. Better guidance means stronger workforce programs and a stronger U.S. workforce.” Grantees will be expected to use these longitudinal databases to conduct research and analysis aimed at determining the effectiveness of workforce and education programs, and to develop tools to inform customers of the publicly funded workforce system. This grant opportunity stems from the Obama administration’s focus on access to high-quality data and is related to the U.S. Department of Education’s Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems grants to build longitudinal education databases. Grantees will be expected to achieve multiple goals during the three-year grant period. These include developing or improving state workforce longitudinal data systems with individual-level information, enabling workforce data to be matched with education data to create longitudinal data systems, improving the quality and breadth of data in the workforce data systems, using longitudinal data to provide useful information about program operations, analyzing the performance of education and employment training programs, and providing user-friendly information to help consumers select the training and education programs that best suit their needs.”

One lone sentence to add to the above from the 2014’s Round 4 press release tells of a larger looming agenda item, “expand longitudinal databases that link workforce and education data and help these states to better understand how education and workforce development programs complement each other.” As I have shared with you before it is illegal for national database of this magnitude to exist..however, if the states build them one, by one and then join them..that’s a whole different scenario, right? The government would like for us to believe that.

*NOTE: In the event you are not aware of the 3 federal laws that prohibit this: The HEOA (Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008, The NCLB(No Child Left Behind) legislation amending the ESEA’s (Elementary and Secondary Education Act’s)  ERSC (Education Reform Sciences Act) 2002, and the IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Act).

Click to enlarge to see which round your state receive 'align and mine' money. IF you do not see a color on your state, you've not been awarded money yet.
Click to enlarge to see which round your state received ‘align and mine’ money. IF you do not see a color on your state, you’ve not been awarded money yet.

The end?

No, it appears this saga is far from over, but for now, we’ll open the closet and let the skeletons rot in peace.

FTF Tuesday: Clarity for Sale! Aligned to Common Core for ‘free’!

For “From the Files” Tuesday, we’re going to look at an educational management company called “Clarion Council”. The entire name is “Clarion Council for Education Greatness, Inc.” according to its website(http://www.clarioncouncil.com/) . So, where’s the Common Core? Keep reading, my friends.

Just what is “Clarion Council”?:

From the name, it does sound impressive. I mean, who doesn’t desire clarity in today’s education mess? I found words like this on the website, ‘bold action’, ‘improve education outcome’, clear’, ‘compelling’. If I’m searching for some ray of hope in today’s education market, this sounds interesting, right? Hold on to that thought.

Before we look up much closer at Clarion (for short), let’s look at what they are. Clarion Council  is what is known as an EMO (Educational Management Organization). So what exactly is an EMO? Here’s a definition (according to DegreeDirectory.org) “Educational management professionals can also be found working in governmental agencies, private companies, and not-for-profit organizations. Those working in educational management might act as policy-makers, researchers, or consultants to help evaluate and develop ways to enrich and enhance the educational system at all levels. Most educational management professionals have earned at least a master’s degree and many are licensed teachers or principals.”

So, my charter school has to use an EMO? No! For example, where I live (NC) the following excerpt is about EMOs:

“A charter school board may choose to contract with a vendor or company, such as an educational
management organization (EMO), to perform certain services in connection with the operation of the
charter school.” (from a NC DPI (Dept. of Public Instruction) letter dated 8/2014 concerning charter schools compliance with public records)
Now that we know this, we can better answer who Clarion is. When you visit the website, you’ll get some information, but not a tremendous amount. I can tell you from looking as closely as I can at the website, you can expect Common Core aligned character education, teacher incentives (the better the student score is to how well you are paid) and school leadership opportunities that are nebulous in description, yet you are to feel assured whatever leadership it is, it will be great. I can tell you that when I tried to find the on-line leadership training, I was blocked because I didn’t have an account. I did see “iLearn” as their on-line choice for instruction. (see more about iLearn: http://www.ilearn.com/web/about.html)

Repeatedly, on almost every page of the website,  you’ll see, that research has been conducted. However, I only found one reference to a University of FL study done back in 2006. For as many issues as there are in education AND the fact Clarion is a business, I would truly hope all their management isn’t based on one study. I’m sure the folks who work there are great, but it would make more business sense to know who these people are, what level of education they have, and all those other ‘pesky’ details we discerning educational consumers have a right to know.

My overall sense of the website is there is much more that needs to be shared, that frankly isn’t. For example, ‘educator resources’ is all about ‘STRIVE’, well, if I don’t know what “STRIVE” is how will that help me?  The website does give you a somewhat interesting view of what they PLAN to do, but not what they’ve already done. For instance, when I read there was a ‘curriculum map’, I thought it would be visible, then I read the sentence again and saw the curriculum map ‘will be developed AND aligned to state standards so that character education becomes an integral part of an academically rigorous curriculum.’ Continuing on in looking at the website, if I want to meet the board of directors, good luck..they aren’t even mentioned. Yet, Clarion isn’t shy about asking for lots of money. Sorry, if you want my donation, I need TONS of information first and upfront. However, interestingly enough, if you do choose to support the corporation with a financial gift, your request/donation is ‘directed’ to Charter Schools USA’s email (another education management company).

"Strive 65" is a character education curriculum offered by Clarion. Character education aligned to CCSS.
“Strive 65” is a character education curriculum offered by Clarion. Character education aligned to CCSS.

Charter Schools USA:

Like Clarion, Charter Schools USA (CSUSA) is based in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. It is also an EMO. After repeated references in various blogs, and an ardent internet search, I was able to finally find some evidence that Clarion/CSUSA are, indeed connected. How? A ‘YouTube’ video from  2009 showing a kids band playing at the Clarion Council / Charter Schools USA Corporate Picnic. Hugh Taylor Birch State Park in Ft. Lauderdale, FL is what helped me out the most.

Then, I was able to find this from a 2009 newspaper article, the Vice President of CSUSA, Richard Page said, “Our school would be focused on core academics, there would be a unique foreign language program, which would begin in kindergarten and continue through all grades, and a character-education program developed by Charter Schools USA in cooperation with the Clarion Council.” (source: http://www.ledgernews.com/news/top_stories/charter-schools-usa-resubmits-petition/article_44dcb1a3-8526-5727-916f-928329be0061.html?mode=jqm).

I am not suggesting CSUSA only has schools in FL, they have them in many other states, too. If you access the Indiana Charter Schools Prospectus, you can find out quite a bit about CSUSA and Clarion Council. ICN.Academy.Prospectus The report is well over 200 pages, however, the reason I include it today is that not only will you see CCSS, CSUSA, Clarion Council, you’ll see other education doctrines, methods and resources. Then, consider how many school students will be taught this in these ways.

AdvancED & Clarion, CSUSA:

From a 2010 AdvancED Executive Summary, Duval Charter School at Arlington had this to say about the joint effort, ‘Two years ago, Charter School USA, our management company, partnered with the Clarion Council to bring character education into our schools. The program, called STRIVE, is another area that we are proud of as it allows us to recognize and reward students who
are doing the right thing.” When reporting challenges, this statement was at the top of the list,  “One of the greatest challenges has been indoctrinating teachers into the CSUSA culture.“When stating Duval’s support of CSUSA, these are some of the excerpts written, “Duval Charter School promotes Charter Schools USA’s Non-Negotiable Goals… The CSUSA goals are divided into achievement and instructional goals….addition to the CSUSA goals, each school in our network sets its FCAT goals. ….Teachers at Duval Charter School go through training at the beginning of each school year that emphasizes the importance of both formative and summative assessments to determine students’ learning.” (to see all of the report: 7281) Another FL school, Six Mile Charter’s AdvancED report, publised in 2010 (7276) had this to say, “Two years ago, Charter School USA, our management company, partnered with the Clarion Council to bring character education into our schools. This program, STRIVE, is another area that we are proud of as it allows us to recognize and reward students who are doing the right thing. At the beginning of this school year, all faculty members were trained in the Positive Behavior Support Program, which has resulted in a consistent school-wide behavior system.” They, too, as a CSUSA member, have non-negotiable goals; formative and summative assessments. As AvancED customers, both schools have been through the ASSIST alignment to help produce better student outcomes.

AdvancED (http://www.advanc-ed.org/):

Who they say they are, “We are a non-profit, non-partisan organization that conducts rigorous, on-site external reviews of PreK-12 schools and school systems to ensure that all learners realize their full potential.” The website goes on to state, “AdvancED was created through a 2006 merger of the PreK-12 divisions of the North Central Association (NCA) and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS)—and expanded through the 2011 acquisition of the Northwest Accreditation Commission (NWAC).”
You can find much out about the group by visiting their website. Type in “Common Core State Standards” in the search bar & you’ll get plenty of response! Then, consider HOW many schools, this non profit has under its ‘care’..While not specifically mentioned in the 2012 video below, listen to the rhetoric.

Other EMOs:

In America, there are many other EMOs (education managment organizations). Academica is the largest such in the nation; Imagine Schools is the 3rd. Charter Schools USA is #2 of the three. Academica, CSUSA both were 2013 Excellence in Education contributors. Who’s “Excellence in Education”? Another CCSS supportive organization tied to Innovate Educate (which targets older students, especially workforce related). Imagine Schools has a for profit arm, as well as non-profit (not unusual at all). What’s noteworthy is their for profit is “Schoolhouse Finance”. Oh, IS (Imagine Schools, CCSS is part of the curriculum.) You can find it buried in this file: http://www.imagineschools.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/Academic_Framework_FINAL.pdf

One last item:

Qualitycharters.org (National Assoc. of Charter School Authorizers) just received a hefty $800,000.00 grant from the Gates Foundation for the express purpose of  ‘support the final wave of district-charter compact cities in advancing college ready strategies through cross-sector collaboration.’ (source: http://www.gatesfoundation.org/How-We-Work/Quick-Links/Grants-Database/Grants/2014/09/OPP1115953) 

THIS is 'quality'?!
THIS is ‘quality’?!

In closing:

I think, while we’ve learned much, we haven’t learned enough about who is managing education in America. I know there will be more to discover. If you have any leads, hints or resources you’d like to add or share, please, leave a comment! As you can see, by looking at one organization, at least through the context of Common Core, you will find many others connected. Who knew looking at Clarion would take us to so many other groups.

Tech Thursday: CCSS, Career Pathways and Workforce

How do you think Common Core, Career Pathways and the Workforce Opportunity Act all intersect?! One U.S. Dept. of Education official called the Common Core System ‘The hope for the future, the glue that holds Workforce together while the Career Paths serve as the engine.’ This statement and many more like it were expressed in last week’s National Dialogue on Career Pathways.

Here’s another great one, ‘If we don’t make an education change, the economy suffers.’

How about this one, “We’re not solving the problem at once, we are experimenting along the way.”

The goal in all this?!             Re-engineering education

One of the speakers shared this tidbit of American educational history, ‘Education in America has traditionally been for output–we must change that.’

‘Government must expand its role in education and it must be a community effort. All of us must train our workers.’

‘Equity system must be constant and throughout education.’

‘We’re reaping returns on our investments.’

Of these 3: ‘career ladder’, ‘career pathway’, ‘career bridge’…2 have a beginning and an end, only one is never finished, never satisfied.

Think of a career as a ‘super highway’, the education one receives is the ‘road map’ and all ‘navigation’ must align.

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NCICTE:

One of the ways in which so much of the education reform centered around Common Core, especially beyond high schools is, P3s (public-private partnerships).

Here’s a quote from NCICTE (National Center for Innovation in Career and Technical Education) “To promote human capital investments that benefit society, a new class of investment tools is being developed. Impact bonds and pay-for-success models raise and deploy private capital to support promising social interventions, with the expectation that investors will eventually be repaid using the financial savings that accrue over time. NCICTE is commissioning a series of expert papers to explore promising new approaches for leveraging private sector funding to subsidize or fully fund the delivery of CTE (Career and Technical Education) programs.” (resource http://ctecenter.ed.gov/page/our-research#sthash.T7EIVQTj.dpuf) Of, there’s absolutely NO objectivity to the NCICTE, it’s funded by the U.S. Dept. of Education!

NCICTE reports their findings to the U.S. Congress, see the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NdQ73hmGm0w
Please refer to any of my previous “Tech Thursday” posts to refresh yourselves on how CTE is Common Core Standards aligned!

Since CTE is a federal level national initiative, there will be all kinds of funding, programs, etc. To get us to this point in education reform, research had to be conducted. From what I’ve been able to find, there were 5 states of OR, CO,KS, MN, MA, were awarded funding to participate in Advancing Career and Technical Education (CTE) in State and Local Career Pathways Systems, a two-year project managed by Jobs for the Future through a contract with OVAE. Technical assistance will be provided to assist these states in building their capacity to integrate CTE Programs of Study (POS) into their broader career pathways system development efforts. I believe all this happened around 2012, much of the information is not dated. (website: http://cte.ed.gov/nationalinitiatives/advancing_cte.cfm) Want to know how these states competed? The hoops they had to jump through to be given funding? Here’s the overview document: AdvancingCTEOverviewNov29

By the way, the OVAE stands for Office of Vocational Adult Education and has been renamed to become OCTAE or Office of Career, Technical , and Adult Education (see: http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ovae/news/index.html)

P3s, Public Private Partnerships:

Key to the success of the Career Pathways/Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act is P3s. However, please remember, it is P3s that gave us Common Core in the first place! So why are we seeking to create more alliances?! I have a great example of a P3 that is being used to help promote not only a candidate for office, but the great benefits everyone will enjoy. When you access the document, be sure to note the sources used for research..all CCSS tied! Source to review: http://anthonybrown.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/Brown-Ulman-Ready-to-Work-Maryland1.pdf (Please note this is NOT a political endorsement, it is for research and illustrative purposes.)

Need more P3s meddling in education? The World Bank (also supportive of CCSS) has a great P3 guide in education! Access the guide, if you like, http://web.worldbank.org/WBSITE/EXTERNAL/TOPICS/EXTEDUCATION/0,,contentMDK:22123978~menuPK:2448342~pagePK:210058~piPK:210062~theSitePK:282386,00.html

P3s, education's nightmare in friendly form.
P3s, education’s nightmare in friendly form.  About 5 minutes into the You Tube link below:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CgUSGUX4N0k  Unrelated, but a great resource to know for more on p3s and education, Business Round Table. They’ve pledged much money and corporate power to the success of Common Core.