Tag Archives: EdSurge

Ed With No Boundaries

A couple of weeks ago, I was posting my research on Twitter when I saw a post about a new page to follow. It was for ‘Unbound Education’. Having been so busy, I figured I would get back to digging into it sooner rather than later. Well, anti CCSS/Fed Ed Warriors, it is indeed much later than I wanted, but nonetheless, here is what I have been able to find out. Unbound Education is being touted as the new, open-ended success story in education, but is it really?

New Page, Same Old Education Reform:

Before I get to how I found Unbound and who/which CCSS Machine members are connected, watch this short video featuring a TX school where education is totally ‘free’ from traditional learning:

https://vimeo.com/161334585

Did you pick up on the core subjects and how they are taught? Did you hear how most everything is PBL (Project Based Learning) based?

Now, before you assume I am totally against PBLs, I have stated in the past that in moderation AND in the proper context, PBLs can be a great way to learn. However, we have seen evidence and research where the CCSS Machine has (like everything else in education it impacts) ruined PBLs and used them for excuses for collective grades, data mining, and so much more.

In case you haven’t seen the evidence/research:

1) From 2014, my look into the Buck Institute and their devotion to PBLs for Common Core and 21st Century Learning/Skills. From this article, here is a quote, “Project Based Learning is a transformative teaching method for engaging ALL students in meaningful learning and developing the 21st Century competencies of critical thinking/problem solving, collaboration, creativity and communication.” ”
The article: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/10/25/sic-em-saturday-ccss-progressives-and-pbls/

2) From 2015, how the Global Readiness for our students of all ages is to play right into PBLs:
https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/11/09/monday-musings-global-readiness-and-ccss/

3) A look at Micro Schools, which are a part of the ‘unbounded’, PBL education movement:
https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2016/02/09/ftf-a-chip-off-the-education-block/

4) From earlier this year (2016), how PBLs and ESSA are steamrolling over traditional education: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2016/04/24/full-steam-ahead/

‘Discovering’ the Unbounded Education:

First off, let me clarify that the specific ‘Unbound Education’ I recently saw targets higher education. What you see above has also been posted on Twitter in the meantime.
So, anti CCSS Warriors, as we can glean from this, reforming education to the point of no boundaries, will encompass ALL levels of education.

To find the Twitter ‘Unbound Education’ account: https://twitter.com/search?q=unbound%20education&src=typd
(you can also use your search button from your own Twitter account and type in ‘unbound education’)

No matter if you are in PreK, K-12, or higher education, once on the Twitter feed, you will see all kinds of  information. As the CCSS Machine goes, all the content will be pro-education reform. See the screen shot below to see a sample view:

unboundall

For Those Warriors in PreK, K-12th Grade Education:

That Minecraft link: http://www.cnet.com/news/minecraft-education-edition-coming-in-june/#ftag=CAD590a51e

The Minecraft/Common Core unified, unbounded, and aligned information (not seen on Twitter):
http://services.minecraftedu.com/wiki/Teaching_with_MinecraftEdu
(Note: Minecraft is Micrsoft, which means Gates ties to the CCSS Machine.)

That IDP Database link: http://phg.sagepub.com/content/early/2016/03/23/0309132516637908
(Note: this is a AU site, hence, global education ties.) You might be interested to know that the IDP Database is an international education research entity based in Australia. Be sure to access their website so you can see all the international, unbounded learning information:
http://opac.acer.edu.au/IDP_drie/index.html

That Acton Academy Houston School featured in the video? Oh, it is part of a network of Acton Academies across the USA and in select global locations. The website: http://www.actonacademy.org/

Be sure to watch the embedded almost 15 minute Disruptive Education video on the main page of the website. Below is a screen shot of the locations of Acton Academies:

acton
One unbounded education note for Acton, there are no classrooms, only studios. You can see this when you scroll down the website’s main page.

From the Acton ‘About Us’, page, you can learn how you can open an Academy (considered a business venture) and learn about the husband-wife team who founded the Academy. See: http://www.launchactonacademy.com/about
(Note: for my TX Warriors, you may be interested to know the husband-wife team is none other than Jeff Sandefer and Laura Sandefer. As in the billionaire couple in oil.)
If you are concerned about the educational views of this couple, you might want to read a 2013 article Mr. Sandefer wrote, http://spectator.org/56101_viva-la-revolucion/

To see what EdSurge has said about Sandefer’s contributions to education, see the screen shot below and then visit the EdSurge address shown. If you aren’t sure how EdSurge is tied to the CCSS Machine, visit the address to my article, as shown.

sandefered

Before I leave the Acton co-founders, you need to know Mr. Sandefer is considered a note-worthy higher education critic.

For Those Warriors in Higher Education:

As far as ‘unbound higher education’, the Twitter account I referenced above has plenty of links you can access. Below, are just a few:

A Good Reads Review for ‘College (Un) Bound’ and modern education reform:
https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/621262352
(Note: what is worth digging into: the data aspects mentioned; the accountability of colleges, universities, and proprietary (for profit) schools that is in the works to align with modern education reform.)

The College Unbound Website can be accessed by visiting, http://www.collegeunbound.org/
Below is a screen shot of not only College Unbound’s Mission, but how they are tied to the Gates Foundation:

bigpic
One note about the Big Picture Learning is they are set to have their 2016 Conference in July and are having Sir Ken Robinson as featured guest speaker. Robinson is up to his neck in modern education reform for a global society. Just conduct an internet search on him and you will find plenty. In the meantime, you can view his interview with Sir Michael Barber of Pearson Publishing:

For the last Higher Ed, ‘Unbounded’ resource, be sure to check out the on-line Journal which was featured in the Twitter feed screenshot. The website, https://unbound.upcea.edu/
To access the current 2016 on-line paper, visit: https://unbound.upcea.edu/current-issue/
(*Note: among the topics are alternative credentialing; workforce based learning.)

UPCEA is short for University Professional and Continuing Education Association. The UPCEA has not only created this brand new resource for anyone interested in higher education reform, but are among other Higher Education interested groups in helping steer the conversations (and in turn, influencing legislation) on the HEA (Higher Education Act). See the information, access the full press release: http://www.upcea.edu/content.asp?contentid=459
(*Note: CCSS Machine members Pearson Publishing and Blackboard are among UPCEA Strategic Partners. To see all the Partnershttp://www.upcea.edu/partners)

Closing:
 Warriors
, I hope you have been able to see than our education road is NOT to be Unbound at all! From all the twists and turns; ties and partners exposed above, we can see that the CCSS Machine is in fact, BINDING our students of ALL ages and in EVERY educational choice.




 

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.

Monday Musings: CCSS Tech Schedule

"EdSurge" just announced all the technology based conferences for the next year. You can be sure the Common Core  Machine will be there.
“EdSurge” just announced all the technology based conferences for the next year. You can be sure the Common Core Machine will be there.

The ‘Common Core Machine’ is busy cranking out all kinds of support/resources/gadgets to promote our continued alignment as a nation.  Continue to read on to find out how the Gates Foundation, the Joyce Foundation, the New Schools Venture Fund, Graham Holdings, GSV Capital, Imagine K12, and Learn Capital are behind this effort.

The “EdSurge” Announcement:

Recently “EdSurge” (an independent education technology resource for ‘anyone’) released the 2015-16 technology education conference schedule. If you enlarge the graphic you’ll have a first hand guide to the technology companies devoted to the CCSS Machine. In my introductory paragraph I shared with you some well known pro CCSS organizations. If you’re wondering how I discovered who backs and supports EdSurge, it is on their website.
See the screen shot, then visit their website:
surgesupportWhat’s interesting about “EdSurge” is if you read the “Ethics Statement” provided, you’ll run across this paragraph, “All our investors support journalistic independence; they do not attempt to influence our coverage. We have received grants from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Joyce Foundation to support the development of our website. We have received funding from GSV Capital, NewSchools Venture Fund, Learn Capital, Catamount Ventures and the Women’s Venture Capital Fund.” Okay, is it just myself, or do you question how ‘independent’ a media source can truly be with pro CCSS backing like this? Somehow I’m not ‘sold’ on this concept of ‘objectivity’. From my research, any time you run across a group so heavily supported by agenda driven money, you’re more likely to be ‘subjective’ in your efforts. Let’s move on, shall we?

If You’d Like to See the “Who’s Who” at EdSurge’s Conferences:

“EdSurge” is pretty cheeky, I’ll give them that. Why do I state this? Go back to the first screen shot. You’ll see it’s bright, colorful, and packed with information an anti CCSS Warrior can use. The ‘cheeky’ part (in my opinion) is that “EdSurge” has put this up for sale, so you the customer, can enjoy it 24/7. No! I’m not spending one dime of my money to knowingly support Common Core. I protest my tax money being used for it, but as we’ve seen, the citizens didn’t get to choose HOW our tax money has been used to undermine education.


You can also download a free 2 page pdf of the schedule of conferences, if you like. It’s free, as far as I can tell. Why the poster is worth accessing is this: you can see which cities and states are hosting. Why would we need this? If we’re going to fight the CCSS Machine, we have to mobile, we have to be ready to meet it head on. The main entities hosting the various themed conferences are a “who’s who” in the CCSS landscape. For example, one city will be hosting a conference lead by the NCEA for faith-based K-20 education leadership training; another will find the AASA gathering school superintendents to celebrate 150 years (no, that’s not necessarily a negative, but consider any time you gather to celebrate the past, the focus shifts to the future. It’s the future we need to be prepared for); another city’s conference will find inACOL hosting a blended learning ‘tell all’. This list of indoctrination grinds on! If you’re not sure how the above examples are entrenched in all things CCSS, I’ll be sure to provide links for you in the closing.
To access this all important tool:
 https://d3e7x39d4i7wbe.cloudfront.net/static_assets/Conference_Infographic_8.5x11_2.pdf

“EdSurge” Summits:

Another service “EdSurge” can provide you is Education Leadership Summits. Educators can attend for free. Companies are encouraged to foot the bill. (ie: Public, private partnerships; ask yourselves, how many times the CCSS Machine relies on P3s to carry out its mission?)  What the summits cover for you, the educator? The latest in education solutions AND technology. See the educator day parameters: https://www.edsurge.com/summits/educator and https://www.edsurge.com/summits/administrator

What about the businesses, what do they have to do to get involved? Showcasing the latest products designed to help you implement educational ‘success’. See the business requirements:
https://www.edsurge.com/summits/companies_sponsors

The “Fun” Video:

Here’s the YouTube sales pitch for “EdSurge’s” Educator Summits. Notice the vendor in yellow. Listen for the CCSS buzzwords, too.

The “EdSurge” Panel Discussion:

Back in 2012, “EdSurge” hosted a panel discussion to showcase a new initiative called the “Maker Education Initiative”. I’m providing the You Tube link for your background information. Why? Among the panelists is a U.S. Dept. of Education representative. Again, listen to the buzzwords, the rhetoric, and the ‘whole learning’ concept as it relates to CCSS (verbally admitted at about the 8:22 mark) and the heavy suggestions toward STEM (which is also absolutely tied to CCSS).

To learn more about “Maker Education Initiative”, visit: http://makered.org/
To see what groups sponsor “Maker”, visit: http://makered.org/about-us/sponsors/
From the “Makers” 2013 Annual Report, I found this one statement in the introduction, “Our flagship program, Maker Corps, exhibited the potential of an innovative online training model to empower facilitators with the confidence to lead unique, quality making experiences at their institutions. By placing trained Maker Corps Members in settings such as children’s museums, libraries, schools, and community-based organizations, we were able to reach more then 90,000 youth and families across 19 states.” To read the rest of the annual report (which is very telling of so much more): Annual-Report-Design_1.8.15_FINAL_web

Closing:

If you’re interested in finding out more about the NCEA (National Catholic Educators Association) and their ties to Common Core, please see:
https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/04/26/rmt-have-you-heard-of-the-cccii/ 
(even if you are not of the Catholic faith, please consider reading this as it contains links to other faith-based CCSS tied information)

To understand more about inACOL( the International Association for K-12 On-line Learning), I offer you this resource: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/10/24/fom-friday-knowledgeworks-or-knowledge-quirks/

To find out how the AASA (American Association of School Adminstrators)is involved in CCSS, here is my article from last month (packed with all kinds of links): 
https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/05/07/tech-thursday-upskilling-america-part-2/

Warriors, we have lots of ground to cover this summer. Let’s get organized and get out there!