Tag Archives: Education Commission of the States

Tech Thursday: Post Secondary Champs?

What every US citizen said they always wanted... NOT!
What every US citizen said they always wanted… NOT!

For today’s “Tech Thursday” article, I want to shine the light on the CCSS alignment in post-secondary education yet again. Shouldn’t my focus be on the re-authorization of the ESEA (Elementary and Secondary Education Act)? While the focus is on that (my last 2 published articles were devoted to the ESEA re-authorization push), we need to understand the upcoming push to re-authorize the HEA (Higher Education Act) is ALSO in need of our attention. Why? The CCSSI (Common Core State Standards Initiative) depends on a TOTAL alignment, from pre-K to grad school, to be complete! In my researching the subject, I know the CCSS Machine (all the efforts put into motion by the CCSSI) cannot succeed with only a pre-K to 12th grade movement. It HAS to encompass ALL education for it to succeed. It is my goal, since I began researching and speaking out, to foil those actions as much as possible! So, what can I shine the light today? Read on, my fellow Warriors….

 
‘Career Readiness Champs’ to Them, ‘Chumps’ to Me:

The CCSS Machine has churned out many names to confuse and detract the general public from the fact that no matter what name it stuck on their modern education reforms, it’s STILL Common Core aligned! Case in point, ‘career readiness’, ‘college and career readiness’, “CTE, Career Tech Education”, “Career Pathways”, and so on. While the War Against the Core is raging on in the K-12 arena, movements in the post-secondary realm are continuing on. It is my belief that is exactly what the CCSS Machine wants. For us to be so attentive to only one portion of the reform, we don’t notice the reform efforts in birth to 5 years, or the post-secondary areas. Did you know that more and more states are establishing now (or have established in the past) CRIs (Career Readiness Initiatives)??
Yes, it’s true. California as of 2/15 has established such, see:
 http://www.cde.ca.gov/eo/in/cr/ However, since I don’t live in CA, but NC, I’m going to use NC as my example for the most part to see what moves the CCSS Machine has made here. As you know, using what I have found can help you look in your state for the same type of movements. Below, you can find some of the CCR champs/chumps.

Champ/Chump #1: NC’s Career Readiness Certification Organization:

The website: http://www.crcnc.org/info/AboutCRC.aspx
The goal:North Carolina ’s Career Readiness Certification (CRC) is designed to meet the needs of both employers and job seekers in this transitioning economy. 

·        For employers, the CRC offers a reliable means of determining whether a potential employee has the necessary literacy, numeracy and problem solving skills to be “job ready.” 

·        For job seekers, the CRC serves as a portable credential that can be more meaningful to employers than a high school degree or a resume citing experience in a different job setting.

The CRC is based upon WorkKeys, a nationally recognized, skills assessment tool developed by ACT Inc.” {*Note: I’ve written about the WorkKeys assessments many times, if you’d like those links, let me know.}

Since we know the WorkKeys is tied to career paths, the CRC uses WDBs (Workforce Developments Boards) and other P3 information (public, private partnerships) to help you search the CRC’s “Talent Pipeline”, see: http://www.crcnc.org/search/geosearch3.aspx
Along with these alignments and P3 participation, you have business owners and managers chiming in on what a great champion all this CCSS/CTE/CRC alignment is. See it in their own words, http://www.crcnc.org/info/Quotes.aspx

Is the NC CRC the only group of its kind in NC? No, we need to look at the NC New Schools Rural Education work, too. You can find them at: http://ncnewschools.org/national-rural-education-initiative-to-improve-college-and-career-readiness/ Did you notice the web address included ‘national rural education’? NC is embedding it out in 6 school districts, however, SC, MS, and other states are set to reap a champion ‘bumper crop’ as well.
Here’s an excerpt, “Students in rural areas of Illinois, Indiana, Mississippi and South Carolina will soon have greater access to college- and career-readiness efforts through the Rural Innovative Schools initiative, funded by a $20 million federal grant and additional private investment. The initiative is led by Breakthrough Learning, the national brand of NC New Schools, which is also implementing the work in six North Carolina school districts.”
If you’d like to know how many of our tax dollars the US Dept of Ed spent and what other ‘private’ donations were made, read below:
“The U.S. Department of Education last fall awarded the initiative a five-year, $20 million grant to develop new college and career readiness and college access opportunities for students in rural communities. The grant represents the only “scale-up” grant awarded under the recent Investing in Innovation (i3) initiative, which aims to develop innovative approaches to improve student achievement and replicate effective strategies nationwide. An additional $4.2 million in funding will be raised jointly over the five-year initiative by Breakthrough Learning and participating districts and states. Investment partners in the Rural Innovative Schools scale-up initiative currently include: AT&T Aspire, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina, Carnegie Corporation of New York, ChildTrust, Edward M. Armfield Sr. Foundation, Golden LEAF Foundation, Goodnight Educational Foundation, NC Electric Membership Corporation, SAS, Wells Fargo Foundation and the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation.

Champs/chumps #2: In case you didn’t know it New Schools is a Gates Foundation backed organization. See:
http://www.gatesfoundation.org/How-We-Work/Quick-Links/Grants-Database#q/k=New%20Schools%20Venture
If you’ve not seen the Gates Foundation’s CCR work, see: 
http://www.gatesfoundation.org/What-We-Do/US-Program/College-Ready-Education,
and,
http://www.gatesfoundation.org/search#q/k=career readiness

Since the Gates Foundation is a well known member of the CCSS Machine, it won’t be hard to connect the dots there. New Schools are in several cities and states across the nation, so they should be easy to connect to the CCSS Machine as well.

Champs/Chumps #3: Bring on the CCSSO (Council of Chief State School Officers):

In case you’ve not seen there Task Force on CCR, you can read it all by accessing:
EmbargoedCCSSOTaskForceonCareerReadiness120114
See below for the members of the Task Force, among them? Many states and pro CCSS/CRTE groups!
CCSSOtaskers

So, How Does All This Tie to the HEA (HIgher Education Act)?

As I’ve shared in the past about the current HEA and the proposed updates, the bridge between secondary education and post-secondary needs to be streamlined (I’ve written about those bridges before and pointed you to the documented ‘research’ churned out by not only the Gates Foundation, but others as well. If you missed those articles, let me know, I’ll be happy to share them again.) The ways in which post-secondary educational institutions are to be graded and governed in also in the proposed updates. See the Education Commission of the States report: ECSBlueprint ( the Commission is a nation wide one, not a NC specific one) The report shares how the P-20W data (pre-school to grad school or Workforce) plays into the situation as well. P-20w is in the HEA, too!
(*Note: the Education Commission of the States has detailed legislative records of each of the 50 States in America. I was curious if I could find a ‘champ/chump’ example. I did! Under the “Career/Technical Education” tab for NC, I found where CCSS aligned post-secondary education was signed into law! See below:

To find your post-secondary champs/chumps: http://ecs.org/state-legislation-by-state/
To find your post-secondary champs/chumps:
http://ecs.org/state-legislation-by-state/

Others involved?
1) If you’d like to see the NACEP (National Alliance for Concurrent Enrollment Partnership) joint report with Jobs for the Future (2013)on  what needs to be done to further the CCSS Machine (mainly through STEM: Science, Technology, Engineering, and, Math) push into post-secondary education, see: http://nacep.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/HEA-joint-policy-recs-Bard-NACEP-JFF-August-2013.pdf
Jobs for the Future’s CCSS ties? There are plenty, use this link to find their ‘research’:
http://www.jff.org/tags/common-core
NACEP’s CCSS ties? See Strategy #1, objective #2: http://www.nacep.org/about-nacep/strategic-plan/

2) If  you’d like the document tying Lumina, Gates Foundation, and other well known CCSS Machine members where the goal is engaging higher education institutions in aligning to CCSS, see: http://rockpa.org/document.doc?id=232 (*Note: this one’s worth downloading before it disappears)

3) Helping write the re-authorization the HEA are some of the same members of Congress who’ve embedded so much pro CCSS language in the re-authorization combination of the HR5 and the S1177 (Student Success Act; Every Child Achieves Act)! These are all champs to the pro side of CCSS/CTE/CCR, but to the rest of us? Just a bunch of power hungry, sold out to the CCSS Machine chumps!

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Monday Musings: IDEA: When Good Goes CCS/CTE Bad

Source: ideamoneywatch.com
Source: ideamoneywatch.com

Fighting CCS and CTE for those with special needs is especially heart rendering. I’ve had the honor of speaking with several parents of these wonderful students. In my educational experience, I’ve worked with these families and seen how an education that fits them, NOT streamlines them is a delight. However, when I speak with parents today, they are not delighted, their students are miserable, and all involved feel absolute anger and frustration toward the misuse of education and IDEA funding.

What’s IDEA funding? It is a federal statute set up in 1975. It’s original name was “Education for All Handicapped Children”. Congress, at some point, began to refer to it as “IDEA”. The name then or now isn’t so important as WHAT the funding does.
From what I’ve found the Act has 2 purposes: a) due process detailing parental rights, and b) permanent grants available to states for ‘free, appropriate public education to all children with disabilities in the least restrictive environment’.
(*Source: http://atlas.newamerica.org/individuals-disabilities-education-act-overview)

.

Where Good Went Bad:

Let’s see if we can pinpoint what other groups are supportive of the shift where IDEA went from its original purpose (stated above) of ‘appropriate education in the least restrictive way’ and when it aligned with Common Core

From 2009, a pdf file from the NASDSE (National Association of State Directors of Special Education). Why this pdf? See the screen shot below:

badidea2

To access the entire pdf: idea_partnership
Why this matters in 2015: 1) if you’re a new anti CCSS Warrior, this may be information which is new to you; 2) knowing the dates of the pro CCSS Machine’s activities can help those who’ve been fighting CCS and all its other entities by tracking when and where it showed up in their states, who might be involved and knew what the states were in for, but went along with it, etc.

So what’s the NASDSE up to now, in 2015? Currently they are conducting 8 projects. One of which might be of particular interest in our War Against the Core. It is called the “National Center on Educational Outcomes Subcontract”. (NCEO for short). This particular subcontract is through the University of MN. Working with the NASDES, the Univ. of MN, is the CCSSO (Council of Chief State School Officers)! The goal of their teamwork? Assessments! More assessments for our special needs students. To read more about this project, see: http://www.nasdse.org/Projects/TheNationalCenteronEducationalOutcomesNCEO/tabid/421/Default.aspx
(*NOTE: this page will have an embedded link to the NCEO’s website. Go to that website. You’ll find “College and  Career Readiness Standards”, formative assessments, Universal Design of Assessments, and, you can access any of their publications {which date back to 1996}. You can access the 2015 publication where you can find out how CCSSO is driving IEPs to be written, as well as how assessment for ALL learners was discussed: 2015ForumReport Be sure if you live in CO, AL, or KS, you see how your states are used as success models.)

Somewhat related is the 2006 Report I found featured on the website for the National Assoc. of Secondary School Principals  (which just this past weekend I showed you how aligned to CCSS/CTE they are).  This particular report is addressing the need for IDEA to become ‘fully funded’. Take note of the other groups in the IDEA Partnership involved in the full support of this. It can help you trace IDEA funds timeline, especially where the 2004 re-authorization of the ESEA (Elementary and Secondary Education Act) was concerned. See: principalsreport
Another project of the NASDSE is the “Idea Partnership”. Fully funded and equipped to work across  ‘federal agencies, federal investments, national organizations, State agencies and stakeholder groups’. To see the full description of this project, see: http://www.nasdse.org/Projects/IDEAPartnership/tabid/413/Default.aspx


To see the 2015 list of all the IDEA partners: http://www.ideapartnership.org/the-partners.html
One of the IDEA Partnership ‘Working Together’ activities? The “Cradle to College and Career Pipeline”! When did this happen? 2011, according to the website. You need to have the rest of the information on this directly from the website. Visit: http://www.ideapartnership.org/working-together/collaboration-on-issues.html?id=1572:overview-on-cradle-to-college-career-collection-work&catid=400:cradle-to-college-a-career-ccc-collection
Below is a screen shot from the IDEA Partners stating what they believe to be their purpose in the Pipeline.

cradlespecial

Be sure to click on the website address directly above the screen shot, scroll down and click on ‘Dialogue Guides for Cradle to College and Career’. Once there you can see an ‘Early Learner’ Guide, which is for pre-K to 3rd grade; for Middle School, it’s the “Breaking Ranks” reports I told you about in this past weekend’s news. Lastly, the transition for middle to high school in included. Other than the national group of those secondary school principals I told you about, you can see how the ECS, ‘Education Commission of the States’ is cited as a source for the dialogue documents.  If you are curious as to the alignment of the ECS to CCSS and CTE? Don’t be. It is 100% evident on their website. See below.

This group claims 'they don't take sides' in education. The states pay to belong to this group. They also span P-20 education.
This group claims ‘they don’t take sides’ in education. The states pay to belong to this group. They also span P-20 education.

As far as not taking sides, I would have to disagree. Why? Here is an excerpt of just one of the education projects they are conducting, ‘ECS is continuing the Blueprint Project, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Designed for state leaders, the Blueprint features a menu of 10 critical policies that promote college readiness and success.’
Briefly, the 10 policies most critical according to ECS:
1) high school policies (has 4 distinct subsections)
2) higher education policies (has 4 distinct subsections)
3) policies for bridging from high school to higher education (has 2 which include data mining)
To get the “Blueprint”: ECSBlueprint (*Note: 2 states which didn’t take CCSS, TX and VA, are used in this report as shining examples of college and career readiness.)
To learn more about ECS, http://www.ecs.org/html/aboutECS/home_aboutECS.htm
(*Note: I will be digging into this group more in the near future. There’s a lot more information we need waiting there.)

Bottom line for the musings today: We’ve got some great information for using to fight the Core, let’s get busy!