Tag Archives: ETS

Skills Gap, Ad Nauseam

Warriors Against CCSS/Fed Ed, how many times have we heard that the education reform we’re seeing (and have been seeing), will ‘close the skills gap’?! I do not know about you, but I’ve seen it and heard it so much in researching HOW CTE (Career Tech Education, an arm of Common Core) will be our ‘saving grace’, that I could throw up.

It doesn’t matter that CTE wasn’t included in the original ESEA (Elementary and Seconday Education Act of 1965), by the time ESSA was made into law (Every Student Succeeds Act), CTE had been thrown in.

Not only does CTE show up in ESSA, but, you can find it in the HEA (Higher Education Act) of 2008, WIOA (Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act) of 2014, American Apprenticeship Initiative, the STEM Act of 2015, and a host of other initiatives, Acts, or proposed bills.

To date, countless proposed bills have been and are being considered to use CTE as the ‘savior’ for….the economy.

It’s pretty simple, Warriors, align the education to jobs, make more jobs available, and BINGO..the economy is stable.

However, reality shows that those who need jobs aren’t getting them. Aligned education, or not! So, where are all these ‘jobs’?

Why is the economy more precious than education?! Because the CTE is a global mindset, not an American one!

Think about it, Warriors, CTE was thrust upon us just as much as Common Core BECAUSE it IS Common Core! Where are the roots of Common Core? In Agenda 21 from the UN (United Nations). CTE breeds CBE (Competency Based Education). CBE is not new, nor is it American made.

If you missed my last article, then you didn’t see this graphic:


The Millennial Report:

Released in 2015 was the ETS (Educational Testing Service) Report on “America’s Skills Challange: Milliennials and the Future”.

So why is a 2015 Report relevant in 2017? The DC legislative push to increase CTE for the 21st Century learner is why. Part of the ‘sales pitch’ from Congress is that CTE closes the ‘skills gap’ quite nicely.

If you do not know what ETS does, the company is in the assessment business. It’s also a CCSS Machine member organization. In one of my January 2017 articles, I tied ETS to the Education Commission of the States (ECS). ECS has ties to the Gates Foundation, National Association of Charter School Authorizers, College Board, and a host of others.

Other ETS articles I’ve written will show you plenty about their ties to:

A) DLC (Digital Learning Council) and the 10 Key education reform points woven into WIOA, ESSA, and, HEA.
B) The NSGT (National Society for the Gifted and Talented). Students who are gifted will also be aligned to the same type of education as everyone else, thanks to ESSA.
C) IMS Global (a consortium for digital learning). Thanks to ESSA, digital ‘upgrades’ and ‘implementation’ of technology, every student will be aligned 24/7, 365 days.
D) Lastly, the shift for lifelong learning to include adult charter schools.

With ties like these, you certainly cannot escape the agenda behind the CCSS Machine.

So, what does the 2015 ETS Report reveal?
1) It is the first in a series, so watch out for more.

2) An excerpt, “The subject of this report is our nation’s millennials, those young adults born after 1980 who were 16–34 years of age at the time of the assessment. The authors chose to center attention on this cohort for several key reasons. First, these young adults include the most recent products of our educational systems. Second, according to recent reports, they have attained the most years of schooling of any cohort in American history. And, finally, millennials will shape the economic and social landscape of our country for many years to come.”

3) Our American students are, one more time, being compared to their international peers. The Report is choosing to focus on our 16-34 year old young adults because they are still showing weak signs in literacy, numeracy, and problem solving. The goal of targeting this special group? They are the biggest part of the workforce.


Warriors, let’s pause here for a minute and consider that not all the 16-34 year olds will have had a CCSS aligned education in their K-12th grades, BUT they will have had a CCSS/CTE aligned education when they attended post-secondary educational facilities. If any of these people had dual enrollment, they’ve had a CCSS/CTE aligned education. IF any of these people have taken hybrid or on-line classes, they’ve more than likely met the CCSS/CTE alignment without realizing it.

4) An excerpt from a cited source in the Report states, “That the twentieth century was both the American Century and the Human Capital Century is no historical accident. Economic growth in the more modern period requires educated workers, managers, entrepreneurs, and citizens. Modern technology must be invented, innovated, put in place, and maintained. They must have capable workers at the helm…”

5) Data used in the Report is from the PIACC (Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies). The roots of the PIACC are tied to the OECD, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). OECD is also where you’ll find the PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment). PISA is relied on by the CCSS Machine extensively.

Enter the U.S. Dept. of Education:

Here in the USA, the data mining arms of the U.S. Dept. of Education(NCES and IES) National Center for Educational Statistics and Institute of Education Sciences, began back in 2010 and will conduct a third round of data collection in 2017.

Here’s the excerpt,Data collection for the PIAAC Field Test was conducted in 2010, and the first round of international data collection, including the United States, began in August 2011 and finished in April 2012. NCES’s “First Look” report of the PIAAC data and the OECD’s international PIAAC reports were released in October 2013. The United States first round, officially known as the U.S. PIAAC Main Study, was supplemented by a second round of national data collection in 2013-14, officially known as the U.S. National Supplement. NCES will conduct a third round of national collection in 2017.



(If you’d like to learn about the American PIAAC  partner information from the NCES/IES website.) Be sure to look at the NCES/IES  PIAAC Sample assessment items. Then, consider the age group being tested. (*Note: Look on the left hand menu to find all the sample items.)

Other ‘tidbits’ of PIAAC information from the NCES/IES:
A) The next PIAAC Report is due Winter 2017. (*Note: ESSA will be in its first few months of complete implementation by then.)

B) The USA is locked into the data mining for PIAAC until 2021, per the NCES/IES website.

C) To access PIAAC directly: http://www.oecd.org/skills/piaac/
If you’d like to see the short OECD video as to WHY PIAAC is so ‘important’.

Also available from the PIAAC website, is a 2016 resource about “Why Skills Matter”.
It’s about an hour and a half, but is very much worth listening to. You’ll hear about what skills are measured/tracked, and so much more.  Skills Matter Video  .

Related Resources:
1) The CBE Network’s website: http://www.cbenetwork.org/resource-library/?category=141245
(*Note: Be sure to read the 8 elements of CBE)
2) U.S. Government Accountability Office’s website shares that closing the skills gap is a government-wide effort. In fact, it appears to be among the “High Risk” alert category the GAO has.
3) Congress even soliticed the help of a celebrity to pump up the volume on the ‘Skills Gap’ being solved by CTE.



Warriors, in case you need a visual to cement in your mind how Congress is approaching American education, let Rep. Foxx’s statement be clincher.


What’s Up Ahead

Warriors Against Fed Ed, you know I’ve been a consistent researcher on the post-secondary education front. You are also aware how I’ve shown you document upon document which proves the CCSS Machine is NOT content with traditional K-12th grade educated students, rather, it is after our babies all the way to our grandparents.

It also means EVERY school choice, at some time or another has been, or, is in the process of being..

  100% streamlined alignment to Common Core, Career Tech Education, College and Career Readiness, STEM, and all that goes with them.

During the past couple of months, I been especially focused on just how desperately our U.S. Congress is churning out propaganda on the ‘value’ of an educated (and streamlined) workforce. Not to be left out, the U.S. Dept. of Ed has echoed this. The CCSS Machine has placed it’s change agents in our government very strategically.
This agenda is to be continued in 2017.

So, what has the U.S. Dept. of Ed had to say about adult ed and its future (2017 and beyond) that I’ve not already shared? Look below.

The December 2016 Blog Entry:

The “Homeroom” entry this screen shot came from was dated 12/1/16. You can access the entire entry, http://blog.ed.gov/2016/12/committing-adult-schools-2020/

Here is the context for the picture you see above, “Over the last few months, staff of the Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education (OCTAE) visited adult charter schools and schools for disconnected or opportunity youth in the D.C. area. We were inspired by the dedicated students, faculty, and staff and saw the need for more high-quality and adequately resourced adult and family charter schools, pilot schools, or other blended learning or hybrid schools for adults and opportunity youth in the United States. There are currently 36 million adults and 5.3 million disconnected or opportunity youth in the country who could benefit from access to such schools.”

Look at the logo on the gentleman’s chef shirt. That is the logo of the Carlos Rosario International Public Charter School. You can see the logo below. Be sure you note the two facts I inserted on this screen shot.


From the School’s 2014-15 Annual Report, this screen shot shows several CCSS Machine member groups as donors.


To see the Report: http://www.joomag.com/magazine/mag/0970131001453241021?feature=archive (*Note: Page 48 is where you’ll find this picture.)

To see ProActive School, Inc.’s website: http://proactiveschool.com/default.htm

Also in the Homeroom blog entry, was this bombshell, “Today, December 1, 2016, OCTAE, the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy, and the Carlos Rosario International Public Charter School hosted the first Adult Schools Growth Forum focused on expanding high-quality schools for low-skilled adult learners, opportunity youth, and other disadvantaged older youth and adults.”

You can access the Forum’s Agendabbadultedagenda

Featured speakers from CCSS Machine member organizations were there. For example, the Center for Education Reform (the same group which beat President-elect Trump’s door down with the message of continuing to incentivize education for ‘innovation’ and ‘technology’.

If you would like to see the CCSS Machine at work about the Forum from 12/1, head over to Twitter and type in #MoreAdultSchools.

Oh, when you access the Homeroom Blog, please read the comments which have been displayed. Every one of them is in support of this type of education. I wonder if they’d be so supportive if they realized the CCSS Machine’s intent for each student.

In The Next 3 Years:

Over the next 3 years, a national commitment has been issued (via the Blog entry) to create 100 MORE adult public international charter schools!  You can access the ‘menu’ of adult schools action steps: adult_schools_growth_forum_menu_of_options
(*Note: the first group targeted for ‘adult education’ is investors! Parents are dead last.)

Carlos’ School Is A Trailblazer:

Here’s a document you’ll really want to get your hands on. It’s a Case Study of the Rosario Adult International Public Charter School. It was conducted by CAL-SIOP (Center for Applied Linguistics-Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol). Below is as great a piece of evidence as ever to show the purposed intent for our adult students and their alignment to the same type of ‘workforce based education’ our younger students are experiencing. Note the dates almost line up with the introduction of CCSS/CTE, too!


To access the 3 page Case Studycarlos-rosario-ipcs-case-study
To learn more about SIOP Model for educationhttp://www.cal.org/siop/

If you’d like to know about the Middle States Assoc. of Colleges and Schools (MSHE), be sure to go to their website. In 2013, there was a name change which is pretty significant for our War vs the Core. You’ll also want to note their involvement with CHEA (Council on Higher Education Accreditation). MSHE also has a K-12 branch.
See: http://www.msche.org/publications/PromotingEducationalExcellenceandImprovement2015FINAL.pdf

If you’d like my research on CHEA and their selling out to the CCSS Machine:

Steering On the Aligned Road:

National Institute of Latino School Leaders (a project of the NCLR, National Council of La Raza) has praised the momentum of adult charter schools. In this 2015 document funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, you’ll see what those praises are. http://publications.nclr.org/bitstream/handle/123456789/1416/Memo%20No.%208?sequence=9&isAllowed=y
(*Note: in my past research, I found out how supportive of the ESSA, Every Student Succeeds Act, NCLR was. See: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2016/04/30/weekend-news-for-the-war-against-the-core/ )

JFF (Jobs for the Future)
has quite a collection of informative resources on the topic of adults and international trends in education.
See: http://www.jff.org/publications/international-trends-adult-education-and-lifelong-learning
From the JFF site, this 2009 Document about the “One Step Forward” Initiative.
(*Note: this dated document shows how WalMart is participating.)
Here’s what I have on JFF, https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/11/19/tech-thursday-post-secondary-champs/

OCED (Organization for Social Co-operation of Economic and Development), in 2005, published the results of the first Adult Literacy and Life Skills Survey. Here’s an excerpt, The Adult Literacy and Life Skills Survey (ALL) is a large-scale co-operative effort undertaken by governments, national statistics agencies, research institutions and multi-lateral agencies. The development and management of the study were co-ordinated by Statistics Canada and the Educational Testing Service (ETS) in collaboration with the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) of the United States Department of Education, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean (OREALC) and the Institute for Statistics (UIS) of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).”

Here’s the Document2005all

UNESCO’s idea of adult education? Look below:

To see where this screen shot came from: http://www.uil.unesco.org/adult-learning-and-education/unesco-recommendation/new-unesco-recommendation-adult-learning-and-0

To access the GRALE (Global Report on Adult Learning and Education):
(*Note: its’ third edition was given earlier this year.)

If you’d like to see what the BFA (Belem Framework for Action) detailed for adult education, see below.

To access the entire document: http://uil.unesco.org/fileadmin/workshops/en/clc/Confintea6_BFA%20Implementation_RY2011.09%20final.pdf


Warriors, where else have we seen either the same as the above screen shot in ALL education reform, or very, very similar?!

Inadequacy Breeders

What every US citizen said they always wanted… NOT!


Anti CCSS/ESSA and Fed Ed Warriors, schools are beginning to open for the new year (2016-17). We are beginning to see the first tentacles of the ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act)  reach down from the national level to the state and local levels.

Much of it will NOT use the phrase “Common Core State Standards”, but instead “College and Career Readiness”. We have been alerted to this fact well before now. However, how is the CCSS Machine spinning the ‘newness’ of the same old agenda?! That by conducting education any way BUT the ESSA way, is to “breed inadequacy”.

From ‘Their’ Files:

According to the CCSS Machine member organization “Getting Smart”, by 2020, 65% of all jobs will require post-secondary education.

From the notorious “Foundation for Excellence in Education” (FEE), here is their take on ‘inadequate’ students:


FEE also has a short video to support how inadequate education before CCSS was and how heavy the changes for CCR (via STEM, dual enrollment, AP and IB courses, and CLEP exams (College Level Examination Program)).

Every one of these ties in some way to not only CCR (College and Career Readiness) but can be found in the ESSA, the WIOA (Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act) and the HEA (Higher Education Act) as well.

The sheer fact that FEE is using the ACT, Inc. assessment as one of its OTHER solutions for College and Career Readiness is also a clue for us. How? Act, Inc. owns “WorkKeys” assessments. “WorkKeys” is the Competency Based Education, Career Pathways test which sets the course for what job your students should not only be trained for, but educated in! Those CLEP assessments? Those are owned by the College Board, Inc., yet another CCSS Machine key member organization.

Here is the video:

While FEE is using Florida as an example in the video, their influence is felt in all 50 States. FEE is not only fully supportive of the ESSA, but is pledging to help each State navigate its way through the implementation process. Here is just one of the ways FEE can support your State, “Identifying ways that new federal funds can support state reforms in areas including K-3 reading, college and career readiness and digital learning.”

Awww, Warriors, aren’t we ‘honored’ to have such bias help?! (I am being 100% sarcastic here).

Let’s look at the statement above from the Warrior’s side.
a) To be truly State led (as ESSA was sold to the nation), why would we need a national group’s help in making decisions?
b) Does the FEE and other CCSS Machine organizations just assume the States are too stupid to identify funding for themselves?
c) The 3 targets FEE is offering support on are some of the biggest bullet points in ESSA. Digital Learning will be at least $849 million for the States.  Where will the objectivity come from? Where will the objective research be allowed to surface? (*Note: FEE cannot be objective on this topic. How do I know? Check out their Initiative called “Digital Learning Now”, http://www.digitallearningnow.com/)

To see the other ways FEE wants to help: http://www.excelined.org/principles-2015-reauthorization-elementary-secondary-education-act/

In case you would like to see how FEE commented publicly on the ESSA Proposed Regulations (all public comments are closed as of 8/1/16):

Digital Learning Now:

As mentioned above, this is an initiative project of FEE’s but it is not solely FEE’s.
Read this excerpt about the history of the project, Governors Jeb Bush(FL) and Bob Wise (WV) convened the Digital Learning Council in August 2010 to develop the roadmap to integrate current and future technological innovations into public education.”

So who is on the DLC (Digital Learning Council)?

Among other CCSS Machine/ESSA Supporter groups in the DLC:
Microsoft, the Center for Education Reform, Apple, Pearson Publishing, Connections Academy (an arm of Pearson Publishing), Data Quality Campaign, The Hewlett Foundation, The Carnegie Foundation, ETS (Educational Testing Services, associated with AIR, Inc. (American Institutes for Research), The Fordham Foundation, SchoolNet, Nat’l Assoc. for Charter School Authorizers, the U.S. Dept. of Education, and a few State Senate bodies. To see the entire list of DLC adivors and membershttp://www.digitallearningnow.com/about/history

To see the 10 key points the DLC presented to the National Summit on Education Reform:
http://www.digitallearningnow.com/policy/10-elements/ (*Note: all 10 are woven into CCR and the ESSA, WIOA, and the HEA.)

If you would like to see the other DLC Initiatives:
http://www.digitallearningnow.com/initiatives/ (*Note: among them is the E-Rate Legislation. I exposed the ties to the CCSS Machine and the E-Rate: http://preventcommoncore.com/?p=1223; How does E-Rate fit in the ESSA? Remember the $849 million mentioned above? Not only will portions of that go to State for Technology updates, other tax money will be used to update entire infrastructures of regions, cities, and States for the 24/7, Open Educational Resource access to ALL learning connected resources. How? In the name of ‘student achievement’.)

From My Files:

ESSA and the Ditigal Makeovers:
a) nationally: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2016/02/04/essa-and-digital-overload/
b) State levels: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2016/02/08/state-digital-education/
c) ESSA codified Digital Promise and its connected Neighborhoods:
d) ESSA and the national technology/in-home assessments:
e) ESSA and the data mining for private education (including homeschoolers), which also lumps in AP, IB, and dual enrollment:
f) The White House’s “Computer Science for All” will also be included in the digital push/ESSA, CCR, etc.:


Find out if your State has received any Digital Learning Grants recently. For example, this one from 2014 from Indiana:

What new laws or older laws undergoing a rewrite to fit Digital Learning are there in your State? For example, the NC DPI, has a list of legislation. See:

What State affiliated Colleges, Universities, and/or related post-secondary educational institutions are involved in the Digital Plans? For example, the NC State University’s Friday Center (both NC State and the Friday Center are ‘banner’ CCSS Machine members) produced this detailed Digital plan in 2015: http://ncdlplan.fi.ncsu.edu/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/NC-Digital-Learning-Detailed-Plan-9-14-15.pdf


So, the better question (anti Fed Ed/ESSA/CCSS Warrior) should be: what CCSS Machine members are breeding inadequate education?

Assessment Quest, Parts 1 and 2

Part One

We, anti CCSS Warriors know how crafty the CCSS Machine is in playing word games with us. So, consider the names used (or variations) of names used in some of the CCSS Machine products, legislation, assessments, and anything else connected to it. For example, the ESSA, Every Student Succeeds Act is named as it is to SUGGEST positive results. However, we Warriors know, the Law actually means “Every Student Confined”. There are plenty more examples out there, but I want to look at the assessments in particular. Why? Again, the names the CCSS Machine has given each, points to success, but leads to alignment of epic proportions!

In previous researched articles, I have revealed for you how SpringBoard (which offers another service called Learning Walks to partner with schools for CCSS/Competency Based Education alignment) Plan, Aspire, WorkKeys, MAP, Skills Navigator,ProMetric, Certica, and TestWhiz all sound like great and positive assessments for your students, but are really purposed tools to force an aligned, globally competent worker. I know there are others, but you get the idea.

Other assessments with not so positive sounding names (but with the same purposed agenda tool results) are Iowa Assessments, Standford 10 , ETS, ERB, SBAC, PARCC, SAT, ACT, CLEP, College Board, and ASVAB.

One with a former not so positive sounding assessment is the GED, it has been rewritten and renamed to HiSET (High School Equivalency Test). Pearson Publishing has copyrighted the GED and aligned it with CCSS. See:

More recently I exposed the partnership between Act, Inc. and Envision. Act., Inc. provides the assessments for workforce based education paths (also known as competency based education) and Envision collects the data for global purposes. Envision has been successful in this alignment, I believe, because they have named the program involved with one that suggests positive, but hides the agenda. In case you missed this article about assessments and global data mining:

One State Goes on a Quest:

Recently, one of my dearest friends and among the most dedicated anti CCSS/Fed Ed Warriors I know, contacted me. Karen lives in TN. She asked me if I had ever researched the Questar assessment.  Karen has researched some about Questar on her own. She knows the assessment is tied to IMS Global.  What I have found is below and follows up what Karen found. Knowing the ‘quest’ in the title suggests something positive, I found quite the opposite.


Website: http://www.questarai.com/


According the ‘About Us’ page on the Questar website, the company is at least 40 years old. Their slogan, “Bridging the Gap” seems to fit right in with the CCSS Machine agenda. This assessment provider (K-12 grades) is based in MN.
Among the leaders of Questar, is the President and CEO, Jamie Post Candee. Candee got her start in banking before shifting to education related jobs. If you look at her biography, you see she was formerly employed by PLATO Learning. PLATO Learning also has a former name, EDmentum. Included in her bio is this quote, “Jamie is the driving force behind Questar’s commitment to creating meaningful assessments that give educators the insights they need to fully prepare students for college or career.”

platoedI previously wrote about Edmendtum and a host of other assessment aligners in 2015.
See: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/09/01/ftf-ascending-and-aligning/

Edmentum is tied to Providence Equity Partners, LLC. Please, read the above archived article. It has many twists and turns (much like a journey’s trail) but you need to see just how multi-strung these private groups are when it comes to education!

Back to Questar’s Leaders, the Chief Assessments Advisor? The Former U.S. Dept. of Education’s Standards and Assessments Director, Dr. Timothy VanSickle. (*Interesting note: in 2011, he was named as a CCSSO (Council of Chief State School Officers) Partner.) Also a Chief Assessments Advisor for Questar is Dr. Katie McClarty. McClarty was previously employed by none other than Pearson Publishing! Here’s how, “Before joining Questar, Katie served as the director for the Center for College & Career Success in Pearson’s Research & Innovation Network. Her signature work for the Center included the co-creation of a holistic college-readiness index for middle school students and the co-design and facilitation of standard-setting meetings and research projects for the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC). Prior to directing the Center, she was the chief research scientist for the state of Texas general education assessment programs.”

Other leaders tied to the CCSS Machine are present as well. CCSS Machine organizations represented include eInstruction, ConnectEdU, AIR, Inc. (AIR stands for American Institutes for Research and are tied to SBAC assessments.), Advanced Systems in Measurement and Evaluation (now Measured Progress) and Data Recognition Corporation (Jim McMann). McMann was responsible for several States assessment contracts when he was with Data Recognition Corp.

Board members for Questar also have plenty of ties to the CCSS Machine. One huge one is
New Market Ventures Group. New Market has a portfolio where other educational companies are included. Here is a screen shot:

To see the entire list of portfolio companies, http://newmarketsvp.com/portfolio-companies/
You also may be interested in New Market Venture’s recent news release about Graduation Alliance and ACT, Inc. partnering together for new career readiness certificates. (Also assessment based) See:

You can see all the Questar leaders and Board Members information: 
Board: http://www.questarai.com/about-us/board-of-directors/
Leaders: http://www.questarai.com/about-us/leadership/

To see Questar Large Scale Assessments (where they take in entire States, school districts, etc.), click on their “Large Scale Assessment” tab.
(*Note: in Large Scale Assessments, there are 5 Steps. Be sure to look at each one. Every symbol more information about it when you click the symbol. For example, I clicked on the light bulb in Stage 2 (Assessment Design) and found all kinds of information on psychometric assessment.)
To see Questar Literacy Assessment (for Students), then click on their “District Literacy” tab.(*Note: This assessment is backed by the CCSSO. Remember, CCSSO owns half the CCSS Copyrights.)
You will want to access the research behind all these assessments. Questar’s White Papers on Assessments (includes Next Generation Assessments). That is in the “White Papers” tab (second row of tabs in blue font).

Part Two:
So Where is IMS Global?

Warriors, so far we have plenty of evidence for CCSS Machine allegiance from Questar. We have seen how these people are coming from one part of the agenda to other part. But how does this tie to Questar? How does this tie back to the ESSA? Let’s find out.

IMS Global is a Consortium for Digital Learning. Here is a screen shot illustrating their reach in education. A small bit of their history, “In 1995, IMS came into existence as a project (the Instructional Management System project) within the National Learning Infrastructure Initiative of EDUCAUSE. In 1999 IMS Global spun out of EDUCAUSE to become an independent non-profit organization.” (*Note: the ‘IMS’ stands for ‘Instructional Management System’)


From the 2015 Annual Report, IMS Global gloated about its integral part in Race to the Top Assessments. That’s just in the USA.
Other similar assessments are in other countries. (Page 10).
Also from Page 10, this excerpt which ties Questar directly to IMS Global,
“To further accelerate progress of the IMS e-Assessment Initiative, IMS formed the Executive Board on Assessment (EBA) to help remove the barriers to broader adoption of QTI and APIP. The EBA serves as an extension of the IMS Board of Directors and is open to all IMS Contributing Members, but requires an executive pledge to provide the leadership and resources needed to lead the market in charting the next phase of QTI and APIP standards to build strong end-to-end interoperability and accelerate standards compliance. Charter members included ACT, CITO, College voor Toetsen en Examens, ETS, Florida Virtual School, Houston ISD, McGraw-Hill Education, Measured Progress, Minnesota Department of Education, National Center and State Collaborative (NCSC), NWEA, Open Assessment Technologies, Pacific Metrics, PARCC, Questar Assessment, Smarter Balanced, and WIDA.”

To access the IMS Global Annual Report (2015)https://www.imsglobal.org/sites/default/files/2015annualReport.pdf
(*Note: Page 13 names all the assessments involved in digital education, names all the people involved, and names the Executive Board responsible for the EBA.)

I was able to find a 2002 research paper from IMS Global on defining these on-line credentials for global competency our education reform in pushing so hard to convert to. Known as a ‘RDCEO’ (Reuseable Definition of Competency or Educational Objective), these objectives are usually open-ended, loosely defined so that anywhere across the globe they can be user-friendly. They can be used over and over again, anywhere, by anyone.
You, as a Warrior Against the Core, simply must read the rest of this paper!
Access it: https://www.imsglobal.org/competencies/rdceov1p0/imsrdceo_infov1p0.html

You will also need to access and read the IMS Global 2015 Learning Impact Report. It is also key in the War Against the Core! Get it: 

If you want to see IMS Global’s K-20 Digital Badge program, Getting Smart (very CCSS Machine Supportive, in my opinion) published this write up:
(*Note: helping fund this K-20 Badge project is the MacArthur Foundation, a well known CCSS Machine member.)
All the other funders, backers are named. But the biggest take away is that this CBE (competency based education) shift will promote IMS Global as one of the biggest leaders in it in the world!

We still don’t see how IMS Global ties to ESSA. Below is a screen shot. It is from our dear Warriors, the “What Is Common Core?” Blog. Here is the link to their entire article. Note the highlighted portion of the picture.

Among IMS Global Members: Pearson Publishing, Questar, PARCC, the Gates Foundation, and many more.

Related: EdUCause is tied to the CCSS Machine and really loves higher education. Here is my article about them from early 2015:

Since IMS Global is helping set the bar for digital standards, I thought you might like to see how ESSA has provided for each State to be digitally made over. See:


Warriors, this is a tremendous journey, I know. Please break it down as you need to. There is much here. For my friend Karen, I hope it is enough to help TN. While it appears IMS Global is set to be among those mastering digital education, at least we know the members of not only the CCSS Machine, but now the IMS Global contain many of the same groups/people. That makes our job of knowing where to look that much easier!


Tech Thursday: High School Equivalency, CCSS/CTE Style

The GED's (General Educational Development) makeover isn't new news, but what HAS been happening with it since the news broke?
The GED’s (General Educational Development) makeover isn’t new news, but what HAS been happening with it since the news broke?

No, the GED’s makeover ISN’T the biggest news at the moment in the War Against the Core. However, as we’ve seen in this fight to save our educational system from the massive agenda which accompanies it, WHAT has been going on SINCE the GED Makeover??

If your state is anything like the one I live in (NC), plenty. If you refer to the picture at the beginning of this post, you’ll not one, but 3 testing services now offer the NC HSET (North Carolina High School Equivalency Test). Your diploma will be awarded to you by the NC Community College System. The NC Community College System has ‘sold out’ to the Common Core Standards/Career Tech Education.

Before we look at the 2015 update, step back with me to gain a better context of HOW CTE and Common Core are related:

From 2014:

How do I know the NC Community College System has aligned itself to the CCSS Machine? Please refer to my  former article exposing the alignment:
Here’s an excerpt from the “Despicable Moves” article, “all 58 of NC’s Community Colleges are in tune with the businesses in our state. The “master plan”? Kindergarten-12th grades, as well as community colleges (those 4 yr colleges will be added soon, or so it is hoped) to have classroom lessons in tune with the jobs in manufacturing , finances, logistics and healthcare.” (the entire article:
https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/10/09/tech-thursday-ncs-workforce-despicable-moves/ )

How do I know the rest of America’s Community Colleges are also aligned? Here’s an excerpt, “‘THE’ College Board involved with local community colleges. I hope this, because, it should continue to illuminate just how big of a grip on upper level education the group has. One part of the College Board’s organization is known as the Office of Community Colleges…. It is their job to work with local community colleges & help guide their decision making among other goals. The Board for the OCCI has many members. At least 2 are vocal about their support of & promotion the CC Standards in community colleges.  Kenneth Ender, Chair of the Advisory Board, “There is considerable work to be done to assure our K–12 curricula align with that of community college higher education. Our goal should be nothing less than assuring every high school graduate is prepared for postsecondary training and/or postsecondary education. The economy and workplace of the 21st century demands nothing less.” Nancy MacCallin, “If we do not address alignment of our K–12 and higher education systems, we will not be competitive in the global economy. Remediation needs of postsecondary students continue to worsen and need to be addressed in order to increase educational attainment. I hope to align assessment with the common core to provide an authentic assessment to ensure students move quickly through the remediation sequence and into a program that leads to a skilled workforce.”  (see the rest of the article: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/09/18/tech-thursday-common-core-community-college/)

Step Back, Circa 2012:

Before NC could become so aligned in all that’s related to the Common Core, there had to be some states to be the ‘guinea pigs’ for post-secondary Career Tech Education. From 2012 (or close to it), this is what was happening, “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(Office of Vocational Adult Education, which, by the way, has been renamed to OCTAE or the Office of Career, Technical Adult Education). 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.” (Read the rest of the article: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/10/02/tech-thursday-ccss-career-pathways-and-workforce/)


Modern Day “Progress”:

Now that you’ve got a bit of context as to HOW the post-secondary CTE and the K-12 CCSS are related (if you need more evidence, I’ve got plenty, just let me know), let’s look at the current ‘progress’ via the High School Equivalency Test (aka the GED) from North Carolina. NC has 3 options, some states only have one or two options for measuring high school equivalency.

ETS’s HiSET: (Educational Testing Service), is a well known pro CCSS assessment maker, educational research entity and student data miner. According to their website for the HiSet, by offering you MORE options than every before for high school equivalency testing, you have greater opportunities! (see their encouragement letter to potential test takers,

The ultimate goal in the equivalency test.
The ultimate goal in the equivalency test.

Other States using the HiSet are California(specific locations), Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Tennessee, and, Wyoming. (see: http://hiset.ets.org/requirements) The U.S. Territories are also in the CCSS/CTE ‘mix’. Click on the U.S. Territories tab to see their requirements.
To see the 2015 HiSet’s “Test at a Glance” pdf: 2015_taag

“GED”: Since GED is now a registered trademark owned by the American Council on Education (see this from their legal page, “The trademarks and logos used on our site identify our products and services and are owned by the GED Testing Service LLC or are used under license by GED Testing Service LLC. GED® and GED Testing Service® are registered trademarks of the American Council on Education (“ACE”)), much about the assessment has changed. For example, the main ‘selling point” as per their website can been seen below.


The North Carolina Community College page shares that the “GED” is available in all 58 locations. Be sure to refer back to the fact that all 58 locations are tied to the CCSS Machine. (see above). Unlike the HiSet, “GED” is an anywhere, anytime assessment. See:

Get all the alignment details: http://www.gedtestingservice.com/educators/ccr
Get all the alignment details: http://www.gedtestingservice.com/educators/ccr

The TASC (“Test Assessing Secondary Completion”):

This particular assessment is tied into MacGraw Hill’s CTB arm of assessments as well as the Data Recognition Corporation (DRC). See the links for much more information,

Proof of the association can be seen in this screen shot:

TASC’s position on “Common Core” can be found in this excerpt, “TASC Test Item Types Reflect College and Career Readiness. Field tested and normed in 2013, the TASC test delivers the newest high school equivalency content available. It is aligned to Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education (OCTAE) National College and Career Standards for Adult Education, Next Generation Science Standards, and Social Studies national frameworks.

Wait, I didn’t see “Common Core State Standards” in that excerpt. You’re exactly right. Here’s HOW the CCR(College/Career Readiness) and the CCSS (Common Core State Standards) are basically the same thing, “In April 2013, after the TASC test development was initiated, the Office of Vocational and Adult Education (now named the Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education) completed a project identifying a subset of the Common Core State Standards most appropriate for adult preparation for college and/or careers and issued its report, “College and Career Readiness Standards for Adult Education.”  You can access the rest of the document from which the above excerpt was taken when you click on the provided link. It’s an alignment timeline plan from McGraw Hill’s CTB Plan. TASC_Test Transition Plan_Revised_May.11.2015

The NC Memo from the US Dept. of Education which connects the high school equivalency tests to FASFA (post-secondary financial aid) forms can be found at

How does that memo tie to the CCSS Machine? The makeover of the FASFA for one, the U.S. Dept. of Education is another, the NC Community College is next.

Not shown in the memo or any of the above is the NC Chamber of Commerce’s involvement in education, but it’s there for sure. It has to be. Why? Simply put, the NC Workforce combines education and businesses.
In Your State:

As you know I use NC as an example for you to see where in your state these CCSS/CTE/CRR ties are. However, here are some articles I have previously published which tie the national organization for Community Colleges, as well as others,  to all this aligned agenda. Please,  use these, share these! The re-authorization of the HEA (Higher Education Act) will be upon us very, very soon! It is meant to be the second part of the re-authorization for education in America. It will directly follow up the re-authorized results of the K-12 education (Every Child Achieves Act/Student Success Act). Why? You cannot have complete education alignment that’s been stated as ‘cradle to career’ without our K-college system being distorted.

Every one of the links below is written from the national level of involvement, not just NC’s.

This ties so many ends of the CCSS Machine/Initiative together: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/04/25/sic-em-saturday-using-community-colleges-for-more-core/

This one features some of the current proposed legislative moves in Washington, D.C.:

This one shows how the high school assessments (GED, SAT, and, others) are being used against us:

My two part “Upskilling” articles pack a ‘one, two punch’:

The Council for Higher Education (CHEA) and the CCSS Machine:


A Parting Thought:

Anti CCSS/CTE Warriors, please note post-secondary education, no matter if it’s community colleges, for profit trade schools, on-line classes or certifications, public or private 4 year schools, every student who enters into them comes from a different educational choice. No education choice will be saved from the CCSS/CCR/CTE agenda as long as the illegally based initiative is allowed to survive. 


FTF: CCSS Frying Pan into the Fire

A recent round of supposedly good news for us anti CCSS Warriors, deserves a closer look. As we’ve seen in the past, what’s reported as victories for defeating the CCSS Machine, we’ve learned the news is always bittersweet. It’s like 2 steps forward, one step back; or jumping from the frying pan into the fire.

A look at the news behind the latest CCSS headlines.
A look at the news behind the latest CCSS headlines.

TX and AR’s “Ditched Assessments”:

In recent news both TX and AR have ‘ditched’ their high stakes assessments contracts.
At least those are the headlines. There’s even been some celebrating. However, when you take a closer look at these types of stories, you’ll find that while it’s apparently those well known high stakes assessments are on their way out, what is replacing them is ALSO just as toxic.

1) Texas announced in May of this year that it was ending its contract with the high-stakes assessment company, Pearson Publishing. (See: http://www.centerdigitaled.com/k-12/Pearson-Loses-Bulk-of-Texas-Student-Testing-Contract.html)

While those of us who are familiar with how Pearson is involved in the USA’s national assessments ‘game’, it appeared at first to be quite a blow in favor of  those opposed to CCSS..until you look at what entity is to replace Pearson.

That is ETS (Educational Testing Service). I’ve written about ETS at least two other times. The man behind the helm of ETS is also the head of the Marzano Institute.  Marzano Institute which is heavy into the social emotional end of CCSS. I have a ‘tell all’ article about the whole convoluted jumble which connects “MI” to many other groups…all intent on amassing as much information on our students as possible. See: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/03/02/monday-musings-purposed-embedding-for-the-core/
For my other article on ETS (which will detail how ETS is tied to an international competency based group), see: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/03/01/rmt-why-is-the-deck-still-being-stacked-to-serve-ccss/

2) Announced just yesterday, AR was another one which supposedly struck a blow to the CCSS Machine by ending its’ ties with PARCC.(See: http://governor.arkansas.gov/press-releases/detail/governors-council-on-common-core-review-makes-testing-recommendation)..only to replace it with the ACT Aspire (See: http://www.arkansasbusiness.com/article/105408/arkansas-to-pull-out-of-parcc-use-act-for-standard-tests).

ACT Aspire is used in the Career Pathways, Career Clusters, Career and Technical Education alignment to set a path for students. Again, when you peel back the surface, you’ll see just as much data mining and CCSS as with PARCC. See my fellow anti CCSS Warrior’s article about Aspire: http://ladyliberty1885.com/2014/07/02/common-core-aligned-act-replacing-tests-with-aspire/
I also wrote about ACT and their Career alignment. See: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/01/27/ftf-tuesday-iassc-universal-certification/

If you’d like to learn more about the “ACT Aspire” straight from their website, here’s the link:
http://www.discoveractaspire.org/ Just know where “Aspire” is, ACT will be and where ACT will be, so will the CCSS Machine waiting to unleash the “WorkKeys” assessment, where even more CTE and data mining wait. (I’ve got an entire set of Workkeys articles, as do some other anti CCSS Warriors. You can access mine:

Special Needs and a ‘New’ U.S. Dept. of Ed Official:

Also happening in the past day or two was Arne Duncan swore in a ‘new’ member of the U.S. Dept. of Ed team. While this may not be such epic news, we need to look beyond the headlines to see who was sworn in and what he will be responsible for. Here’s the link to the Flicker account where you’ll see Arne Duncan and Michael Yudin. (https://www.flickr.com/photos/departmentofed/sets/72157654245709205 )

So, who is he? Let’s find out. The Washington Post (on June 5th, 2015) reported Mr. Yudin had been cleared by the Senate to serve as Asst. Sec. for Special Education and Rehab Services. But, he’s been at this position since 2012. (See: http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/personnel-changes-at-us-department-of-education/2015/06/05/50c91182-0b8d-11e5-a7ad-b430fc1d3f5c_story.html ) *NOTE: look for the last paragraph of the article.

So, just who is he? The Post article said almost nothing.  I did find, however, that according the the U.S. Government’s bio of Yudkin, if it has to do with Special Education, he’s involved. If you read the entire biography you’ll notice his involvement with all kinds of education activities which we know (now) are impacted by CCSS. Also consider this, he’s been given a rubber stamp to carry on. See the entire bio: http://www.allgov.com/news/appointments-and-resignations/acting-assistant-secretary-of-education-for-special-education-and-rehabilitative-services-who-is-michael-yudin-121020?news=845999

Why or how does this tie to CCSS? Think about the ways in which the funding for the students with special needs are factored into state education budgets; how scores of parents have shared how awful anything CCSS is for their children. Then consider the following. From my article about CCSS and alignment, I was able to find this document from the NCLD (National Center for Learning Disabilities), National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD): Their website, http://www.ld.org/ , has a tab ‘Advocacy’. You’ll want to access that to see the 4 pages of policy statements the organization has on their stance in education for those with special needs. Among them?Workforce, Career Tech Readiness and Higher Education;  Competency Based Outcomes. (see: http://www.ncld.org/action-center/where-we-stand/?page=3)” (If you’d like to see the entire article:


Data Mining and Teacher Assessments (by Way of AK):

I love the warriors in Alaska who fight CCSS. They are so far in distance from those of us in the lower 48, yet every bit of CCSS evidence I’ve seen from them has been tremendous.
Case in point: from their Facebook page, just yesterday, was a stark revelation about how the teachers are held under the ‘effectiveness’ microscope. We’ve seen teachers almost everywhere take a bad rap, thanks to CCSS and the CCSS Machine. The report that was shared by the AK Warriors shows the 3 levels of data mining happening to teachers.

AK assess

The image is from the Alaska Comprehensive Center website: http://alaskacc.org/node/882

Also on this site is a recent study about how the 3 levels of data is collected and used. The CCSS tie? WestEd, Linda Darling-Hammond, the Gates Foundation, the AACTE (American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education), the New Teacher Project, and others.
Get the report: aacc_teacher_quality_report

If you’d like to read my published article about the AACTE and CCSS, see:


Well, there you have it. Lots of news about CCSS from around the nation. I hope you’ve been able to find out something informative AND useful for your state.

Related resources:

See my article exposing even more high stakes assessment consortia across the USA. If your state backs out of SBAC or PARCC (or they were never in them) , there are others ion charge or waiting to step in. NO matter which consortia or service it is: if it’s tied to CCSS, it’ll be the same old business, just a different company.

For an article I’ve published about the IEPs special students need and how CCSS is rewriting them, see: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/03/10/rmt-ccsss-present-to-special-needs/

For an article about WestEd and its ties to CCSS:

Monday Musings: Purposed Embedding for the Core

Oh, the things I find in my email.
Oh, the things I find in my email.

Going through my email a couple of days ago, I opened this ‘lovely gem’. It’s all about how I can learn to purposefully embed formative assessments in my classroom.  While many anti CCSS warriors AND pro CCSS supporters have tackled formative assessments, we still are seeing new resources everyday geared to help us shine in the CCSS spotlight. What a crock. My hard earned money to pay for a book to teach me how to align my students. Let’s see what else we can find out. Join me as I ponder over assessments.

One Co-Author:

Pictured above is Dr. Dylan William. If you don’t know his name in education. That’s okay. I didn’t really either. I can tell you he’s got a great British accent. I can tell you he’s been in education for over 30 years. You can ‘google’ him and find out all kinds of CCSS related things he’s done. For example, “Education Week” writer Mr. Hess had an article back in 2014 about the 5 non signers of the CCSS validation committee. Dr. William was one of the five. However, his love for CCSS is ever present. See this excerpt, “In any event, one of the more interesting responses I received was from my friend Dylan William, emeritus professor of educational assessment at the Institute of Education, University of London; former senior research director at ETS; and author of Embedded Formative Assessment. Dylan was one of the 29 members of the Common Core Validation Committee and one of the five who refused to sign off on the standards. I asked if I could share his note, and Dylan gave his okay. It’s worth noting that Dylan remains bullish on the Common Core. He writes, “To re-iterate, I think the Common Core State Standards are our best shot at creating an education system that meets the challenges of the 21st century. I am frankly appalled at the level of much of the debate, so if you think this can help, by all means share it.” ” To see the rest of the article,

http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/rick_hess_straight_up/2014/09/common_core_validation_committee_non-signer_dylan_wiliam_shares_thoughts.html (*Note: ETS stands for Educational Testing Service. I’ve written about ETS as recently as yesterday. See: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/03/01/rmt-why-is-the-deck-still-being-stacked-to-serve-ccss/)

From back in his days at ETS, I did find a speech he gave to during the Salzburg Global Seminar back in 2011. Conference Theme? “Optimizing Talent: Closing Educational and Social Mobility Gaps Worldwide”. Dr. William’s full speech? “How Do We Prepare Students for a World We Can’t Imagine?” I found the document in Dropbox form, but I encourage you to access it for yourselves. It’s important you read and discern for yourselves what was shared. I’ll give you a hint however, his abstract paragraph opens with words to the effect of educational achievement is any given country’s economic detriment.  I urge you to access the 2011 version, then compare it to the 2014 version. Optimizing-Talent-20140829

If you’d like ETS’s short version of the 2011 speech, see their 2012 publication: optimizeded

A little more snooping on the internet and I found Dr. William on the NWEA‘s website (Northwest Evaluation Association). Based off the 5 ways William states that formative assessing should be embedded, is a blog article that you’ll need to read to believe. Especially the embedded video. The narrator of the video shares a huge nugget of information for us as CCSS warriors. He states that IF the kids score higher, get better jobs, the taxes generated off this successful students would pay the entire K-12 public school system’s needs for the next 30 years! See the blog AND definitely watch the video: https://www.nwea.org/blog/2013/using-formative-assessment-to-build-school-and-teacher-leadership/ 

(*Note: If you’re a bit curious about NWEA, be sure to check out their website: http://www.nwea.org  Maybe you’ve heard of their best product “MAP” (Measures of Academic Progress), which is used is both PARCC and SBAC. See: https://www.nwea.org/?s=MAP

You might also be interested in this 2011 article about NWEA which shared how NWEA is funded. See: http://www.oregonbusiness.com/articles/99-may-2011/5177-educational-nonprofit-makes-software-for-schools?start=1 )

Hawker Brownlow Education:

This company is a privately owned one in Australia and featured Dr. William back in 2013 where he extolled the virtues of formative assessing. Now, don’t get me wrong. When taken away from CCSS alignment, I believe formative assessing CAN help our education. But herein lies the “Catch 22”, no one in the assessing business seems capable of NOT aligning to CCSS, or to College/Career Readiness Standards, Next Gen Standards, and on and on. So, does HBE have ties to CCSS? Let’s see…

From Down Under, more CCSS alignment.
From Down Under, more CCSS alignment.

To see their video featuring Dr. William:

HBE also partners with  the Marzano Institute. If you’ve not heard of them, you will know about this group in a few minutes.

Marzano Institute:

Based in America, but with global outreach capacities. Also head of the RISC (Re-inventing Schools Coalition). Before we get to RISC, however, my Texan friends will most likely tie Marzano to CSCOPE. Their not “CCSS” but yes, it really is CCSS nightmare. Here’s an excerpt I found on The Blaze’s website, “But while the groups to which CSCOPE appears relatively beholden may sound alarms for critics, the actual researchers CSCOPE credits with providing the basis for its curriculum seem to be formidable industry veterans by and large. Those educators include Robert Marzano, Fenwick English, John Crain, Heidi Hayes Jacobs, Grant Wiggins, Jay McTighe, H. Lynn Erickson, and James Barufaldi.” (see the entire article: http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2013/03/07/cscope-exposing-the-nations-most-controversial-public-school-curriculum-system/) You’ll probably want to read the 2013 article Freedom Outpost/Charlotte Iserbyt’s published article  as to how they described Dr. Marzano’s take on education. See: http://freedomoutpost.com/2013/06/school-choicecharters-will-kill-private-education/

To read Dr. Marzano’s own words, see his article on the (Gates Foundation funded) ASCD website: http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/dec93/vol51/num04/When-Two-Worldviews-Collide.aspx

To see Marzano’s CC publications,

More Core for sale!
More Core for sale!

RISC (Re-Inventing Schools Coalition):

Their website: http://www.reinventingschools.org/

Right off the bat, at this website, I was greeted with the “Acheive, Inc.” logo. This won’t take long to find the CCSS tie, now will it? You’ll want to see all the groups who are partnering in the RISC project. Access the information:


In their own words, a chart to continue the outcome based type of education that doesn’t honor our students as much as it rates them on performance.

Nothing says OBE quite like 'perform, perform, perform!'
Nothing says OBE quite like ‘perform, perform, perform!’

In case you didn’t blow up the screen shot above, the web address to see more about how our schools are being re-invented: http://www.reinventingschools.org/about/the-risc-approach-to-schooling/ 

If you hurry, you can learn about the upcoming RISC/CCSS alignment package! It’s set to be in our faces by 2016. See: http://www.reinventingschools.org/services/common-core-proficiency-scalesassessment-package-2/

SO much purposed embedding! Have you noticed a theme among the different people, groups, and organizations? I sure did. Economy, taxes, performance. UGH! What happened to real education?! As long as powerful people like this with very global agendas that are frankly un-American, we will need to sharpen our efforts to remain a land of free thinkers.


RMT: Why Is the Deck Still Being Stacked to Serve CCSS?

Why are those in charge of so much in education STILL stacking the deck to serve CCSS?
Why are those in charge of so much in education STILL stacking the deck to serve CCSS?

Just a day or so ago, EAG News shared Truth in American Education’s story that a whopping 17% of parents actually like CCSS. So, that leaves a tremendous amount of us who DON’T like it! So, IF this is a true representation of America, WHY are so many in charge of educational products STILL stacking the deck FOR CCSS? This is our “Riddle Me This” post for today.

First up, The 17% story:

In case you missed it, here’s the link to the story. See: http://eagnews.org/just-17-of-americans-support-common-core/ Written by Shane Vander Hart, this article states that while 17 % don’t mind CCSS at all, 40 % don’t like CCSS and 42 % of parents are undecided. Now, there’s a lot more information given in Mr. Hart’s article and I’ll leave you to digesting it on your own.

However, it is my strong belief we may have the answer to our riddle almost immediately! How’s that, you ask? Well, IF I were in the market to sell you on the merits of CCSS, wouldn’t I stop at nothing to entice you? I would do all I could to sell you, after all, there’s lots of money in it for me if I do.

Think about it from a more simple approach. One of my favorite card games. It involves a lot of ‘selling’ my opponents as to why my line of thinking is better than anyone else’s in order to win something.

Those who are stacking the educational deck are doing almost the same thing. They are trotting out any line of logic possible..whether it’s fact based or trumped up. Any pro CCSS group known to be conducting some study at any point in time (at least recently) is now THE absolute ‘gospel truth’ in education. Let me give you a recent example.

“Education Week”:

When I first subscribed to this online newsletter, I had no idea it was funded by so many of the same big name foundations supportive of CCSS. Thus, making almost everything reported vented toward CCSS. When I did discover this fact, I was able to discern the lies from the truth much more easily. However, not everyone is into the amount of research I am.

So, IF I were one of those 42% on the fence about CCSS, I’d take a look at the website. I’d notice all the awards given, all the community benevolence going on, etc. I’d not think to look at WHO is funding the on-line news. Well, now you can! Here’s the link: http://www.edweek.org/info/about/philanthropy.html?intc=thed What a difference it makes knowing that the SAME foundations helping to bring us the Core are now bringing us so much news about it!

EW’s recent story shared that U. S. students, once again, are coming up short when compared to their global peers. (see: http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2015/02/18/us-millennials-come-up-short-in-global.html?cmp=ENL-CM-NEWS2). How’s this a ‘stacked deck toward CCSS’? Simple, the entire article bases ‘facts’ on a study conducted by ETS (Educational Testing Service). Here’s how EW described ETS, “a new study by the Education Testing Service Center for Research on Human Capital and Education in Lawrenceville, N.J.” 

(see Education Week’s article in its entirety: http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2015/02/18/us-millennials-come-up-short-in-global.html?cmp=ENL-CM-NEWS2)

ETS (Educational Testing Service)

In 2014, I wrote about the obsession CCSS has with assessing and I focused on ETS. You will really enjoy the research presented in the article as it ties ETS to the SBAC/PARCC and so much more. (see: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/tag/ets/)

(*NOTE: In my original article, you’ll see how dependent many pro CCSS groups are acknowledging the ‘importance’ of NAEP (National Assessment of Educational Progress); you’ll see what other testing/assessments are considered the ‘top’ ones in the realm of all things CCSS related. NAEP has been used repeatedly to distort the need for national standards.) 

ETS’s newest report, just out a few days ago, indeed paints a bleak picture for our American students. You can access ETS’s website: http://www.ets.org. As far as their research topics, see the below screen shot.

Be sure to note the topics on the right hand side of the picture not in purple. See the award for OCED's PISA??
Be sure to note the topics on the right hand side of the picture not in purple. See the award for OCED’s PISA??

The ETS Study EW mentions can be found in its entirety: http://www.ets.org/s/research/30079/asc-millennials-and-the-future.pdf

PIAAC (Programme of the International Assessment of Adult Competencies):

Ed Week’s article from above also gives PIAAC some visibility in the article. PIAAC is a part of OCED (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) (*NOTE: The spelling is correct for international English, not American English) 

 Here’s how PIAAC’s stacking the ‘skills’ deck:

 Related links you may find helpful:

NAEP: http://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/ (since this is from the U.S. Dept. of Ed, you’ll know it’s stacked evidence)

PIAAC/OECD: http://www.oecd.org/site/piaac/ (To see how PIAAC is using each country in an educational competition with the others: http://www.oecd.org/site/piaac/country-specific-material.htm)

Private school assessments by ETS: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/11/15/sic-em-saturday-when-your-faith-based-school-uses-ccss-assessments/

OECD and PISA (Programme for International Assessment): http://preventcommoncore.com/?p=1263 This is the latest article I wrote for Prevent Common Core and address the stacked deck for CCSS from the educational leadership viewpoint. You may not believe some of the deck dealers involved.

To access the rest of ETS’s research topics: http://www.ets.org/research Here you can get an up close look at how our students are termed ‘human capital’, assessed internationally, and which policies in Washington are being impacted.


So, our answer to our riddle has taken us all over the globe and we still can easily see WHY so many are stacking the deck in education to CCSS…to make it’s global rhetoric a reality. So, while the pro CCSS dealers are dealing a stacked deck to the 42% currently reported as undecided how they feel about CCSS, that means we, the opposed have just as much opportunity to win those 42% of parents support with the TRUTH about CCSS. What a great way to start off a new week in the battle for our students!

WYBI Wednesday: Assess, Obsess, then Assess Again

Yesterday,  I had the ‘pleasure’ of listening to 2 assessment experts extol the virtues of not only Common Core, but SBAC (Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium) and PARCC (Partnership for the Assessment of Readiness in College and Careers) as well. Much has been written about the SBAC, PARCC. Before we get too far into the experts and their views, here’s a bit of background on the financial costs of assessments.

Just what is an 'assessment'? Documentation of knowledge, skills, attitude, and beliefs.
Just what is an ‘assessment’? Documentation of knowledge, skills, attitude, and beliefs.

2013 Report:

According to the 2013 NCES, The National Center for Educational Statistics (an arm of the U.S. Dept. of Education) Report,  “Condition of Education 2013”, (see: http://nces.ed.gov/pubs2013/2013037.pdf),

‘The single largest component of current expenditures was instruction, amounting to about 61 percent of the total, or $6,852 per student in 2009–10. These expenditures include salaries and benefits of teachers and teaching assistants, as well as costs for instructional materials and instructional services provided under contract. Between 1999–2000 and 2009–10, expenditures for instruction per student increased by 19 percent. Expenditures for some major school activities increased more rapidly than this. For example, expenditures for student support services, such as for guidance and health personnel, increased by 35 percent, from $460 to $622. Expenditures per student for instructional staff services, including curriculum development, staff training, libraries, and media and computer centers, increased by 28 percent, reaching $536 in 2009–10. Also, transportation costs per student increased by 25 percent during this period, reaching $465 per student. In contrast, some categories of expenditure increased at a slower rate than instruction. School and general administrative costs per student and food services expenditures per student both increased
by 15 percent, reaching $830 and $425, respectively, in 2009–10. Expenditures per student for operation and
maintenance of schools increased by the same percentage as instruction costs (19 percent) and reached $1,063 per
student in 2009–10.’   Do you see ‘assessments’ anywhere in the above descriptions? I don’t!

The above excerpt is from Chapter 3, aptly named ‘Finance’. Assessments are in Chapter 4 and will give you gobs of information EXCEPT how much the assessments cost.


As has been well reported, written, and spoken about was the U.S. Dept. of Ed’s 2010 move to ensure MORE assessments could be taken. This is from the National Conference of State Legislators, “States will need new assessments to measure student progress against the Standards. In 2010, in recognition of this need, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) awarded two assessment consortia $330 million in Race to the Top competitive grants to develop assessments aligned to the Standards:

  • $186 million to Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC)
  • $176 million to Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC). “


To ensure we’re an educationally assessed nation, the National Assessment of Educational Progress was created via a mandate from Congress. According to their website, the first assessing was 1969-70 school year. Somewhere between 2003-2007, each of our United States got NAEP state level coordinators. Their jobs are to be a liasion between the State Departments of Education and the NAEP. They get to analyze collected data before sharing in further across or up the chain of offices, authorities. Over the years, many contracts and/or grants have been awarded to various companies, all in the name of educational assessment. There are subcontractors as well. AIR(American Institutes of Research), NCS (National Computer Systems), NCS Pearson (an arm of Pearson Publishing), and Aspen Systems Corporation were among the subcontractors anywhere from 1996 to 2003.  So while I’ve listed the biggest companies according to their length of service, know there were, at times, others involved as well:

ETS (Educational Testing Services, non profit organization established in 1947) has been awarded assessment contracts/grants since 1983.

Westat, an employee owned research firm, formed in 1963 has served NAEP since 1983 as well.

AIR (American Institutes for Research), moved from subcontractor to alliance member sometime in 2003-07. It handled  development for national-only subjects, as well as the scoring rubrics, assisting in scoring and the training of scorers; to conduct small-scale pilot tests of the items and rubrics; and to participate in reviews of items. ETS got to handle math, science, reading, writing’s design, analyzing, and reporting during this time period. Pearson Publishing was in charge of preparing the assessments, delivering them, and scoring them. Joining them in 2006, Government Micro Resources, Inc., known as Fulcrum IT Services Company as of 2006, to acquire, develop, implement, and support Internet-related applications and services for NAEP and the NAEP contractors. (this was about the time the NAEP state coordinators were put in place)

From 2008-2012, you’ll find AIR(see above) , CCSSO (Council of Chief State School Officers, half owner of the CCSS copyright),CRP, Inc. (works with several government agencies), ETS (see above), Fulcrum IT (see above), Pearson Publishing. Along with the other companies, you’ll find SEAs (State Education Agencies)  involved. Every aspect (including marketing at trade shows, conferences) of assessments you can imagine is covered.

Currently, the Big 12:

To date, the NAEP has 12 contractors handling our students assessments! Now, I’ve no idea the size of the contracts/grants. Frankly, I don’t care how much money they’ve received. That’s the ‘blood on their hands’, not mine.  The order in which each contract is listed,  is alphabetically.

AIR, BI (Business Intelligence, Inc. a US Veteran owned company working with NAEP since 2008), CCSSO, CRP, Inc., ETS, Fulcrum IT, Hager Sharp, HumRRO (Human Resources Research Organization. Established in 1951 as a non profit which works with P3s (public private partnerships), Kauffman and Associates (an SBA certified 8 company serving the native Americans), Optimal Solutions, LLC (begun in 2000, a public policy research group), Pearson, SEAs, and Westat. If you are interested to see the exact history, http://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/contracts/history.aspx#partners69

So how do the NAEP, PARCC, and SBAC intersect?

From their white paper report “Future of the NAEP”, here are their words as to how all these tie together. “As we look to the future, NAEP will be called upon to do all that it has historically done and more. We see at least four major trends to which NAEP must respond. First, NAEP must provide value as a nationally representative assessment when it is
likely that other assessments will also provide information about student achievement that may be aggregated and compared across districts, states, and even at the national level. Forty-six states and the District of Columbia have adopted
the new Common Core State Standards (CCSS) in English language arts (ELA) and mathematics. Two federally funded state consortia are developing assessments aligned with the CCSS for general education students in grades 3-8 and high school—
the SMARTER Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) and the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC).” (all the italicized sections below are also directly from the report)

In the works:

“Two more state consortia are developing ELA and mathematics assessments linked to the CCSS for students with severe cognitive disabilities – the Dynamic Learning Maps Assessment Consortium (DLM) and the National Center and State
Collaborative Assessment Consortium (NCSC).Yet another, the World-Class Instructional Design and Assessment (WIDA) consortium, is developing English language proficiency assessments.”

Even the NAEP can’t predict the future of assessments, it just knows we have to have high stakes ones!

“It is not entirely clear how NAEP’s role may change with the advent of these new assessments. However, we can
anticipate that many of these consortium tests will become “high-stakes” as they are used for accountability purposes. In response, educators will shift their focus toward preparation for these new accountability tests. If NAEP remains a low-stakes assessment program aligned to frameworks that reach beyond the confines of the CCSS, then it will be well positioned to provide uniquely valuable information about the extent to which other learning is maintained or declines as curriculum and instruction evolve toward the CCSS. History suggests that even for ELA and mathematics content included in the CCSS, achievement trends shown on NAEP will likely differ from those seen on the high-stakes tests themselves.”

Among their other purposes, measuring MORE outcomes! Data tracking, mining, and leading the way in innovating the assessments! With all this change, the NAEP even asserts that it will be more important than ever. We’ll need to continue to keep an eye on this agency. **NOTE: I’ll be writing more in-depth about some of the newer consortia in the coming days, so stay tuned.

About the experts:

As I shared with you in the beginning, I was listening to two assessment experts yesterday during a webinar funded by Joyce Foundation(gives grants of all sizes to all kinds of educational efforts, according to their 2013 grant list, money was given to research more ways to have K-12 human capital policy making and research. Another grant was given to continue to help implement CCSS) and hosted by “Education Weekly”.

The experts were Randy Bennett of  ETS via assessment innovation with a specialty in cognitive based learning; Dr. Daniel Hickey of Indiana University as a research scientist. Dr. Hickey was even very instrumental in creating the digital educational badges you may be seeing more and more of. Both are very well versed in their areas. Both are convinced CCSS holds much promise-if handled correctly. They did not quite agree on a few things during the presentation, but were very respectful of each other. Both are sold out via sponsors, beliefs that high stakes assessments are here to stay, in fact will become moreso. They like the SBAC/PARCC. Each had a favorite and it was ‘debated’ which one will survive the scrutiny presently in the news.

Here, in bullet point style are the biggest takeaways about the educational obsession with assessments:

  • Standard of importance is the assessments must be tied to common measures.
  • At least one of the presenters used an image of Tea Party symbolism and anti Common Core symbol as part of the problem.
  • It is being perceived the biggest push-back against SBAC/PARCC is due to the length of the tests.
  • High stakes assessments are vital to close the achievement gap; to improve US education in order to global compete.
  • Consequential testing needs to be transformed into ‘real world, best practices, learning challenges’ and calibrated to have common exercises everyone can complete, especially projects.
  • Whatever assessments used, embed them; award certificates for tasks like problem solving.
  • Use HSA (high stakes assessments) to drive schools.
  • Education needs to be more open to all and on-line.
  • Formative/summative assessments should be combined, aligned, synergized.
  • Don’t blame the assessments, blame how they are used incorrectly.
  • CCSS is an important step in all of this.
The real cost of high stakes assessments?? Self worth, esteem, thinking skills, learning skills. NO amount of money is worth killing a mind.
The real cost of high stakes assessments??
Self worth, esteem, thinking skills, learning skills.
NO amount of money is worth killing a mind.