Tag Archives: First Lady

Weekend News: Heads Up, Higher Ed CTE Update


This Weekend News is an update to the continued Common Core/Career Tech Education/Aligned Apprentices efforts our post secondary students are facing. What can we do to fight this? How can we inform others? Read on, my fighters!!

A White House “Fact Sheet”:

Dated September 9th, 2015, this news release gives us several key pieces to the continued alignment of our students. We know this is part of the ‘cradle to career’ agenda so prevalent in the CCSS Initiative. What is stunning, is that the White House continues to promote these efforts.
WHfactsSo, what are the ‘key pieces’? Here’s my list:
1) “Education and job training are among the surest pathways to the middle class.” (The old school ‘American Dream’ wasn’t middle class, it was MUCH bigger)
2) “President, the First Lady, Dr. Jill Biden, and Secretary Arne Duncan will travel across the country in the coming days to highlight the need for affordable, quality career and education choices..” (in my past articles, I have shared how the Vice President was tasked by the President to come up with Workforce/Education ideas)
3) “President will announce new steps to expand apprenticeships and to continue to build momentum nationwide to make community college free for responsible students.” (in past articles, I’ve shared with you how the nation’s community colleges are already CCSS/CTE aligned)
4) Specific agenda items the “Touring Team” will promote:
a) Dept. of Labor grants “Grants to 46 public-private partnerships marrying the efforts of employers, organized labor, non-profits, local governments, and educational institutions to expand high-quality apprenticeships.”
b)  “independent creation of the College Promise Advisory Board, led by Chair Dr. Jill Biden, and Vice-Chair former Wyoming Governor Jim Geringer and directed by former Under Secretary of Education, Martha Kanter.”
c) “Heads Up America will call on everyone to join the movement to make two years of community college free for responsible students around the country.”
d) Those “American Apprenticeship Grants “ will help train and hire more than 34,000 new apprentices in high-growth and high-tech industries as diverse as health care, IT, and advanced manufacturing while scaling up proven programs in construction, transportation, and energy over the next five years.”
e) “Over 140 employers, colleges, and labor organizations have signed on to be ApprenticeshipUSA LEADERS (Leaders of Excellence in Apprenticeship Development, Education and Research) by expanding their own training programs and encouraging their peers to get on board.” 

To summarize the rest of the news release, it is basically affirming that the White House is over-stepping its authority again, blaming Congress for not being supportive enough when it comes to WIOA (Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act). It is also revealing the massive amounts of money, the number of citizens to be involved in MORE career pathways for life.

The College Promise Advisory Board:

Helping the efforts of ‘free’ community colleges will be the following:
Walther Bumphus (American Association of Community Colleges) I exposed his ties to CCSS/CTE in my 2 part series: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/05/06/wybi-upskilling-america-part-1/  AND https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/05/07/tech-thursday-upskilling-america-part-2/
Lily Garcia(NEA), Randi Weingarten(AFT), LaVerne Srinivasan (Carnegie Corp.), Ellen Alberding (Joyce Foundation), and Randy Boyd (TN Economic and Community Development). There are many others, but these individuals above are well known CCSS/CTE/CCR supporters. (you can see the entire list by accessing the news release’s link)

Those 46 P3s:

The grants are broken down by regions across the USA. In the Northeast, MA, NY, CT, RI, and VT were the ‘winners’. The bulk of the grants appear to be workforce education, outcome based education, or economic based. Some of the programs include The United Way, various department of labor current activities, and more. In the South, SC, GA, AR, TX, and FL ‘won’ money. Money awarded in these states appears to be ’21st Century Initiative’, ‘compressed education’, economic, and workforce based. Mid-Atlantic ‘winners’ are WV, MD, DC, VA, and PA. Their money will be devoted to all kinds of apprenticeships, including a grant to the International Brotherhood of Teamsters! The Mid-West states getting grants are IL, MI, MN, and WI. Illinois received the bulk of the grants. Among the apprenticeships, workforce, education alignment, you’ll find STEM and MAP+ (MI). In the West, HI, CA, OR, NM, WA, NV, and AK will get the big bucks. It appears the bulk of the money will be for either community wide efforts (including community colleges).

Each grantee will have a specific dollar amount, what organizations will benefit by receiving the money and what purpose the money will serve. All kinds of ethnic groups, special needs, and much more are included. The grant information can be accessed:

“Heads Up”:
This website gives us only two choices 'yes' and 'maybe'.

This website gives us only two choices ‘yes’ and ‘maybe’.

This website is so full of agenda driven motives it isn’t funny. For example in the ‘toolkit’, you’ll find ‘willing to work for it’ defined. Part of the definition? Good grades, credits that will follow you, and a commitment to serve your town. As an example of the ‘service’ TN is featured. “Required community service” there when you get ‘free community college’.
“Heads Up” is being called a nation wide grassroots activity. They’ve got a Twitter account (#HeadsUp) The group is really pushing for everyone to get on board with the program, too. One of the ways is to embed their website or Twitter handle in every communication you have access to. Here’s a quote, “Spread the word through social media and by organizing events on your campus and in your community! Think creatively about ways you can make a lasting impact. Every time you spread the word, use our official hashtag ..Make sure you keep an eye on all @Comm_College, @CCTrustees, @AchieveTheDream, @WhiteHouse and @ScholAmerica social media accounts for the latest campaign updates and progress as well. And spread the good news. Let’s do this!”

Here’s the ‘toolkit’, wait until you open to to see how ‘grassroots’ this really isn’t. HeadsUpAmerica_toolkit

The White House Press Release: https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/09/09/fact-sheet-providing-more-americans-affordable-access-education-and-job

One last quote from the news releaseThe Administration has also undertaken efforts to better align community college programs to in-demand jobs.”


 To access my articles about the Vice President’s role in aligning America to CTE, Apprentices, and more: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/08/06/tech-thursday-career-pathways-meet-competency-based-pathways/ (*Note: this article will link you to two other articles about the VP, CCSS, CTE, and Achieve.)

To access the article about those “Aligned Apprentices”, see: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/02/12/tech-thursday-aligned-apprentices/

To see how all this ties to the current NCLB (No Child Left Behind) re-authorization bills (HR5, The Student Success Act and the S1177, Every Child Achieves Act), read:

WYBI: Up Close with the NSF

Do you know how much power NSF has in education?
Do you know how much power NSF has in education?

How much do you know about the NSF (National Science Foundation) and their ties to CCSS and STEM? Would you believe Arne Duncan was considered an expert by them back in 2007? Yep! It happened. But wait, there’s more…

A brief look at NSF’s History:

NSF has been around since 1950. President Truman signed the NSF Act after the atomic bomb was dropped. The goal? Peace via science. In 1953 and 54, the federal agency beefed up teaching in the post-secondary and secondary areas. 1957 brought the advent of the social sciences under NSF’s grasp. Then, in 1971 and 72, improving minority education as well as being responsible for all science education began. A makeover/upgrade for K-12 science curriculum happened in 1987. 2000 brought “Partnerships for Innovation” where education, communities, and P3s (public, private partnerships) were encouraged. (for more history, see their timeline, http://www.nsf.gov/news/special_reports/history-nsf/timeline/index.jsp )


Bring on the Common Core/STEM beginnings:

From 1999, a paper about workforce, common standards, and education: http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/1999/nsb9931/nsb9931-5.htm

From 1999, a paper about common math and science education standards: http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/1999/nsb9931/nsb9931-3.htm

From the Meeting Minutes for the NSF, May 2014, this is what I found on page 5: “For the topic of the Common Core, which was popular in the media recently, he called on Dr. Córdova for information on this subject. She introduced Dr. Joan Ferrini-Mundy, Assistant Director, Directorate for Education and Human Resources (EHR), for an overview on common core standards and issues for the Board’s attention. Dr. Ferrini-Mundy reported that the Common Core State Standards in Mathematics and English Language Arts were the current phase of a long series of activity around K-12 standards based education from the 1980’s. These were developed by the National Governors Association (NGS) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) beginning in 2009 without a direct Federal role in the development. The two major goals of the Common Core State Standards in Mathematics are to create clearer and higher standards that (1) describe what students should know and be able to do in order to be ready for college or career at the end of high school; and (2) to ensure common outcomes across various jurisdictions. One of the major features of this movement is to look for equitable access to learning opportunities across the states, where previously there were major differences in expectations for students across the country. The Standards were released after an elaborate development process in 2010 for state adoption. As of 2011, 45 states plus the District of Columbia adopted the Common Core State Standards in Mathematics. The Department of Education funded two consortia to develop the Common Corealigned assessments of states that have come together with nonprofit groups to prepare the assessment tools that will then measure whether students are making progress towards these common standards. There is considerable controversy about the Common Core. She stated that it is complicated and it has multiple facets. Dr. Ferrini-Mundy stated that teachers in 45 states plus the District of Columbia were expected to work with the Common Core State Standards in Mathematics. NSF sees proposals for work that will help to better understand and to address the challenges of implementation of Common Core and other standards in states that are not using the Common Core. As NSF does not have a special program around the Common Core, the proposals go through the standard merit review processes. Federal support that was provided for their development is in the form of the support that the Department of Education provided for the assessment work. In response to a question on examples of Mathematics Common Core, Dr. Ferrini-Mundy indicated that the Common Core State Standards have many interpretations and do not prescribe curriculum or instructional approaches to ideas. One of the actual implementation issues is how to go from standards that say “here is what students should know and be able to do” to “what is the best way to effectively help learners get to these places.” She added that watching how these assessments play out will be important as they are coming at a time when the standards have not been fully implemented. From the NSF perspective, the potential of standards to help to improve access to good learning is important.”  (see the entire meeting minutes: http://www.nsf.gov/nsb/meetings/2014/0506/minutes.pdf )

From May 2014: The NSF’s vision for redefining education: AC_ReEnvisioning_Report_Sept_2014_01 (*Note: when you access this download, you’ll notice on page 6, the phrase ‘federal Common Rule’. If you don’t know what the federal Common Rule is, it’s definition can be found at the U.S. Health/Human Service’s website. You will be most interested to see what this rule allows/prohibits when it comes to the types of research and data collected on us as humans. You’ll want to see all the federal agencies with access to all this information, too. http://www.hhs.gov/ohrp/humansubjects/commonrule/ )

The Power Congress Gives NSF:

If you aren’t aware of how much money and power our U. S. Congress gives the NSF, you’ll want to see the 2014 FIRST Act. Then, consider how much is devoted to blending academics, research, and workforce. See: BILLS-113HR4186ih-HR4186FrontiersinInnovationResearchScienceandTechnologyActof2014 (*Note: you’ll notice STEM is used repeatedly. Remember NSF is the group which coined the term as a updated reference to SMET (Science, Math, Engineering, and Technology) to influence us, especially in education. The first evidence of the use of “STEM” that I could find was from a testimony given by Dr. Rita Colwell back in 2002. Dr. Colwell was speaking to the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions as to why an increased federal budget was needed. (see her testimony: http://www.nsf.gov/about/congress/107/rrc_help061902.jsp )


1) It has been argued that STEM is not served well by CCSS. However, I had evidence that proves STEM, as an overall agenda item (meaning not only education, but workforce), is using CCSS as a means to an end. How so? See my previously published article: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/09/02/from-the-files-pcast-stem-and-common-core/)

2) The 2007 National Action Plan for STEM is another resource you may wish to have. stem_action2007 (*Note: you’ll be pleased to know that current Dept of Ed Secretary Arne Duncan was among the members who was considered an expert on 21st Century education.  He was, at that time, CEO of Chicago Public Schools.)  This report is slam full of alignment for what’s taught, P-20 Councils, workforce, global good, and the usual rhetoric we hear for CCSS. Here’s an excerpt from one of the sidebars, “Dewey urged scientists to convey the science way of thinking to all phases of education as a “SUPREME INTELLECTUAL OBLIGATION.” Although this includes critical thinking, curiosity, skepticism, and verification by observation and measurement, its deeper meaning has to do with the sense of wonder and awe that emerges from the student’s gradual realization that the natural world is orderly and comprehensible. Th e overarching laws of science enable predictions: sunrise, weather, and the hour and day of the return of Halley’s Comet in 2061. Th e appreciation and respect implied here are tragically missing from our science classrooms.”

3) For all the NSF monetary awards given for CCSS, STEM, (which may also include NextGen Science Standards), see: http://www.nsf.gov/awardsearch/advancedSearchResult?QueryText=common%20core%20standards&ActiveAwards=true&#results (*Note: one of the biggest awards (almost $600,000) was given for CCSS curriculum)

4) See NSF’s statistics for college-ready students: http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/seind14/index.cfm/chapter-1/c1s2.htm

5) To see a 2012 press release which states the shift from high stakes assessing to constant momentum tracking, http://www.nsf.gov/news/news_summ.jsp?cntn_id=126071

6) To see NSF’s $200,000 grant awarded to Clark University for developing NextGen Exemplars, http://news.clarku.edu/news/2013/03/05/nsf-awards-clark-university-200k-for-innovative-next-gen-science-teaching-exemplar/

7) Here’s a 2010 press release detailing NSF’s funding to the Noyce Foundation and how it all ties back to CCSS. See: http://www.aaas.org/news/push-new-science-mathematics-standards-described-nsfaaas-education-conference

A video from the NSF’s YouTube Channel that you might find interesting, where you’ll hear the “PreK to Gray” education phrase. You’ll also be pleased to know that the grants NSF gives use YOUR taxpayer money!

Here’s another one from 2011, where the First Lady pushes STEM. However, listen to the gentleman who speaks before her. Listen for his shared vision between NSF and the current administration’s goal for education.