Tag Archives: Friday Institute

Way Out Yonder…

Recently, Warriors Against Fed Ed, I was looking through my State’s Legislative website. I thought I’d seen enough of the proposed bills linking NC (where I live) to the ESSA’s (Every Student Succeeds Act) overreach in state education. (*Note: if you missed that article )

However, there was one I missed. It’s called the “BRIGHT Futures Act”. It’s from the NC Senate, and is also S56. My fellow anti CCSS Warrior, Andrea Dillon, shared news and video of this Bill on the “American Lens” Facebook page. In the video, our Lt. Governor is waxing joyously about how a “Last Mile” for NC is about to be reached. What is he referring to?

Digital Connectivity and how it will help Rural Education

“Digital Connectivity” ties rural education to the CCSS Machine through aligned workforce based education as laid out in ESSA, HEA (Higher Education Act), and WIOA (Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act).
“Digital Connectivity” was also a huge portion of the U.S. House of Representative’s HR5 (Student Success Act).
I laid all this out for you in my previous article titled “ESSA and Digital Overload”. That article also helps us connect Rural Education to HR5 and “NC New Schools”. (*Note: the NC New Schools will lead to you to other States with rural education populations.)

You may recall, HR5 was the House’s version to re-authorize ESEA of 1965 (Elementary and Secondary Education Act). As a compromise, big parts of HR5 were taken and added to the U.S. Senate’s version of ESEA’s re-authorization, called “Every Child Achieves Act”, or S1177.

As we now know, S1177 is the Bill which survived and changed its name to ESSA to reflect all that ‘bi-partisan’ work from Congress.

The digital mandates are now coming to fruition. Conveniently completed from a State level with Bills such as “Bright Futures”.

Pausing For A Bit Of Reference:

Before we go on finding out how NC’s S65 is helping ESSA ‘set up shop’ in  NC, let me say that I have no idea how many States have similar legislation. I have no clue how many NC State Leaders are pushing for all the ‘digital connectivity’ items they can get their hands on. However, I do know, that our State has a long history on jumping on the ‘fed ed’ bandwagon several times.

That NC has jumped on this bandwagon is no shocker. Why? NC was the first State to jump on board with Microsoft through their Microsoft IT Academy.

ncmicroit

As we know, Microsoft is a huge digital, CCSS Machine organization. We know Bill Gates is Microsoft’s ‘guy’. We also know Gates is the one who signed an agreement with UNESCO for a one world curriculum, which grew into the CCSSI (Common Core State Standards Initiative). We see the CCSSI in the pages of ESSA, too. Literally.
*Note: In ESSA, we also see the name change from “CCSS” (Common Core State Standards) to its less ‘vile’ name, ‘College and Career Readiness’. ESSA’s writers like to use that phrase. Along with the even more innocent sounding “Challenging State Academic Standards”. ESSA’s writers also threw in the ‘Career Technical Education (CTE)’ phrase.

So, what have Microsoft and NC been up to more recently than 2010? This short You Tube video (2013) will introduce you to the “Imagine Academy”.

In 2016, NC and Microsoft made the news in connection with the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Big Data Regional Hubs. There are 4 of these Hubs across the USA. NC is in the Southern Hub. (*Note: NSF is also a huge CCSS Machine member organization.)

Back To The ‘BRIGHT Futures’:

brightnc

Above you see a screen shot of the 4 page S65 Bill (BRIGHT Futures Act)

*BRIGHT stands for “Broadband, Retail Services on-line, Internet of things, GridPower, Health care, and, Training and education”.

You’ll also see I added some emphasis to Page 1 of S65. These items are very important clues to those of us fighting federally led education in ALL age groups.

While the legislators promoting this Bill are calling this a great thing for NC, here are the parts they either left out by omission (assuming they have no idea how vast the CCSS Machine’s grip on workforce education is) OR by design.

a) P3s (Public-Private Partnerships) in education have created a disgrace to the classical, academic basis our students need.

b) Workforce based education, especially in adult populations ties back to WIOA and HEA, espically through the one-stop-job-centers here in NC. Called “NCWorks” it is a direct product of WIOA state grant money awarded to NC. Why? WIOA grant money given to ANY State has an underlying purpose: using the job center data to ‘marry’ with the student data to create a seamless Career Tech/Career Pathway education! It is the ‘perfect’ setup. The student data, as we know, comes from the Dept. of Education; likewise, the job data comes from the Dept. of Labor. Both happen at the Federal level AND the State level!!

c) Making improvements in your State for better education/access to shouldn’t come about as a by-product of your economy. Those improvements should never place the importance of money over our students. Using a phrase like ‘all means necessary’ is also a big warning.

d) Governor appointed positions spell bad news for the State citizens, regardless of what Council or Committee it is. Special interests are vastly protected with these appointments.

e) Near the bottom of Page 1 (Line 27), “School Connectivity Initiative and Digital Learning Plan” are inserted.  The SCI (School Connectivity Initiative) has been around a few years. Here’s what is does, “The NC School Connectivity Initiative (SCI) compliments the E-rate program in North Carolina by providing state funding to cover the non-discounted portion of school connectivity-related charges. The SCI also provides a statewide network connecting all LEAs and most charter schools to the Internet, E-rate training and support, and network engineering services.” Source: Page 18 of the NC Digital Learning Plan (*Note: E-Rates are those small charges on your phone bill. They, too, can be traced back to the CCSS Machine. E-Rates basically are funds used to data mine your students.) According to the NC Digital Plan, at the bottom of Page 18, it is revealed the E-rates used for NC are based on Free and Reduced Lunch Program.

The NC Digital Plan also is part of the CCSS Machine’s plan for continued alignment in education. How do I know this?  CCSS Machine member, The Friday Institute, is the one which published the detailed Plan in 2015. Among the Plan’s pages is the fact other States using Digital Learning Plans were used as models for NC. The roots for NC’s Digital shift in education go back to 1999. The CCSS Machine entered the digital push about the time Race to the Top surfaced.
To see and read the entire NC Digital Plannc-digital-learning-detailed-plan-9-14-15

Interestingly enough, the NC DPI (Dept of Public Instruction) and the NC SBE (State Board of Education) help oversee this Digital Learning Plan. (Page 6). Our Lt. Governor serves on the SBE. (see below)

ncsbe

From the Lt. Governor’s Education Policy page on his Official NC Website, his stance on digital education. (The rest of his policies reveal a clear conflict (school choice) for us Warriors.) See: http://ltgov.nc.gov/resources/lieutenant-governor-dan-forest-education-policy)

“Innovation in Education: Students need access to modern technology to prepare them for a 21st century economy. Every student should have one-to-one devices (computers, laptops, tablets, etc.) in their North Carolina classroom. As Chairman of the Governor’s eLearning Commission and member of the State Board of Education’s Special Committee on Digital Learning, Lieutenant Governor Dan Forest is actively working to provide Wi-Fi access to every K – 12 classroom in the state. Though North Carolina leads the way in our effort to extend broadband Internet access to every public school, the next step is to expand that infrastructure to reach every public school classroom and put one-to-one devices in the hands of the students.”

I would urge any of you with proven research as to how digital devices are so dangerous in the hands of our youngest learners or how too much screen time is dangerous for any age student, to please contact the Lt. Governor and every one of the S65 Sponsoring Legislators.

If you missed why ‘school choice’ is an anti Fed Ed Warrior’s conflict:

essaumbrella


As far as top-down digital legislation or programs containing digital learning and related to ESSA, or now codified within, America has:
Digital Promise
Digital Promise Neighborhoods
i3 Initiative
ConnectED
Digital Innovation Upgrades or Creations
(at least $849 million in funding is ear-marked)
REAP (Rural Education Achievement Program)
(Will impact Title One funding, use $1.6 billion in tax payer funds for ‘rigorous’ education including all technology, ramp up the STEM Master Corps, and more.)
Community Schools (can also include 21st Century Community Learning Centers)

Closing:

So, pardon me, if I’m not seeing such a BRIGHT NC Future. What I do see is a NC committeed more to the federal government than to its citizens. I urge all of you who live in rural counties and states, use this article as an example of what is going on right under our noses to align everyone in education to the same thing!

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Inadequacy Breeders

CCRMenuLogo
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.

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

feeccr

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):
 http://www.excelined.org/news/excelined-submits-comments-u-s-department-education-essa-regulations/

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)?

dlclead
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:
https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2016/05/22/ed-for-sale/
https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2016/01/04/meet-your-new-neighbor-essa-seriously/
d) ESSA and the national technology/in-home assessments:
https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2016/02/23/essa-in-a-nutshell/
e) ESSA and the data mining for private education (including homeschoolers), which also lumps in AP, IB, and dual enrollment:
https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2016/03/01/warriors-guide-to-essa-and-private-education/
f) The White House’s “Computer Science for All” will also be included in the digital push/ESSA, CCR, etc.:
https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2016/05/07/catching-up/

Closing:

Find out if your State has received any Digital Learning Grants recently. For example, this one from 2014 from Indiana:
http://www.doe.in.gov/elearning/digital-learning-grant

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:
http://www.dpi.state.nc.us/dtl/policy/regulations/

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

fridaydigit

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

State Digital Education

knewtondigital

Anti CCSS Warriors, if you have seen my last two articles, then you know the ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act) has mandates for digital education embedded, a massive and invasive data collection study in the works and more.
But what about the digital education push from your state’s level?In case you haven’t read the articles, please note both are very detailed, so be sure you take your time reading them. Today’s is also jam packed, but it it imperative we read and share!

Thursday’s Article: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2016/02/04/essa-and-digital-overload/
This Past Weekend’s Article: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2016/02/05/weekend-news-the-ies-and-the-essa/

 

The U.S. Dept. of Ed’s Latest Propaganda:

In preparing for this article, I stumbled upon the U.S. Dept. of Ed’s latest Twitter video. It fits right into today’s question concerning the state levels for digital education. What a slick sales pitch for College/Career Readiness AND digital learning!
See:

https://amp.twimg.com/v/dcb95af5-160a-47b5-a48a-5a293dfe2e18

Now that you have watched the video, look at this screen shot (also from the Knewton Presentation seen above).
facilitatedigitalIf you would like to see the entire Knewton Presentation, see:
https://www.knewton.com/infographics/the-state-of-digital-education-infographic/
(*Note: Knewton is hardly anti-CCSS or for that matter, anti-ANYTHING that goes with them.)

See:
1) http://curmudgucation.blogspot.com/2014/03/who-puts-scary-in-pearson-meet-knewton.html

2) Access this YouTube video from my fellow anti CCSS Warrior, Nicole Revels:

So, What’s in Your State?

The video above was specific to an NC meeting. However, look at the information presented, it doesn’t stop at the NC state lines! The data mining, digital education tie is in ALL 50 States! So where do you look to find the amounts of money, people, and legislation allowing all this to happen? How will the newly passed ESSA law (with all its digital education mandates) change all this already in place?

1) State Policy Network (SPN) claims their digital education toolkit is the best available. However, I tend to see their toolkit as a subjective view NOT an objective one. Why? First, look at the toolkit’s main page and you will see an embedded video from KIPP ( a very big CCSS Machine member) See my previously published article: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/12/18/tech-thursday-the-latest-faux-pas-in-education-workforce/
Then, check out the Gates Foundation Grant Database, where KIPP has been generously awarded money for alignment to all things CCSS: http://www.gatesfoundation.org/How-We-Work/Quick-Links/Grants-Database#q/k=KIPP
The KIPP connection is but one clue the SPN Toolkit is subjective. There is more:
See: http://nonprofitquarterly.org/2013/11/14/corporate-money-in-network-of-right-wing-state-policy-think-tanks/

There are 5 goals the SPN states as to WHY digital education is so vital today. You can see the excerpt, “Evaluate students (based on what they know, not how long they are in a place);
Certify and evaluate teachers (based on how well they teach what they know, not the credentials obtained); Evaluate courses and materials (based on state standards); Provide access (instead of getting in the way); and Pay for all of it (with proper accountability).”
To see the entire Toolkit: http://www.spn.org/digital_education/

2) SETDA and the Friday Institute have a June 2015 report detailing the 50 States and Digital Education. Before we look at it, however, consider that BOTH are also Pro-CCSS/CCR/CTE (Common Core State Standards, College and Career Readiness, Career Tech Education) See: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/05/15/fom-sbac-and-parcc-revisited/
Then: http://ladyliberty1885.com/2015/08/30/possibly-the-most-arrogant-and-insulting-common-core-article-ive-seen-in-a-while/

According the the 2015 Report, there are 5 States heralded as leaders in digital education:
Alabama, North Carolina, Utah, Indiana, and Kentucky. There are also 5 main components of digital education every State will have, thanks to ESSA.
5digital
As I have shared with you in past 2 articles detailing the digital mandates in ESSA, the Infrastructure will be one of the biggest clues as to where to look in your State. What are the plans for better internet in your area? Are your service providers upgrading their systems? Has your state recently passed legislation for Rural Education funding? There are other similar questions for you to ask.

To access the June 2015 Report (where just below this screen shot you will see the descriptions of how each of the 5 goals will be obtained): DigitalLearningExemplars_June2015

As an example of legislation passed, here in NC, to support digital learning, read this excerpt from the Report, “State Law 2013-12 requires the North Carolina
Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI) to assist districts in the transition from textbooks to digital materials by 2017. These materials must be effective for all learners and align with the curriculum and standards. Such a law promotes progress toward some level of digital learning statewide.” What if you don’t live in one of the 5 States mentioned as leaders? The Report will also detail all the other States and where they are in the path of mass alignment.

Since AL is considered to be the #1 leader in the shift to digital education, see this article about the Governor pushing for more fiber optic connections throughout the State:
http://www.centerdigitaled.com/k-12/Alabama-Governor-Pushes-Fiber-Optic-Cables-for-Schools.html

If you would like to see how SETDA is modernizing the E-rate in your State, see:
http://www.setda.org/priorities/equity-of-access/e-rate-modernization/

So Where in ESSA are the Libraries?

Based on the ESSA Final Conference Report (I shared the document with you in the Thursday article mentioned above), here are page numbers concerning digital education and libraries:
1) Page 138, school libraries and their programs to be updated to digital
2) Page 323, school libraries and their programs must offer digital courses to all school leaders
3) Page 343, school libraries and their programs to lead all school employees in digitally led courses as part of ‘safe schools’
4) Page 384, possible U.S. Dept. of Ed Secretary awarded grants for school libraries and digital led programming
5) 387, all libraries (school or public) are included, with museums, non-profits, and post-secondary educational instututions
6) Page 515, after school programs via extended public library services/hours
7) Page 1,000, authorizes the LSTA (Library Services and Technology Act) grant money to be used for technology upgrades and/or purchases for digital education for all
8) Page 1,037, embeds the Museum and Library Services Act, MLSA

 

 Related Information:

Kipp has partnered with several post-secondary institutions in America to continue the CCSS Machine’s alignment. See:
http://www.kipp.org/our-approach/kipp-through-college/college-partnerships

The Gates Foundation-friendly Education Week has an article you will need to access as well. It deals with the E-rate legislation (a federal level law which impacts all 50 States) and its role in digital education. See: http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/DigitalEducation/2015/10/e-rate_application_toolkit.html
In contrast, I wrote an anti CCSS Warrior article about the E-rate legislation back in 2014 for Prevent Common Core’s website. See: http://preventcommoncore.com/?p=1223

The Federal Learning Registry is slam full of massive data mining via digital education.
See: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/01/12/monday-musings-assessments-data-mining/

SETDA’s role in ridding the world of printed textbooks:
https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/11/01/sic-em-saturday-creatively-turning-the-usa-common/

For LSTA (Library Services and Technology Act) see my previously published article:
https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/10/27/monday-musings-hitting-the-books/

For how much MLSA (Museum and Library Services Act) grant money your State has been awarded, see:
https://www.imls.gov/grants/grants-states