Tag Archives: GEAR UP

WYBI: CCSS’s Ego Issues

We know the U.S. Dept. of Ed loves the CCSS, but find out how bloated their ego really is these days.
We know the U.S. Dept. of Ed loves the CCSS, but find out how bloated their ego really is these days.

What if I told you the U.S. Dept. of Ed had just completed studies to support MORE federal education overreach? Would you believe it?! Let’s find out how CCSS and the Next Generation stack up in this bloated ego atmosphere.

The Group Responsible:

I am not sure if you know this or not, but tucked into the U.S. Dept. of Ed. is an Institute for Evaluation pertaining to American education (just recently an international evaluation was published as well, but that’s another story). The official name of the Institute is the “Institute of Education Sciences”. Their website for today’s post: http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/projects/evaluation/index.asp

The Tweet That Sent Me Off the Cliff:

Being an avid researcher, I get all kinds of Twitter news. One of Monday morning’s was a doozy. See for yourselves:

As seen on my CCDiva Twitter account 3/2/15.
As seen on my CCDiva Twitter account 3/2/15.

The Studies:

After seeing this bloated ego of a tweet, I HAD to find out what exactly I could discover about the continued overreach of the federal gov’t in education. So, using the above website address, I discovered the following:
NCEE (National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance) has come up with a “Next Generation of Rigorous Evaluations” The purpose? So schools and school leaders can raise student achievement levels. You’ll need to access the website for today’s post (above) to read for yourselves the other things that are stated. However, here’s one excerpt that will send you over the edge of that cliff, “In particular, the NCEE focuses on conducting rigorous impact studies of promising educational programs and practices that are supported through federal funds.”  Guiding the studies? Three questions. Yes, that’s right 3 questions. Those questions are:“What is the impact of the federal program on the intended outcomes?”; “Is the program model effective?”; and “Is a specific intervention (or class of interventions) effective?” By reading the rest of what the IES has been bragging about, you’ll find over 30 studies have been completed.

Directly related to CCSS and have been studied (or are in the process of) are:
1) Pathways to College and or Career, especially through the federally funded GEAR UP (see my previously published article from 11/14 about GEAR UP: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/tag/gear-up/) Conducting this study? Oh, another bloated CCSS ego group, AIR (as in American Institutes for Research) The amount of federal funds to support this study (which doesn’t expire until 2018) is over $6 million! (for all the details, http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/projects/evaluation/pathways_gearup.asp)

2) Striving Readers Program, especially as awarded to states for raising literacy through curriculum. I found a NV based You Tube tutorial demonstrating the ties of CC to SR. Watch it below:

If you’d like to see the 2010 Webinar for the Striving Readers and how funding was not only awarded, but CC thrown in the mix: webinar8262010  To see more about the NCEE’s study for SR, go to: http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/projects/evaluation/assistance_readers.asp Be sure to take note of the amount of federal funding and how it’s split up.

3) Evaluation the “Nation’s Report Card” or NAEP. See: http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/projects/evaluation/other_naep.asp This study’s all about the data collection and how achievement levels are treated. Study will expire in 2016.

4) Title I and II especially under the ESEA. See: http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/projects/evaluation/other_titleI.asp

Over $13 million dedicated to studying what standards states are using, what assessments, and how even more data can be used, collected. All approved and funded by Congress. This study ends in 2018. Three different contractors got this study. I dare you to google them to see how ties to CCSS they are! For example, EdCount, LLC was the organization which created the accountability guides the CCSSO (Council of Chief State School Officers) used in each of the 50 states between 2003-2007. Partners include Pearson Publishing, AIR, and many others. (to see EdCount, LLC’s website for their partners/clients, visit: http://edcount.com/index.php/about/clients-and-partners Be sure to look at their ‘Services’ pages. You’ll be amazed at how much they do.

5) Implementing Assessments for Special Needs Students. See: http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/projects/evaluation/disabilities_ideaimp.asp This study ended in 2011, cost the taxpayers of America, just over $2 million. Results? More outcome based education and ‘high standards’. I’ve included the final study report. You’ll especially need pages 72 and following where it is discussed that mandated standards are more common that IEPs. Get it: IDEAreport

For the Others:

There are other studies you’ll want to look at for yourselves. Try the Literacy Studies, the Math Studies, and the Teacher Studies. You won’t believe what you see! For example, in the Literacy Studies, under the “Evaluation for Reading Comprehension”. This Study was over $17 million to discover during its first year the reading curricula, “Reading for Knowledge”, showed NO positive growth. The Study’s quick to add that things did improve after the first year. When I searched for the said curricula I got the pro CCSS group “Amplify”. Gee whiz, another bloated ego. To access this Study and the others, use the same website address as in the beginning of this article and select your choice from the left hand menu.

Want to See More of the U.S. Dept. of Ed’s  Bloated Ego?

Then you’ll need to access their “What Works Clearinghouse”. The website: http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/wwc/

Begin with the “Practice Guides”, then “Interventions” (especially the one titled “Fast Track”, for emotionally disturbed little ones), if you want to see reviews of the absolute latest in research, go for the “Quick Reviews”, you’ll find studies for charter schools and college/career readiness and other ‘blasts of ego’. To get to all these, just use the left hand menu.

When I searched for an appropriate image to start this article off with, I found the teacher at the chalk board to be excellent. However, the caption it should have attached is the original one which reads, “An inflated ego is like a balloon. Over fill it and it will explode.” Can’t say I’d mind seeing CCSS explode altogether.

On your mark, get set, explode!!
On your mark, get set, explode!!

FTF Tuesday: CCREC (College and Career Readiness Evaluation Consortium)

I don’t know if you’ve heard of this group, but I can’t help but think “CC Wreck” not “CCREC” when I see the acronym. Although it could stand for something like “Common Core Rots Education/Curriculum”. Well, enough pithiness, let’s get down to finding out more about CCREC.

College and Career Readiness Evaluation Consortium:

(http://www.edpartnerships.org/college-and-career-readiness-evaluation-consortium-ccrecAccording to their website, their purpose in our lives is: “The College and Career Readiness Evaluation Consortium (CCREC) is a Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) member state organization that currently includes: Arizona, Idaho, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. The purpose of the Consortium is to foster collaboration among its members; demonstrate the impact of GEAR UP across local, state, and national levels of implementation; and build a culture of evidenced-based assessment and decision-making.”

Partnering at the states level for GEAR UP is Act, Inc. (as in Aspire, Plan, etc.  assessments). At the national level for GEAR UP is the NCCEP (National Council for Community and Education Partnerships). What makes NCCEP so special is that it’s the U.S. Dept. of Education’s agent to not only manage things but to assist in technical needs and policy needs. Since Act, Inc. is a partner, you know their assessments will be ‘the boss’ when it comes to pigeon holing students for careers.

Vision of the Consortium is to uphold the federal college program (GEAR UP) and to conduct high quality research, assessment of the program. The mission for the Consortium is something else entirely. See the excerpt below,

“The mission of the College and Career Readiness Evaluation Consortium is to enhance the administration of GEAR UP projects, consistent with the federal GPRA and Annual Performance Report guidelines and requirements. Interstate collaboration, entailing adoption of common standards, indicators, data elements, diagnostics, and data collection and reporting methods, will strengthen the formative and summative evaluation and practice of GEAR UP as a whole.” *Note: as we’ve learned before, formative assessments are helpful while summative are harmful)

Planning for CCREC’s system, 2011-12, research/evalutation, 2012-13, and implementation, 2013-18. To see the entire 3 page pdf:  http://www.edpartnerships.org/sites/default/files/basic_pages/CCREC_Summary.pdf


Did you notice that the CCREC’s website address had ‘edpartnership’ in it? I did. So, who are the partners? Let’s find out! Their website, http://www.edpartnerships.org/

Begun in 1999, by ACE (American Council on Education) for a 6 month ‘experiment’. Among its vision, mission, and goals? Heavy on P3s (public private partnerships), education reform, collaboration to have students contribute to the economy and “Education must relate to workforce needs.” 

The partnership is also known as The National Council for Community and Education Partnership, as mentioned above. (to see more mission, vision, and reform, http://www.edpartnerships.org/mission-and-vision

Funding NCCEP? Oh, you’ll love this list: “NCCEP is especially grateful to the Ford Foundation, W. K. Kellogg Foundation, AT&T Foundation, Kresge Foundation, Lumina Foundation, GE Foundation, James Irvine Foundation and USA Funds for its philanthropic leadership over the past decade.”

From the federal level, the U.S. Dept. of Ed and the National Urban League also help fund NCCEP.
NCCEP is also an advocacy voice in Washington, D.C. The efforts have been so successful in promoting GEAR UP to Congress that many millions of dollars are now funding GEAR UP that might not have been earmarked if not for such strong urging. (according to the website, it’s about $302 million now)

If you’ve heard of Youth Congress, College Savings Account Technical Assistance, or the Superintendent Leadership Institute, then you’ve had access to NCCEP. All of these are designed to deepen the commitment to GEAR UP.

Oh, and curriculum that supports all this? Yep..there’s “16 Summers” and “Éxito Escolar”. The former targets ‘at-risk’ students while the latter targets the Latino population. The ’16 Summers’ uses a Hollywood actor to portray the message, while the Latino version features a dual language approach.

Among the partners are the ‘Pathways to College Network’, The CEF (Committee for Education Funding), The Hispanic Education Coalition, and a shameless plug for more ‘strategic’ partners. You’ll even find a tool kit to help lure them in! See the rest: http://www.edpartnerships.org/strategic-partnerships

Ahhh, I knew I’d find it, the Common Core, rigor, STEM, and whatever else is rhetoric Resource page! (see:

http://www.edpartnerships.org/resources/list?resource-category-tid=30 (if you go there, you won’t see a whole lot, but you might see a place that says ‘click here’), to save you the trouble, I’ve provided the Prezi below:


Note what you saw that was able to connect STEM to CCSS..it’s definitely there!


The acronym was spelled out above for you, so refer to there if you aren’t sure what the entire name of the program is. The short of it is it provides funding for low income or at-risk students to be able to attend college. It’s competitive, of course. Students start in 7th grade and continue through high school with early college awareness programs. As per any federal government program, mandates include p3s (Public private partnerships) must be involved. Creating a ‘common agenda’. The federal law backing all this? ” Title IV of the 1998 Amendments to the Higher Education Act of 1965 (HEA) and was signed into public law (P.L.105-244) on September 29, 1998 by President Clinton.” To ensure federal money can continue to flow to GEAR UP is the Sec. of Education’s supply of data. See this excerpt: “To ensure that GEAR UP merits continued federal financial support, the Secretary of Education provides Congress with performance data (as mandated by the Government Performance Results Act of 1993, (GPRA). These indicators are important to GEAR UP professionals as they define the reporting and evaluation mandates of the U.S. Department of Education (USDOE).”

The NCCEP website will refer you to the U.S. Dept. of Ed’s GEAR UP website. I followed the trail and found GEAR UP Resources. Topping the Resource list?! The College Board! Now, we know we’ll find CCSS there, so let’s see about the other resources highlighted.
“Project Grad”, I was able to find the CC in 2 clicks of a mouse, “The GRAD Academy curriculum requires teachers to act as coaches, guides, and facilitators, and to lead students to build authentic and meaningful projects tied to state and national Common Core Standards.”

“I Have a Dream Foundation”, while the CCSS search didn’t turn up those exact words, I saw enough evidence to convince me they are definitely tied in. Some of the most familiar CCSS supportive organizations are linked to the website, Lumina Foundation, the College Board, and many others. I’ve given you the link to the Education Reform page of the website so you can find, not only the Career Pathways information (more post secondary CCSS) but some other interesting information as well. See: http://www.ihaveadreamfoundation.org/html/broader_ed_reform.htm

“National Mentoring Partnership”, in the past was very supportive of the social action surrounding “Waiting for Superman” which included urging state officials to implement CCSS. Here’s the pdf file: ccssmentor

With a past like that, I highly doubt the effort has changed its course.

“America’s Promise Alliance”, finding CCSS there? Let’s see, so many CCSS resources, I’ll just include the link for you to follow (oh, be sure to look for ‘college and career ready’ as well), http://www.americaspromise.org/search/node/common%20core%20standards

Finally, back at the U.S. Dept. of Ed archives, you can find the GEAR UP Benchmarking paper! Access it:

Why would you want that? To see how the GEAR UP measures students constantly.

What NCCEP looks like on a state level:

Here’s NC, where I live:

To access GEAR UP for your state, use the 'find GEAR UP' on the NCCEP website.
To access GEAR UP for your state, use the ‘find GEAR UP’ on the NCCEP website.

If you need to enlarge the graphic, click on it. There you’ll see NC is tied to CCSS, College/Career Readiness until 2019, all courtesy of “GEAR UP”. Your state will have it’s own GEAR UP page. Mine took me to UNC (University of North Carolina), there I found an entire web page of links (look to your right). I also found the NC GEAR UP map card. This map is a color coded map of all 100 counties and other related info as to where all those millions of dollars in grant money are going.
See our map: gear_up_nc_map_card_2012-19

Remember how in the beginning of this only 15 states were mentioned? Well, what if you don’t live in one of them? Well, the bad news is GEAR UP is everywhere, the good news is you can access just where, by visiting, http://www.edpartnerships.org/advocacy/programs