Tag Archives: Grit

Seeing More About Education?

Warriors Against the Core, make no mistake, I am not a fan of MORE  student-led education as a solution to the problems in American education. I believe that teachers make much more difference in education than the CCSS Machine has reduced them to.

seymour

 Student-led school makes as much sense as putting them in charge of making dinner when they’re 6 months old.

Teachers are NOT meant to be relegated to merely being a warm body in a room. That’s totally NOT why these ladies and gentlemen became interested in education, it’s not why they went to college, or became massively in debt to earn those teaching degrees. 

teachersigh

Warriors, evidence has proven that the target of the CCSS Machine’s design on modern classrooms is ‘more student, less teacher’.  It certainly gains momentum with guru-like quotes similar to the one you see in the screen shot. (“Less Us, More Them”)

We have teachers for a purpose. It isn’t to baby-sit, it isn’t to watch his/her students glued to a computer. It’s to lead them! It’s to lead them well. It’s to show other humans how to not only gain information, but to help shape them. Reducing a teacher’s role to what ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act) is, is flat out criminal.

Telling a teacher that due to Common Core (or whatever label is slapped on it) he/she MUST do this or that is wrong.

Warriors, I’m sure you seen a shift in teaching responsibilities before ESSA’s passage. I know I have.  

In fact, I recently shared with you the definitions about learning in the ESSA Era. It’s where teacher AND student are considered in the same context! While this might be okay in some educational settings, an across-the-board, one-way-to-educate-everyone is a landmine waiting to be stepped upon!

Modern day education reform has re-assigned the control in the classroom. What is going to happen when things go awry? We’ve seen time and time again how the CCSS Machine has turned both teachers and students into guinea pigs, will be let them experiment even more in 2017-18’s school year?!

By putting the kids in charge of education, it shifts the burden of responsibility. It changes ‘accountability’. It can set them up to fall flat on their faces. It also will cause a much more conducive platform for the Delphi move of a nanny state school and its control

Another dangerous mindset we can connect to the CCSS Machine’s urging of having kids as teachers, is the rhetoric connected to education: ‘Let ’em fail, it’ll teach ’em better than I can.’ “Failing means grit; grit is good for them, especially when they are young.” This type of thinking and actions are quite frankly, hard-hearted!

‘Rigor and grit’ do not speak to a student who is scared, who has NO earthly idea what is expected of them, or when they are having a bad day. A computer cannot hug a student or give a ‘high five’ a child. Likewise, setting them up to fail on purpose is mean-spirited.

It’s like tying their shoe strings together and then laughing when they fall. Or, the CCSS Machine’s passive-aggressive style of ‘Is that the best you can do? You should try harder!’

Warriors, I’m not suggesting to baby every student at every age, but certainly, we must have guidance and leadership that is centered on how to educate in many different ways.

See how this may translate in a picture version, below:

styles

Source to Mosston and Ashworth’s Spectrum can be found here. I’d like to point out that they very clearly state that ‘variety’ is the spice in teaching.

CCSS Machine’s idea of ‘teaching’ with variety is there is almost NONE! Has this changed since ESSA? Not much!

 

PipelineR10


This is what ‘rigor’ is designed for. It’s failing us every day, in every State, and at every age level.

A visual for ESSA ‘teaching’:

essawheel.jpg
The Source to see the ‘hamster wheel’ for yourselves is here.

After all, if we’re being honest, thanks to ESSA, WIOA, HEA, federal and state legislation, and the CCSS Machine, computers and digital have BECOME the TEACHERS!

So Who Was Seymour Papert?

If you looked at the featured screen shot (‘less us/more them’), you probably saw the name “Seymour Papert”.

Seymour was considered a great ‘technology-before-its-time’ kind of professor.

Seymour was teaching/leading at MIT (which by the way is a huge CCSS Machine member). He was credited with predicting kids and computers as the learning method of the future way before most folks. (*Note: the “21st Century Learning” page provided at the bottom of the highlighted link is broken. However, I was able to find this, instead. Warriors, you should ‘love’ the global learning/leadership tag.)

Back in 1995, C-Span broadcast an Education and Technology hearing. Seymour Papert was a witness. The entire video is over 2 hours, but I urge you to listen. Note who was attending the hearing, who was speaking then. Listen to the tones about the excitement for this advance in education. Source

After MIT, Seymour landed in Maine. This article (2000) reveals how his ‘technology education’ activism can be tied to (then) Gov. Angus King. King is now a Senator for Maine. Is King supportive of more technology in the classrooms? (In the 2000 article, you’ll see how he wanted a computer given to every 7th grader.) In 2017, is his support still there?  Absolutely! (*Many State leaders are convinced a computer for every student is a marker of successful education.)

Do these leaders understand (completely) what this is REALLY doing to our teachers? I do not believe they do.

In 2015, (then) President Obama signed the “Computer Science for All” Initiative. Seymour was said to be a ‘father of CS (Computer Science)’ in this resource:

cspapert

Seymour died in 2016. His MIT obituary is lionizing, to say the least. I only include this because the Professor’s work proves his thinking about children and the way they learn was altered in Switzerland by a philosopher and psychologist Jean Piaget. Seymour was credited with leading the revolution for technology in 3 distinct areas: a) children, b) AI (artificial intelligence, which is also replacing teachers), and c) education via technology.
(*Note: Piaget was a co-director for UNESCO as well as an honorary Harvard doctorate recipient. As you know, both Harvard and UNESCO are CCSS Machine members.) PBS’s “A Science Odyssey” ended their Piaget article with this quote:

“Piaget is widely recognized as the greatest developmental psychologist of the century. His ideas have been refined and added to, but they remain the foundation of child psychology.”

 

Seymour’s “Legacy” Lives On:

So, we’ve seen a distinct shift in education, Warriors. We’ve seen a distinct disrespect for teachers in our nation. While switching our students ‘on’ to computer learning, putting them in charge of said learning, we’re actually turning them ‘off’ to adults and the leadership they can provide.

We’re also seeing the adult’s authority (in appropriate measures and settings) become less and less. Why? All the ‘self-direction’. History has proven (and will continue to)  how far a person gets when the education they thought they worked hard for wasn’t ‘real education’ at all.

Technology is a poor substitute for human interaction.

So, how is Seymour’s ‘legacy’ about kids and computers living on? A couple of ways:
STEM and STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math; Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, and Math). We also can find Seymour-ish leaders, like the ones at Vision, Education, and Media (VEM)

VEMSource 

Warriors, as we know, STEM is a farce as part of education. No, STEM is more about a trained workforce. So is STEAM. The evidence has been given countless times here on my blog. (*Note: the highlighted link is only one such set of documented facts.)

KQED published a short article explaining Seymour’s beliefs about ‘child’s play’ earlier this year.

Warriors, the highlighted “Computer Science for All” link also will show you how Seymour’s ‘legacy’ is living on and will continue to be seen in the 2017-18 school year.

Closing:

Earlier this year, I shared with you how the global AI (Artificial Intelligence) was taking over American education. It certainly will render human teachers as ‘obsolete’, thanks to federal law.

So, how is it surviving beyond the law? Followers of the UNESCO global ed push, most certainly. Fans of Seymour and the others like him, will also carry technology on.

However, also look to groups like the CCSSO (Council of Chief State School Officers). They, my fellow Warriors, are a huge root into why our teachers are in the plight they’re in AND our students are learning less and less, every day in every State.

Lastly, ‘personalized learning’ is a huge educratic term for justifying the shift from teacher-central learning to ‘self-directed’. Every day, every State, my Warrior friends.

 

 

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Why Have Goals?

Warriors, in my “Purse Strings” article, you were promised a follow-up article further looking at the connections between SEL (Social Emotional Learning), the SMART Goals, and, the HARD Goals.

Briefly, before we get to that follow-up information, I’d like to point out something I didn’t in the original article. The connections between who funds each of these types of activities in each of our States is worth looking into. However, don’t only look at the wealthiest folks, but look at their foundations. Look at the traditionally conservative or liberal policy think-tanks. Are there connections between these groups? Are there partnerships? A great conservative example is the AFC (American Federation for Children). Besty DeVos has been instrumental in AFC’s work in the States. Does AFC have an affiliate in your State? As far as an liberal example, try to see if your State has any affiliate offices for the Center for American Progress (CAP).
(*Note: A resource I found where the political spectrum of policy groups is featured is the Citizens Source.)
Also, what PACs (Political Action Committees) are active in education in your State?
More information about PACs and how they are broken down can be found at OpenSecrets.com.

Why We Need to Know The Money Trail:

ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act) not only mandates MORE P3s (public private partnerships), it will reward them for overreaching into education!
Find out what are they supporting or funding in the War Vs. the Core.

 


SEL, Grit, SMART, HARD, And American Education:

To quickly review the connections between these  encompass the global education design for “grit”. Meaning, all education must be a certain way in order to be deemed as ‘successful’. Put another way, per the NC ESSA State Draft Plan (I found it in other State Plans as well), ‘grit’ is for ‘college and career readiness’ (CCR). CCR is another phrase for ‘post-secondary readiness’! See the evidence here.

By passing WIOA (Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act) in 2014, ESSA (Every Student Succeeds) and the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math)Acts in 2015, renewing the HEA’s (Higher Education Act) funding in 2015, our federal government has done a ‘bang up’ job of mandating we’ll see MORE grit, SEL, SMART, and HARD parameters in ALL educational levels. 

Here are two visuals to explain SMART Goals and HARD Goals:

You’ll find plenty of SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Revelant, and Trackable) and HARD (Heart-felt, Animated, Required, and Difficult) in every digital resource your students encounter.  All those ‘personalized courses’ are an example.

Teachers will also face the same constraints. HOW? Professional Development in ESSA mandates teachers and other educational leaders MUST be credentialed in everything post-secondary readiness so their students can measure up. Teachers/leaders/students will be collectively graded on how successful what is taught and learned. It’s called whole school grading. ESSA will reward or punish States where schools do not measure up. Likewise, teachers/leaders will be rewarded or punished if not properly credentialed or badged.

Here are some vital resources you’ll need for SMART and HARD Goals:

1) As we know, there’s a 2013 U.S. Dept. of Education publication about GRIT.
It unabashedly connects CCSS to SEL. Find it here.  (*Note: you’ll find mega bucks Bill and Melinda Gates had a huge hand in helping create this document.)

2)  SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-bound) Goals. Originally designed for business, it appears they’ve made their way into education.  Here’s a document from the State of VA. It’s from the Human Resources Dept of the University of VA. It’s clearly visible this document was for use in higher education.

Warriors, we know higher education has been overrun with corporate/federal interference to help embed that cradle to grave stream global education needs for all citizens. I’ve covered this multiple times here on my blog. WIOA (Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act) and HEA (Higher Education Act) are tools for this. ESSA’s the same.

3) What happens when GRIT and SMART are combined? Find it here.
3a) From CA, a 6th grade Career Roadmap using SMART.

4) Below, Lifelong Learning Labs has this definition of SMART for education. As you can see it’s not too far removed from the business model (‘SMART’ in business stands for Specific, Measurable, Achieveable, Realistic, and Timely.). LLL also calls SMART Goals ‘mind tools’.

EdSMART
5) From the Science and Arts School at the University of PA, the 12 Point GRIT Scale used in classrooms across America.
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HARD Goals supposedly are to make your brain engage and cause your performance levels soar..at least in the business world. According to this blog article about HARD Goals, the concept has been around a long time. These are to be the ‘softer’, more personal skills you have or can groom in others. According to this same article, Leadership IQ’s Mark Murphy has created the latest acroynm. So, who is Murphy? From his Leadership IQ website, this excerpt about his ties to the CCSS Machine and global workforce/education.
With a reputation for brilliant, yet immediately actionable, insights about leadership, he’s trained leaders at the United Nations, Harvard Business School, the Clinton Foundation, Microsoft, MasterCard, SHRM, and hundreds more organizations.  Mark leads one of the world’s largest leadership skills studies, and his work has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Fortune, Forbes, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, and U.S. News & World Report. Mark has also appeared on CNN, NPR, CBS News Sunday Morning, ABC’s 20/20, and Fox Business News.” Source 

1) According to Tony Gurr, he created HARD Goals for education/teaching back in 2012.
His blog entry reveals he ‘borrowed’ Mark Murphy’s business model. See it here. Gurr’s based in Turkey, by the way. According to his LinkedIn profile, he’s got his finger on the HARD/SMART, English Language Learning (ELL) and, English Language Teaching (ELT) education reform. See his ties to Dubai, too. Gurr’s a presentor in this on-line course for teachers available to all education choices.

2) From the “Read Less, Do More” website, Murphy’s summary on how HARD goals are to be used. Read this and see if you do not recognize some of the techniques used in classrooms.

3) If you don’t have time to read the summary, look below for a visual example of HARD goals from 2014. Entire Slide Share presentation, here.

HARDgoals

Warriors, ‘personalized learning’ uses SEL, GRIT, SMART, and HARD!

4) Murphy’s lastest article on HARD vs SMART for Forbes, states both are best for career development. Knowing how aligned to this mandate ESSA is, look for more of this type of BS in classrooms.

5) Tying Grit to Education Savings Accounts, will not only encompass personalized learning, but CBE (Competency Based Education). Big money groups in our States fund these! A ‘leader’ in this is The Jeb Bush Foundation for Excellence in Education. However, FEE is hardly the only big-buck-group in this education reform. Here’s a previously published article where I laid it all out for you.

Closing:

Warriors, I hope between the strings and goals I’ve presented for you in the 2 related articles, you can get an idea that ‘local control’ as promised by the CCSS Machine is a big, fat lie. Locally controlled education should not have nebulous purse strings or someone else’s business modeled priorities as the guiding framework. Local education should be OF the people, BY the people, and, FOR the people.

One truth you can still share with your State’s leaders/funders, etc. is that this federal statute is STILL being broken every day ESSA’s implementation continues. Every day WIOA’s workforce ursurping of education continues, furthers this breach. With the HEA being re-written, the egregious overreaches will continue. Will your State speak up?!

US fed statute

Anybody Got a Fan?!

My fellow anti CCSS/Fed Ed/ESSA Warriors. I’ve recently finished combing through the NC Draft ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act) Plan. I’m not a fan of what I read. If your State has released a draft, please get your hands on the information! NC’s is a whopping 145 pages of anything and everything connected to education…and the workforce. I looked up our neighboring State (SC). Theirs is 84 Pages.

I did try to find some other neighboring State’s ESSA Plans as well. Why? I was curious to see just how unique each Plan is shaping up to be. After all, we’ve been told time and time again, ESSA returns control of education back to the States. (*Note: if you’ve followed my blog for a long time, you know how full of BS what we’ve been told is.)

I did see some of the same things in SC’s Plan that I saw in NC’s. Coincedence, no!
Both contain the federal level requirements each State must adhere to.

For example, what type of graduates each State will have. Below is SC’s:

scessaplan
You can find the legislation which made this Profile a SC State Law:

To see and study SC’s ESSA Planhttp://ed.sc.gov/newsroom/every-student-succeeds-act-essa/draft-consolidated-state-plan/

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By contrast, here is NC’s Graphic:

ncessaplan

If you have wondered why BOTH NC and SC have the 4Cs (Critical Thinking, Collaboration, Creativity, and Communication), it’s because the P21 (“Partnership for 21st Century Learning Skills”) has both NC/SC  as ‘member States'(along with several other States). *Noteworthy: The “Partnership” has been a CCSS Machine member group for quite a while.   On the http://www.P21.org website, you can find 50 College/Career Readiness resources. CCR (College and Career Readiness) is also another name for Common Core State Standards. CCR is embedded in ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act) ) Find the resources here  **Be sure to look for the ‘grit’, ‘workforce readiness in middle school’, and, more.

From Page 25 of NC’s ESSA Draft Plan:

ncessaplan1By July of 2015, NC had a “The Constitutional Mandate to Provide an Opportunity to a Sound Basic Education: An Update and a Recommendation”. Oddly enough, this 2015 Mandate is NOT all that different from the current NC ESSA Plan which will be submitted to the U.S. Dept. of Education later in 2017. To see the mandate, click here. If you’d like to see NC S561, click here.  To see NC’s ESSA Plan
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What We Can Learn From Both NC And SC To Apply Elsewhere:

1) Both had the 5 or 6 federal mandates of ESSA laid out in their Plans.
{These will all be consistent with the Secretary of Education’s authority}:
a) Long-Term Education Goals
b) Consultation/Performance Management toward Long-Term Goals
c) Academic Assessments
d)  Accountability and Support for School Improvement
e) Supporting Excellent Educators
f) Supporting All Students

2) Both will continue education which aligns to College/Career Readiness (aka Common Core, Career Tech Education, etc.).

3) Both will continue to update OR create State-level laws to support the educational shift FROM academics to skill based workforce.

4) Both appear to have no plans to cut the ties with the CCSS Machine member organizations we find so entrenched in our lives. (Example: Pearson, P21, Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), etc.)

5) Both will continue to include non-educators in the education process.

6) Both will continue to see Workforce Education efforts and legislation.

7) Both will more than likely continue their membership statuses in P21, CCSSO, and the other CCSS Machine member groups steering the shift in education.

8) Both will continue to workforce skill based assesssments like ACT Aspire, WorkKeys, etc.

**BOTTOM LINE: None of the State ESSA Draft Plans will differ MUCH from what is in place now. What’s in place now IS CCSS/CCR/CTE aligned. It will stay that way, but be called “Challenging State Academic Standards”.
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Other Things Of Note From NC’s Plan:
 I wanted to leave you with some other key items of interest.

1) U.S. Dept. of Education’s Date Stamp: 12/22/16 (NC’s ESSA Draft Plan expires 11/30/19).

2) From Page 2, ESEA’s (Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965) Section 8302 sets out in that the U.S. Secretary of Education is permitted to establish procedures/criteria after consulting with the State officials. Our State Education Agency then submits the Plan. The Secretary must establish every program in Section 8302 including the State’s materials and resources for education. (*Note: ESEA’s Section 8302 is Optional Consolidated State Plans or Applications. ESSA’s Section 1005 is simply titled “State Plans”. Do not be fooled by the simple title.)

2a) Also on Page 2, every State’s Consolidated Education ESSA Plan must create 1 comprehensive way to improve ‘outomes’ for students.

2b) Included in Page 2’s language is that all State Plans must meet the requirements of Section 427 of the General Education Provisions Act. (See a screen shot below)

section427
3) From Page 3 of NC’s ESSA Plan, Only after the U.S. Dept. of Education approves a State Plan, will these Plans be made public. The preferred method for publicity is to be in a published form.

4) Page 4 reveals our State’s Director of Data, Research, and Federal Policy.

5) Page 17 shows the Federal Program for Monitoring and Support Division of the U.S. Dept. of Ed. From this Division, $463,000,000.00 in federal funds for annual grants are available to school districts. (Watch for an increase in data collection). Here in NC, a Senior Leader Council is used to determine which districts/schools receive our portion of these grants. Based on 3 prongs: i) our Comprehensive Continuous Improvement Plan; ii) to be used by LEAs, charter schools, and non-government organizations to receive competitive federal funds, and iii) the NC Equity Plan (from the NC Dept. of Public Instruction) for data collection.

6) Page 25 tells what is considered as ‘academic indicators’. These are also known as ‘measures’. In order: Academic Achievement, Academic Progress, Graduation Rates, English Language Proficiency, School Quality, and Student Success. Page 28 will show you how the ‘meaningful differentation’ used in these indicators simply means ‘distinct and discrete levels of school performance’. (*Note: the shift from student to the entire school being measured.)

7) Page 29, points you to the School Quality or Student Success indicators. They are, in order: chronic absences, attendance, student engagement, student’s participation in co-curricular activities, physical activity, student participation in the arts, suspensions, teacher engagement, parent involvement, End of Grade exams (or End of Course exams) only in science, the CCR Index (College and Career Readiness Index includes AP Courses, IB Courses, WorkKeys Assessments, ACT, and (here in NC) 5 Diploma Endorsements (these are Career and College, UNC College, NC Academic Scholar, and Global Language). From the bottom of Page 29 to the top of Page 30, this “all schools must be included in the accountability system.” What NC hasn’t figured out yet is HOW to update the indicators above for every school type. How well each State does with this determines the weight of the Success Indicator. Federal education code lays this out, NOT a State’s law!

8) Page 30 goes into the 95 % assessment participation rates as mandated in ESSA. How will the States factor this? What data mining/gathering procedures will be used? How will all the schools without sufficient data gathering, or alternative schools (K-12th) be accountable?

9) Page 33 uses a word we’ve all come to loathe: “rigor”. Yes, we’ll see more of it! However, it’s interesting that once again, it’s the ESEA cited here, NOT the ESSA. Related is Page 38 with its mention of NC’s love for UDL (Universal Design for Learning). According to NC, UDL helps ensure all students will be College and Career Ready.

10) Skipping ahead to Page 97 are the “Challenging State Academic Standards for Math” in NC. They will be the EXACT ones used in the 2016-17 academic year!! “Challenging State Academic Standards for English Language Arts”? They haven’t been released yet, as they are still being ‘written’.

A Bonus Item!! Way back in the pages of the NC ESSA Draft Plan is the gold mine of all those CCSS Machine friendly ‘stakeholders’ in education we have wondered about. Pages 137-140 reveal the ESSA external stakeholders in education. Some we know about (example: Teach for America). Some are a bit surprising to see (example: Americans for Prosperity, NC Branch).

Closing:

Warriors, I’ve laid large chunks of evidence before you to illustrate how much of a farce it seems to be that our States will get to control education in the manner in which it has been explained since ESSA was signed into federal law December 2015.

Please take what you see here, start looking at what your State is doing. How similar is it to what you see here? What has remained the same in your State’s education sytem, what has been updated? What groups are involved?

 

Summit Masters, Unite

“Climb every mountain, Search high and low; Follow every byway, Every path you know;
“Climb every mountain, Ford every stream; Follow every rainbow, ‘Till you find your dream.”

Those lyrics, my Warriors, are from the epic musical “The Sound of Music”. They were written by Oscar Hammerstein II. While most of us may remember watching this movie, some of us may not have a clue about the plot of the musical. If you are among those Warriors, who don’t know, please, look up the movie, it’s message is one we can apply to our War vs the Core.

No, my fellow Citizen Warriors, I’ve not lost my mind. My article DOES have an education point to it. I just wanted to set an image in your mind, first.

Excellent Summit:

While most of the conversation is still honed in on the 2016 Elections, the Foundation for Excellence in Education, FEE (as in Jeb Bush’s organization), is all about their upcoming National Summit for Educators. It’s to be held late November 2016 to early December 2016.

You’ll love the title for the Summit (aka: conference), “Transforming Lives Through Education”. Almost sounds like one of those medical TV specials, doesn’t it?

However, it’s HOW the Foundation is transforming student’s lives that we need to know.
CBE (Competency Based Education), as in the ESSA/WIOA blend of workforce based, skills for 21st Century jobs for a 21st Century economy!! (ESSA: Every Student Succeeds Act/WIOA: Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act). Also connected is the HEA (Higher Education Act). How so? ESSA states ALL students MUST be post-secondary (after high school) ready by graduation. WIOA has HEA embedded through the lifelong career aspect.

Before I move on, please let me state that as a former candidate for the U.S. Presidency, Mr. Bush seemingly disappeared after he bowed out of the 2016 campaigning. We should not, for one minute, think that any of the other former candidates (including Mrs. Clinton) will just ‘disappear’. Oh, no, my Warrior friends, these pro CCSS Machine members and their groups will find a way to resurface in education and/or policy and legislation. We’ve seen it time and time again since the CCSS Machine first cranked up its motor to chug up that summit of reforming education.

hotfeetopic

What you see above is a screen shot of the ‘hottest education topics’, according to FEE. Note the CCSS Machine agenda is hiding in plain sight. Right down to the most recent Congressional propaganda moves to shove us up the CTE mountain of ‘success’ for America.

What I left out of the screen shot are the CCSS Machine groups helping FEE pull these efforts. You’ll see some very familiar names when you access the entire press release:
http://us12.campaign-archive2.com/?u=09d4da7e5bba844967f502861&id=bc41f0e0f7


Summit ‘Experts’:

The featured speakers on these ‘hot 3 topics’? Jeb Bush, David Coleman, Salman Khan, and Angela Duckworth (her 2013 TED Talk on ‘Grit’ is sure to be an attention getter). See:
https://www.ted.com/talks/angela_lee_duckworth_grit_the_power_of_passion_and_perseverance?language=en

What are the other topics? Look below:

2016fee

If you’ve not see the FEE 2016 Reform Agenda: http://www.excelined.org/about-us/reform-agenda/

If you’ve not seen the College/Career Pathways Initiatives, The CCRS (College and Career Readiness and Success Center (housed at AIR, Inc., another CCSS Machine member organization), has a general overview. If you wonder where your State is in the CCR Paths Initiative, just do a general internet search. I found several States already well on their way to 100% workforce based, CBE, alignment. AIR’shttp://www.ccrscenter.org/sites/default/files/AskCCRS_CareerPathways.pdf

Maybe your State already has employed FEE to help guide you through the ESSA mandates/updates/regulations, etc. Yes, all that help so you can be more aligned and climbing that mountain to someone else’s profit, can be yours for a price. Check out the PDF sales pitch: http://www.ecs.org/ec-content/uploads/Implementing-ESSA-Claire-Voorhees-ExcelinEd.pdf

NC, where I live took FEE up on their offer to help align our students to ‘learn to earn’ via ‘education’.
Here is Voorhees’ presentation from the NC General Assembly’s filesfeeinnc
This isn’t the first time the FL based organization and NC have joined together. Back when “College and Career Readiness” was still called Common Core State Standards, the roads between north and south were heavily traveled.

Lastly, Warriors, if you noticed, I used quotation marks for the word education. If you are wondering, it’s because I believe the CCSS Machine’s push up ‘Alignment Summit’ (or ‘Alignment Mountain’, if you like) has completely transformed a classical based, academic education and replaced it with something far less desirable. The last, little push the CCSS Machine needs is when the HEA (Higher Education Act) gets its very own re-authorization as a federal law.

Closing:

If you’ve ever wondered how education would feel about this shift, if it were a living being, please read my open letter:
http://www.patriotinstitute.org/education/columnists/lmt/education-2/ (
As you can guess, no student; no teacher would dare to dream climbing a mountain of ‘dreams’ like this.)

Ready or Not…

Anti CCSS/ESSA Warriors, we have seen the purposed shift from “Common Core State Standards” to “College and Career Ready Standards”. Together, we have found the evidence which proves these two phrases do NOT mean 2 different sets of Standards. They ARE one in the same. Together, we have found some of the CCSS Machine member organizations responsible for spewing education reform rhetoric. We have listened, seen, and experienced their fallacy ridden efforts to deceive Americans.

Trouble is, the CCSS Machine is NOT slowing down now that ESSA is the law of the land. In fact, the CCSS Machine is busy this summer cranking more fallacies up and out. The Machine only ASSUMES we Warriors are taking the summer break time to refrain from our “War Against the Core”.

Hardly!

The Superintendents Association:

If you have followed my blog long, you know how much of a part of the CCSS Machine, the AASA (American Association of School Administrators) or as they are more well known: ‘The School Superintendents Association’, is. If you are new to the blog, suffice it to say that this pro ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act) group is VERY ready, willing, and so far, able to deceive Americans when it comes to ‘College and Career Readiness’. (*Note: the ESSA champions that CCSS (Common Core State Standards) will be gone and that CCR (College and Career Readiness) will replace them.)

So what has the AASA done to spread the deceptions? They have begun a national campaign called “Redefining Readiness”! This group is wasting no time in their pro ESSA efforts. Just a couple of months ago they were busy hosting ESSA webinars, writing reports on how great ESSA is for education to be returned to the States. And now, a national campaign..My, my..

AASAready

To access the website for this new campaign, http://www.redefiningready.org/
It is interesting to note that you will not see the AASA’s logo or information on most of the webpages included on the Campaign site.
In fact it wasn’t until I got to the ‘Resources’ page that I found them. Here is an excerpt, “Take advantage of our resources to engage your schools and your communities in the important national campaign – Redefining Ready!  Our campaign seeks to equip school administrators with the necessary resources to easily implement the new college and career readiness metrics at high schools across the nation.  We have also created sample resolutions to help education advocates and government leaders support our initiative. Email RedefiningReady@aasa.org if you have resources you would like to share! “ What follows this exciting news, are sample letters, legislation, and other items for promoting College and Career Readiness. Get the downloads of the samples: http://www.redefiningready.org/resources/ (*Note: the resources will go straight to the download option in your computer instead of opening up the sample on a new page.)

According to the National Campaign, there are 3 types of Readiness for our students.
College ready (students are determined ‘college ready’ by how well they score on assessment benchmarks and/or academic benchmarks.), Career Ready (students are determined ‘career ready’ by indicating a career choice, meeting behavior benchmarks, and performing community service.), and finally, Life Ready (students are determined as ‘life ready’ by leaving high school with ‘grit’ and perseverance; a ‘growing’ mindset, and very little else. To see the different readiness requirements:
http://www.redefiningready.org/college-ready
http://www.redefiningready.org/career-ready
http://www.redefiningready.org/life-ready

readydef

(You can find the above on the “Take Action” webpage of the Campaign.)

Here are the organizations supporting the Redefining Ready initiative:
The AASA
The CoSN (Consortium for School Networking)
The NASSP (National Association of Secondary School Principals)
The NSR (National Superintendents Roundtable)
Phi Delta Kappa International

To see the School Boards and every day citizens supporting the redefining efforts:  http://www.redefiningready.org/supporters/

So far, Warriors, you can see there is tremendous cause for concern. However, what you see below is straight from the National Campaign’s website. I hope you spot the irony.readyresearch
From the first paper (highlighted in red), comes this excerpt about the use of SLDS (student longitudinal data system), “The data for this study come from two sources: the California Healthy Kids Survey (CHKS), conducted by WestEd (WestEd, 2014), and publicly available school-level data from the California Department of Education (CDE).”

Remember, Warriors, this national readiness campaign is supposed to be about education. See how the data mining is being used to redefine education?!

From the second highlighted red item, (which takes you to a Hechinger Report article, which has a study embedded (the study was conducted by a part of the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services). The evidence used is based on how successful ONE (one of the nation’s largest) school district was. Here is the actual study:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3831577/

You can find the above screen shot, on the Redefining Readiness’ website’s ‘General Research’ tab.

There are 2 other Research topics as well. “College Ready Research” and “Career Ready Research”.
To access the “College Ready” items, see:  http://www.redefiningready.org/research-college-ready/
Here you will find dual enrollment (effects any educational choice utilizing this educational option), IB schools, and more topics.
To access the “Career Ready” items, see: http://www.redefiningready.org/research-career-ready/
Here you will find research which will impact EVERY person who gets a job. The first source cited is the Harvard University/Pearson Publishing project, “Pathway to Prosperity”. Yes, you will see the Redefining Readiness folks cite a 1988 Report. PtoP used THAT Report as inspiration. Oh, and alignment…
I first covered this very same Harvard/Pearson Project in early 2015. See:
https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/03/12/tech-thursday-difference-between-careers/

As far as those credentials Redefining Readiness is so excited about? Here is one article where I researched and shared how damaging this is: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/09/03/tech-thursday-just-say-no-to-nocc/

College and Career Readiness, WIOA, and HEA:

Since the CCSS Machine is out to streamline education from birth to the grave, two OTHER laws are in existence to make sure this happens in ADDITION to the ESSA.
These are WIOA of 2014 and the HEA (last re-written in 2008, renewed for funding purposes in Dec. 2015, and being re-written by some of the SAME backers as the ESSA)

WIOA of 2014 stands for Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014 and cemented into law Career Pathways, Career Clusters, apprenticeships, and so much more into our States. Job development grants, workforce based education, and data mining. The idea was to create it so that those wanting to work would have a certain track to follow and the data mining would help education plan and teach to these tracks. The WQDI (Workforce Quality Data Initiative) was created to pull this off. WIOA is from the U.S. Dept. of Labor. It covers the workforce..all ages, all educational choices.

HEA of 2008 stands for Higher Education Act. It,too has tons of data mining built in (yes, even then). It also had the foundation laid for educational alignment which we now see as work of the CCSS Machine. When ESSA was passed and the bragging speeches began in D.C. it was spoken as both a promise and a warning..that the HEA was next; that HEA was the final piece in the legislation which would complete the bridge from education to work.

I have covered post-secondary Common Core, Career Tech Education, or any of the other names the agenda uses, extensively. If you wish to have the evidence for WIOA, HEA, the WQDI, or how the 2017 Federal Education Budget Requests play into all this, please let me know.

I leave you this weekend, with the image below. Investigate the Career OneStop. See the CCSS Machine’s impact on jobs for our citizens. Then see how it connects to the education of today.

moving
See the rest of the pdf: http://www.careeronestop.org/TridionMultimedia/WMNM%20FINAL%20JAN%2007%202013_tcm24-13704.pdf

FTF: A Chip off The Education Block

Sure, you've heard of private schools, but have you heard of 'micro' schools?!
Sure, you’ve heard of private schools, but have you heard of ‘micro’ schools?!

Anti CCSS Warriors, we have another education reform ‘wannabe’. Consider it a chip off the old CCSS Machine’s block.. What AM I talking about?! “Micro Schools”, of course! If you haven’t heard of them, that’s okay, I recently discovered these schools, too.
One other question we will address is how this ties back to the ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act).

So, What is a ‘Micro School’?

I found out about them via the Gates Foundation supportive, CCSS Machine member: Ed Week. (See: http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2016/01/27/micro-schools-could-be-new-competition-for.html?r=608439843&cmp=eml-enl-eu-news1-RM)

Like its name, these schools are small in size (typically no more than an entire school population of 150). Unlike traditional schools, micros have all the students in one classroom.  While the article suggests these schools are like the old-fashioned one room schoolhouses, there is absolutely NOTHING old fashioned about the agenda behind these small schools. As an anti CCSS Warrior, see if you can catch the agenda the CCSS Machine has laced through these modern minis.

AltSchools, the Supposed Leader in Micro Schools:

This group is mentioned in the article I have linked you to (above). You can access their website, https://www.altschool.com/
From their ‘About Us’ page, their mission statement begins with, ” AltSchool is a collaborative community of micro-schools that uses outstanding teachers, deep research, and innovative tools to offer a personalized, whole child learning experience for the next generation.”
(*Note, be sure to watch the embedded video with the smiley faced guy.)
You should love the fact he is a businessman now involved in education. While that doesn’t seem so bad, listen to his pro CCSS companies he rattles off. (example: Google) Don’t miss his plug for project based learning (which is rooted in another progressive, pro CCSS Machine member, The Buck Institute. (my previously published look at PBLs:
https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/10/25/sic-em-saturday-ccss-progressives-and-pbls/ )

Currently, AltSchools are in CA, NY, IL. To see the AltSchool locations in their entirety,
https://www.altschool.com/about-us#our-parents
(*Note, be sure to click on one of the existing locations to look at the floor plan. You will see what many other traditional schools are doing, totally transforming them to be open locations with centers.)

The curriculum? Forget about seeing your student as a person, this group is after “T-shaped learners”.  What the heck is a “T-shaped learner”? An excerpt, “…Students who have a wide breadth of knowledge across all subjects and depth in the subjects that they are passionate about. In addition to cultivating strong social-emotional skills, AltSchool students build competency across core academic areas: math, science, English language arts, and social studies. Through our before- and after-school co-curricular offerings, students delve even deeper into subjects of interest, including drama, arts, coding, and foreign languages.”
The educators? All 21st Century ones. See the entire description of both curriculum and educators, https://www.altschool.com/education#curriculum
(*Note: the heavy use of technology and the reference to aligning to the most recent education discoveries.)
From the FAQs, this loaded statement of CCSS Machine groups in the curriculum:
‘AltSchool’s learning objectives draw from a variety of standards and metrics as a framework for instructional design. Our Lower and Middle School instruction is informed by the Common Core, National Council of the Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM), Next Generation Science Standards, International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), Partnership for 21st Century Skills, and the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL), among others.’

Helping fund AltSchools? Facebook and Apple owners! Yep,  these two pro CCSS Machine members even made the news about their investments. See: http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/2015/05/04/altschool-scores-100-million-from-mark-zuckerberg-and-others/26740867/
(*Note: be sure to read where the AltSchool founder reveals that there are non-profits and other investors on board as well.)

Other financial backers? “Founders Fund, Andreessen Horowitz, First Round Capital, Harrison Metal, John Doerr, Jonathan Sackler, Learn Capital, Omidyar Network, and other leading investors.” To learn more about why these investors are lining up in huge support of AltSchools, you will need to see the AltSchools Press Release from 2014. It explains that the schools are a ‘certified B organization’. What does THAT mean? Heavy on social justice issues with a large collective mindset. See the entire press release: https://www.altschool.com/press-release-11-17-14

Want to better understand what a B Organization truly is? As an anti CCSS Warrior, you will be quick to pick up on the main themes, the global aspects, and the money to be made.

 

New Orleans, TX, and Globally: Micros Coming Soon!

Also included in the featured EdWeek article about AltSchools, were the facts that New Orleans public charters are considering the AltSchool way of education; that at least one private school in TX is already involved (since 2009); that  Catholic schools could be well served; how  comprehensive high schools could learn from AltSchools; and, that several non-USA locations are benefiting from AltSchools.
Warriors Against the Core
, are you seeing the pattern?

Not included in the NAIS:

AltSchools, according to the EdWeek article are not being tracked by the NAIS (National Association of Independent Schools), so there may be many MORE micro schools in the world. However, my question is, are AltSchools accredited at all? One CBS interview from 2015, reveals the groups is in the process of becoming accredited. See: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/altschool-alternative-education/
Anti CCSS Warriors, do you recognize an issue here?

As Far as How This Plays into the ESSA:

Besides the red flags I have recently raised about the ESSA and technology/data/digital, the AltSchools have all sorts of CCSS Machine ties to overlook or assume they won’t be part of the ESSA written educational future in America. All this said, the AltSchools are considered ‘alternative education’. That phrase is most definitely used in the ESSA.
Alternative education evidence based state practices your LEAs (Local Education Agencies) can use to support a student: Page 99; Alternative routes for SEAs (State Education Agencies) to certify supporting programs: Page 111;  any alternative education method in regards to correctional facilities: Page 266;  alternative means of receiving a high school diploma: Page 793; For Native Americans, alternative education, standards, assessments: Page 811; The bigger the LEA, the bigger the funding weighed alternative: Page 946;Alternative routes for educators to teach or school leaders to lead: Pages 141; 305; 318; 322; 398; 800; 972-981 (ESSA Final Conference Report).

 

Related:

Considering my last 3 articles went into great detail about the digital and technology ties the ESSA has now put into action for all of us, you might wish to factor schools like AltSchools into the mix. You may find their other EdWeek article about the big push for technology and data worth using as knowledge, too. See: http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2016/01/13/the-future-of-big-data-and-analytics.html

If you haven’t see the last 3 articles where you are given the CCSS Machine ties, the ESSA page numbers and related MUST KNOW information.
How much digital and technology the ESSA is mandating:
https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2016/02/04/essa-and-digital-overload/

How the U.S. Dept. of Ed’s IES will assess not only students, but entire families for digital and technology: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2016/02/05/weekend-news-the-ies-and-the-essa/

How State Grants for public places and other funding is being manipulated and will continue to be thanks to the ESSA:
https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2016/02/08/state-digital-education/

How comprehensive high schools/post-secondary education are extensions of the CCSS Machine via CTE (Career Tech Education):
https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/04/23/tech-thursday-caps-via-career-pathways-is-still-ccss/

Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation was also featured in the original EdWeek article above. Their website: http://www.christenseninstitute.org/

Be sure to grab their publication on using schools as community hubs (also embedded in the ESSA via Title One funding)). The publication is published by the Brookings Institute, a huge CCSS Machine member. : http://www.christenseninstitute.org/publications/schools-as-community-hubs/

How the NAIS/NCTM are tied to the CCSS Machine:
https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/01/31/sic-em-saturday-ccss-in-christian-schools-even-more/

Next Generation Science Standards and CCSS:
https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/10/29/wybi-wednesday-silent-classrooms/

CASEL, 21 Century Community Learning Centers and CCSS:
https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/11/21/weekend-news-the-state-of-ccsss-sel/

Weekend News: CCSS School Officials Alignment

The CCSS Machine is turning our school officials into puppets. Are we really OK with this?
The CCSS Machine is turning our school officials into puppets. Are we really OK with this?

While our attention is focused on the re-authorization efforts of the CCSS/CTE, data mining, high stakes assessments laden HR5, S1177 and the HEA, we need to stop and consider that also included in these bills are the teachers, the principals, the superintendents, and all the other school officials in between. I’ve brought you news in the past about the national groups for these leaders and their CCSS/CTE activities. It’s time to see if anything new is in the works. This article will be quite in-depth, but if you know a school official, or are one who is fighting CCSS, please use the below information to help STOP Common Core!

NAESP (National Association of Elementary School Principals):

Before we look at the most recent alignment activities, I’d like to remind you of what I’d previously shared with you. It was back in April 2015 that I uncovered the NAESP’s webinar geared to instilling ‘grit’ into our elementary schools. Here’s a brief excerpt, “…presentation on ‘Grit’ to the NAESP (National Association of Elementary School Principals), April 9th, 2014. It was titled “Grit, Mindset, and Determination: The Key to Leading by Influence, Grades 1-8”To read the rest of the article, as well as being able to access the highlighted webinar, see: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/04/01/wybi-crystal-clear-common-core/

So, what’s the latest for NAESP’s involvement with CCSS/CTE? Plenty. On their website you can see their supportive positions on the re-authorization of the ESEA (Elementary and Secondary Education Act) via the HR5 and S1177.) You can see how they believe that by making sure a child is on point by the end of 3rd grade their ability to graduate with readiness for college, career, and life. Below you’ll be able to see a screen shot of the CCSS guide for NAESP members to use. You can read the entire guide: common core checklist_2_22_2013as

This guide from 2013 is still in use by Elementary School principals who belong to the NAESP.
This guide from 2013 is still in use by Elementary School principals who belong to the NAESP.

If you’ve not seen it, the NAESP has a 12 step guide for elementary principals for CCSS, too. This guide is also part of  a partnership between NAESP, Achieve, Inc., the NASSP (National Association of Secondary School Principals), College Summit, and MetLife Insurance. If you didn’t know it, several insurance companies are backing CCSS/CTE. (See my article on “Prevent Common Core” website:
http://preventcommoncore.com/?p=1154) To get the 12 step guide: http://achieve.org/publications/implementing-common-core-state-standards-role-elementary-school-leader-action-brief
Before we move away from the elementary principals, be sure you go to their website to get the other pro CCSS materials they have. You’ll find a dialogue guide for coaching conversations, CCSS and technology, CCSS and PARCC assessments, and a ‘synthesizing’ tool. Visit: http://www.naesp.org/common-core-state-standards-resources


NASSP (National Association of Secondary School Principals):

Their website: http://www.nassp.org/ Back in February 2015, I delivered this article to you for your use as a tool to fight CCSS/CTEhttps://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/02/13/fom-friday-ccss-cant-be-wrong/ In this article, you found the Gates Foundation funded ASCD (Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development), the Hunt Institute, Colleagues on Call, TIMSS (Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study), the Carnegie Foundation, IDEA Partnership, Council of Great City Schools, and the CCSSO (Council of Chief State School Officers) are connected to the secondary principals.

So, is there anything new going on in the secondary principals’ lives that continues to connect them to CCSS/CTE? Let’s find out! Top on their “Action List” is the re-authorization of the ESEA. They are in full support of the moves to see either HR5 or S1177 turned into law. See: https://www.votervoice.net/NASSP/Campaigns/42272/Respond

From earlier this year, a webinar devoted to the ties between NASSP, Common Core, and Literacy:

Then, there’s also a video from earlier this year concerning the College/Career Readiness Math Standards for NASSP members:

You also may find the level of community partnerships, politics, and their “Breaking Ranks” program of interest in your War Against the Core. For “Breaking Ranks”, see: http://www.nassp.org/Content/158/BRFrameworkExecSummary.pdf
To see their Community Partnership motives: http://www.nassp.org/Knowledge-Center/Topics-of-Interest/Community-Partnerships
To see how the NASSP encourages principals to use politics to their advantage: NASSPpolitics

The School Superintendent Association, (AASA):

This association has been written about 5 times on my blog. The first one was back in Sept. of 2014. Since then, I’ve given you much more information about them. One of the articles they are featured in is found above (look in the NASSP’s section and find “Can’t Be Wrong”) In the other 4 articles you can find:
how AASA has been key to the past EdSurge conferences where much alignment to not only CCSS, but CTE as well. See:
(https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/06/08/monday-musings-ccss-tech-schedule/)
*Note: This article will also link to another one of my articles where AASA is exposed (look for “UpSkilling Part 2)
In this article from April 2015, you can read about one of AASA‘s leading members who’s knee deep in CCSS/CTEhttps://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/04/23/tech-thursday-caps-via-career-pathways-is-still-ccss/

Upcoming for the secondary principals is their 2016 Conference, in the promotion of this conference,you can find the #1 theme of the 7 major topics is CCSS. You can also see that how secondary principals and school board members are a big topic. I have to wonder if the NAESP‘s coaching conversations guide will be used. See the other main themes: http://nce.aasa.org/attend/ You may also want to know that of the 3 key note speakers, one will be addressing ‘disruptive innovation’ for your school’s improvement. You can find out by clicking on ‘general sessions’ under the “ATTEND” tab.

There will also be ‘thought leaders’ at this conference. Among those leading you to more CCSS/CTE will be a NC resident. His name? Dr. Mark Edwards. To learn just how tied to Pearson, digital alignment, and more he is, see my fellow anti Warrior, LadyLiberty1885′s blog for her research into his educational foray. She has 3 articles on him. See: http://ladyliberty1885.com/?s=Mark+Edwards 

AASPA (American Association of School Personnel Administrators):

From their ‘About Us’ section, AASPA is the only organization that specifically targets and represents school personnel professionals.  If you are a personnel/human resource administrator, personnel support staff, superintendent, principal, or graduate student interested in this field, you will benefit from AASPA membership.” The section also shares how this group has grown to include other nations as well.

While I’ve not previously written about this particular association, I have written about their product, TrueNorth Logic. See: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/02/04/wybi-the-gtn-of-north-carolina/ In  this article, you can find out what the AASPA would prefer you didn’t know about their data mining activities, how NC and other states have signed onto this system, and how TrueNorth Logic is tied to the CCSSO (Council of Chief State School Officers). To see what the AASPA tells you about TrueNorth Logic, see: http://www.truenorthlogic.com/cp/AASPA/

AASPA just wrapped up their 2015 Conference (Oct. 13-16, 2015). Was CCSS/CTE there? Let’s see. Geared for those in the HR (Human Relations) departments of schools, this conference covered data mining.management, state, local, and regional initiatives to positively impact those in the education workforce, lots of compliance issues from the U.S. Dept. of Labor, quality teacher prep for Americans to be ‘classroom ready’, performance measurements and organizational alignments combined with cultural shifts in communities and how they can be used in your school districts, an example from an SC school district where state and local standards, enrollment data concerning students and how school officials can use both for success, how the ESEA‘s updates will impact school officials, and more. See: http://media.wix.com/ugd/14e560_f68c4e0461034eeeae13248bed06b3bf.pdf

In their upcoming December 2015 Conference, you’ll find Human Capital as the theme. See the screen shot:
AASPAhumancapital
What’s a bit disturbing about this upcoming event, is that while it’s aimed at school leaders, it still uses ‘human capital’ in referring to employees. It also states that it’s okay to have ‘Principals as human capital managers’. My question to this is, since we know that the CCSS Machine forces alignment of not only students, teachers, principals, and others, just how much of the HR5/S1177 will this type of conference include? We already know that school counselors are being pursued diligently to align their guidance to CCSS/CTE (see my previous article, https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/10/10/fridays-post-breaking-news-you-need-to-know/)

When I searched the AASPA‘s site for “Common Core” I didn’t find anything with that name. However, if you consider their bylaws, the association is in full support of upholding whatever’s going on in public education. See their bylaws, http://aaspa.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/AASPA-Operational-Handbook-June-2015.pdf (*Note: the page with the most telling information is page 6)


Closing:

Are there other efforts to align our school officials to all things CCSS/CTE? Sure there are. Just a couple of weeks ago, I shared with you how AIR, Inc. is doing so.
See: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/10/03/weekend-news-college-career-readiness-updates/ (*Note: look at point #3) 

WYBI: What’s in a Word

A while back, an avid anti CCSS warrior/reader of my blog asked me to share some of the educratic buzzwords. You know the ones. Ones, we think mean something worth attaining, but the CCSS Machine means it to hide their agenda. So, here we go..words that double as trouble in education.

double_tro_m2173526

Way Back When:

Here’s a poem to illustrate what may have happened when those in the driver’s seats of the CCSS Machine decided to skew our words and use them against us.

Once upon a time, in a nation we used to know;

people in charge, by and large

would speak the truth and mean what they said. 

“Yes” would mean “Yes”, “No” would mean “No”;

Nothing misleading or to play with your head.

Ah, but alas, along came a movement, a wish, or a plan;

“We’ll change the nation, we’ll align citizens all that we can!”,

said the leaders, the profiteers, and those who were fans.

“How will we do this?”, was the thought they queried.

“I know!”, said one, “We’ll talk them down, we’ll make them weary.”

“We’ll use words they assume are upstanding.”

How I Found the Words:

In September of 2014, I was researching some items for my blog. I was able to locate 2 great websites that exposed the words we hear and think of as positive gains for education, but have been craftily repurposed to mean something less than what we think of.

For example, probably the most overused rhetoric educatic buzzword I can think of is: “Rigor”. Somewhere in the upper echelons of the CCSS Machine, it was agreed upon to use it in relationship with ‘challenging’ and ‘coursework’. Yet, they chose the one word meaning ‘stiff’ and deemed it a worthy replacement. I can almost see it now: the group sitting around playing the ‘what-can-we-misguide-them-with-in-language-today’ game.

There are many others chosen to play double trouble for us. But, before we get to some of them, here are the websites I found very useful in weeding out truth from fallacy.
1) http://www.nychold.com/hirsch-termin.html
2) http://www.illinoisloop.org/buzzwords.html

Did You Hear That?:

“Grit” is  what the CCSS Minions want you to hear as meaning ‘hard work’. What  it really means: ‘wearing your child down to the point of hatred’. Think of it this way, a piece of sandpaper as it wears down a coat of paint when you’re completing a project. A great related resource: http://www.illinoisloop.org/Kozloff_on_ed_baloney.pdf (“If It Quacks Like a Duck, It’s Probably Baloney” is the title of the paper written in 2002)

“Critical Thinking Skills”, this phrase has become so over used by the CCSS supporters that when the real phrase is used, folks immediately assume the worst! Not too long ago, I shared that the NC Academic Freedom Alliance was incorporating the CTS into the CCSS free “NC Plan”. As a result I received no less than 3 anti CCSS warriors feared that the CTS was more of the same old CCSS crap. So, just what does the CCSS Machine mean by ‘critical thinking skills’? Here’s how one researcher penned it, “In Ed-land, this means that kids have developed a depressive radical skepticism regarding their nation, their family, notions regarding the existence of god or good and evil, and the very meaning of life itself. “Critical thinking” in today’s schools would, of course, “question” the war in Iraq but not the policy of appeasement towards brutal dictators. When you hear about “critical thinking” in a classroom you can be certain that there will be a neat divide between what is to be looked at critically and what is to go unquestioned.”
Source: http://edlandfollies.blogspot.com/2007/01/getting-the-b.html

“Collaboration” is often used like it’s a brand new concept in education. Have you noticed how many bright and chirpy CCSS puppets express so much enthusiasm over the fact CCSS allows them to collaborate so much now. Good grief. From the student’s side, there are more collaborative projects than ever before. While teamwork is good and has also been around since dirt was invented, too much of it can be a bad thing. All this collaborating in reality is ‘breeding’ folks so absolutely dependent on a bigger group they are effectively incapable of working on their own, standing on their own, or even thinking on their own!

Want More Educratic Speak?:

If you’d like even more educratic babble, be sure to read my April 3rd, 2015 article where one of the biggest doublespeakers in education is featured. See: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/04/03/fom-duncan-extols-upcoming-esea-renewal/

From 1999, an article well worth reading: http://americanpolicy.org/1999/03/29/how-to-understand-the-double-speak-of-the-educrats/

From Charlotte Iserbyt, her “Deliberate Dumbing Down Of America” book in pdf form. If you want an excellent view of how education authorities have re-written words/phrases for schools, this is it. Very detailed from the 1930s to the 1990s. If you have time for nothing else, access the appendices. charlottesdumbdown

Videos:

Here’s Charlotte Iserbyt’s 8 minute interview:

Anita Hoge’s detailed video on Outcome Based Education, which under CCSS is very much alive. Called “Womb to Tomb: OBE”. Her opening minutes illustrate how crafty OBE can be when it comes to words.

William Lutz, author of “Double Speak”, shares how purposeful double speak is used in government, business, and so many other places.

WYBI: Crystal Clear Common Core

This company has it 'all'..STEM, CCSS, 21st Century Skills, and more!
This company has it ‘all’..STEM, CCSS, 21st Century Skills, and more!

What could be more frustrating than a parent who has no idea what Common Core resources his or her offspring is being offered in the classrooms. A follower of mine, sent me this tip about “Crystal Springs Books”. To date, the only “Crystal Springs” I knew about was the bottled water. However, the water company is NOT associated with the books. The books are a part of the SDE, Inc. corporation based in New Hampshire.

The “Springs”:

According to the website, the “Crystal Springs Books” has students, teachers, and administration well covered. There are featured authors and even an opportunity for you to become an author with the company!

If you’re a school leader, you have 2 main authors guiding you. Char Forsten and Jim Grant. GoodReads website shows Forsten has written or co-written many books. She’s  widely associated with Singapore Math (which is CCSS aligned now, see: http://www.singaporemath.com/Mathematics_s/1.htm). You can be assured she has classroom experience. One bio I found from Stenhouse Publishers said she was a teaching principal. Forsten’s also well know for ‘differentiation’. Differentiation has been skewed to implement CCSS. When handled properly and without CCSS, it can be a great teaching strategy. However, CCSS spoils everything it is connected to in the classroom. Jim Grant’s experience? If you look at LinkedIN, he’s a former firefighter turned associated with a particular school district turned SDE, Inc. founder. However, on the website for the company he founded, he’s described as a “Nation’s Spokesperson for School Success”.

Grant has also given a particular presentation on ‘Grit’ to the NAESP (National Association of Elementary School Principals), April 9th, 2014. It was titled “Grit, Mindset, and Determination: The Key to Leading by Influence, Grades 1-8”.  You can access the presentation from NAESP’s site. Oh, be sure to note he’s presenting an upcoming webinar this about mid April 2015. See: http://www.naesp.org/career/webinars (*Note: his 2014 speech is about 3/4 down the page.) To be fair, there are other authors with works for school leaders, but as I said before, these 2 appear to the be most featured. With such strong ties to CCSS, it’s a shame. If you’d like to learn a bit more about NAESP’s CCSS vent, read my fellow anti CCSS warrior, LadyLiberty1885’s article: http://ladyliberty1885.com/2014/07/25/a-principals-key-message-for-parents-on-common-core/

For the teachers, from Crystal Springs, all kinds of topics from 21st Century Learning Skills to management in the classroom. There are teaching guides to align you to the CCSS. Be sure you look at each category and find the authors names. Do a quick internet search to see their background in the classroom and their CCSS ties. To access all the CSB info:
http://www.crystalspringsbooks.com/, be sure to look at the “Topics” menu on the left.

The Parent Company:

As stated above SDE, Inc. is based in New Hampshire. Loaded with all sorts of PD (Professional Development), you can find webinars, announcements of new book series (I especially hated the Stella series for K-2. Why? The titles: “Stella Writes an Opinion”, and other such rubbish.) Look to the right hand side and you’ll see an upcoming webinar for those gifted students and CCSS. That’s on 4/23/15. From the ‘about’ page, the company equips not just American classrooms, but internationally as well. The website page says the company is one of the leading in its industry. Oh, and there’s rigor for teachers, staff, AND students with SDE! As far as education ‘experts’, they have so many of them it resembles a small town’s population! See: http://staffdevelopmentforeducators.com/Education-Experts (*Note: at first glance, I didn’t see any easily identified CCSS supporters.)

Funding for SDE?? Oh, why we, the taxpayers foot a huge portion of that  bill! Leading the charge is the U.S. Dept. of Education!
How and why? Because all of what SDE does is considered PD, it can be written off to the schools, school boards, administrations, etc. See the screen shot below to see the other funding groups! Among the entire list of grants available, private organizations are in this as well. Making the P3 (Public, private partnership) leg of CCSS related activity very much a part of all of this PD as well!

To see the entire list of those granting funds for SDE: http://staffdevelopmentforeducators.com/About-SDE/Funding-Resources
To see the entire list of those granting funds for SDE: http://staffdevelopmentforeducators.com/About-SDE/Funding-Resources

A bit more CCSS connections for you in relationship to Jim Grant and the PD:

He’s presented the “Grit” talk to ASCD (a Gates Funding curriculum/teacher resource organization) back on 3/21/15. (You can see his name appear on the entire speaker list from the entire conference: http://ascd15.mapyourshow.com/6_0/sessions/speaker-alphalist.cfm) (*Note: the ASCD 2015 Conference had a tremendous sponsor list. Most were well known CCSS supporters.)

The SDE blog, “Appleseeds” is article after article about “Grit” by Grant. It’s enough to make you want to swear off grits (the food) forever or grit your teeth to excess. See: http://sde.com/blog/?tag=jim-grant

Be sure to read the SDE’s idea of the ‘extraordinary classroom’ and the 7 ‘Hallmarks’ therein. See: http://sde.com/TheExtraordinaryClassroom/Hallmarks.asp

The last thing I’ll leave you parents and concerned anti CCSS warriors to view from SDE for in the classroom is from the “new and notables” page. Click to enlarge it.

http://sde.com/PD-Resources/New-and-Notable
http://sde.com/PD-Resources/New-and-Notable

Closing:


Well, parents, I’m not sure that this look into a few of the things going on in the classroom has helped or not. I do know parents are thirsty for information, a look at the resources, and an opportunity to weigh in. Please, use this as a springboard to discuss with your teachers, school leaders what, if any of the above products or methods, is currently in your schools. I’m always on the lookout to see what in this area I can share. Gone are the days when we the parents, the taxpayers, and the concerned citizens had access to classroom materials. Let me know if there’s a lead, a tip, or a resource you’d like researched.