Tag Archives: IES

ESSA and Digital Overload


It’s a virtual (digital) overload out there!

For today’s ‘Tech Thursday’, we will look in the ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act) for all the digital parts of education via College and Career Readiness (the new ‘Common Core’ name). (*Note:  in the ESSA, ‘Standards’ is innocently stated as “Challenging State Academic Standards”). Why do I point this out? The law (ESSA) uses both phrases for education!

Why is digital learning a topic worth looking into? An Initiative called ‘Digital Promise’, fits oh-so-nicely into the CCSS Machine’s plans for education overhaul. As we have seen with top-down initiatives in America, where there is a plan, there are P3s (public private partnerships) who stand to profit BIG. Education is the new cash cow!

Where the Digital References Are:

The following list is from the ESSA Final Conference Report. They will also be in the Final Law Version, but the page numbers will be different.
Page 138: Your LEAs (local education agencies) will assist in the development of digital learning skills to improve academic achievement.
Page 363: Students via literacy instruction will be able to navigate, understand, and write about complex print and digital subject matter.
Page 450: States, communities, schools, and LEAs must work together:
a) to provide a well rounded education experience
b) to improve school conditions for students to learn more
c) improve the use of technology for academic achievement and the digital literacy of all students (*Note: ‘blended learning’ quickly follows this portion)
Page 451: Some element of on-line or digital learning must be included in education.
(*Note: further down the page is the ESSA’s definition of what this means)
Page 463: Rural access to high quality digital learning opportunities must be in place.
(*Note: the parameters are on Page 464)
Pages 485-488: The consortia for digital learning and state funding. What the uses of the funding mean and how they tie to digital overload.
Page 630: Preschool and ‘Ready to Learn’ digital content, especially via PBS (Public Broadcast Stations).
Page 943 begins Section 9210 of the ESSA Law. This is the biggest overreach of all!
Why? “Student Home Access to Digital Learning Resources”! To find out how successful students are at HOME, a Study conducted by the Director of the Institute of Educational Sciences (IES) no later than 18 months AFTER all portions of ESSA are in place! Details of the Study will be found on Page 944.

What This All Means:

First, the ‘Digital Promise Initiative’. Back in 2011, from the White House came this report,
Digital Promise is a new national center created by Congress with bipartisan support to advance technologies that can transform teaching and learning. It is being launched today with startup funds and support from the Department of Education as well as the Carnegie Corporation of New York and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. Answering the President’s call to action, a number of prominent leaders in education and technology will help lead Digital Promise. Board members, who were appointed by Secretary of Education Arne Duncan based on recommendations from the House of Representatives and United States Senate, include John Morgridge (Chairman Emeritus of Cisco), Larry Grossman (former President of NBC News), Irwin Jacobs (co-founder of Qualcomm), Gilman Louie (founder of In-Q-Tel), Eamon Kelly (President Emeritus of Tulane University), Mark Dean (IBM Fellow and Vice President), Shae Hopkins (Executive Director and CEO, Kentucky Educational Television), Vince Juaristi (CEO & President, Arbola, Inc.), and Shirley Malcom (Head of the Directorate for Education and Human Resources Programs, American Association for the Advancement of Science).”
To read the entire report of facts, https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2011/09/15/fact-sheet-digital-promise-initiative
Be sure you note the other related initiatives for Digital Promise. I would like to point out two names I saw which jumped out at me and are also very heavily tied to the CCSS Machine. NSF (National Science Foundation) and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math). Why this two? I have researched both extensively and have shared with you in previous articles just how embedded in the CCSS Machine’s agenda they are.
To see the Digital Promise website: http://www.digitalpromise.org/
(*Note: be sure to read the Manifesto.)

Next, the Digital Promise League of Innovative Schools. See their webpage:
Here is the number of students/schools, League members represent more than 3.2 million students in 73 districts and 33 states. Their experiences reflect the diversity and shared challenges of public education in America.” (*Note: Be sure to look at the initiatives the League has. You should be able to spot another huge  CCSS Machine member: Verizon. Also, note the adult level of activity.)
One of the featured schools? (*Note: you can find more of them, as well as the school I am about to feature in the League’s News category.)
Right in my town of residence: Mooresville, NC! This was the President’s (as in the U.S. President) ‘school of choice’ for the national address he gave about the success of digital technology. What he didn’t share is that the Superintendent of the MGSD (Mooresville Graded School District) was hand picked by Pearson Publishing for his success in Project Red (digital technology and data mining all in one slick program.) Anti CCSS Warriors, he was picked to come to a small school district to implement this digital shift in education! How do I know all this? See: http://ladyliberty1885.com/tag/project-red/ and the follow up article,

(*Note: Digital Promise is also written into the HEA (Higher Education Act, 2008) in Section 802)

Next, Rural Education is something to dig a bit deeper into. Let me point you back to the U.S. House’s version of the re-authorization of the ESEA (Elementary and Secondary Education Act), known as HR5. Why? The recently passed into law, ESSA, is in fact, a big compromise of the House and Senate. Certain portions of the House’s wish list for education AND portions of the Senate’s found their way into the ESSA. Rural education was brought into the mix back on Page 280 of the HR5! I wrote about it,
This article will show you how Rural Education via the New Schools (another CCSS Machine member) will be all about College and Career Readiness,
(*Note: The U.S. Dept. of Agriculture will surface in this one.)

What about the consortia for digital learning and the state use of funds for digital learning?
First, the consortia members include any number of groups involved in education, especially your communities, but, secondly, it is the language used which is alarming.
“ensuring that all service and  community partners are aligned with the  academic expectations of a community school in order to improve student success…” Then a bit further down the page you find this, “USES OF FUNDS.—Subject to section 4106(f),  each local educational agency, or consortium of such agencies, that receives an allocation under section 4015(a) shall use a portion of such funds to improve the use of technology to improve the academic achievement, academic growth, and digital literacy of all students, including by meeting the needs of such agency or consortium that are identified in the needs assessment conducted under section 4106(d) (if applicable), which may include….”.
You need to read Pages 486 and 487 for yourselves to see what those inclusions are. Let me just summarize that those including are students, teachers, and school leaders; that funds are to used in not only assessments, but purchases of digital technology; and more!

Those PBS broadcasts are our last area of focus.
When I wrote about the PBS presence among the Board members of the Urban Institute (a CCSS Machine member), it was in regards to early learning research and how it will encompass immigrant children as well. The catch? CBE or Competency Based Education. See: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/11/10/ftf-prek-research-ccss-cbe/
Then there was their involvement in higher education, ‘American Graduation Day’.
See: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/09/28/monday-musings-national-graduates/
Then the PBS characters from Sesame Street surfaced in another early learning program where the reading books had been aligned to the CCSS. See: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/11/02/monday-musings-alignment-for-wee-ones/



The IES and their upcoming Study?
That, my Warriors Against the Core, is the next article to be written.

For my look into STEM and how it is tied to CCSS Machine:

For my first look into the NSF:

To read the ESSA Final Conference Report for those pages you should see for yourselves:


Tech Thursday: Adult CCSS Reading

Today's article uncovers the almost $10 million dollar grant for adult literacy.
Today’s article uncovers the almost $10 million dollar grant for adult literacy.

Would you believe an almost $10 million dollar grant given to the National Research and Development Centers was given back in 2012 and ends in 2017? Would you believe it’s tied to Common Core ELA? Would you believe it’s geared for ADULTS both in the USA and Canada? Read on, my Warriors!

The Grant:

You can find the grant information by following this link: http://ies.ed.gov/funding/grantsearch/details.asp?ID=1343
The government organization awarding this money? The IES (Institute for Educational Sciences)
How much money was awarded? Exactly $9,999,985.00!
The institution receiving all that dough? Georgia State University.
The purpose? Research and Development for Adult Literacy. Here’s an excerpt about the purpose, “The Center for the Study of Adult Literacy (CSAL) seeks to improve our understanding of ways to advance the reading skills of struggling adult learners reading at the 3rd to 8th grade levels. The Center will both conduct exploratory work on underlying cognitive and motivational processes that contribute to or impede reading development and develop and evaluate a multi-component reading intervention for this population. In addition, CSAL will examine the adequacy of measurement instruments and assessments for this population. CSAL is a collaborative effort across four research sites: Atlanta, Georgia; Memphis, Tennessee; and Toronto and St. Catharines, Canada. Struggling adult readers in both the United States and Canada will participate.”

Now, it’s important to point out that staff members of CSAL include experts in childhood and adult education, psychometrics, educational technology, and statistics. Helping all this reading intervention along? AIR (American Institutes for Research)! How did I discover that pro CCSS/CTE backing group? On the grant project’s website. (see: http://csal.gsu.edu/content/homepage)

Before we proceed, I want to highlight the incentous relationship between the IES, the CSAL, the NCER, and the U.S. Dept. of Education. First, you have the head: the U.S. Dept. of Education, follow that with the IES as the neck. Then, two arms, one for the NCER and the other for the CSAL. So, what you have is lots of money staying within the U.S. Dept. of Ed, but in different arms of it. Confused yet?! Don’t fret, the bottom line is that money is being used for adult literacy educational reform. But..it is Common Core ELA? Let’s press on…
(*Note: If you’d like to see ALL the related ‘body parts’ of the IES, see: http://ies.ed.gov/ncer/randd/ Be sure to look at all the current research grant programs going on)
The Fact Sheet:

If you want the ‘facts’, here’s a link for you. This one takes you to the flyer GSU and the rest of the grant project have put together. See: http://csal.gsu.edu/sites/csal.gsu.edu/files/CSAL_Factsheet_2015.pdf
Here are just two of the ‘facts’ I’ll share, you can read the rest of them on your own.
1) A curriculum is being written for learners to use.
2) A computer program will teach them to read.

The Common Core/CTE?:

Okay, so far, we’ve gotten the U.S. Dept. of Education and some of its sub-departments, so we know that’s ONE aspect of CCSS/CTE (Common Core State Standards/Career Technical Education); we’ve seen that AIR’s connected, so that’s a SECOND aspect of alignment. But..is there more?!  Oh yes, my anti CCSS Warriors, there most certainly is! Where did I find those featured below? On the website of the almost $10 million grant project!

“Equipped for the Future” from the University of Tennessee (see: http://eff.clee.utk.edu/)
To see the executive summary of how aligned EFF is to the CCSS: EFFUT

“Council for the Advancement of Adult Literacy” (CAAL), based in New York, NY. (see: http://www.caalusa.org/about.html)
To see how CCSS/CTE bound this group is, be sure to read the portion of the website’s homepage where Carnegie Foundation and the Ford Foundation are given credit for helping create the Council. More CCSS/CTE pro supportive groups also give lots of money to the Council (see: http://www.caalusa.org/funders.html). There you’ll see some of the most familiar CCSS funders like Lumina, Verizon, the Joyce Foundation, and many more.
Among the CAAL publications, is this ‘gem’. It’s all about the data mining for Career Pathways! (CP is another part of the Career Tech Education)Please note that the published date is 2010, before the GED was aligned, before the Longitudinal Data Collection systems were united. Also of note, the CLASP(Center for Law and Social Policy) is mentioned in the footnotes concerning data mining. I’ve written about CLASP before to expose their CCSS/CTE ties. See this article: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/03/19/tech-thursday-ccss-workforce-pushing-labor-reform/
To see the CAAL publication: LongitudinalCoreTrackingElements-Indicators52710

“Commission on Adult Basic Education” (COABE), based in Syracuse, NY.
(see: http://www.coabe.org/)

To see their CCSS/CTE allegiance, just look at the screen shot below:

When I took this screen shot, the words were changing from
When I took this screen shot, the words were changing from “Test Ready, Future Prepared” to “Now Available the College and Career Readiness Standards”.

This Commission has around 13, 000 members devoted  “To promote adult education and literacy programs, including Adult Basic Education, Adult Secondary Education, English for Speakers of Other Languages, Family Literacy, Skills Development, Workforce Development, and other state, federal, and private programs which assist undereducated and/or disadvantaged adults to function effectively.” If you’d like to read the rest of the Commission’s mission, see: http://www.coabe.org/mission/
If you look around the website a bit more, you’ll see the USA is divided into regions.
You’ll also find their new publication about “New Pathways” which details how the COABE is embracing the WIOA’s(Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014) education/workforce alignment. (in other words, MORE Common Core Career Tech and Pathways). See: COABE_stratg_broch_v4

“Center for Applied Linguistics” based in Washington, D.C.
See: http://www.cal.org/
This group (non profit) has an entire Common Core State Standards section. See: http://www.cal.org/content/search?SearchText=common+core+state+standards
Founded in 1959 with a Ford Foundation grant, CAL is very supportive of the CCSS/CTE.
Be sure to access their 2014 Annual Report where you can find out that this group impacts K-12 educators, those working with immigrants and refugees, and how they are helping with the ‘next generation of assessments’. See: http://www.cal.org/who-we-are/annual-reports

Are there others groups like the ones above? Yes, there are. I’ll be looking up close at them in a later, not yet written article.


While all the information above is certainly very revealing about how in-depth the CCSS/CTE Machine is going beyond K-12, I want to re-direct your attention to one of my very first anti CCSS blog articles where the CCSS Adult Standards were shared.

How does it all interconnect? Simply put: the Common Core curriculum

Weekend News: Workforce’s Got Your Number!

This weekend’s news will feature the CCSS/CTE laden Workforce Data collection systems.  We learned how our students are referred to as ‘human capital’. We’ve already learned about the U.S. Government’s Workforce Data collection system; the state level ‘human capital life tracking systems. Let’s find out what the private sector in American business is doing to help out in tracking our students/citizens.

Konos Management (not to be confused with the Konos homeschool curriculum):

You can find the computer based giant at: http://www.konos.com
You need to know not only help education manage its ‘human capital’, it helps the government, healthcare systems, and many others manage their ‘human capital’. They are in the business of helping your business not only collect massive amounts of data, but helping you streamline information in the guise of saving time and money. Wow, how ‘noble’ of them. The company also measures compliance, is global in its workforce tracking, and are corporate partners with “Adopt-a-Classroom” and “National Academy Foundation” (NAF is devoted to career tech schools for those ‘underserved’).

From a 2010 report, find out what “Do You Automate? Saving Time and Money” states. The excerpt I’m sharing is discussing education grant money.
“Given the central importance of grant funding in K–12 education, it is essential to avoid putting these funds at risk. Nearly all schools in this country depend on grants
for a portion of their funding. While it’s true that grants come to K–12 schools from many sources, the federal government alone gives out more than $13 billion in
grants each month. Additionally, the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act of
2009 will put nearly $6 billion forward in new competitive grants to states to help them pursue higher standards. A significant portion of those dollars will go to school modernization. The requirements for properly managing the funds available under
the act and other grants are extensive Similarly, the need for district accountability with respect to good time-and-effort reporting cannot be underestimated. Such is the magnitude of the need for rigorous grants management.”

This particular document also factors in the NCES (National Center for Education Statistics) report about “Common Core of Data”. The particular year of NCES’s report? 2007-08.  So what is included in the “Common Core of Data”? Who heads this CCD up? I can answer immediately the ‘who’ question, it’s the IES (Institute of Educational Sciences..as in the U.S. Dept. of Education‘s IES! The U.S. Dept. of Ed also contains the NCES! Now, it’s important to stress here that the “Common Core of Data” is not the same as the ‘Common Core State Standards’. The CCD information DOES, however, HELP the CCSS Machine manipulate schools, states, and all those people involved. How? By collecting information of how many students drop out, or at-risk, by looking at where and how money in your school is spent. Think of all the CCSS malarky we’ve heard about the ‘graduation rates MUST’ be at a certain number. Think about how the states were ‘incentivized’. These two areas are not the only areas in which the CCSS is aided by all the data mining and ‘education sciences research’. Oh, one more thing, the data mining happens for ALL ages of our students.

To see the Konos 2010 report: Sept10_SBA_Automated-Workforce-Mgmt
To see the CCD website: https://nces.ed.gov/ccd/index.asp (*Note, when you visit this site, be sure to look at the publications. There you’ll find  fiscal reports. These are great for seeing where the CCSS/CTE trail of money lies.)

Getting back to Konos, I was able to find in another document how Konos partners with MicroStrategy. What does this partnership allow? Well, with Konos’s  special interest in management of money and data, MicroStrategy is considered a leader in the business world for ‘intelligence’ gathering software. Here’s the excerpt about what you can choose for the Konos/MicroStrategy system to do for you (if you were a customer). “Customers may choose to use all available functionality, but use of specific features may not be supported by Kronos [including: Consolidations, Freeform SQL, Event-based Alerting, Intelligent Cubes, Flash Rendering of Documents, Data Mining Services, Derived Elements, Import Data, Creation of Custom Roles and/or User Groups, Advanced Metrics (Level, Conditional, Nested), Custom Groups , VLDB Property Modifications, MDX Cube Report, Query Builder Report.” The name of this system? “Workforce Analytics 8.0 Learning Path” It’s important to stress here that this particular system in about minding/managing workers in all the sectors Konos serves. This document: 4704933-001_WFAN_80_learning_path_rev_a-final
Konos has a lot more on their website in the publications section about how the data they manage is used. If you know an anti CCSS/CTE warrior gifted in understanding all this technology, have them dive into the documents to show you how the information being collected is being used to help the CCSS Machine. (See: http://www.kronos.com/search.aspx?searchtext=common%20core)

Before we move on, Konos 2015 Conference is coming up in November, in Las Vegas. Why is this important to a CCSS/CTE Warrior? Anyone involved in schools IT departments, human resource departments, education finances, etc. are invited to attend. A host of other education related groups will also be in attendance. See: http://www.kronos.com/kronosworks15/who-attends.aspx  Remember, Warriors, data and money are what the CCSS Machine thrives on! Also, take into consideration, Konos is considered a leader in tracking, managing, and ensuring employees are “Workforce Ready”. What this means to us as anti CCSS/CTE Warriors is simple. After students are shoved through the CCSS/CTE tracks, they have another one waiting upon employment!  See: http://www.kronos.com/products/smb-solutions/workforce-ready/selected-resources.aspx

National Academy Foundation (NAF):

The website: http://naf.org/
One CCSS Machine tie in: The Gates Foundation grants.
From 2006, nation wide engineering academies:
2006: for support of existing career academies, strategic placement of new career tech academies across the nation:
From 2007 in New York for education reform:
2007 in New Orleans for “Learning Labs”:
2008 for communications support: http://www.gatesfoundation.org/How-We-Work/Quick-Links/Grants-Database/Grants/2008/10/OPP52560


Oh my fellow anti CCSS/CTE Warriors, the CCSS Machine influence isn’t only Gates, it envelopes SO many others! The curriculum providers are the Buck Institute (huge on Project Based Learning, which fosters the ‘collective collaboration’ portion of CCSS), the IB Schools (International Baccalaureate Schools, which are the UNESCO portion of CCSS), Project Lead the Way, the STEM Academy (I’ve proven to you repeatedly how STEM is the driver behind the CCSS agenda), and  Paxton-Patterson. The list of CCSS/CTE aligned groups NAF belongs to is also there. You’ll  see everything from White House initiatives to well known CCSS Machine members. Groups NAF calls “Peer Organizations” includes the NC New Schools (which is so full of CCSS it’s toxic), ConnectEd (which is the White House’s plan for digital CCSS/CTE overload), and, a host of other well researched/exposed CCSS/CTE members. See all the ‘fellowship’: http://naf.org/about/our-partners

NAF also offers “NAFTRACK” (yes, another system devoted to keeping tabs on students..and all in the name of getting a good job. See:
See the NAFTRACK’s certification process (which includes a specified curriculum, projects and on-the-job assessments):
The specialized careers NAF schools offer: finance, hospitality/tourism, information technology, engineering, and health sciences. Five career tracks, warriors..only 5. Wow.
See: http://naf.org/naf-network/themes
To see those individuals sold out to the STEM portion in the CCSS Machine: http://naf.org/about/stem-advisory-committee
To see NAF‘s brochure on the corporate sell outs involved in the education reform: NAFCorporateEngagementBrochure


To see my previously published Buck Institute article and how PBLs are ruining education:

Other PBL articles (you’ll see connections to Gates, STEM, and more):

How those summer programs your students may have been involved in are part of the design to align:

A brief recap of the PBLs and other anti CCSS/CTE things which are important:

See the vast network across the nation:

STEM and other Education Waivers tied to PBLs: