Tag Archives: IPEDS

Mimics or Puppets?

Warriors, is there a connection between the Aspire assessment (College Board) and the recently introduced “ASPIRE Act” (Senate)? Is Congress a puppet for the CCSS Machine? Could it be Congress is mimicking the CCSS Machine? 

What am I talking about?! The “ASPIRE Act” in Congress is supposedly a solution to a massive education problems concerning higher education. However the “Aspire” Assessment by the College Board is ALSO being used as a massive ‘solution’ for higher education.
The remainder of this article will take an in-depth look.

Before the ASPIRE Act, there was College Board’s ‘Aspire’:

Basically, Aspire is just like the other assessments meant to pigeon hole your student’s education. So, from middle school through college or trade school, Aspire dictates their path.(What if your student isn’t in a school where Aspire is given? Depending on which State you live in, the skill based assessments WILL be given to them.)

I wrote about this back in 2016, see:
Before “Aspire”, I revealed another College Board assessment which is a ‘cousin’ to the other types of skill based assessments, called “Springboard”. You can learn all about it from my 2014 article, https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/10/18/sic-em-saturday-springboarding-into-the-ccssap-pool/

From the College Board’s “How We’re Governed” page, “More than 6,000 two- and four-year colleges, universities, secondary schools and districts, higher education systems, and other nonprofit organizations compose the College Board.”
To see the entire page: https://www.collegeboard.org/about/governance

In the ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act) Era, what impact is College Board having on our States? Look at where I live (NC). What was laid out in 2011, continues today.

SAT and ACT appear to be ESSA’s national assessments, so what about our States already subsidizing these assessments? What will the per State federal funding formulas for ‘nationally normed assessments’ look like?

According to the Education Commission of the States (www.ecs.org), where I live (NC) MUST have a partnership with a group such as The College Board! Why? To ensure college readiness for those in high school. To see all the parameters (including teachers, subsidies, and more): http://ecs.force.com/mbdata/mbstprofexcL?Rep=APP16&st=North%20Carolina

According to the ECS’ NC specific page, since 2013, there’s been a State Statue for providing alternate College Board assessments! Click to enlarge the screen shot below. If you cannot, the grade range for these alternates? P-12th! (see below)

But, what if you don’t live in NC? http://www.ecs.org/state-legislation-by-state/


ECS is absolutely on the CCSS Machine side of education. Look at the leadership, check out their state-by-state leaders (find these under the “Commissioners By State” tab when visiting the link below), and their partners. The Gates Foundation, USA Funds, Walton Family Foundation, GE Foundation, ACT, Pearson, Scholastic, AT & T, State Farm, AdvancED, Avid, Bloomboard, ETS, Questar, College Board, KnowledgeWorks, Measured Progress, Meta Metrics, Microsoft, SAS, Reainassance Learning, and the National Assoc. of Charter School Authorizers.
See it all: http://www.ecs.org/about-us/partners/


The Senate’s “ASPIRE Act”:

1) Two U.S. Senators are pushing this ‘post secondary success bill’, Sen. Isakson (GA) and Sen. Coons (DE).

2) The goals of the “ASPIRE Act” appear to be (a) reduce student debt; and (b) reducing drop-outs. Here’s an excerpt, “That’s why we teamed up to tackle both ends of the college access and college completion problem so that colleges start meeting students’ definition of success.”  You can read the entire article,  http://www.rollcall.com/news/politics/colleges-universities-debt-success
The resource both Senators cite in their joint effort to help American students? Data from the College Board!

3) So, what does the acronym “ASPIRE” stand for? “Access, Success, and Persistence in Reshaping Education Act of 2016”. The “ASPIRE Act”( S3368) link:

4) According to the legislative summary, of the ASPIRE Act, by the  National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA), the U.S. Secretary of Education would ‘create two thresholds’ to determine which post-secondary institutions and what students would be impacted. See:
https://www.naspa.org/rpi/posts/congress-introduces-the-aspire-act-in-efforts-to-close-the-completion-gap (*Note: the Gates Foundation gave NASPA over $1 million dollars in 2016 and just over $285,000.00 in 2015. See: http://www.gatesfoundation.org/How-We-Work/Quick-Links/Grants-Database#q/k=NASPA )

5) The ASPIRE Act (S3368) has quite a bit of ‘reshaping’ planned:
i) Amends the HEA (Higher Education Act of 1965). HEA was last re-authorized in 2008.

ii) S3368 was introduced to the U.S. Senate in Sept. 2016 and is currently in the HELP Committee.

iii) The definition of ASPIRE“Improving College Access and Completion for All Students.”

iv) Lots of expenses will be attached to making college access for all, including updating technology..aka: more taxpayer burdens for data mining our students.

v) Secretary of Education is given more power. This makes sense, as ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act) does the same. (Since the ESSA is to be a part of the WIOA-ESSA-HEA workforce based streamlined education bridge, this has been an expected move we’ve known was coming.)

vi) The lowest performing higher education institutions will face much of the same treatment as those in the K-12th grade system, all at the Secretary’s discretion. (This will impact everyone in the schools. It also leads to what group(s) will take over a consistently failing higher education institution.)

vii) Caught in the midst of all this? Pell Grants.

viii) Each higher educational institution not measuring up to the Secretary’s parameters, will have penalties. Think about this, if a school gets a big penalty fee, who ends up paying for it? More than likely, the taxpayers. (*Note: in this Act, it is clearly stated schools cannot raise tuition or student fees to recapture the cost. You can find this in the “Prohibitions” section which follows all the penalties.)

ix) To get federal school funding, these institutions MUST comply with the ‘improving completion’ program as laid out in this Act. Schools which choose to skip the Secretary’s penalties, will miss out on grants, including ‘bonus’ completion grants.

x) Those higher educational institutions this Act will have impact on are non-profit (all public and most private) and for-profit (proprietary) ones.

xi) The Secretary of Education will create ‘peer groups’ in higher education institutions. The groups are to have 10-15 schools. They must have the following in place.

xii) There are a few ‘consumer warnings’ included in this Act. If a higher educational institution is not up to the Secretary’s bar, it must be noted on the school’s website in plain sight. The Secretary will also be issuing a “Consumer Warning Report”. To create this Report, you know lots of data will have to be collected.

xiii) Starting in the 2017-18 school year and every 5th year following it, the Secretary will be able to almost literally pick and choose which schools are in these Peer Groups. (*Note: See Section C under “Calculation of Average”)

xiv) If schools do receive any federal funding, look below for how they are to use those funds.

aspireact2xv) If schools do well with all this Act has, they are eligible for  Bonus Grants. Those Bonus Grants  must be used in the same way as you see directly above.  This Act also includes non-financial ‘rewards’ in the Bonuses. They are “a) Reporting less frequently and avoiding duplicative reporting requirements; b)  Extra points in Department grant competitions for which institutions of higher education are eligible entities; c) Waiving the multiple disbursement rule or disbursement delays; and d) Preferable status for experimental sites.”

xvi) The Secretary  will create a data tracking portal. Look for the “best practices” database.

xvii) The Secretary of Education will report to the U.S. Congress within 2 years of this Act’s passage. What will he/she report on? Ways to EXPAND Section 493E of the Higher Education Act of 1965. What’s that Section about? According to the U.S. Dept. of Ed, it’s a section devoted to “Eligibility and Certification” for Higher Education. See: https://www2.ed.gov/policy/highered/leg/hea98/sec493.html (*Note: from what else I found out about Section 493, it was a Section added to the HEA in 1998.)


Puppet or Mimic?

Warriors, this article began with a question. It is clear the ACT and SAT are being used in both the Congress and the CCSS Machine.  WHY has Congress become a puppet to the CCSS Machine?! By Congress’s legislation, it forces the States to mimic the CCSS Machine in order to receive federal funds. This, in turn creates a servile society.

Related Information to Section 493 (Part G of Title 4) of the HEA :
1) The 1998 Federal Registry of all the updates to HEA:
https://ifap.ed.gov/fregisters/attachments/122304.pdf (This is a 4 page document. Page 3 will have certain portions of Section 493.)
1a) To see the U.S. Dept of Ed’s more recent Section 493 (Part G of Title 4) information:

2) From Oregon’s Senator Wyden, this document about Section 493 should be of great concern. Why? It deals with the Integrated Post-secondary Educational Data System (IPEDS). Senator Rubio and Senator Warner helped create this 2013 Act called “Student Right to Know Before You Go Act”. It’s a fancy way of lining students up for workforce based education. To see the Wyden Education Priorities where “Know/Go” is featured:
https://www.wyden.senate.gov/priorities/education To see the nuts and bolts of “Know/Go”, see:

3) Introduced earlier this month (Jan. 2017), HR 483, “No Funding for Sanctuary Campuses Act”. While this Bill (has been sent to the U.S. House’s Education and Workforce Committee) does not specifically mention Section 493, it does mention Part G of Title 4 of the HEA(1965). The Dept of Homeland Security will have to work with the Dept. of Education on this Bill. To read it for yourselves: https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/483/text/ih?overview=closed&format=xml


, the HEA’s re-authorization will be here soon. It’s the last link in the birth to workforce chain. It streamlines education. The CCSS Machine likes to call it a ‘bridge’. Congress likes to call it a ‘streamlined transition’. We call it ‘criminal’.

A special shout out to all of you who helped make the Anti DeVos/Senate HELP Twitter Blast (this past Thursday) a success. Teamwork rocks!


Tech Thursday: CCSS Workforce Pushing Labor Reform

Post secondary ed reform is set to be 'reauthorized'. You can bet your sweet backside CCSS will be there in the form of CTE.
Post secondary ed reform is set to be ‘reauthorized’. You can bet your sweet backside CCSS will be there in the form of CTE.

Common Core for the Workforce is present through Career Tech Education. This isn’t new news for those of us fighting the CCSS. However, were you aware that there’s a push to reauthorize the Higher Education Act? By doing so, you can bet CCSS via CTE will be there.

The Higher Ed Act:

Originally written in 1965, under Pres. Johnson domestic agenda for America called “The Great Society”. It was to increase amounts of federal aid universities and colleges received. The Act was to also increase student aid to get into institutions of higher education. It also established a national teacher corps program.
The HEA (as the Higher Education Act can be referred to) has been reauthorized several times. The updates to the law have been many and wide reaching. Much of what your students and mine fill out on their FASFA forms is tied up in this law.

Most notable in what I’ve been able to find in researching is the 1998 versrion known as “Gear Up”  If reauthorized, this would be the 3rd time. As always, the CCSS is buried. Where would it be found? Perkins funding, those Titles funding programs, work study programs, apprenticeships, and probably more. We’ll get to the particulars in a bit. But first, what does “Gear Up” stand for? “Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs”. Remember, this was started in 1998. Before CCSS. But how ironic that we have so much ‘readiness’ rhetoric in modern education.

The 2008 Workforce/Education ‘Marriage’:

According to the Center for Law and Social Policy’s document highlighting the changes to HEA, here’s the one that joined education and businesses (think P3s, or public-private partnerships), “Creates Business Workforce Partnerships for Job Skill Training in High Growth Occupations or Industries. Colleges often lack the “venture capital” to start up new, credit-bearing programs that can respond to business workforce needs because state funding and federal financial aid typically only flow after students are enrolled in programs. This grant program funds partnerships of colleges, employers, and, where applicable, labor representatives to expand or create credit-bearing college programs responsive to business workforce needs, adapt college offerings to workers’ schedules, expand worksite learning opportunities, and purchase equipment related to such academic or job training programs. The grants are targeted toward programs serving nontraditional students, such as working adults, and can be used to create for-credit career pathways (Section 803).” 

Other items which supported this ‘marriage’? TRIO and Bridges from Jobs to Careers. If you don’t know much about TRIO, here’s what the U.S. Dept. of Ed. has to say about it, “The history of TRIO is progressive. It began with Upward Bound, which emerged out of the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 in response to the administration’s War on Poverty. In 1965, Talent Search, the second outreach program, was created as part of the Higher Education Act. In 1968, Student Support Services, which was originally known as Special Services for Disadvantaged Students, was authorized by the Higher Education Amendments and became the third in a series of educational opportunity programs. By the late 1960’s, the term “TRIO” was coined to describe these federal programs. If you don’t know much about Bridges from Jobs to Careers, it basically was a federal program which awarded competing higher education institutions grant money. There were mandatory requirements for use of the funding. In our current educational panaroma, each state appears to have some sort of bridge/work program. I didn’t find all 50 states in my general search, but I did find several states which are proudly open for business, so to speak.

To find out more about TRIO: http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ope/trio/index.html#references (*Note: at least one of the TRIO programs will begin its overreach as early as middle school)

To read the entire law from Congress back in the day, https://www.congress.gov/bill/110th-congress/house-bill/4067/text

To see CLASP’s information (including the key senators involved), http://www.clasp.org/resources-and-publications/publication-1/0430.pdf

A Jump Ahead to 2014:

While CLASP is still somewhat fresh on our minds, let’s see what more current ed/jobs efforts they’ve been up to.

Here’s a screen shot from their website that plainly has “Career Pathways” displayed. It also states ‘low income’ and ‘disadvantaged’. With some of the sweeping changes embedded in HR5, who is classified as ‘disadvantaged’ and ‘low income’ could drastically change to include almost every student!
You definitely will want to enlarge this screen shot.

The Gates Foundation has a firm grasp on CLASP.
The Gates Foundation has a firm grasp on CLASP.

There’s no question in my mind how much CLASP is tied into the Gates Foundation and is helping direct the policies of this nation. How utterly disgusting. If you want more information about them, see: http://www.clasp.org/issues/postsecondary Oh, and one more nugget of truth the WIOA (Workforce Investment and Opportunity Act) which has 21 embedded CCSS, CTE, and/or Career Pathways in it will take effect July 2015.

The 2015 Push:

If you’ve not already had to run away from your computer screaming after the bombshells from above, know that Washington is hard at work as we speak plotting even more reform. To this end, refer back to the opening screen shot you saw. It’s at the very top of the page. What I want you to find is the phrase about the 4 pillars of action to be taken in reauthorizing HEA. I’ll include the PDF file, but here’s a quick summary:
Point #1: empowering family decision making; Point #2: Simplifying and improving student aid; Point #3: promoting innovation, access, and completion (of what isn’t clarified upfront); and Point #4: insuring strong accountability and a limited federal role.

Drawbacks to the points include more data tracking/mining via the Integrated PostSecondary Education Data System (IPEDS); the federal agencies streamlining information families can access to cause less confusion; more robust financial literacy; having the U.S. Dept. of Ed create a higher education rating system; strengthening federal financial aid; streamlining student debt repayment plans to better serve taxpayers; making the Pell Grant flexible; possible federal interference in the ‘innovation, access, and completion’ point ( I strongly believe you should read and assimilate the information directly from the source); increasing the push for more digital learning; increasing the competency-based outcomes for students; more federal assistance for those with the lowest incomes; ramping up teaching preparedness via federal programs and/or influence; and, a possible move to make accreditation entities become more rigorous when it comes to post secondary education institutions. For all the details and for your research: hea_whitepaper

To learn more about IPEDS from the U.S. Dept. of Ed: http://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/about/

To learn more about the government entity overseeing all interested parties into post-secondary education and data collection, see: https://nces.ed.gov/npec/ (*Note: be sure to look at the Research/Development Board Members. Note which institutions or organizations they represent)

To learn more about the NCES (National Center for Education Statistics) which oversees all types of assessments (includes post secondary ones), see: http://nces.ed.gov/whatsnew/commissioner/index.asp

*Note: The NCES commissioner oversees all the assessments you see below and then some.

To access the entire list/graphic of he assessments, visit: http://nces.ed.gov/about/
To access the entire list/graphic of he assessments, visit:

To access the National Post Secondary Education Policy Cooperative’s “Student Success” pdf (which includes public policy, alignment, and more), ewell_report

More You May Want to Know:

The original screen shot showed that an upcoming hearing would be taking place to discuss not only all I’ve shared with you, but even more. Involved in the hearing will be federal budget, plans, and workforce. You’ll want to listen to the entire thing. This hearing actually took place yesterday, March 18th. I can tell you from the opening remarks, at least one U.S. Congress member wasn’t a fan. Here’s a screen shot from Twitter taken from the Ed/Workforce feed:

Link to the hearing as it is on You Tube:
Link to the hearing as it is on You Tube:
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6kOf2UeClzg%5D

For Further Related Info:
Articles I’ve previously published on this subject include (not limited to)
11/16/14, CTE, labor unions, federal funding, and more: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/11/16/rmt-vp-unions-career-tech-and-common-core/

11/18/14, Gear Up, College and Career Ready Consortium, and more: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/11/18/ftf-tuesday-ccrec-college-and-career-readiness-evaluation-consortium/