Tag Archives: IReady

Digitally “Fried”

Warriors, we’ve heard plenty of CCSS Machine rhetoric about “Personalized Learning”. The CCSS Machine has taken a classic teaching tool and destroyed its true purpose.

The phrase has been bounced around SO much by the propaganda, the ‘objective’ studies and research, and all those profiting off the NEW rendition of Personalized Learning (PL) that most everyone has no clue as to what PL should truly be. Most only know it means a computer. Too much computer time/instruction means a ‘digitally fried’ student, a frustrated teacher, and a sold out state of existence.

So, before we get much further into how ‘digitally fried’ our nation has become, I want you to consider the ‘burning’ question you see below:

digitallyfried
*Note: While what you see above is NC specific, this is NOT a problem exclusive to the State. You will find similar in your State. We will be re-visiting the moves NC is making later. But first, a national view.

Classic PL:

Much like the tasty potatoes you order at a restaurant, you’ll notice there are choices. There are ‘classic’ fries (meaning cooked just right, a little salt, not too thin or thick cut), curly fries, seasoned fries, fries smothered in cheese, and other endless examples.

TRUE PL closely resembles the classic fries. How do I know? Ask a retired educator (The best people to ask  need to be over 40 or 50 years old). Look at a classical education model.

True PL plans show a lot of flexibility in both the teacher AND the student; a variety of teaching tools, styles, games to engage the student’s 5 senses or their whole body.

Today’s ‘digitally fried’ PL, uses agenda driven, watered down versions of plans, tools, and resources. Today’s PL hardly uses the student’s 5 senses/whole body.

Think about it from the fries example, lots of copy cat versions seeking to improve upon the classic order of fries, but not nearly as satisfying. Education is HARDLY the place for copy cat, failure embedded versions of what really works.

Ask a researcher or a child psychologist; look at the way in which some school desks have been redesigned. This picture (below)stated it was ideal for the kinesthetic  learner.

Well, which KIND of kinesthetic learner?! The student who needs to keep only their hands busy or the student who needs to move around, sit on their legs, or be able to turn around? As the mother of a kinesthetic learner, I can tell you, my child would not have liked this desk/bike at all. Why? Limited movement. Too much limited movement for some learners like this, stunts their thinking and will cause burn-out when it comes to completing assignments.

pedal-desks
Oh, and the cost of one of these desk/bikes? A single one can be over $1,000.00; One like these 4 seater? Almost $3,700.00! True PL can be accomplished at a fraction of this cost. Who foots the bill for ‘school improvements’ like what you see above? TAXPAYERS! With the way the current education laws are written, P3s (public private partnerships) will also be helping with ‘improvements’ like this. Think of it this way, they want to be the ultimate order of ‘loaded fries’ in your school. A whole lot of ‘eye appealing yumminess’ and a lot of ‘bad for you’ calories.

What does the U.S. Dept. of Ed say PL is?  That depends..do you want the PL for teachers, leaders, or students? See below:

ongoingassess
To find out more: http://tech.ed.gov/netp/assessment/
To continue our order or fries example, think 24/7 hours of nothing but AYCE (All You Can Eat).

CCSScondiments2

To find out about the “Future Ready” PL, see: http://tech.ed.gov/netp/

Dear Old NC:

Now that you see how the nation is serving up PL, just what is SO important I have to (once again) call out NC’s activities?! For starters, the CCSS Machine mouthpieces shouted ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act) would free the States, mean less testing (assessments), and so forth. As research is proving in real time since ESSA’s passage, States are creating ways in which to appear like they are taking control of education, but when you look closely, you see the national agenda in the plans. How so? Look below:

repealpl
Before I share more, let me state for the record that I know some of our NC legislators personally. I know they absolutely hate the CCSS Machine and what it is doing to NC. I know you have legislators like this in your State. While not every legislator serving us will be a party to this kind of activity, there are countless others who either will or simply are not aware of how many strings are being put into place.

NC’s been in the news before for what looked like a repeal, but was in all honesty, a rebrand. That was when we supposedly repealed CCSS. Nope, the law which went into place was watered down to a name change. We had the chance to totally ditch the CCSS mustard and ketchup for our fries, and didn’t!

So what else does this ‘new’ Repeal-but-not-really Law do?
a) gives an illusion
b) will be taxpayer funded
c) to access the entire document from above: http://www.ncleg.net/Sessions/2015/Bills/House/HTML/H237V6.html
d) allows for retention of students from grade to grade
e) supposedly improves transition from elementary grades to middle school; middle to high school as defined by the NC State Board of Ed. Who heads our State Board of Ed? Dr. June Atkinson, State Superintendent AND President of the CCSSO (Council of Chief State School Officers)!
f) by repealing ‘personalized learning’ this Law opens the flood gates for ‘alternative assessments’.

What the State Board Says:

If your State Board of Ed is anything like NC’s, you are sick to no end of their selections they serve up when it comes to education. (Think rotten fries or spoiled potatoes..they stink!) Above, point E shifts the responsibility of defining PL from the lawmakers to the educators. While that is as it should be, the obvious fly in the room is that those serving as educators are sold out to the CCSS Machine’s agenda.

In a few days, our State Board will have a meeting (8/31 and 9/1). Among the topics?

reviseplnc

Included in the announcement of this topic was a supporting 22 page document. By removing the PL as it had been defined, the State Board listed ALL the ‘alternative assessments’ they used in conducting a survey of what works and what doesn’t. The actions the Board will take with PL’s ‘repeal’ or revision will more than likely be based on this survey!

In other words, a steady diet of ’24/7 loaded fries’ will continue!

You have to see this. Not only have these ‘spuds which are really duds’ been  24/7 assessing, most, if not all are DIGITAL!

By the State Board’s apparent direction, that means humongous data mining will CONTINUE.  ESSA and WIOA (Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act) increase this mining via State grants/incentives.

2016NCPLreport

To name a few for the K-3rd graders in English and Math: Dibels, iReady, Discovery Education,Dreambox, universal screening, performance monitoring, past performance, SchoolNet Benchmarks, and MAP.

For these students in their ‘success’ or ‘achievement’ measuring (remember, K-3rd graders): SAT Teams; teacher observations; outside entities like the Dept. of Social Service, law enforcement, etc.; below grade level activities; mental health involvement, and after-school programs.

You will find the same types of measuring students in grades 4th and 5th; 6th-8th; and 9th-12th. What I noticed is the K-3rd grade group has more than the others. When you consider ESSA embeds birth to 3rd overreach, this should have you ready to fry some spuds of your own.

If you’d like to listen in via an audio live link (8/31 and 9/1) to see what the NC State Board will do: http://stateboard.ncpublicschools.gov/live-audio-streaming

Closing:

What’s in your State’s PL activity? How many ‘cooks’ are in the education kitchen? How many ‘fryers’ are in State Legislative bodies? Do we really want to see America ‘digitally fried’ and marginalized?! After all this, I’m ready to launch a few potato rockets.

balloonburst

Advertisements

FTF: Crossing into CCSS Land

Every noticed a subject so important yet so not discussed properly?
Every noticed a subject so important yet so not discussed properly?

Sometime in the last 2 weeks I promised you, my readers and followers, that I’d get back to looking into where CCSS/CTE hides in plain sight among us. Today, I’ll pick that trail back up. It’s a very important aspect of the CCSS Machine we shouldn’t ignore.

If you’ll recall, I’d just been to an educational conference which was targeting home educators. (see the original article:
https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/06/16/terrific-tuesday-anti-ccss-news/ 
) In the original article, I shared with you the grabs for attention marketers use to draw in folks from ALL educational choice avenues. Remember, those avenues could be a private charter, a public-private charter, a virtual school, a private school, a homeschool, or a faith-based school.

While the advertising may not always shout “Common Core” or “Common Core related”, look beyond the slick sales pitch and “Boom!” there you find it. UGH! What’s an anti CCSS Warrior to do? Get informed, show others, and help beat the CCSS Machine’s propaganda. The remainder of today’s article will look at some other curricula sources with CCSS  ties.

Why Would Companies Want to Be Overt?:

This is a question I’ve asked myself a million times. Especially considering how many companies know they can reach those in private education (which, in my current state of residence {NC}, includes home education). I firmly believe it has a two-fold purpose: a) makes the company more profitable b) feeds the lie that somehow those students who aren’t using CCSS tied resources will be left out, fall behind, or not measure up. What a crock of CCSS crap! (pardon my language, please)

“The Critical Thinking Company” (http://www.criticalthinking.com/full-curriculum):

A long-time trusted resource for many who choose to educate outside the traditional public schools. They’ve also thrown their hat into the CCSS ring. Here’s a portion of their statement:
“The skills and concepts taught in our products are the result of our surveys of state and national educational standards. We will continue to avoid any topic in any set of standards that is overtly political. We firmly believe it is not our place to attempt to influence the politics or values of any student. Most Common Core Standards are already found in various state standards, but the list of Common Core Standards is not complete. Since a large number of states (45) have signed on to Common Core Standards, The Critical Thinking Co. will now include Common Core Standards in its broad survey of state and national standards to determine the skills and concepts taught in each grade level subject, but we will not base our products solely on any one set of standards.”

Warrior Warning: Critical thinking is NOT in its purest form in the Common Core Standards. Research and proof of this is available. There are alternatives to Common Core with critical thinking that ARE in a pure form. Don’t be fooled by the CCSS Machine’s weak argument that ‘critical thinking’ via the Standards is worthy.

“Kumon Learning Centers” (http://www.kumon.com/resources/kumon-and-the-common-core/):

Kumon’s website tells you they aren’t necessarily aligning to the CCSS, but they are certainly in the game of augmenting it. See for yourselves with their statement on literature: “With over 50 years of experience, Kumon is internationally benchmarked and contains the elements essential for studying college-level calculus and advanced literary texts such as Shakespeare. The Common Core aims to be internationally benchmarked, has a broad array of learning goals and shares many core competencies such as proficiency in advanced algebra and understanding Shakespeare.

Warrior Warning: Research and proof have shown how Shakespeare are advanced algebra are used in Common Core. 

“Learning By Grace” an Online Homeschool, (http://www.learningbygrace.org/):

This is indeed one of the trickiest brochures I’ve seen. If you aren’t super observant, the highly identifiable logos of PearsonMacGraw-Hill, or, the many others there will go unnoticed..and that’s, I believe, the plan of the those running the CCSS Machine. Here’s a screen shot to show you.

Be sure to enlarge this one.
Be sure to enlarge this one.

(*Note: Let me pause here to point out that not only are these resources available to home educators, but in some cases these are used in private schools, private charters, or by those in the more traditional education choices as extra curricular resources. When it comes to Common Core, we must investigate the resources carefully!)

Funcation Academy, (www.funcationacademy.com):

This one is very puzzling to me. The flyer I received said absolutely nothing about Common Core. The website has almost no information about the Standards, that is easily seen. The mission statement certainly doesn’t tell you anything that would be identifiable as CCSS related. However, visit the virtual academy and slowly the CCSS begins to appear. For example in the ‘enrichment programs’ you’ll see the “IReady” program. “IReady” is from Curriculum Associates. CA is most definitely CCSS aligned. The “Funcation” site is based in FL, however, the Curriculum Associates page I’m providing as proof of evidence for CCSS alignment features NC (North Carolina). See the below link for Curriulum’s proof:  http://www.curriculumassociates.com/products/ready-north-carolina-overview.aspx#.VYit3_lViko

See “Funcation’s Enrichment” page:
http://funcationacademy.wix.com/favirtualcampus#!enhancement-program/c1t8g

Lastly, for Funcation’s information, you’ll want to see what the owner of the Academy says about Common Core.
Here’s a quote from a conversation she was involved in in 2014,
“I am aware that each state has a different curriculum. I personally love CCSS. I was just speaking to why some might be resistant because not all states have figured out their curriculum. I fully understand the difference between the curriculum and standards and I am glad it is working in your state.”
To see the entire context of the conversation, see: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/08/18/ednext-2014-survey_n_5688376.html (*NOTE: the conversation is in the “Comments to Article” section)

Warrior warning: Are you spotting how purposefully the CCSS is being hidden by these companies?

“Logic of English” (www.logicofenglish.com):
When I spied the booth for this company, even the slogan used caused me to wonder about the connection to CCSS. “Combining the Science of Reading with the Joy of Learning”.  Once on the website, the suspicions were confirmed. In the K-1st grades, a program of theirs called “Foundations” is 100% aligned to the Common Core. Don’t take my word for it, read theirs, Foundations takes children from non-readers to independent readers over the course of three engaging and multi-sensory levels of language arts instruction. The curriculum meets the Common Core standards for Kindergarten and First Grade.” If want to see the 160 lessons with the CCSS strands by number: https://www.logicofenglish.com/schools/common-core

Warrior warning, I spotted a comment from a charter school employee. Proof these companies aren’t just for one educational choice.

Are There Others Out There?: