For those of us dedicating our lives to fighting to preserve American education and its freedoms, some things are easier to learn than others.
It was easy to learn what goes on behind the scenes in our school districts, for the most part. It was harder, however, when we discovered how much of what goes on means to undermine our children, not equip them.
It was easy to trace the CCSS Machine (and still is). It’s not been so easy getting those around us to get involved in stopping the manaical agenda that comes WITH the CCSS Machine.
Some of us have becomeWarriors Against the Core. Others, have remained by-standers. Likewise, on the OTHER side, there are Warriors For the Core. Then, there are those who pretend to be by-standing all the alignment, data mining, and just plain egriousness of it all.
We’ve learned about many of these types of education posers through the years, right, my fellow Warriors? Well, I’ve got one more..maybe you know this group; maybe not.
“Stand For Children Leadership Center”:
I first learned about this noble-esque sounding group a couple of weeks ago, while researching the SMART and HARD Goals originally designed for business and being liberally applied in classrooms now.
While the ‘Stand for ChildrenLeadership Center’ didn’t invent either of the Goals, it’s interesting to learn what type of ‘standing’ the organization DOES do. Simply put, lots of collective plotting and planning for a) ‘college readiness’, b) school choice, c) the type of educational standards used, e) engaging the family, f) STEM, and many other education-related issues. See their entire menu of stances.
Warriors, in other words: “Stand for Children” should be re-named “Stand for the CCSS Machine”. Why? Our first clue is below.
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation have been funding“Stand for Children’s Leadership Center” for many years.
A second clue? “Stand for Children Leadership Center” is a part of a bigger group by almost the same name. That name is “Stand for Children”. This separate website can be found here.
The mission for this group? “Our mission is to ensure that all children, regardless of their background, graduate from high school prepared for, and with access to, college or career training.”
Here’s a sample from their website. I’ve summarized some of the information.
While the “What We’ve Done” website page didn’t reveal activity in OK, the 2016 Annual Reportdoes. In fact, the Annual Report shows how “Stand” fought to keep aligned assessments, CCSS, and even which candidates were financially supported. Stand’s entire group is a non-profit with over 500 state-level associated groups. You can also find out who and/or what organization gave funds to Stand for Children. While Gates funds the Leadership Center; you’ll find Bloomberg Philanthropies and Education Reform Now as donors to the Stand for Children portion of the overall non-profit.
Tied to the Stand for Children, you’ll find two Board members have had previous (and who knows if these connections are not still viable) positions with:
a) Stand for Children’s Chair Board member is an active working member with the Emerson Collective (where you can find the XQ Super School Project). The President of Emerson Collective also sits on the Boards of Teach for All, New Schools Venture Fund, and others. Her name is Lauren Powell Jobs. She also founded College Track.
I wrote about the XQ in 2015. Emerson’s update on the XQ from May 2017.
You can find one of my New Schools Venture Fund articles, here.
If you’d like to learn more about Teach for All, look below for a quick summary:
b) Another Board member is tied to KIPP Schools, and founded a non-profit called Murmuration. It’s a politically active education group. Her name is Emma Bloomberg (daughter to Michael Bloomberg). She is the CEO of Murmuration. If you’d like to see the Murmuration campaign donations, Emma Bloomberg made, see them here.
Warriors, as you can see from above, lots of inner connections back and forth to the same old well-known CCSS Machine members and their organizations. It appears Stand will expand their impact from 11 States to all 50 at some point. Project XQ is tearing through our nation’s middle section with a reform bus (literally) full of propaganda to spread. KIPP, as we know is all about charter schools and reform agenda. As we can also see, political funding is ripe in the CCSS Machine.
As Warriors, we’ve learned (easily) that throwing money at anyone or any thing does not FIX education. We also have learned (painfully) that aligning education does not FIX it either. So, why is the CCSS Machine grinding America down to support alignment?
I believe, from researching, it is to wear us down to the point we give up and give in.
What can we take forward with us from all this information? To remain firm and strong. Look how many have become by-standers at each advance of the CCSS Machine. Will we be next in bowing down to it? While it is the Machine’s goal, it isn’t ours.
It’s clear that the stance by the sold out CCSS Machine members and groups is one of total conformity. We MUST make it clear that our stance is one of fierce protection. We cannot afford the stand and look the other way any longer.
Author’s Note: Much of the information included in this article has been provided by other Warriors for me to pull together. It is my goal to convey the TRUTH. No matter how popular or unpopular that truth is. To those who’ve shared their information and concerns, I thank you sincerely.
Warriors, have you heard of Koret before? Koret, as in Koret of California Sportswear Fashions, or as in Koret Foundation, or as in Koret Task Force for Education housed at Hoover Instititute?
Well, you’re about to.
Koret’s Task Force for Education has been partners with the Hoover Institute for a while now. As we know, Hoover Institute is a well known organization in and of itself. But what do each of these Foundations do separately, and, more importantly, together?!
Koret Foundation (website: koret.org) Since 1979 this Foundation has done tremendous things to help its local community, and its fatih-based community as well.
With such a rich heritage, it is a shame the Foundation has seen fit to help fund KIPP Schools. KIPP Schools, as you know, Warriors, are public private charter schools across America. They are also a part of the CCSS Machine. I found their KIPP donations in this “Community Report”.
Koret joined education forces with Hoover back in 1999. The Hoover Institute’s been around since the late 1950s and is tied to the former President of the U.S., Herbert Hoover.
From its Mission Statement, you’ll see the Institute is in full support of the U.S. Constitution, improve our quality of life as Americans, and limit government. See: http://www.hoover.org/about/missionhistory
Here’s an excerpt from Koret Foundation President Taub, “Our 1999 partnership with Hoover envisioned a new model for academic engagement with current policy issues. By bringing together leading education scholars from around the country, we created a venue with Hoover in which these experts could converse, argue, and, most of all, learn from each other as they tackled the complex issues facing K–12 education. Over the past eight years, the Koret Task Force on K–12 Education has produced highly acclaimed, award-winning, influential work that has changed the landscape of the K–12 education arena.” (*Note: to access the 2008 Task Force Model Report where I found this quote, http://koret.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/perspectives_winter_08.pdf )
So, basically you have Hoover Inst. as the older entity, joined 20 years later by another Foundation (Koret). You can see one Foundation gives to KIPP, but is Hoover somehow stitched into the fabric of education reform as well?
Back in 2012, see what Hoover/Koret thought were ‘hits’ and ‘misses’ in education:
Please, click on the picture to enlarge it and ask yourself, how can we accept anyone in education leadership who says one part of the illegally based reform is ‘fashionable’ (a ‘hit’), and the other part is a ‘disaster’ (a ‘miss’)?
If you are questioning the loyalty of either of these big name ‘education/policy designers’ to true American ideals, look at the Timeline of activity in the name of education reform.
Among the Task Force’s ‘ideal education’ design’? School choice, accountability, and transparency. While those in and of themselves CAN be a great thing, between NCLB, RttT, and ESSA, these concepts have brought about MORE strings, LESS Choice, and are REMOVING freedoms faster than a stain remover. Notice who is among the Task Force members, too. Again, any one you see here raises the question of ‘Should we trust them in leadership?’ Access the entire Timeline: k-12-education-tf-timeline
There is a 2012 Hoover/Koret Report, “Choice and Federalism”. It does bring up the fact we need LESS top-down micromanaging in education, BUT the ways in which we are to achieve this is vouchers, charters, and some federal activity. In other words, the same old worn out design we’ve heard from the CCSS Machine before!! See: http://media.hoover.org/sites/default/files/documents/Choice-and-Federalism.pdf
Michelle Rhee, raised several red flags for more than one anti CCSS Warrior as well. I was flooded with information on her.
Her 2012 10-99 Tax Form reveals her reform in education design, see: students-first-irs-990-2012
The 2010 10-99 Tax Form ties Rhee to David Coleman, Susan Pimental, and Jason Zimba.
Written before the 2016 November Elections, our fearless anti CCSS/Fed Ed Warrior, Charlotte Iserbythad strong words for all of us to learn from.
1) “Check carefully track record of your education policy advisors.” 2) “To make available to all candidates for President of the United States of America information not only regarding the role of the U.S. Dept. of Education in the destruction of American academic education, but also to warn them not to surround themselves with advisors whose agenda may not have anything to do with traditional education designed to create upward mobility for the children of our nation (our children!)”
However, it’s Mrs. Iserbyt’s truthful words of warning about WHY the U.S. Dept. of Education will not be shut down anytime soon, we must pay attention to!
Contact the Transition Team as soon as possible and share with them HOW toxic the fabric of their education designs are! Trump wants school choice, vouchers in the form of education savings accounts, he says ‘no’ to CCSS, but is wanting to have an educated workforce..which is impossible when the workforce education IS Common Core!!
Transition Team on Twitter: #TransitionTeam @Transition2017
President-elect on Twitter: @realDonaldTrump
Anti CCSS Warriors, if you have seen my last two articles, then you know the ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act) has mandates for digital education embedded, a massive and invasive data collection study in the works and more.
But what about the digital education push from your state’s level?In case you haven’t read the articles, please note both are very detailed, so be sure you take your time reading them. Today’s is also jam packed, but it it imperative we read and share!
In preparing for this article, I stumbled upon the U.S. Dept. of Ed’s latest Twitter video. It fits right into today’s question concerning the state levels for digital education. What a slick sales pitch for College/Career Readiness AND digital learning!
2) Access this YouTube video from my fellow anti CCSS Warrior, Nicole Revels:
So, What’s in Your State?
The video above was specific to an NC meeting. However, look at the information presented, it doesn’t stop at the NC state lines! The data mining, digital education tie is in ALL 50 States! So where do you look to find the amounts of money, people, and legislation allowing all this to happen? How will the newly passed ESSA law (with all its digital education mandates) change all this already in place?
There are 5 goals the SPN states as to WHY digital education is so vital today. You can see the excerpt, “Evaluate students (based on what they know, not how long they are in a place); Certify and evaluate teachers (based on how well they teach what they know, not the credentials obtained); Evaluate courses and materials (based on state standards); Provide access (instead of getting in the way); and Pay for all of it (with proper accountability).” To see the entire Toolkit: http://www.spn.org/digital_education/
2) SETDA and the Friday Institute have a June 2015 report detailing the 50 States and Digital Education. Before we look at it, however, consider that BOTH are also Pro-CCSS/CCR/CTE (Common Core State Standards, College and Career Readiness, Career Tech Education) See: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/05/15/fom-sbac-and-parcc-revisited/ Then: http://ladyliberty1885.com/2015/08/30/possibly-the-most-arrogant-and-insulting-common-core-article-ive-seen-in-a-while/
According the the 2015 Report, there are 5 States heralded as leaders in digital education:
Alabama, North Carolina, Utah, Indiana, and Kentucky. There are also 5 main components of digital education every State will have, thanks to ESSA.
As I have shared with you in past 2 articles detailing the digital mandates in ESSA, the Infrastructure will be one of the biggest clues as to where to look in your State. What are the plans for better internet in your area? Are your service providers upgrading their systems? Has your state recently passed legislation for Rural Education funding? There are other similar questions for you to ask.
To access the June 2015 Report (where just below this screen shot you will see the descriptions of how each of the 5 goals will be obtained): DigitalLearningExemplars_June2015
As an example of legislation passed, here in NC, to support digital learning, read this excerpt from the Report, “State Law 2013-12 requires the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI) to assist districts in the transition from textbooks to digital materials by 2017. These materials must be effective for all learners and align with the curriculum and standards. Such a law promotes progress toward some level of digital learning statewide.” What if you don’t live in one of the 5 States mentioned as leaders? The Report will also detail all the other States and where they are in the path of mass alignment.
Based on the ESSA Final Conference Report(I shared the document with you in the Thursday article mentioned above), here are page numbers concerning digital education and libraries: 1) Page 138, school libraries and their programs to be updated to digital 2) Page 323, school libraries and their programs must offer digital courses to all school leaders 3) Page 343, school libraries and their programs to lead all school employees in digitally led courses as part of ‘safe schools’
4) Page 384, possible U.S. Dept. of Ed Secretary awarded grants for school libraries and digital led programming 5) 387, all libraries (school or public) are included, with museums, non-profits, and post-secondary educational instututions
6) Page 515, after school programs via extended public library services/hours 7) Page 1,000, authorizes the LSTA (Library Services and Technology Act) grant money to be used for technology upgrades and/or purchases for digital education for all 8) Page 1,037, embeds the Museum and Library Services Act, MLSA
The Gates Foundation-friendly Education Week has an article you will need to access as well. It deals with the E-rate legislation (a federal level law which impacts all 50 States) and its role in digital education. See: http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/DigitalEducation/2015/10/e-rate_application_toolkit.html In contrast, I wrote an anti CCSS Warrior article about the E-rate legislation back in 2014 for Prevent Common Core’s website. See: http://preventcommoncore.com/?p=1223
At the last NC Academic Standards Review Commission meeting;
the topic of Common Core Standards was ripe in the air;
the members were gathered, each with much care.
When one member, much to his own delight
says, “We need to do this right–
consult those who work, who own businesses;
Without them, we face an incorrect fate–
kids who can’t work, when they graduate.”
“So, let us all, turn to the Chamber of Commerce–
They will know we must be immersed;
Common Core Workforce alignment
will build the kids education, while filling the businesses purse!”
I’d like us to take a short look at the supporting groups behind the man who expressed how we (as the citizens of NC) NEED to involve more businesses in education (aka: P3s; public private partnerships). I’m sure, in your state, you have people just like this. Considering how the U. S. Chamber of Commerce was given so much Gates Foundation money to pass on to the state level Chambers (the express purpose of promoting Common Core), you may in fact, know several supporters who share this man’s perspective.
I, however, do not. I’ve done too much research into CCSS to buy the ‘skills gap’ argument; the dire need for businesses weighing into how the schools should align classes to fill their jobs. Do these people NOT remember that for thousands of years all that was needed is a strong base and ANY job can be attained. No, they are too busy spouting off the ‘best practices’ line or the ever popular ‘skills for a 21st Century.’ How many of them have stopped to think back to those folks who ALSO were in changing times of old? Did they always align education to fit future? No, yet somehow, we’ve been able to NOT only survive as a nation, but THRIVE.
So, what groups am I referring to? For starters, The NC Assoc. of Middle Schools. This state-wide group is sponsored by Glencoe/McGraw Hill for starters (duh..no CCSS here, right?! GMH not only supports CCSS, it aligns its PreK to Adult educational materials to the Standards). To learn more about GMH, http://www.mheducation.com/about/investors. The NCAMS is also sponsored by Thinking Maps, which is based here in NC, but used globally. They love CCSS very much, as well. From their website, you’ll see visual patterns used to align children’s thinking skills. Wanna see it for yourself? http://thinkingmaps.com/thinking_maps_common_core.php Another sponsor? The College Fund of NC. Yep, this group was given to the state by the NC Legislature back in 1999. Their tie to CCSS? Funds used at every single community college (in previous posts I’ve featured how all the NC community colleges are CCSS aligned already.) AND the 4 year institutions. Yep, most of them are CCSS aligned, supportive, or both already. Another sponsor of the NC Middle School Association which is also CCSS aligned from secondary school to those Career Clusters/Pathways?! Why, 4-H, of course. Here’s an excerpt from an on-line farm game, “farm safety activities that align with Common Core Standards and National Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources Career Cluster Standards.” (to see the rest of the game: http://www.extension.org/pages/71192/play-it-farm-safe:-an-online-educational-game#.VJD6OSvF-hR)
Now, knowing our Review Commission has an active sitting member supported by a main group so rich in CCSS, it’s no wonder his view was ‘let’s listen to, involve, and align with the business world.’
More rhetoric on ‘workforce’:
On Tuesday, just one day after the Review Commission meeting, was a “Future Forum” meeting. None other than the NC Chamber of Commercewas the ‘proud parent’ of this soiree. I don’t know about your state’s Chamber of Commerce, but NC’s has been extremely vocal about not only its support, but its love and devotion to not only the Common Core, but the Career Pathways. Why, they use wonderfully embracing phrases to describe your students (‘talent supply’, “human capital”, ‘talent pipeline’, etc.). Why I mention the Chamber is their report from 2012 was brought up during the Review Commission meeting.
The Workforce Report mentioned during the meeting, is available on the NC Chamber of Commerce’s website. http://ncchamber.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/North_Carolina_Workforce_System_Review_and_Options_for_Reform_2014-Final….pdf *Note: the 2012 one is actually an appendix item in this updated report. One of the reform items? Continuing to use the community college system as a means to an end. Then, there’s how all the funding can help NC become even more aligned. So, if the community college is a means to an end, what does that make the student?
As far as that Forum: Go take a look at the featured speakers for the Forum. http://ncchamber.net/chamber-events/future-forum/Even though the event is past, If you want to find the Twitter feed from the meeting, #FutureofNC (yes, even if you don’t live here, you need to see this. Why? I can bet your state has similar efforts going on..especially with your state level Chambers of Commerce involved). Okay, I’m assuming you’ve looked. You may be saying “So??” Dr. Tony Wagner of Harvard was a celebrated speaker at this event. Harvard..as in the University. The same university which partnered with Pearson Publishing to create the ‘Career Pathways’ movement that (now) is an integral part of Common Core (in previous Tech Thursdays posts this has not only been shared, but backed with documents and links).
So, after seeing some of the tweets and adding it to what I already know about the love affair between Harvard, CCSS, Chambers of Commerce, I decided to take a bit of a closer look at Dr. Wagner’s stance. I think you’ll find it interesting too.
A look behind the man:
Here’s a short video the doctor is featured in that’s all about 21st century preparedness in the classroom. http://vimeo.com/88923503 (you can copy the address and open in a new window)
Listen to his message. Yes, you may be dazzled by the gadgets. C’mon, who doesn’t love a good gadget?! However, listen to the vernacular being given by, not just the doctor, but the others. All about the collective. Gee, where have we heard that in CCSS? Want more views from him about why we all should innovate education? http://www.tonywagner.com/1016
I’ll assume you’ve just read his commentary from the above link. No, you didn’t see Workforce or Common Core per se, but did you get the overall drift of the CCSS agenda?
On to the “High Tech High School” he mentioned. Yes, it’s based in CA. Yes, it’s the brain child of the Gary and Jerri-Ann Jacobs Investments, along with many other public/private partners. BUT it’s also the product of the Gates Foundation as well. Back in 2005, High Tech High received $3 million dollars, then in 2012, $100,000 for innovation in the 10 schools that belong to the High Tech High School network. (see: http://www.gatesfoundation.org/How-We-Work/Quick-Links/Grants-Database#q/k=high%20tech%20high%20school)
Projects at the High Tech High School are funded by the Public Charter School Dissemination Grant Program. How do I know, when I was investigating the website, an embedded logo at the bottom right hand of the page told me so. (see: http://www.hightechhigh.org/projects/)
‘Common Core’ at High Tech High? You betcha! Here’s an excerpt from a press release, “
“Teachers are working hard to prepare their students for Common Core, with limited access to updated resources,” said Michele Hansen, president and CEO of the Girard Education Foundation, whose philanthropic support enables teachers, parents and students to access the website at no cost. “Activate Instruction facilitates teacher collaboration and makes it easy for teachers to access quality content from high-performing schools for free.”
“Teachers on Activate – who number nearly 4,000 – can now search for, and follow, sets of more than 18,000 resources (including nearly 2,000 playlists). Many of these resources have been uploaded by high-performing schools that have voluntarily shared their content. Those schools include: Summit Public Schools in the Bay Area, High Tech High in San Diego, and Da Vinci Schools and KIPP LA Schools in Los Angeles. Teachers can even follow other teachers’ specific playlists, creating the opportunity for teachers’ work to be recognized nationally.” (get the rest of the press release: http://www.activateinstruction.org/about/press-kit/)
So, what does all this mean for Workforce, Adult CC, and my student?
It means we need to be ahead of those in charge by connecting the dots between Common Core in the secondary level and the post secondary level. We need to continue to expose the overreach of federal, and now, state government programs which continue not only support P3 involvement in education, but seek to purposefully seek it out, encourage it, and reward it. As others, including myself, have shared..Workforce tied to CCSS is NOT going away. It is gaining momentum. If we wish to stop a CCSS aligned work skilled nation, WE must gain momentum, too!
Now, back to the Review Committee:
One of the charges to carry out the Committee has is to have the best for NC students. I’m not sure how seeking to incorporate the Chamber of Commerce will be best for NC as long as it continues to support CCSS AND bring in those who are also supportive to whip up support from the business end. It creates a false positive environment. It’s employing the appeal to fear fallacy (we must bring in the business owners or we won’t have a skilled workforce), the bandwagon fallacy (you can’t have 20th century teaching in a 21st century world; kids won’t be employable), and the argument from ignorance fallacy (we’re dancing all around CCSS and what it’s doing to NC, but we’re not really willing to be objective about it either).
What can your state learn from NC?
Plenty! We’ve got to get the P3s out of the education bed. We’ve got to stop allowing the false argument that 21st skills are more important than any other century. We’re not the first group of people finding ourselves in a state of change. Every generation has had change to face! Every century has had folks face the unknown. Do you think it the times gone by that everyone had a answer for every future job? No, BUT they did the best they could. If you look close enough, you’ll see that their best has served you and I for many years EXTREMELY well. Just because the CCSS Machine is grinding out the message of Workforce alignment, doesn’t mean we have to accept it. If NC wants the best for the students, I’d have to say how things are being handled isn’t the answer. The clock is ticking, folks..how will the BEST happen as long as mediocre mockery is in play?