Tag Archives: low performing schools

How Low Is Too Low?

Welcome back, Anti Fed Ed Warriors! I hope your Thanksgiving break was just what you needed. 

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Built into ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act) was the mandate to force ‘low performing’ schools into all kinds of straitjacket type solutions.
One, by far and away, the worst, was turning them over to privately run charter companies.

Look below and see how NC’s been creating laws and ‘new’ names to comply.
Your State’s doing this as well, Warriors!

ncdistrictrebrand
(Source)

Warriors, don’t forget, from May 2018, I showed you the NC’s ‘new’ solution for more ‘school choice’ which also feeds into the ESSA mandates that all education be aligned to the same thing. In that article, you’ll see how other States are also kowtowing to ‘Lab Schools’.

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Given the fact NC legislators have re-branded and created so much which fits right into the CCSS Machine’s plans, how could they possibly create/re-brand more?!

Their solution? Take the ‘low performing’ schools and ‘renew’ them. What does it look like? How does it work?
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Meet NC’s House Bill 986 (now State Law 2018-32)

ncrenew
(Bill/Law in its entire form)
(Link to WUNC’s article)
Warriors, The ‘renewal’ parameters are not the first item in this ‘kitchen sink’ type of Bill (now State Law). If you want to skip to that section, you can go to the next section.

First, you’ll see the need for cursive and multiplication reports on a yearly basis.  This is followed by expanding the advanced math for grades 3 and up. There’s even an option for parents to say no to advanced math for Johnny and Suzy, if they so choose.

This is followed by Educator Preparation Report Cards. Then a State Superintendent Testing Study. The point of the study? Reducing testing (as long as its not State or federally required) for K-12th grades. (*Note: Superintendent Johnson has already shoved out a ‘reduced testing’ fallacy, which I exposed in August 2018. You’ll also see that other States are doing the same type of thing.)

Next, is the Health and Suicide Protocol Training. That will see the NC’s Superintendent partner with the State’s HHS (Health and Human Services) to develop content and a model for mental health training which must include suicide, sex, and, substances.


Renew Your School?

It’s on Page 3 you’ll find the NC Renewal School District parameters begin. The 2018-32 Law is 8 pages in all, so all the nuts and bolts for ‘renewal’ have been laid out. In the screen shot below, I’ve summarized some of the biggest items:

NC201832

Also built into the ‘renewal schools’ are anti bullying, school provided transportation for students, compliance with the
State’s Uniform Education Reporting System (all data mining based), offering driver’s education, and, have at least 50% of the teachers licensed to teach. Of those who teach math, science, social studies, and language arts, they must be college graduates.
Renewal schools can contract with non-licensed citizens to be employed, they cannot teach, however.

On page 6 you’ll see that the funding for renewal schools will be a bit different than those schools not being renewed. The Law is clear in stating whatever State or federal funds are used for, State and federal mandates must be carried out.

Warriors, the most disturbing part about this renewal school district law is that the renewal system is locked into place until the 2022-23 academic year UNLESS the renewal school fails.
However, the State Superintendent is the only one who can make the recommendation to close a renewal school..not the local school board! NC’s State Superintendent already has too much power, this built in mandate gives him more.

Look in your State, Warriors, what powers are increasing in your State Board of Education and/or Superintendent?

renewfail
It does appear that IF a renewal school fails, it’s folded back into the public system, but then what?

It’s been passed off as ‘low performing’, then, maybe turned into a charter, to then be identified as ‘low performing’ again, to then go to ‘renewal’. The amount of waste in time, energy, money, and, most of all, messing with our teachers and students in this newest experiment is off the charts, Warriors!
The ‘renewal’ system is still steeped in massive student data rape, constant assessing for ‘student performance’.

How many ‘new ways’ are being foisted on the legislators to come up with the same reform in fresh forms?

Have we forgotten that those accreditation organizations (like AdvancED) micromanage our school districts to no end already? What about their involvement in ‘renewal schools’? Why use one district (Rowan County) as the experiment school?  rowanquote
(Source)

Is there a bigger piece of the ‘why Rowan County’ puzzle being chosen as the ‘renewal school district’? I believe there is, indeed.

rowanhub
The State of Indiana is using the Rowan County NC STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) Community Guide ‘success’ to embed more UN/ESSA mandates, including after school programs.
Warriors, look in your States for similar activity.
If you look at the IN’s program and those funding it, you’ll see the Gates Foundation is chief among them.

Prosperity Zones are created by the NC Dept. of Commerce. Here’s their spin. Here’s my truth about them.

Closing:

Warriors, since the passage of ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act), new laws with ESSA mandates (since forgotten or maybe never realized) are hitting us hard and fast.

We’ve got to do more to raise awareness. Those newly elected leaders. Did they run on an ‘anti Common Core’ campaign? If so, ask them how can they oppose CCSS, but embrace the ESSA’s fallacy filed mandates? For example, expanding school choice or using education savings accounts, expanding early childhood education (beginning at birth) or career tracking..these are all CCSS aligned! The federal funding flowing to every one of the 50 States is not being broken. Will these new leaders do so?

No matter if it’s ‘renewal’, ‘lab’, ‘innovation’ or some other ‘new choice’, it’s a lie!

Work with the leaders (new or not) to show them where those fallacies are! You know them well, my Warriors! You have the research! Share it!

postelect


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Learning from Our Neighbors?

When it comes to education, how much are we truly learning from each other?
When it comes to education, how much are we truly learning from each other?

 

For this edition of my From the Files Tuesday, I want to begin by posing the question you see above in the caption. With the passage of the ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act) it is important we consider it. Why? Let’s see what we can learn from the relationship between the State I live in (NC) and our neighbor to the West, Tennessee.

The Flyer:

Here in NC, our Primary Election was March 15, 2016. Just before it, I received a glossy, colorful flyer for an organization titled, Our Schools First (OS1).
(see their website: http://www.ourschoolsfirst.com/ ) The flyer instantly got my internal radar up because it stated which candidates running were ‘pro education’.
Now, as an anti CCSS Warrior and researcher, I know that just because  candidates are supportive of education, it needs to be revealed exactly HOW they are supportive. As we have learned together in this War Against the Core, many members of the CCSS Machine are also ‘pro education’, but it is an aligned and agenda filled education. None of this type of information was given on the flyer.

So what did I find on the OS1 website? Why wait until now to share this? Two reasons. First, life has been a whirlwind. Second, had I shared the news then, I wouldn’t have had the entire story, or what appears to be the entire story.

From the OS1 website, I found this is the group which really pushed for a local school bond package back in 2014. (*Note: The bond was to support massive school building changes in 7 of the county’s schools. Knowing from research that bonds are deferred loans future generations usually have to pay off; that the school buildings changes are part of the purposed redesigning of our schools to align to the overall education reform, I didn’t support the bond. It passed anyway. As usual, the bond has proven to be not enough for the changes we were told.) The OS1 website is not very transparent on lots of information, they do ask you for your money and tell you whom you should support, however.

All this said, I did find one useful resource: the call to halt an upcoming bill currently in the NC General Assembly. The bill will basically close any failing school here in NC, take it over, and restructure it as a charter school. The worst part? The bill is written to model the failure of this very thing in TN! Click on  the screen shot below for what the group shared:

savencschools
This is what the ‘pro education’ group shared, however, it also links its information (the blue highlighted phrase ‘considering a bill’) to a very left leaning policy watch group here in NC. When you access their website, you see another story about the fiscal responsibility aspect of closing schools and restructuring them. (Article link is below)

True, we need to consider this, but it is WHOM they asked that sets off yet another anti CCSS Warrior red flag. Rep. Craig Horn! If you don’t know who he is, let me briefly state that he is 100% in favor of the CCSS Machine’s takeover in education. He is also the chairman of the NC House of Representatives Education Appropriations Committee! While Rep. Horn thinks the bill will not pass, the Representative who has introduced the bill, Rep. Rob Bryan, is said to be a huge supporter of the change in education. (see:
http://pulse.ncpolicywatch.org/2016/03/30/house-leader-questions-fiscal-feasibility-of-achievement-school-districts-in-north-carolina/)

What IS the Change NC Wants that TN Flubbed Up?

Simply put, it is known as ASD (Achievement School Districts). Currently, NC has a Select House Committee on ASDs. Who chairs it? Rep. Bryan. Other Representatives include Rep. Horn and 10 others. Fighting the War Against the Core in NC, I can tell you almost everyone of these Representatives are in favor of the CCSS Machine’s education reform.
To see the entire Committee member list,
http://www.ncleg.net/gascripts/Committees/Committees.asp?sAction=ViewCommittee&sActionDetails=House%20Select_174

To see the ASD Committee Actions (which include the Race to the Top 2013-14 School and District Transformation Report2013-14 RttT 118 Data Longitudinal-RB 6-30-15 )
http://www.ncleg.net/gascripts/DocumentSites/browseDocSite.asp?nID=302

To see the actual ASD Bill: NCASDbill

The TN ASDs:

Nashville Public Radio featured the entire disaster:
http://nashvillepublicradio.org/post/researchers-deem-tennessee-s-achievement-school-district-ineffective-so-far#stream/0
In their article, they reveal one fact we should know: ASDs were part of the Race to the Top!

The research on TN’s ASDs includes “A number of states and districts have adopted bold strategies for turning around low performing schools. Some of these initiatives have been modeled after Louisiana’s Recovery School District (RSD), which, in some cases, took over and directly ran failing schools or, in other cases, turned these schools over to charter management organizations (CMOs). Inspired by Louisiana’s example and the potential of Race to the Top (RTTT) funding, Tennessee passed legislation called First to the Top in January 2010 which created the Achievement School District (ASD). With this legislation in hand, the state applied for RTTT funding, and, in March of that year, Tennessee was awarded $500 million to carry out the proposed initiatives including the ASD.” To read the entire 10 page research report: ASD_Impact_Policy_Brief_Final_12.8.15
(*Note: Vanderbilt University was granted money from the part of the TN’s RttT funds,  U.S. Dept. of Education, and the Walton (WalMart) Family Foundation to conduct this research.)

To learn more about the TN ASDs, see their website:
 http://achievementschooldistrict.org/about/
To see the “Why I Choose to Achieve” promotion video:

Closing:

The big question is why is NC going down this path when TN showed the system is a disaster? A couple of obvious answers: 1) RttT Funded States have turning around the lowest performing schools as one of their strings. 2) To embed the ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act) mandates and plans of turning around schools and creating more charter schools.

Related Resources:
Rep. Horn’s activities to support the Jeb Bush run Foundation for Excellence in Education:
https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/10/25/weekend-news-ccss-rumors-abound-at-least-in-nc/ (*Note: Rep. Blackwell was also featured in this article as an attendee. Blackwell is also on the House ASD Committee.)
NC area schools set to close and be consolidated:
http://www.wsoctv.com/news/local/parents-to-rally-over-closures-in-rowan-salisbury-school-system/216982593

Weekend News: Looking at the 2016 NC Primary, Part One

It took me several minutes to find a website featuring more than the Gubernatorial Primary.
It took me several minutes to find a website featuring more than the Gubernatorial Primary for NC.

Greetings this weekend, my trusted anti CCSS Warriors (To be more accurate since the ESSA{Every Student Succeeds Act} passed into law, maybe I should refer to you as the CCSS*/CTE*/CCR* Warriors? But no matter what label is slapped over the ‘CCSS’, peel them back and it is STILL Common Core!) *CCSS: Common Core State Standards/*CTE: Career Tech Education/*CCR: College and Career Readiness (a special ‘favorite’ phrase embedded in the ESSA)

Each of our states is gearing up for elections in 2016. Some of our states will have primaries, some won’t. My news this weekend is especially for my NC Warriors, as we have a race that so far, has been very kept in the corner. Well, you know me…it is time to shine the light on that corner!! Before we turn on the hypothetical flashlight, though, I want to encourage all the Warriors in other states. IF you are having election races soon, do you know all the candidates to consider? Do you even know if there is a race?

From what I have seen and heard here in NC, I had very scant information about one of THE most important races: The Superintendent of Public Instruction! Why?!  Considering the importance of this position and how many people are to be impacted, I would think MOUNTAINS of attention would already be ‘out there’. But as you see above, only one candidate has an embedded website.

While we are pondering this ‘buried’ race, consider this: I didn’t find it on my NC voter guide website (the most recent guide was dated 2015). So, I went to another one: total dud of a website. Then, when steered to another, it a became a ‘wild goose chase’ on another national voter site, where it finally becomes obvious you will not even see NC featured! EGADS, Warriors!!
I found it on a national election information website(see: http://www.uselections.com/nc/nc.htm)!!  I am getting the distinct feeling that something (could it be the CCSS Machine?!) is purposefully hiding this March 2016 Primary. However, before you think my tin foil hat is on a bit too tightly, let’s see IF there is, in fact, more information available about this race.

This edition of my Weekend News will be the FIRST in a two part report. There are 2 Democrats and 3 Republicans in this race. We start with the Democrats below.

Dr. Atkinson’s website:

Again, another wild goose chase. Geez, by the time a citizen unearths all the needed information, they may be so frustrated they will think it isn’t worth researching! (Maybe that is the CCSS Machine’s wish?!) I even tried the embedded link in the US Elections website featured above and it was inaccurate.

While it appears her campaign site is way out in the cyberspace world and I have a deadline to meet, I can share with you some of the news she has been featured in concerning this upcoming election.

1) According to the Raleigh CBS TV Station, WRAL (on 1/8/16),  Dr. Atkinson had several predictions for the state of NC in 2016 and this was among them. “I will be re-elected as State Superintendent of Public Instruction.”  You need to see her other predictions as they include assessments, Pre-K, and more. Access the information: http://www.wral.com/state-superintendent-shares-predictions-for-nc-public-schools-in-2016/15217644/
2) According to another website, Lillian’s List (a group supporting women who are creating  progressive changes in NC), Atkinson will have their full support. This will be along with several other key political positions, Lillian’s List will support. See: http://www.lillianslist.org/blog/2016-january-newsletter-new (To see the progressive women LL has helped place in office, see: http://www.lillianslist.org/candidates/elected)
See below for an upcoming ‘kick off’ event where Atkinson (among others (will be featured).

http://www.lillianslist.org/events/2016-campaign-kickoff-luncheon
http://www.lillianslist.org/events/2016-campaign-kickoff-luncheon

3) I FINALLY was able to uncover Dr. Atkinson’s website (after many hours). How? It was featured on her Twitter account! Her website has almost no information about anything in the future except the words “Help me continue the journey for the sake of children and NC’s prosperity.” (see her site: http://www.drjuneatkinson.com/)

While we on the subject, you can learn a lot more about Atkinson from her tweets (see: https://twitter.com/DrJuneAtkinson).
Such as what CCSS Machine rhetoric she is spinning in support of the ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act), or her sharing about a Dec. 2015 Washington, D.C. meeting. It was called the ‘White House Convening of State Educational Leaders’. The only thing you will learn is she was there. That’s it.

Being the researcher I am, I found more information about the ‘Convening’ from CT and OR attendees! Below is from the CT source. (see: http://www.housedems.ct.gov/cook/2015/pr065_2015-12-16.asp#.Vppf1vkrLIU)

“Topics discussed included: high school redesign; tuition-free Community College; Computer Science; College Opportunity and Affordability; Early Education; FAFSA; and College Scorecard”

From the OR source:
Who was leading the education leaders at the Convening: U.S. Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, incoming Acting U.S. Secretary of Education, John King, Senior Officials from the White House and the U.S. Department of Education and other national education leaders for The White House Convening of State Education Leaders on December 8, 2015.” (see:
https://www.oregonlegislature.gov/johnsonm/Documents/Johnson%20White%20House.pdf
)

Related: The U.S. Dept. of Education released two days AFTER the Convening, the 2016 National Education Technology Plan. The subtitle? Future Ready Learning, Re-imagining the Role of Technology in Education” (see: http://sites.ed.gov/octae/2015/12/)

How is this related? NC is fully entrenched in Future Ready Schools!! See: http://www.dpi.state.nc.us/docs/gradrequirements/resources/gradchecklists.pdf) To see a Future Ready School Summit Meeting (contains all the notes and information an anti CCSS Warrior needs to find new ‘ammo’ for the War  Against the Core), see: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1jrz91itHcJ4-veKPMSrfCLUXihl9GJwf0az-vwQDyMI/edit?pref=2&pli=1

**Before we move to the other candidate I wanted to explain WHY I went so far into detail with Atkinson’s ties. Whether you live in NC or not, her stance on education WILL impact you! As President of the CCSSO, her influence is felt everywhere in education! Besides, as the head over the entity which owns half the copyright to the CCS Standards, we don’t have to guess how supportive (or sold out to) of the Common Core she is!

 

 Henry Pankey’s Campaign:

According to the Winston-Salem(NC) Journal’s article about Pankey, his campaign is more grassroots in nature than the Atkinson’s. The article tells you some about his background before it launches into (at that point questionable) Atkinson’s tactics. Poor guy can’t even get a full article. See: http://www.journalnow.com/news/columnists/scott_sexton/sexton-henry-pankey-s-qualifications-for-n-c-superintendent-more/article_9923498c-e3d5-11e4-bdf1-6b7e3fe8731a.html

Below is  a picture of Pankey:

turnaround

AEI (American Entertainment International)Speaker’s Bureau had this to share about Pankey, “Henry Pankey’s new book ‘How to Turn Around low Performing Schools’ will be his step by step detailed platform as he runs for North Carolina State Superintendent of Instruction. It includes common sense basics designed to turn around struggling schools and create “Schools of Excellence”. The successful outcomes have been vetted and certified by the North Carolina Department of Instruction, newspapers, news reports and magazines.”

Hold on, educational success worthy of an entire state has  been vetted by the media?! Where is the legislative vetting? The teachers’ vetting? Aren’t they much more credible that the media’s approval?! The biography goes on to share this: “Henry Pankey is best known as a school improvement mentor and highly effective tough love urban principal.”

With all the behavior interventions in place, as well as the huge additions the ESSA will usher into NC schools (as it will in every other stated) I question the school improvement tactics, the mentoring, and most especially the tough love. We Warriors have already seen enough awful evidence of the CCSS Machine’s mind altering moves in education, do we really need more?!
See what else the AEI website has to say: http://aeispeakers.com/speakerbio.php?SpeakerID=770

Over on http://www.henrypankeyjr.com, the list of praises for him is quite revealing when you consider the presence of  the CCSS Machine (ie: U.S. Ed leaders, public instruction groups, etc.) See: http://www.henryjpankey.com/testimonials

Related: “Schools of Excellence”, are not only in NC, the schools are in other states as well. See the 2014 (latest list I could find) of nation-wide Schools of Excellence:
http://www.magnet.edu/files/awards/school-of-excellence-list-2014-merit.pdf
It is important to point out here that exactly what qualifies a school to be tagged as one of excellence is a bit harder to define. Why? Well, you have the Merit reference in the above link, then there is the National PTA’s program, then the Blue Ribbon Schools program in the U.S. Dept. of Ed (which also is an excellence distinction awarded to ANY type of school meeting the parameters). I also found the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges has a School of Excellence program, too! The CCSS Machine is tied to the National PTA, the U.S. Dept. of Ed, the Magnet/Merit, AND the Career Schools/Colleges entities! See: https://www.pta.org/excellence (PTA’s site);
http://www.accsc.org/Events/Professional-Development-Conference/Award-Winners/Schools-of-Excellence.aspx (Career Schools/College’s site); http://www2.ed.gov/programs/nclbbrs/index.html (the U.S. Dept. of Ed’s site)

Mentoring under the CCSS: The ASCD (Gates Foundation funded and very much a part of the CCSS Machine) features many resources for ‘tough love mentoring’ aligned to CCSS.
See: http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/apr04/vol61/num07/-Mentoring-New-Leaders.aspx
Here is a document from CA where mentoring and CCSS are drilled down on people:
http://www.kappancommoncore.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/59pdk_96_6.pdf
The Center for American Progress has a Teacher Success guide for mentoring and CCSS:
https://cdn.americanprogress.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/CCTeacherVoiceFinal.pdf
The effect of Robert Marzano’s behavior interventions are already well in place not only in NC, but in the rest of the USA. Here is everything I have on his work: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/?s=Marzano

Whether or not, Pankey would carry on what Atkinson has put into play for NC, will of course, be decided later, should he survive the Primary. However, I am raising concerns (with the above related resources)  to help emphasize that  there are serious questions the citizens need to ask BEFORE they vote!  If either of these is against more Common Core (aka: College/Career Readiness, NC Essential Standards, Career Tech Education, etc.) it certainly does NOT look like it.

In “Monday’s Musings” I will look into the 3 Republicans vying for the NC Superintendent of Public Instruction.