Tag Archives: mandatory pre-K; College and career readiness

Tech Thursday: Career Pathways Meet Competency Based Pathways

Just released a day or so ago,  an article describing how Achieve, Inc (a huge part of the CCSS Machine) and the NASDCTEc (National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium) joined forces to complete their look at how the progress between Career and Technical Education and Competency Based Pathways was coming along.

According to the article, each state has BOTH a CTE arm AND a CBP arm. If you’ve followed my blog long, you know we’ve delved into the CTE side of Common Core quite a bit. Today, we’ll look at the CBP side of Common Core. Below is the screen shot from the NC CBP documents sharing webspace.

The Article: 

From “Getting Smart”, a pro CCSS/CTE site, http://gettingsmart.com/2015/08/ctecbe/

Here’s one short statement directly from the article that we need to have in fighting to save our educational systems and all who are involved in them.
“One system that has often been overlooked in conversations about competency based pathways has been that of career technical education (CTE).”

From NC’s CBP (Competency Based Pathways) Information:


From what I can tell, this particular NC webspace of information, is from 2013. If you cannot access the screen shot, here’s the website address: https://sites.google.com/site/competencybasedpathways/home/policy-frameworks/state-policy/state-policy-resources

This particular framework gives lots of great anti Common Core warrior information. You can see which pro CCSS groups are involved in reshaping what education is really accomplishing; you’ll see the states not embracing a big push to complete their CBP (Competency Based Pathways) strategies; you’ll see the states in the throes of completing their CBP designs; you’ll learn which states are ‘racing ahead’ in their CBP grasp on our students.

Here’s the basic idea about state policies in education, at least in the CBP Way:
a) ‘good’ policy moves include using students outcome to drive precedents.
b) ‘guarding’ those high quality academic standards
c) ‘create’ a community wide education effort (ie: must include ALL ‘stakeholders’)
d) offer incentives to help force certain outcomes and remove any rules or regulations not encouraging ‘more ways to learn/earn’

Some other great information you can use to fight the CCSS Machine’s grasp on local education:
“seat time waivers”
CBP exploratory task forces
CBP pilot programs
Flexible credit awards (means there’s more than one way to earn that degree)
Expanding educational offerings so the entire K-12 system, the community, is not only involved in CBP, but thriving in it.
Elimination of certain educational parameters that have serve our communities for long periods of time.
Aligning ALL K-12 students with CBP choices.

These items AND others are being used to re-arrange education infrastructure right under our noses!

What do I mean? Here’s the excerpt from NC’s CBP information for an Advanced CBP state:
“A few states are racing ahead, designing policies that boldly advance competency-based learning. They provide excellent building blocks in the nascent field of competency-based systems for designing comprehensive state policy frameworks. Drawing upon the lessons learned from the most advanced states, an initial starting point for aligning the policy infrastructure include: 

  • Eliminate seat-time and redefine awarding credits based on competencies.
  • Require districts to offer competency-based credits so that students have competency-based options.
  • Provide support mechanisms including technical assistance providers to create competencies, train teachers, and establish information management systems.
  • Establish quality-control mechanisms to safeguard equity and to ensure that higher expectations for student learning are not compromised. 
  • Expand learning options in the community, after school, and in online courses.
  • Align higher education with K–12 competency-based efforts. Teacher training, college admissions, and streamlining budgets to support accelerated learning are all critical elements to creating a sustainable competency-based approach.
  • Design balanced assessment systems and accountability systems that provide valuable information for improving student learning and school performance. “To read more, be sure to access the website for NC’s information given above. Below is a screen shot of just one of the other CBP resources available from this webspace.
iNACOL, the International Association for K-12 Online Learning created this map in 2013.
iNACOL, the International Association for K-12 Online Learning created this map in 2013.

iNACOL’s part of the CCSS Machine as well, my Warriors! See: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/06/08/monday-musings-ccss-tech-schedule/ (This recent article, June 2015, shares how iNACOL is helping communities become ‘blended learners’)
Then, see this one: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/10/24/fom-friday-knowledgeworks-or-knowledge-quirks/
(This article from 2014, shares how iNACOL has partnered with KnowledgeWorks, the CCSSO (Chief Council of State School Officers), and others to bring about not only competency based education, but entire aligned cities and towns to the CCSS Machine’s agenda.
Achieve, Inc.’s Part of the CCSS Machine?

While many of us anti CCSS Warriors/researchers/writers have shared plenty of proof for Achieve, Inc. and CCSS, almost everything I’ve written about them is from the CTE, higher education, and/or Career Pathways side of education. I’m including only the MOST relevant articles about Achieve’s OTHER aspirations for aligning all the CCSS/CTE, CP, and now CBP it can.
See: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/03/13/fom-achieving-cc-aligned-competencies/
(This is from March 2015 and gives you the report of transforming high school transcripts to become just like the post=secondary ones..full of CBPs! It also lays out the ties to the New England Secondary Education Consortium’s ties to Bill Gates)
Then: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/11/13/tech-thursday-collegecareer-readiness-success-and-common-core/
(This article from 2014, is a virtual snake pit of CCSS Machine groups, Achieve, Inc. being only one of them, with not only the plan for CCSS, College and Career Readiness Standards to meet and assimilate into Competency Based Learning, but the states already divided up!)
Finally, to see Achieve, Inc.’s latest report, as mentioned in the “Getting Smart” article,
NASDCTEc’s Part in the CCSS Machine:

This group is no stranger to me due to all my research. While I’ve written about them several times, again, I’m only giving you the MOST relevant articles. Use all the documents, links, etc. you can in this to share with those in your realms of influence who don’t see the dots connecting yet! We must!
See: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/11/16/rmt-vp-unions-career-tech-and-common-core/
(This is from November 2014 and gives you how the Vice President, Career and Technical Education, Perkins Funding, and NASDCTEc’s in unison to transform education into workforce training.)
Then: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/03/12/tech-thursday-difference-between-careers/
(This one, from March 2015, gives you not only the NASDCTEc’s portion of the CCSS Machine, but the ACTE’s (Association for Career Technical Education) portion, too! You’ll also get to find out how Harvard University is related to all this; how the Gates Foundation helped fund ACTE for the EXPRESS purpose of aligning CCSS and CTE.)
To see the August 3rd, 2015 NASDCTEc/Achieve, Inc. joint report on strengthening the ties between competencies and your students, http://www.achieve.org/CTECBPConnections

Note how Achieve is using iNACOL's definition to guide your state's CBP.
Note how Achieve is using iNACOL’s definition to guide your state’s CBP.

Lastly, you’ll need the “Imperative” report for state leaders from Achieve’s ‘related’ resources for all the competency based pathways and their policies to be set into stone.



FOM Friday: 2015 Fed Ed Budget

**Important note: As of this post, this delves into  the President’s education budget NOT the Congressional one where reports have stated no Race to the Top or little for Common Core. We need to know what this report shares as there is SO much more to consider. As with anything in the fed ed reform, there’s so much being hidden in plain sight. We need to be pro-active in our watch of ALL of the federal levels. Pro CCSS groups are latching on to the President’s budget and rejoicing at the information below. All the more reason for anti CCSS groups to be alert!

It's Friday, you know what that means! Time to measure what's truth, what's fallacy/fib or what's in between.
It’s Friday, you know what that means! Time to measure what’s truth, what’s fallacy/fib or what’s in between.

It’s almost the end of the year, many are turning their attention to the next round of legislative events. Common Core Standards and the agenda therein cannot survive without money. So, today’s Fib-o-Meter Friday post is a special look at just how Washington, D.C. plans to use our tax dollars to fund illegal standards, continue to grease the wheels of the CCSS Machine, and keep education a mess.

First up, The Fed Ed Budget Comments: 

Website to access the entire budget/comments, http://www.ed.gov/budget15

The first quote we’ll look at through the Fib-o-Meter is this one, “America’s public schools strive to offer a path to the middle class for children from hard-working families in every community, particularly those living in poverty. Yet too many students lack access to the education and supports that make the journey to the middle class possible. The Obama administration is committed to ensuring equity of opportunity for every child.”

We’re going to only focus on the bold words to fit through the Fib-o-Meter. How is the government defining ‘middle class’? Logic would suggest you consider what the U.S. Census Bureau’s definition is. After all, if anyone has statistics on Americans, it’s them. However, according to the CB’s website they do NOT have an official definition!! “The Census Bureau does not have an official definition of the “middle class,” but it does derive several measures related to the distribution of income and income inequality.” (see the entire way they do derive income inequality..which does measure lower and upper percentages: 

http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/income/data/inequality/middleclass.htmlOkay, so since the Census doesn’t have an official definition, which government entity does?! The U.S. Department of Commerce, that’s which one. According to the 2010 “Middle Class in America” publication, ‘One of the hallmarks of American society has been the common desire among families of all backgrounds for economic security and a better life for their children. Unfortunately, many families are not able to afford the sort of expenditures that we lay out in this report. If American families are to realize their middle class dreams, the nation must have a healthy economy, a responsible private sector that offers decent jobs with benefits, and an effective public sector that provides high quality schools for all children.’ I’ve provided the entire report for you as you’ll need to see for which task force the entire report was created for. Middle Class Report It’s the Vice President’s ‘Task Force on Middle Class’..the same Task Force that the Workforce education is geared for…meaning those Career Pathways, Workforce Data Initiative, Common Core aligned courses that encompass Career Tech Ed, and so on. UGH!! Totally malarky! ‘Total Fallacy’, you’ve based one set of misinformation resources on top of out and out illegally formed Standards supported by Federal overreach!

“Too many students lack access to education”. Really? Yep..especially when your source is the U. S. Dept. of Ed (hardly objective on the subject)! In March 2014, “The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) released today the first comprehensive look at civil rights data from every public school in the country in nearly 15 years.”  Don’t fret, I’ll include the full press release. You’ll definitely want it, too. Key findings? Not enough preschool, not enough school counselor access, etc. Hmmm, have you noticed the big push lately for MORE fed led ed preK? Do you remember the post I wrote revealing how school counselors were being forced to align to CCSS? Not to be pithy here, but the public education system has enough now and it’s not working. How is MORE going to help? UGH! More fibs! More fallacies! Fib-o-Meter rating for this one: ‘Total Fallacy’ (press release: http://www.ed.gov/news/press-releases/expansive-survey-americas-public-schools-reveals-troubling-racial-disparities)

“Equity of opportunity for every child”. Okay, can someone please remind the rest of the nation that opportunity is ALWAYS available to each and every person who desires to utilize it. We shouldn’t be ‘forcing the deck’ when it comes to education. Of course, when your agenda is to have a trained workforce you have to force the deck. However, we need to find the Federal resource to see what insight it can help us with. So, we turn to the ‘Equity and Excellence Commission’, a federal advisory committee chartered by Congress. Their 2011 report to Sec. Duncan at the U. S. Dept. of Ed laid out 5 prongs that would ensure equity (which literally means the ‘quality of being fair/impartial’ and/or ‘the value of shares’ in something) Those 5 prongs (you’ve heard them all by now) more early childhood ed, more money for schools, having teachers/principals/curricula all on the same page, offering more non-school services, and more accountability. See the Commission’s website, (http://www.foreachandeverychild.org/The_Report.html) Again, ‘Fallacy’ from the Fib-o-Meter is the rating. You can’t get truth when you keep using the same tainted, subjective information!

Read on to find where the bucks stop and the fallacies continue in our educational system.
Read on to find where the bucks stop and the fallacies continue in our educational system.

The Bucks:

So just HOW many dollars, bucks, smackeroos have been laid out for education in America for 2015’s budget? Let’s find out. “The Administration is requesting $68.6 billion in discretionary appropriations for the Department of Education in 2015, an increase of $1.3 billion, or 1.9 percent, more than the 2014 level and almost $3 billion more than in 2013.” There are to be some mandatory programs this money funds as well as some programs that could be used. Remember those 5 prongs the Equity Commission gave? Guess what?! Here’s the note included in the Budget, “The 2015 Budget request for the Department focuses on six priorities: (1) increasing equity and opportunity for all students, (2) strengthening support for teachers and school leaders; (3) expanding high-quality preschool programs; (4) affordability and quality in post-secondary education; (5) promoting educational innovation and improvement; and (6) improving school
safety and climate.” How that equity is to be achieved? “The Administration’s signature reform measures, including RTT and ESEA Flexibility, advance this goal through supporting State and local efforts in the implementation of college- and career ready (CCR) standards and aligned assessments, rigorous accountability systems intended to help close achievement gaps and turn around our lowest-performing schools, and new teacher and leader evaluations.”

Where our taxes are going to help support the CCSS Machine:
$300 million for a new Race to the Top (student longitudinal data system on a state-wide platform); $14.4 billion for Title One College/Career Readiness; $1.1 billion for those 21st Century Community Learning Centers (think cradle to grave agenda); $100 million for “Promise Neighborhoods” (cradle to career initiative); $70 million for Statewide Longitudinal Student Data System; $200 million for ConnectED (trains teachers to be CCSS and college/career readiness aligned, assessments, digital aspects, and more in the classroom); $5 billion for incentives (RESPECT) teachers who’ve completed College/Career Readiness training, building like-minded network; $1.3 billion in mandatory preK for everyone; $165 million for “Investment in Innovation” (i3) which will use a best-practices approach to education while affording the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Education a whopping $49.5 million to transform technology; $150 million to redesign high schools so they become college/career ready centers; $170 million for STEM revitalizing (of that, $110 million goes to LEAs to create a STEM network; $40 million to create a teacher STEM Pathway, $20 million to create a National STEM Teacher Corps; $1.1 billion to reauthorize the Perkins Act (means even more Career Tech Ed that’s aligned to CCSS). See the entire Summary: http://www2.ed.gov/about/overview/budget/budget15/summary/15summary.pdf

Since we know that Common Core encompasses Career Tech Education, Workforce, and other tentacles, we’ll need to look at more of the 2015 Federal Budget sections. It is my goal to address each of these in separate posts for clarity purposes. I would suggest you use each as you see applicable with your state and the battle against Common Core.