Tag Archives: Marzano Institute for Research

FTF: CCSS Frying Pan into the Fire

A recent round of supposedly good news for us anti CCSS Warriors, deserves a closer look. As we’ve seen in the past, what’s reported as victories for defeating the CCSS Machine, we’ve learned the news is always bittersweet. It’s like 2 steps forward, one step back; or jumping from the frying pan into the fire.

A look at the news behind the latest CCSS headlines.
A look at the news behind the latest CCSS headlines.

TX and AR’s “Ditched Assessments”:

In recent news both TX and AR have ‘ditched’ their high stakes assessments contracts.
At least those are the headlines. There’s even been some celebrating. However, when you take a closer look at these types of stories, you’ll find that while it’s apparently those well known high stakes assessments are on their way out, what is replacing them is ALSO just as toxic.

1) Texas announced in May of this year that it was ending its contract with the high-stakes assessment company, Pearson Publishing. (See: http://www.centerdigitaled.com/k-12/Pearson-Loses-Bulk-of-Texas-Student-Testing-Contract.html)

While those of us who are familiar with how Pearson is involved in the USA’s national assessments ‘game’, it appeared at first to be quite a blow in favor of  those opposed to CCSS..until you look at what entity is to replace Pearson.

That is ETS (Educational Testing Service). I’ve written about ETS at least two other times. The man behind the helm of ETS is also the head of the Marzano Institute.  Marzano Institute which is heavy into the social emotional end of CCSS. I have a ‘tell all’ article about the whole convoluted jumble which connects “MI” to many other groups…all intent on amassing as much information on our students as possible. See: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/03/02/monday-musings-purposed-embedding-for-the-core/
For my other article on ETS (which will detail how ETS is tied to an international competency based group), see: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/03/01/rmt-why-is-the-deck-still-being-stacked-to-serve-ccss/

2) Announced just yesterday, AR was another one which supposedly struck a blow to the CCSS Machine by ending its’ ties with PARCC.(See: http://governor.arkansas.gov/press-releases/detail/governors-council-on-common-core-review-makes-testing-recommendation)..only to replace it with the ACT Aspire (See: http://www.arkansasbusiness.com/article/105408/arkansas-to-pull-out-of-parcc-use-act-for-standard-tests).

ACT Aspire is used in the Career Pathways, Career Clusters, Career and Technical Education alignment to set a path for students. Again, when you peel back the surface, you’ll see just as much data mining and CCSS as with PARCC. See my fellow anti CCSS Warrior’s article about Aspire: http://ladyliberty1885.com/2014/07/02/common-core-aligned-act-replacing-tests-with-aspire/
I also wrote about ACT and their Career alignment. See: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/01/27/ftf-tuesday-iassc-universal-certification/

If you’d like to learn more about the “ACT Aspire” straight from their website, here’s the link:
http://www.discoveractaspire.org/ Just know where “Aspire” is, ACT will be and where ACT will be, so will the CCSS Machine waiting to unleash the “WorkKeys” assessment, where even more CTE and data mining wait. (I’ve got an entire set of Workkeys articles, as do some other anti CCSS Warriors. You can access mine:

Special Needs and a ‘New’ U.S. Dept. of Ed Official:

Also happening in the past day or two was Arne Duncan swore in a ‘new’ member of the U.S. Dept. of Ed team. While this may not be such epic news, we need to look beyond the headlines to see who was sworn in and what he will be responsible for. Here’s the link to the Flicker account where you’ll see Arne Duncan and Michael Yudin. (https://www.flickr.com/photos/departmentofed/sets/72157654245709205 )

So, who is he? Let’s find out. The Washington Post (on June 5th, 2015) reported Mr. Yudin had been cleared by the Senate to serve as Asst. Sec. for Special Education and Rehab Services. But, he’s been at this position since 2012. (See: http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/personnel-changes-at-us-department-of-education/2015/06/05/50c91182-0b8d-11e5-a7ad-b430fc1d3f5c_story.html ) *NOTE: look for the last paragraph of the article.

So, just who is he? The Post article said almost nothing.  I did find, however, that according the the U.S. Government’s bio of Yudkin, if it has to do with Special Education, he’s involved. If you read the entire biography you’ll notice his involvement with all kinds of education activities which we know (now) are impacted by CCSS. Also consider this, he’s been given a rubber stamp to carry on. See the entire bio: http://www.allgov.com/news/appointments-and-resignations/acting-assistant-secretary-of-education-for-special-education-and-rehabilitative-services-who-is-michael-yudin-121020?news=845999

Why or how does this tie to CCSS? Think about the ways in which the funding for the students with special needs are factored into state education budgets; how scores of parents have shared how awful anything CCSS is for their children. Then consider the following. From my article about CCSS and alignment, I was able to find this document from the NCLD (National Center for Learning Disabilities), National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD): Their website, http://www.ld.org/ , has a tab ‘Advocacy’. You’ll want to access that to see the 4 pages of policy statements the organization has on their stance in education for those with special needs. Among them?Workforce, Career Tech Readiness and Higher Education;  Competency Based Outcomes. (see: http://www.ncld.org/action-center/where-we-stand/?page=3)” (If you’d like to see the entire article:


Data Mining and Teacher Assessments (by Way of AK):

I love the warriors in Alaska who fight CCSS. They are so far in distance from those of us in the lower 48, yet every bit of CCSS evidence I’ve seen from them has been tremendous.
Case in point: from their Facebook page, just yesterday, was a stark revelation about how the teachers are held under the ‘effectiveness’ microscope. We’ve seen teachers almost everywhere take a bad rap, thanks to CCSS and the CCSS Machine. The report that was shared by the AK Warriors shows the 3 levels of data mining happening to teachers.

AK assess

The image is from the Alaska Comprehensive Center website: http://alaskacc.org/node/882

Also on this site is a recent study about how the 3 levels of data is collected and used. The CCSS tie? WestEd, Linda Darling-Hammond, the Gates Foundation, the AACTE (American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education), the New Teacher Project, and others.
Get the report: aacc_teacher_quality_report

If you’d like to read my published article about the AACTE and CCSS, see:


Well, there you have it. Lots of news about CCSS from around the nation. I hope you’ve been able to find out something informative AND useful for your state.

Related resources:

See my article exposing even more high stakes assessment consortia across the USA. If your state backs out of SBAC or PARCC (or they were never in them) , there are others ion charge or waiting to step in. NO matter which consortia or service it is: if it’s tied to CCSS, it’ll be the same old business, just a different company.

For an article I’ve published about the IEPs special students need and how CCSS is rewriting them, see: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/03/10/rmt-ccsss-present-to-special-needs/

For an article about WestEd and its ties to CCSS:


Monday Musings: Purposed Embedding for the Core

Oh, the things I find in my email.
Oh, the things I find in my email.

Going through my email a couple of days ago, I opened this ‘lovely gem’. It’s all about how I can learn to purposefully embed formative assessments in my classroom.  While many anti CCSS warriors AND pro CCSS supporters have tackled formative assessments, we still are seeing new resources everyday geared to help us shine in the CCSS spotlight. What a crock. My hard earned money to pay for a book to teach me how to align my students. Let’s see what else we can find out. Join me as I ponder over assessments.

One Co-Author:

Pictured above is Dr. Dylan William. If you don’t know his name in education. That’s okay. I didn’t really either. I can tell you he’s got a great British accent. I can tell you he’s been in education for over 30 years. You can ‘google’ him and find out all kinds of CCSS related things he’s done. For example, “Education Week” writer Mr. Hess had an article back in 2014 about the 5 non signers of the CCSS validation committee. Dr. William was one of the five. However, his love for CCSS is ever present. See this excerpt, “In any event, one of the more interesting responses I received was from my friend Dylan William, emeritus professor of educational assessment at the Institute of Education, University of London; former senior research director at ETS; and author of Embedded Formative Assessment. Dylan was one of the 29 members of the Common Core Validation Committee and one of the five who refused to sign off on the standards. I asked if I could share his note, and Dylan gave his okay. It’s worth noting that Dylan remains bullish on the Common Core. He writes, “To re-iterate, I think the Common Core State Standards are our best shot at creating an education system that meets the challenges of the 21st century. I am frankly appalled at the level of much of the debate, so if you think this can help, by all means share it.” ” To see the rest of the article,

http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/rick_hess_straight_up/2014/09/common_core_validation_committee_non-signer_dylan_wiliam_shares_thoughts.html (*Note: ETS stands for Educational Testing Service. I’ve written about ETS as recently as yesterday. See: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/03/01/rmt-why-is-the-deck-still-being-stacked-to-serve-ccss/)

From back in his days at ETS, I did find a speech he gave to during the Salzburg Global Seminar back in 2011. Conference Theme? “Optimizing Talent: Closing Educational and Social Mobility Gaps Worldwide”. Dr. William’s full speech? “How Do We Prepare Students for a World We Can’t Imagine?” I found the document in Dropbox form, but I encourage you to access it for yourselves. It’s important you read and discern for yourselves what was shared. I’ll give you a hint however, his abstract paragraph opens with words to the effect of educational achievement is any given country’s economic detriment.  I urge you to access the 2011 version, then compare it to the 2014 version. Optimizing-Talent-20140829

If you’d like ETS’s short version of the 2011 speech, see their 2012 publication: optimizeded

A little more snooping on the internet and I found Dr. William on the NWEA‘s website (Northwest Evaluation Association). Based off the 5 ways William states that formative assessing should be embedded, is a blog article that you’ll need to read to believe. Especially the embedded video. The narrator of the video shares a huge nugget of information for us as CCSS warriors. He states that IF the kids score higher, get better jobs, the taxes generated off this successful students would pay the entire K-12 public school system’s needs for the next 30 years! See the blog AND definitely watch the video: https://www.nwea.org/blog/2013/using-formative-assessment-to-build-school-and-teacher-leadership/ 

(*Note: If you’re a bit curious about NWEA, be sure to check out their website: http://www.nwea.org  Maybe you’ve heard of their best product “MAP” (Measures of Academic Progress), which is used is both PARCC and SBAC. See: https://www.nwea.org/?s=MAP

You might also be interested in this 2011 article about NWEA which shared how NWEA is funded. See: http://www.oregonbusiness.com/articles/99-may-2011/5177-educational-nonprofit-makes-software-for-schools?start=1 )

Hawker Brownlow Education:

This company is a privately owned one in Australia and featured Dr. William back in 2013 where he extolled the virtues of formative assessing. Now, don’t get me wrong. When taken away from CCSS alignment, I believe formative assessing CAN help our education. But herein lies the “Catch 22”, no one in the assessing business seems capable of NOT aligning to CCSS, or to College/Career Readiness Standards, Next Gen Standards, and on and on. So, does HBE have ties to CCSS? Let’s see…

From Down Under, more CCSS alignment.
From Down Under, more CCSS alignment.

To see their video featuring Dr. William:

HBE also partners with  the Marzano Institute. If you’ve not heard of them, you will know about this group in a few minutes.

Marzano Institute:

Based in America, but with global outreach capacities. Also head of the RISC (Re-inventing Schools Coalition). Before we get to RISC, however, my Texan friends will most likely tie Marzano to CSCOPE. Their not “CCSS” but yes, it really is CCSS nightmare. Here’s an excerpt I found on The Blaze’s website, “But while the groups to which CSCOPE appears relatively beholden may sound alarms for critics, the actual researchers CSCOPE credits with providing the basis for its curriculum seem to be formidable industry veterans by and large. Those educators include Robert Marzano, Fenwick English, John Crain, Heidi Hayes Jacobs, Grant Wiggins, Jay McTighe, H. Lynn Erickson, and James Barufaldi.” (see the entire article: http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2013/03/07/cscope-exposing-the-nations-most-controversial-public-school-curriculum-system/) You’ll probably want to read the 2013 article Freedom Outpost/Charlotte Iserbyt’s published article  as to how they described Dr. Marzano’s take on education. See: http://freedomoutpost.com/2013/06/school-choicecharters-will-kill-private-education/

To read Dr. Marzano’s own words, see his article on the (Gates Foundation funded) ASCD website: http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/dec93/vol51/num04/When-Two-Worldviews-Collide.aspx

To see Marzano’s CC publications,

More Core for sale!
More Core for sale!

RISC (Re-Inventing Schools Coalition):

Their website: http://www.reinventingschools.org/

Right off the bat, at this website, I was greeted with the “Acheive, Inc.” logo. This won’t take long to find the CCSS tie, now will it? You’ll want to see all the groups who are partnering in the RISC project. Access the information:


In their own words, a chart to continue the outcome based type of education that doesn’t honor our students as much as it rates them on performance.

Nothing says OBE quite like 'perform, perform, perform!'
Nothing says OBE quite like ‘perform, perform, perform!’

In case you didn’t blow up the screen shot above, the web address to see more about how our schools are being re-invented: http://www.reinventingschools.org/about/the-risc-approach-to-schooling/ 

If you hurry, you can learn about the upcoming RISC/CCSS alignment package! It’s set to be in our faces by 2016. See: http://www.reinventingschools.org/services/common-core-proficiency-scalesassessment-package-2/

SO much purposed embedding! Have you noticed a theme among the different people, groups, and organizations? I sure did. Economy, taxes, performance. UGH! What happened to real education?! As long as powerful people like this with very global agendas that are frankly un-American, we will need to sharpen our efforts to remain a land of free thinkers.