Tag Archives: Measured Progress

Gauged Education

Warriors, you’ve heard me say time and time again, that based on research, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) is directly connected to the CCSS Machine.

You’ve also heard me, and, seen the proof.
Together, we’ve been able to piece together that the acroynm “STEM” was a marketing tool created by the NSF (National Science Foundation). NSF is a government funded, non-government agency. It’s also fully supportive of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In the recent past, I’ve written at least 2 in-depth articles about the UN SDGs.

Below is a screen shot of the the history of NSF. Notice the side bar. Then, read the bottom box. You’ll need to enlarge the picture.

nsfpartnership
To see more about GOALI, click here. (*Note: this is not an NSF website, but one of the partners.)
To see the 2015 NSF Partners for Innovation Report, access it here.

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The biggest take away from all of the above information is simply this:

STEM is an intregal part of the UN’s SDGs and America’s up to its neck in alignment.

What better way to usher STEM into our classrooms for ALL ages that the Common Core (aka: College and Career Readiness), CTE (Career Tech Ed), and more?

That’s exactly what the PCAST Report to former President Obama laid out.

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Fast forward to 2017. I’m sure you’ve heard of NGSS (Next Generation Science Standards). I’ve even written about them in the past. Below are just a few questions I’m sure you may have by now.

Those “Burning” Questions:

1) What group is behind the NGSS?
2) What States are involved in using (or preparing to use) NGSS?
3) How does all this connect to a new curriculum called IQWST (Investigating and Questioning Our World Through Technology)?
4) How does all this tie back to NSF? CCSS Machine? STEM? Common Core (aka: College/Career Readiness)? CTE (Career Tech Ed)?
5) Are there connections, in any way, to the UN SDGs?
6) Is there any action geared toward all this in my State? Where would I look?

The Revealing Answers:

1 and 2; some of 3 and 4) NGSS is a ‘collaborative’ effort between Achieve, Inc. several States across America, the National Research Council, the NSTA (National Science Teachers Assoc.), and, AAAS (American Association for the Advancement of Science). According to another related organization producing materials to support NGSS, the Standards are registered trademark of Achieve, Inc. (see below) Warriors, did we not raise the question about ‘trademarked educational standards’ with CCSS?!

Educational standards which are trademarked CANNOT be altered!

ngssfacts

By contrast, see how Truth in American Education’s article reveals California’s battle over NGSS assessments. How Achieve, Inc. impacts home education , or, what else is happening via Achieve, Inc. in more traditional education choices; access the highlighted links.
What Achieve, Inc’s website describes the organization as, Achieve is an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit education reform organization dedicated to working with states to raise academic standards and graduation requirements, improve assessments, and strengthen accountability.”

IQWST (Investigating and Questioning Our World Through Science and Technology) is just one of the ‘services’ Activate Learning has created. What is Activate Learning (AL)? The organization produces K-8th grade resources focusing on STEM. AL also partners with Achieve, Inc and Measured Progress to support and extend NGSS. Specifically, the IQWST is PBL (project based learning) with a digital component.

A pause for a question:
Now, why is ‘STEM for babies’ (Kindergarten) a bad idea? It starts our children off for an aligned agenda NOT for academic prowess, but workforce based aligned careers paths. See this and this.

If you’d like to see IQWST’s alignment to NGSS, click on the highlighted word. This will also help answer question number 4 when you see how NSF funded the writing of the curriculum.
If you’d like to see NGSS’s alignment to CCSS (which leads to alignment to CTE/STEM/CCR):
http://ngss.nsta.org/making-connections-common-core.aspx

For a visual of interconnection, look at the example from Washington State, below:

WApkg

To answer number 5, from above, Population Education has quite a bit about the ease of adding the UN’s SDGs to existing CCSS and NGSS. By default, doing this adds in CTE, CCR, and STEM. Here are  two excerpts, “The SDGs can be an excellent way to take a solution-minded approach to teaching about climate change and social justice in the classroom.”  Then, this is followed by this, “…fit teaching the SDGs into an already crammed schedule, which has to prioritize CCSS and NGSS, state standards, and meeting district or school-wide curriculum goals.”
To see the Populate Education’s plan for SDG goals to be embedded in CCSS and NGSS, click here.

Populate Education is a  project of Populate Connection. Populate Connection was previously known as ZPG or Zero Population Growth. It was formed back in the late 1960s. If you’d like to see an example of the group’s global attitude about teen pregnancies and how it is addressed in a classroom: PopEd.

popedpac

To access the entire Population Connection’s PAC Financial Statement, go here.

So, what about Question 6..what’s going on in our States? Here’s an example from this past week in NC.

A STEM Teaching Program got the go-ahead from our legislators. State Representatives Horn and Barefoot, along with UNC President Spellings, and, others made the headline news. Here is ABC 11’s Report on the re-release of the STEM Teacher Program. (*Note: Rep. Barefoot, at one time was anti Common Core. ) If the name Spellings rings in your head, that is because it would be Margaret Spellings, as in former U.S. Secretary of Education.
The most important thing about this re-introduction is it is targeting STEM for special needs students.

To see how a NC Bond ties STEM to more than you realize, use this article as an example of where to look in your State.

From MS and including a NC STEM leader, this article with disturbing language like ‘we must understand STEM as a culture’, and more.

Connecting All This to ESSA, WIOA, and the HEA:

Warriors, in ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act) STEM Master Teacher Corps are embedded.
Since social justice is being taught, those who will be teaching MUST be trained to embed it.
This is where the ESSA mandates for teacher preparation also link to CTE (Career Tech Education) and therefore link to the HEA (Higher Education Act).
Since CTE includes Career Pathways, that links you back to WIOA (Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act).

Related Resources:
1) https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2016/01/25/school-board-special-part-two/
Where you’ll see the STEM pipeline picture with more information.

2) https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/07/02/tech-thursday-cte-ccss-and-special-needs-in-post-secondary-education/ (shows the targeted efforts toward special needs and their families to align to the CCSS Machine

3) Copyright laws prohibit me from linking you to the Measured Progress’s 3D (3 Dimensional) STEM Gauge Guide (where STEM is aligned to NGSS), but I can point you to where to look. Use your internet to search for Measured Progress STEM Gauge. You should find a free poster you can download.

4) Go here to learn how 3D Learning is the ‘new’ best gift in education.

5) To tie NSF to the assessments used in our classrooms, go here.

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Assessment Quest, Parts 1 and 2

Part One

We, anti CCSS Warriors know how crafty the CCSS Machine is in playing word games with us. So, consider the names used (or variations) of names used in some of the CCSS Machine products, legislation, assessments, and anything else connected to it. For example, the ESSA, Every Student Succeeds Act is named as it is to SUGGEST positive results. However, we Warriors know, the Law actually means “Every Student Confined”. There are plenty more examples out there, but I want to look at the assessments in particular. Why? Again, the names the CCSS Machine has given each, points to success, but leads to alignment of epic proportions!

In previous researched articles, I have revealed for you how SpringBoard (which offers another service called Learning Walks to partner with schools for CCSS/Competency Based Education alignment) Plan, Aspire, WorkKeys, MAP, Skills Navigator,ProMetric, Certica, and TestWhiz all sound like great and positive assessments for your students, but are really purposed tools to force an aligned, globally competent worker. I know there are others, but you get the idea.

Other assessments with not so positive sounding names (but with the same purposed agenda tool results) are Iowa Assessments, Standford 10 , ETS, ERB, SBAC, PARCC, SAT, ACT, CLEP, College Board, and ASVAB.

One with a former not so positive sounding assessment is the GED, it has been rewritten and renamed to HiSET (High School Equivalency Test). Pearson Publishing has copyrighted the GED and aligned it with CCSS. See:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/answer-sheet/wp/2015/07/09/the-big-problems-with-pearsons-new-ged-high-school-equivalency-test/

More recently I exposed the partnership between Act, Inc. and Envision. Act., Inc. provides the assessments for workforce based education paths (also known as competency based education) and Envision collects the data for global purposes. Envision has been successful in this alignment, I believe, because they have named the program involved with one that suggests positive, but hides the agenda. In case you missed this article about assessments and global data mining:
https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2016/06/24/envisioning-you/

One State Goes on a Quest:

Recently, one of my dearest friends and among the most dedicated anti CCSS/Fed Ed Warriors I know, contacted me. Karen lives in TN. She asked me if I had ever researched the Questar assessment.  Karen has researched some about Questar on her own. She knows the assessment is tied to IMS Global.  What I have found is below and follows up what Karen found. Knowing the ‘quest’ in the title suggests something positive, I found quite the opposite.


Questar:

Website: http://www.questarai.com/

questaracct

According the ‘About Us’ page on the Questar website, the company is at least 40 years old. Their slogan, “Bridging the Gap” seems to fit right in with the CCSS Machine agenda. This assessment provider (K-12 grades) is based in MN.
Among the leaders of Questar, is the President and CEO, Jamie Post Candee. Candee got her start in banking before shifting to education related jobs. If you look at her biography, you see she was formerly employed by PLATO Learning. PLATO Learning also has a former name, EDmentum. Included in her bio is this quote, “Jamie is the driving force behind Questar’s commitment to creating meaningful assessments that give educators the insights they need to fully prepare students for college or career.”

platoedI previously wrote about Edmendtum and a host of other assessment aligners in 2015.
See: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/09/01/ftf-ascending-and-aligning/

Edmentum is tied to Providence Equity Partners, LLC. Please, read the above archived article. It has many twists and turns (much like a journey’s trail) but you need to see just how multi-strung these private groups are when it comes to education!

Back to Questar’s Leaders, the Chief Assessments Advisor? The Former U.S. Dept. of Education’s Standards and Assessments Director, Dr. Timothy VanSickle. (*Interesting note: in 2011, he was named as a CCSSO (Council of Chief State School Officers) Partner.) Also a Chief Assessments Advisor for Questar is Dr. Katie McClarty. McClarty was previously employed by none other than Pearson Publishing! Here’s how, “Before joining Questar, Katie served as the director for the Center for College & Career Success in Pearson’s Research & Innovation Network. Her signature work for the Center included the co-creation of a holistic college-readiness index for middle school students and the co-design and facilitation of standard-setting meetings and research projects for the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC). Prior to directing the Center, she was the chief research scientist for the state of Texas general education assessment programs.”

Other leaders tied to the CCSS Machine are present as well. CCSS Machine organizations represented include eInstruction, ConnectEdU, AIR, Inc. (AIR stands for American Institutes for Research and are tied to SBAC assessments.), Advanced Systems in Measurement and Evaluation (now Measured Progress) and Data Recognition Corporation (Jim McMann). McMann was responsible for several States assessment contracts when he was with Data Recognition Corp.

Board members for Questar also have plenty of ties to the CCSS Machine. One huge one is
New Market Ventures Group. New Market has a portfolio where other educational companies are included. Here is a screen shot:

newmarket
To see the entire list of portfolio companies, http://newmarketsvp.com/portfolio-companies/
You also may be interested in New Market Venture’s recent news release about Graduation Alliance and ACT, Inc. partnering together for new career readiness certificates. (Also assessment based) See:
http://newmarketsvp.com/2016/04/18/graduation-alliances-diploma-program-expands-to-include-career-readiness-certification-through-collaboration-with-act/

You can see all the Questar leaders and Board Members information: 
Board: http://www.questarai.com/about-us/board-of-directors/
Leaders: http://www.questarai.com/about-us/leadership/

To see Questar Large Scale Assessments (where they take in entire States, school districts, etc.), click on their “Large Scale Assessment” tab.
(*Note: in Large Scale Assessments, there are 5 Steps. Be sure to look at each one. Every symbol more information about it when you click the symbol. For example, I clicked on the light bulb in Stage 2 (Assessment Design) and found all kinds of information on psychometric assessment.)
To see Questar Literacy Assessment (for Students), then click on their “District Literacy” tab.(*Note: This assessment is backed by the CCSSO. Remember, CCSSO owns half the CCSS Copyrights.)
You will want to access the research behind all these assessments. Questar’s White Papers on Assessments (includes Next Generation Assessments). That is in the “White Papers” tab (second row of tabs in blue font).

Part Two:
So Where is IMS Global?

Warriors, so far we have plenty of evidence for CCSS Machine allegiance from Questar. We have seen how these people are coming from one part of the agenda to other part. But how does this tie to Questar? How does this tie back to the ESSA? Let’s find out.

IMS Global is a Consortium for Digital Learning. Here is a screen shot illustrating their reach in education. A small bit of their history, “In 1995, IMS came into existence as a project (the Instructional Management System project) within the National Learning Infrastructure Initiative of EDUCAUSE. In 1999 IMS Global spun out of EDUCAUSE to become an independent non-profit organization.” (*Note: the ‘IMS’ stands for ‘Instructional Management System’)

imsglobal

From the 2015 Annual Report, IMS Global gloated about its integral part in Race to the Top Assessments. That’s just in the USA.
Other similar assessments are in other countries. (Page 10).
Also from Page 10, this excerpt which ties Questar directly to IMS Global,
“To further accelerate progress of the IMS e-Assessment Initiative, IMS formed the Executive Board on Assessment (EBA) to help remove the barriers to broader adoption of QTI and APIP. The EBA serves as an extension of the IMS Board of Directors and is open to all IMS Contributing Members, but requires an executive pledge to provide the leadership and resources needed to lead the market in charting the next phase of QTI and APIP standards to build strong end-to-end interoperability and accelerate standards compliance. Charter members included ACT, CITO, College voor Toetsen en Examens, ETS, Florida Virtual School, Houston ISD, McGraw-Hill Education, Measured Progress, Minnesota Department of Education, National Center and State Collaborative (NCSC), NWEA, Open Assessment Technologies, Pacific Metrics, PARCC, Questar Assessment, Smarter Balanced, and WIDA.”

To access the IMS Global Annual Report (2015)https://www.imsglobal.org/sites/default/files/2015annualReport.pdf
(*Note: Page 13 names all the assessments involved in digital education, names all the people involved, and names the Executive Board responsible for the EBA.)

I was able to find a 2002 research paper from IMS Global on defining these on-line credentials for global competency our education reform in pushing so hard to convert to. Known as a ‘RDCEO’ (Reuseable Definition of Competency or Educational Objective), these objectives are usually open-ended, loosely defined so that anywhere across the globe they can be user-friendly. They can be used over and over again, anywhere, by anyone.
You, as a Warrior Against the Core, simply must read the rest of this paper!
Access it: https://www.imsglobal.org/competencies/rdceov1p0/imsrdceo_infov1p0.html

You will also need to access and read the IMS Global 2015 Learning Impact Report. It is also key in the War Against the Core! Get it: 
https://www.imsglobal.org/sites/default/files/2015LearningImpactReport.pdf

If you want to see IMS Global’s K-20 Digital Badge program, Getting Smart (very CCSS Machine Supportive, in my opinion) published this write up:
http://gettingsmart.com/2015/04/mozilla-ims-team-up-for-badging/
(*Note: helping fund this K-20 Badge project is the MacArthur Foundation, a well known CCSS Machine member.)
All the other funders, backers are named. But the biggest take away is that this CBE (competency based education) shift will promote IMS Global as one of the biggest leaders in it in the world!

We still don’t see how IMS Global ties to ESSA. Below is a screen shot. It is from our dear Warriors, the “What Is Common Core?” Blog. Here is the link to their entire article. Note the highlighted portion of the picture.
 https://whatiscommoncore.wordpress.com/2015/12/02/this-is-the-moment-congress-we-are-watching-you-vote-and-we-know-whats-in-this-bill/

whatims
Among IMS Global Members: Pearson Publishing, Questar, PARCC, the Gates Foundation, and many more.

Related: EdUCause is tied to the CCSS Machine and really loves higher education. Here is my article about them from early 2015:
https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/01/29/tech-thursday-educauses-higher-education-project/

Since IMS Global is helping set the bar for digital standards, I thought you might like to see how ESSA has provided for each State to be digitally made over. See:
https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2016/02/04/essa-and-digital-overload/

Closing:

Warriors, this is a tremendous journey, I know. Please break it down as you need to. There is much here. For my friend Karen, I hope it is enough to help TN. While it appears IMS Global is set to be among those mastering digital education, at least we know the members of not only the CCSS Machine, but now the IMS Global contain many of the same groups/people. That makes our job of knowing where to look that much easier!