Tag Archives: MI

Waving Choice Goodbye

Anti Fed Ed Warriors, you’ve heard me tell you time and time again that ‘school choice’ is a fallacy. The culprit is the CCSS Machine.
The tools used to ruin ‘school choice’ are WIOA, ESSA, HEA, and other top-down federal laws. (WIOA is Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, 2014; ESSA is Every Student Succeeds Act, 2015; and, HEA is the Higher Education Act, 2008 and up for re-authorization very soon).

Warriors, the fact of the matter is ‘school choice’ is really more about “personal choice”.

However, ESSA killed that choice with it’s mandate that ALL education be aligned to the post-secondary readiness standards of WIOA.
essagoal

So, in essence, at least in education; that simple line from the 1965 Dr. Zhivago movie (fiction) has become our reality:

                “All personal choice is dead.”

drz

As we know, much of the CCSS Machine’s design uses education as the ‘change agent’ to alter our lives.
We know the control is meant for cradle to grave and encompasses where you’ll work. That’s why students of all ages are being pumped through the CCSS’s College and Career Readiness or the CCSS’s Career Tech Education or the (United Nation’s) UN’s STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math).
It’s to force our students (and eventually the rest of us) into a controlled nanny-state. (Also very present in the fictional account of Dr. Zhivago)

You may wonder why I included the UN in connection to the CCSS Machine. First, Berit Kjos and many others (myself included) have traced the Common Core State Standards back to the UN, so the UN is part of the Machine.
However, STEM is the UN’s special change agent to usher in the Agenda 2030. How?

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). As part of the A2030 and SDGs, where we live and where we work will be determined for us, largely through education and what career track we’ve been trained for (or re-trained for).
This is pure confinement for us as Americans; not the free people we were Constitutionally guaranteed, Warriors.

Contrast it to any movie like Dr. Zhivago and you’ll get a fair idea of how awful this direction is for Americans.

Since ESSA mandated WIOA in PreK through 12 grades (as well as tie it to the HEA for colleges and trade schools), how is the government helping all this come to fruition?

dressa

What Are Waivers? How Do They Kill Choice?

If you’re not sure what a waiver is in the realm of federal education, it was supposed to be a tool given to States and school districts to offer flexibility in how federal funds could be used to offer ‘quality’ education.
Sounds great, right? Especially with the CCSS Machine hype and lies about States being able to get their right to control education BACK when ESSA was made into law.

ESSA, by embedding WIOA, embedded funds for workforce. Likewise the WIOA waivers will embed education, not for academics, but competency based education (CBE).
CBE is CCSS, too.

CBE is woven into ESSA, WIOA, and the HEA…on purpose. It’s the shift from reading, writing, and arithmetic to poorly skilled labor force.

Warriors, think back to those Race to the Top Education Waivers or the ESSA Flexibility Waivers? Have you really seen any improvement in education? Have you really seen any removal of federal control or a distinct freedom your district or State didn’t have before?

There’s been none, because the Waivers are a deceptive move for MORE federal control to implant MORE shifting of education away from what we’ve known to what the global workforce needs: laborers. Our U.S. Constitution puts it another way, ‘indentured servants’. (Which by the way was also prohibited later on in the Constitution!)

wioaalign

WIOA Waivers Kill Personal Choice, Too:

wioawaive
(Source)

According to the U.S. Dept. of Labor, States were given a sense of freedom in how their Waivers were used, as long as they were used to improve job seeking systems for better employer ‘outcomes’.
Warriors, hang on before we go any further.

Let’s review a few flies in this ointment.
a) Since ESSA has embedded WIOA, the ‘job seeking’ is happening as young as 2nd grade in some States. The ‘job seeking’ is also found outside traditional public schools via dual enrollment, fast tracking career systems like apprenticeships, internships, early career or college schools, etc. ALL this impacts every ‘school choice’, including homeschools.
**It’s not so much the student seeking a job, as it is the job is seeking the student, before the student is capable!

b) As far as ’employer outcomes’, since WIOA, HEA, and, ESSA embedded P3s (public private partnerships) we’ve seen an insane increase in how much the corporate employer ‘needs’ have ruined academics. We’ve seen businesses with zero educational training usurp teachers for their purposes.
**States are allowing this to happen every day they receive ANY type of federal funding or P3 funding!

c) The WQDI (Workforce Quality Data Initiative) is ‘married’ to the SLDS (Student Longitudinal Data System) FOR one purpose: aligned education for workforce needs. Regardless of what school (even homeschoolers) are in this system already or become a part of the system as soon as they participate in any of ‘a’ (above).
**Being a free nation, this type of data tracking is not only illegal, it’s ‘data rape’!

Warriors, as far as the U.S. Dept. of Labor’s information, WIOA Waivers aren’t so much needed now, as they were codified when WIOA was passed into law (2014). However, much like the State Plans for ESSA which needed to be submitted to the Sec. of Education (DeVos), the State Plans for WIOA are still in use (2019). These Plans are called WIOA Unified or Combined State Plans and must be submitted to the Sec. of Labor.
**By submission of those Plans, States gave full access to the federal government as far as data.

These State Plans? We, the People, can access them on the U.S. Dept. of Education’s website! Look below at the way I found this out:

I thought by clicking a phrase on the U.S. Dept. of Labor’s website, I’d be taken to another Labor page:
labor2ed1
This is where I was taken next:

labor2ed2
Followed by this ‘surprise’:

labor2ed3
(Source)

According to the U.S. Dept. of Education’s page I found this on, almost every State has a plan which has been approved by the feds. No State’s able to make its own plan for its own people or by those taxpayers. It’s all been run through the globally led workforce needs based system of control. The only States without an approved WIOA State Plan are TN, MI, MA, NE, and VA. The only U.S. Territory without one is the Virgin Islands.

I urge you to look at your State Plan. If you have none, let’s use NC’s as an example of what you’ll find that kills personal choice in education.

a) The NC Plan is 399 pages long and is dated FY 2018. NC elected to go with a “Unified” Plan which means all the alignment will come from every possible agency, program, and, angle. Those most targeted? “Under-served populations” including youth.

b) Page 3 shows the 6 ‘cores’ of WIOA. These ‘cores’ cover all age groups and population types. You’ll also find ‘partner’ programs will hinge off these 6 ‘cores’.

c) Page 4 shows the partners. In education, CTE (Career Tech Ed) covers all ages/choices; federal-to-state funding streams for TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) and Community Block Grants are also intersecting with education; Veterans funding will also be involved.

d) Page 7 reveals the industry specific economic targets for the State. Somehow, this is going to bring prosperity to every North Carolinian citizen. How, those “Prosperity Zones (PZs)”
I’ve researched and shown you before. These Zones were legislatively created and embedded 2014 and 2015 (respectively). When I last wrote about the PZs it was 2018. You’ll see just how eerily deceptive these Zones are and how easily the globalization of a barely educated workforce lurks underneath.

e) Pages 11 and 12 will show you all kinds of figures on job growth per industry. Page 13 reveals that employers are ‘bullish’ on growing jobs. Warriors, we’ve seen their ‘bull’ long enough and how it’s ruining our children. On the pages which follow, you’ll see lots of CCSS Machine organizations and phrases used to create the false narrative that a) there’s a skills gap and b) the only way to fix it is via aligned education/training. For more on ‘a’ and ‘b’, go here.

p24NCplan
f) Near Page 25, you’ll see the Governor of NC mentioned. His plan combines education directly with skills. Warriors, did you know that when WIOA was passed in 2014, the increase in power given to the office of governor greatly increased? Thereby weakening taxpayers voices yet again. Many of the programs Gov. Cooper is using were already laid out before him. That he’s extending and adding to them, let’s us know regardless of politics, the global workforce/kill personal choice is alive and well.

Lastly, every bit of what’s contained in the NC Plan and others will unite data to kill personal choice in what you learn, where you work, and lots more.

Look below and see how ‘far’ we’ve come. See much ‘personal choice’? I don’t.

sdscans

Closing:

Warriors, I hope you can see how little our personal freedoms mean to our federal government. I hope you can see how little choice you really have when it comes to ‘education’.


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Not For The Faint Hearted

Author’s note: This article contains unpleasant material. Please remember, the evidence and research are provided for you to decide.  We must be prepared and informed Warriors, not reactive Warriors

Oh, my fellow Anti CCSS Warriors..We have seen so many awful things happen to education in the past few years together. We’ve seen an increase in the ‘workforce training’ being passed off as ‘academic prowess’.

We’ve seen shifts in how the attitudes, values, beliefs, and, thinking have become so twisted we may not recognize who our children are. Because ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act) codified CCSS, we will continue to see unwelcome changes in our nation.

However, what’s changing our children right before our eyes?

Globalism, collectivism, Communism, Socialism, and…………

SATANISM

Because Globalism and all the other ‘isms’ are tied to Common Core (remember, the roots of CC are in the United Nations, which has  been traced to demonic activities and beliefs.)

Part of the ‘sales pitch’ surrounding all this? “Fun”. One of my previously published articles showed you how the ‘fun’ was a guise devised by Robert Muller to steer our children to workforce based education for a socialist benefit. While the article was pointing out how homeschoolers are being pulled into this.


Back in 2014, I wrote an article about Evil having no place in education. It shows you the awful connections between Bill Gates, UNESCO, the World Core Curriculum and the Lucifer Publishing Company.

However, it’s what follows, which is the truly unpleasant (downright disturbing) educational activities you need to know about.



ASSCs:

Warriors, that’s the abbreviation for the After School Satan Clubs in America. Maybe you remember the news from 2016 about the school district in GA which was being asked to start up an ASSC.

According to CBN’s (Christian Broadcasting Network) website, Clubs (as of 8/17) are in Los Angeles, Pensacola, Portland, Salt Lake City, Seattle, Tacoma and Springfield, Missouri. Below, in the screen shot, notice the ‘fun’ pictures used to draw our children’s attention to the ASSCs:

ASSCpic
(*Note, as of this writing, Satanic Temples are in TX, GA, NY, OR, CA, LA, FL, AZ, MA, CO, MI, and WA. Coming soon: MO and OK. Where there’s a Temple, the ASSCs will also be. According to all the sources, ASSCs are targeting similar Christian Clubs. I did not find any mention of any other faith based clubs being targeted.)


Warriors, according to all the information I found, these Clubs are available to all school choices, not simply public school children.  If the two smaller versions (above) don’t look ‘fun’ enough, look at the way the Satanic Temple ASSC’s page on their website has depicted the ‘mascot’:

hipdevil
Warriors, if you choose to investigate the website, notice that in the cartoon, the ‘hip devil’ is holding what resembles a candy cane.
I’ve provided you a look (below) at the permission slip with some added emphasis:

permitsevil

Why the red and orange circles? The CCSS Machine has gone to great pains to sell the nation on how ‘great’ the critical thinking, problem solving, creativity, and character building are with the aligned curriculum and resources. These resources include after-school programs.

The 4Cs (collectivism, critical thinking, collaboration, and creativity) are the anchors of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, and Math). The 4Cs are the anchors of Common Core, Career and College Readiness, Next Gen Science, Career Tech Education, STEM, C3 (College, Career, and Civic Life) and whatever else CC’s been re-branded as (ie: “Future Ready”)

The 4Cs, College/Career Readiness, STEM, and all which connects them are embedded in ESSA, too! More globalism ties in ESSA include the “UDL”, Universal Design for Learning”, Universal Preschool, and, massive data mining to track students from cradle to grave.

You may also notice there’s a “Protect Children” campaign that also is a Satanic Temple project. It’s against corporal punishment. Below, is a picture of the letter they have available to send to your School Board against any type of corporal punishment, including isolation rooms:

protectchild
(*Note: from the “Protect Children” page, this disclaimer,Please note that this tactic has not yet been tested in court. If a student who registers is subsequently harmed and we launch a legal challenge, the State would need to argue that their right to abuse children supersedes the religious rights of students.”)

Warriors, the video contained in this undated  Newsletter is downright chilling. Not because of the images, the background ‘song’.

According to the Forbes article about the ASSCs, the writer also thought the video was chilling. Temper that with this article from the Federalist. It carries the tone of  ‘let’s step back a minute’. While I think what the author is sharing is worth listening to, I know, as a Mom, there is MUCH to be watchful of anytime Satan enters the picture.


Warrior Concerns:

Why did I include the video, if it’s so creepy?

1) We need to know! How can we protect our students from the CCSS Machine if we do not know all the ways IT seeks to destroy our children? After all, so much is available to them on-line. Have they seen this video?! We must know! It must be discussed.

2) Warriors, we need to understand with Satanism comes mind control and mental health concerns (The Temple has a group known as the Grey Faction).

3) I am not stating mental activities will be carried on during an ASSC gathering. But look at the ‘art’ pages below in the pictures. Strong mental images.

4) Knowing how damaging the SEL (Social Emotional Learning) is and how much of it is codified in ESSA, we should be VERY active in finding out what’s in our schools. With ESSA’s mandate for MORE after school, community wide programs, we MUST be very diligent in finding out what groups like the ASSCs are out there, how will they have access to your students? With the recent new appropriations from Congress which increase the amount of mental health ‘activities’ in/outside schools, we must DEMAND we be informed before any actions are taken!

For example, look below:

ASSCcolor
Warriors, let’s remember, the Clubs have access to young minds. Once they ‘see’ something like this (below), how will they ‘un-see’ it?? In 2014, I showed you a similar issue with a children’s book of ABCs.

asscmindimage

Warriors, this is the flag of the Satanic Temple from Facebook. Remember, they are the same group running the After School Satan Clubs:

ASSCflag
A Last Concern, based on Evidence:

Warriors, I know this is quite a bit to process. Believe me, I know. However, remember when I shared near the beginning that the CCSS Machine is rooted in the UN? So much of what’s above is also in the CCSS Machine. Is Satanism present in the United Nations?

From 2009, this article reveals the symbolism found in the New York headquarters. From 2016, this article from the New American Magazine ties the UN, Satanism, and the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) together. The ‘common’ bond? It appears to be the combined efforts of Robert Muller and Alice Bailey (a known occultist).

Closing:

Warriors, due to the season we are in, so close to Halloween, keep a watchful eye for anything which seems to harm your family (pets included). We know the CCSS Machine is full of tricks. We know ESSA is no gift of greatness for our education system. We understand the dangers of any ideas which do not fit our family belief system, MUST not be indoctrinated. 

A Pied Piper’s Tale

Warriors Against the Core, it’s not a festive report I bring to you today. However, it IS relevant to our War Vs Fed Ed.

That stated, I would like you to recall the ancient tale of the Pied Piper. You may remember the version where the Piper would play his flute to lead the rats away. However, the original version of the tale is a bit more sinister. In that version, the Piper returns to the village for payment for removal of said rats. His payment? The children. I’ll leave it at that. However, if you wish to read the more ghastly version: http://www.ancient-origins.net/myths-legends/disturbing-true-story-pied-piper-hamelin-001969

So how is the CCSS Machine playing its own version of the Pied Piper?

I think, we, as educated anti CCSS Warriors, know how: with deception at almost every level of existence.

Depending on what type of deception is needed determines what tune the Piper uses on the flute. Depending on what level of ‘accountability’ is being performed determines just who the Piper may be at that moment. For example, The Pied Piper of ESSA has to be Sen. Lamar Alexander playing his ‘song’ of ‘returning education control to the States’. However, the Piper’s tune for something like ‘filling the skills gap’ or ’21st Century Skills’ could be led by many groups anxious to lead our students away.

In the remainder of this article, our Piper for the “21st Century Skills” is the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

“Business Leads Solutions”:

bizleadpiper

Warriors, this article appeared almost at the end of November, 2016. To see the entire ‘song’ of this Pied Piperhttps://www.uschamber.com/above-the-fold/business-leads-solutions-workforce-challenges

One of the first graphics you’ll see is this (added emphasis is mine):

talentpiper

To see my U.S. Chamber/Gates Foundation article:
https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/05/22/fom-chambers-pot-of-lies-for-ccss/

To see my USA Funds researched article:
https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/10/27/ftf-measure-twice-cut-once/

To see one of my articles on the “Talent Supply Pipeline”:
https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/01/20/ftf-tuesday-career-readiness-and-data/

The Academy Piper Tune:

First off, watch the video about the “Academy”:

So, Warriors, just WHAT does this organization do to lead our students off to a CCSS/CTE/Workforce Educated demise?! Here’s an excerpt from Oct. 2016:
“The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation (USCCF) announced today the first cohort of nineteen participants in the Talent Pipeline Management Academy which is supported by a $2.5 million grant from USA Funds. USCCF’s signature workforce development initiative, Talent Pipeline Management (TPM), is a new way of addressing the nation’s skills gap by positioning employers in a more central role as key customers of post-secondary education and training providers. The TPM Academy consists of workshops led by USCCF for business professionals to receive instruction on talent pipeline strategies and guidance for implementation. In addition to a curriculum, technical assistance, and a peer-to-peer learning network, a key resource to be developed as part of the Academy will be the next generation of software tools and applications that support ongoing implementation of signature TPM strategies.”

19pipers

To access the article where the screen shot above is located: 
https://www.uschamberfoundation.org/press-release/us-chamber-commerce-foundation-and-usa-funds-announce-first-cohort-talent-pipeline

The Talent Pipeline has regional hubs, “The regional partners include the Arizona Chamber Foundation, Vermilion Advantages in Illinois, the Governor’s Council of Economic Advisors in Kansas, Impact Northern Kentucky, Michigan Energy Workforce Development Consortium, the Greater Houston Partnership, and Elevate Virginia.”
To see the Talent Pipeline “Piper’s hubs”: https://www.uschamberfoundation.org/center-education-and-workforce/talent-pipeline-management-learning-network

To see short videos for Talent Pipelines in KS, KY, MI, TX, IL, and VA:
https://www.uschamberfoundation.org/talent-pipeline-management/videos

More Piper Tunes:

One of the ‘biggest’ Piper tunes the CCSS Machine churns out and that ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act) plays, leads students astray via business/corporate overreach into the classroom as the answer to lots of ‘skill gap’ problems.

GradsforLife plies this ‘tune’“The talent pipeline is developed with specific needs and current challenges in mind. Standards developed by the employer coalition are constantly changing based on the current economic environment. It is, therefore, more impactful for the business community to define what skills its workforce needs than to wait for the world of academia to catch up. At the same time, this progressive approach may incentivize academic chiefs to develop reforms.”

To see the rest of this ghastly Piper tune: 
http://www.forbes.com/sites/gradsoflife/2016/03/09/how-employers-can-manage-their-talent-pipeline-like-they-manage-their-supply-chain/#4cc80b565cdb

Warriors, we’ve seen enough non-educator based disaster via the CCSS Machine. We do not need more. Yet, between ESSA, WIOA (Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act), and HEA (Higher Education Act) have laid a road for the “Pied Piper” where businesses and corporations INCREASE their overreach into the classrooms.

Of the Case Studies the U.S. Chamber’s Talent Pipeline has conducted, at least 2 are corporations and/or businesses are ones I’ve researched and published my findings as to each of their “Pied Piper CCSS/CTE” tunes. Toyota and General Assembly. To see the Case Studies, https://www.uschamberfoundation.org/talent-pipeline-management-case-studies

To see my articles on each:

Toyota’s (Notice they have every age group covered): 
a) https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/11/16/rmt-vp-unions-career-tech-and-common-core/
b) https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/08/31/monday-musings-more-parent-ccss-alignment/
c) https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/11/02/monday-musings-alignment-for-wee-ones/

General Assembly’s:

a) https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2016/05/16/do-you-know-this-ga/
b) https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2016/05/18/special-edition-news/
c) https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2016/10/07/something-wicked-brewing/
(*Note, this last GA related article is truly fitting into the Piped Piper’s luring of our students away from true education to a workforce based nightmare existence. It features a made-for-You Tube movie were students are given achievement tests. If they pass, they live; if they do not, they die.)

Closing:

Warriors Against the Core, I do not wish to leave you on such a drastic mental image. However, I am not the only Warrior who’s compared what is happening to our students to awful things. I am not alone in hating what is going on in America, as far as our education system being so overrun with Pipers who deceive, indoctrinate, and conform our students.
We must mute their tunes! We must stand between the Pipers of Reform and our students, regardless of their age. The Pipers of Reform are here for EVERY student, not a select few.

RMT: Connected to the Core?

AdvancED leading NC straight to more CCSS.
AdvancED leading NC straight to more CCSS.

Today’s “Riddle Me This” is all about a new effort accredited by AdvancED (so CCSS friendly it’s downright shameful) and growing in NC. We’ll also delve into which other states are involved.

The Context:

Many of us who are fighting CCSS, have already been able to connect the dots between AdvancED and CCSS. However, I know many of us may need a refresher OR may be so new to fighting CCSS, they haven’t made the connection. To help you establish what AdvancED does, here’s an excerpt from my guest post I wrote on LadyLiberty1185’s blog in mid 2014: AdvancEd is an online company dedicated to helping your school be the best. Just look at their Common Core Standards page. My personal ‘favorite’ is the reinvention of the report card into digital badges. Read it for yourself. Note: the author is from NASA — as in the guys who went to the moon.” Access the report:  http://www.advanc-ed.org/source/reinventing-report-card
If you’d like to read the entire article on Lady’s site, http://ladyliberty1885.com/2014/07/07/guest-post-common-core-in-charters-private-homeschools/

Here’s what AdvancED has to say about themselves: “AdvancED is the largest community of education professionals in the world. We are a non-profit, non-partisan organization that conducts rigorous, on-site external reviews of PreK-12 schools and school systems to ensure that all learners realize their full potential. While our expertise is grounded in more than a hundred years of work in school accreditation, AdvancED is far from a typical accrediting agency. Our goal isn’t to certify that schools are good enough. Rather, our commitment is to help schools improve.”

What you need to know about AdvancED:
1) They fully support the re-authorization of ESEA (as in the HR5 federal legislation).

2) To support their position of the re-authorization, their report on ‘Diagnostic Review’ explains how they will use school data to an extreme. Get the report: Diagnostic-Review

3) In AdvancED’s latest Annual Report, the non profit shared many vital details we, as anti CCSS warriors need. FYI, the organization is worth over $16 million dollars and is purposed to reinvested everything into continuing to change education. Get the report: AE-AnnualReport2013-14

4) Partners of AdvancED include quite an extensive list of faith-based schools as well as State Boards of Education. Partners link: http://www.advanc-ed.org/services/partnerships State Boards link: http://www.advanc-ed.org/services/state-departments-education (*Note: among the State Boards is CCSSO, as in the Council of Chief State School Officers–you know, half owner of the copyright to Common Core Standards)

The New Push:

Now that you have that information, here’s how AdvancEd is pushing their CCSS support into NC via a ‘new’ school….

Called “North Carolina Connections Academy” (website: http://www.connectionsacademy.com/north-carolina-virtual-school/home.aspx) How did I discover this new school? I received a colorful flyer in my regular mail. The big banner at the top of the mailer states that the school is a ‘tuition-free virtual public school’. All the in-person, ‘get-to-know-all-about-us’ meetings are held in nearby locations (here in NC). However, the return mailing address gives me a Maryland location. Hhmm….not surprised. Here’s the website address for the home office in MD (it’s called “Connections Education, LLC”): http://www.connectionseducation.com/

Because it's virtual, this school can reach anywhere--any state, country, or school which is willing to sign up.
Because it’s virtual, this school can reach anywhere–any state, country, or school which is willing to sign up.

 

The first clue to CCSS allegiance is ‘public school’. Virtual public schools in NC are still rather new, therefore, not totally understood. Here’s an excerpt from an article by UNC’s WUNC. “The General Assembly required last year that the state create a four-year pilot program for two virtual charter schools. Only two schools applied: North Carolina Virtual Academy, run by K12 Inc.; and Connections Academy, to be managed by Connections Education.” (entire article: http://wunc.org/post/virtual-charter-schools-coming-nc)

The second clue is the curricula publishers list. (Pearson, MacGraw-Hill, and many others) Every page of this “NC” school has Pearson’s logo of “Always Learning” at the bottom.

The third clue: Talent Networks (includes STEM)

The Board of Directors:

It won't take long to research how each of these people are connected to CCSS.
It won’t take long to research how each of these people are connected to CCSS.

“Connections Education” was a 2013 “Best Places to Work” winner. See: http://www.connectionsacademy.com/news/ce-named-among-2013-best-places-to-work

Pearson’s Connection Education is not only in NC, but the following locations:
International Connections Academy, AZ, CA, CO, FL, GA, IA, ID, IN, KS, LA, MA, ME, MI, MN, NM, NV, OH, OK, OR, PA, SC, TX, UT, WI, and WY. Here’s the link to see what the names of the schools are (most are the state’s name followed by “Connections Academy”, however, “Nexus” and a couple of other names are used as smoke screens): http://www.connectionsacademy.com/online-school/availability

The Pearson run entity also offers CTE (Career Tech Ed) courses, so those Career Clusters/Pathways can occur in the virtual student’s life as it does in the students’ lives in the brick and mortar schools. (look under the ‘curriculum’ page for proof).

Of course, with Pearson in charge, you know your student’s information will be data mined all over the globe.
See a related news announcement: http://www.connectionslearning.com/connections-learning/news/advanced-academics-acquisition.aspx

Closing:

While it’s no secret how tied to CCSS North Carolina is, I do wonder if the NC General Assembly did their digging into finding out what organization is behind Connections Academy before they approved the educational experiment with not only our students, but, our tax dollars. If you live in NC, pass this information to your legislator. IF you live in any of the states listed above, share this with your legislators. Hold them accountable! No CCSS in our states MEANS No CCSS, CTE, CCR, or other sly rebrand, rename dreamed up.

WYBI Wednesday: RttT, STEM, Education Waivers

Thus far this week, there’s been  a timely inter-connected theme for my :education waivers, Common Core, and our individual states are being impacted. Today’s post is no different.

nolie

I broke this article late last night to my fellow NC anti CCSS warriors due to the 2 day State Board of Ed meeting beginning in just a little while. However, there is much for the rest of the states to use as information. I encourage you to review the past 2 days posts if you would like to use all 3 of the waiver posts as weapons. Today’s article, how the waivers continue to point back to Race to the Top.

Thanks to transparency, accountability laws, and requests for information, our job of finding tools to fight Common Core has been made SO much easier. Recently I was tipped off about a regularly scheduled State Board of Education meeting happening today and tomorrow here in NC. One of the agenda items caught my eye. NOT for the subject matter, but for the ‘Network’ mentioned. In fact, it’s called the “RttT STEM Affinity Network”.

The RttT STEM Affinity Network:

Housed in NC’s Dept. of Public Instruction is this ‘lovely’ component given to us, the citizens by the Race to the Top funding, that also ‘gave’ us Common Core. If you are new to my blog, you’ll need to know that STEM was the main agenda item set up by the PCAST (President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology) who, in turn, created a game plan given to the White House. Common Core was the ‘perfect’ guise to use in incorporating STEM into our lives. (see:  https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/09/02/from-the-files-pcast-stem-and-common-core/)

Here’s an excerpt from the NC DPI on the “Affinity Network”, “The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction’s (NCDPI) dedication to building a world-class workforce through innovative STEM education has partnered with The North Carolina New Schools to build a network of STEM-themed high schools throughout the state. North Carolina New Schools in collaboration with NCDPI has identified 20 themed high schools tied to the economic development of the state.  These schools serve as either Anchor or Affiliate Network high schools that reflect the areas workforce development in either: Aerospace, Security, and Automation, Biotechnology and Agriscience, Energy and Sustainability, or Health and Life Sciences.” 

NC New Schools is Gates Funded since 2006. Over $1 million dollars has been given to the project. http://www.gatesfoundation.org/How-We-Work/Quick-Links/Grants-Database/Grants/2006/04/OPP41526
NC New Schools is Gates Funded since 2006. Over $1 million dollars has been given to the project. See:
http://www.gatesfoundation.org/How-We-Work/Quick-Links/Grants-Database/Grants/2006/04/OPP41526

To see the NC DPI’s website page on the other items related,

 http://www.ncpublicschools.org/stem/schools/rttt/

Enter the ‘Consortium for Educational Research-North Carolina’:

Known as CERE-NC for short, this group has been crucial in reporting the success of NC’s use of RttT funding when it comes to the partnership project of NC New Schools and STEM Affinity Network.  The STEM report I found on-line from this group, (which consists of SERVE Center of the University of Greensboro, Friday Institute (a  pro CCSS group)housed at the NC State University, The University of NC at Chapel Hill, NC Institute of Public Policy) Why a STEM report? It was part of NC’s Race to the Top Evaluation and a kind of ‘where do we go from here’ message. I’ve included the final version of the 2013 CERE-NC, STEM Affinity Report for you. RttT-STEM_Y3-Report_FINAL_12-05-2013

Here’s a list of the items most crucial to our fight:

  • 2013 marks Year 3 of NC’s RttT involvment, according to the report, page 181
  • New Schools and Friday Institute were deemed ‘objective’ in their findings, page 180
  • The Appendices, especially the Curriculum Development and Student Surveys, begins on page 78
  • A 4th year report which was to be finalized in Sept. 2014 should reveal where the Network under the RttT Initiative is headed. (see page 75) Why this is important is since the RttT funding is be non existent beyond 2014, what replaces it will be in question.

‘The primary focus of implementation in the schools is on changing instruction to incorporate the Common Instructional Framework across all subject areas, while development of STEM projects and themes is a secondary focus.’ (an excerpt from page 74) In reference to certain Affinity schools visited.

Reoccurring themes I saw:  Use of data collection; use of digital technology; more student led teaching; needing the staff and community buying-in; how great STEM/CCS are; leaving larger schools and creating smaller, comprehensive schools; combining early college that streamlines/aligns and thereby over-emphasizing the need for college/career readiness; confusion over which group schools should be accountable to, LEAs, NC’s Dept. of Public Instruction or the NC New Schools. STEM’s underlying agenda that depends on extending ‘learning’ into 21st Century Community Learning Center activities; big dependence on P3s (Public Private Partnerships) like SAS (a well known Common Core supporter and data mining company); ‘rigor’; ‘relevance’; ’21st Century skills’.

Before we move on..

Here’s one principal’s view, “With the Common Core and NSP [New Schools Project], it’s all about critical thinking and problem solving and that’s what we’re leaning towards more and more and we’re trying to move away from the traditional sit and get. . . . I would say that 80 to 85% of the faculty have embraced the [NC New Schools Design Principles]. We have very few naysayers.”

How this ties to the educational waivers:

Since I just published this on Monday, a couple of days ago, I know that it means for NC, continued implementation of everything that was included in our initial application. Here’s an excerpt, ““NC has been granted an extension of one year on the ESEA waiver. I see there are several things a group from the US Dept. of Ed have found while considering NC’s extension. One that strikes me, is a ‘monitoring report’, then I see almost at the closing of the letter, this, “I am confident that North Carolina will continue to implement the reforms described in its approved ESEA flexibility request and advance its efforts to hold schools and school districts accountable for the achievement of all students.” ” (see the rest: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/12/01/monday-musing-educational-waivers-friend-or-foe/)

So, does your state have a STEM Affinity Network or a CERE?

Not by those exact names, however. I did find the following that may help you track down the STEM/RttT connections for your states.

  • Battelle (http://www.battelle.org/our-work/stem-education/stem-learning-networks) manages at least 2 STEM networks with funding from the Gates Foundation. The Ohio STEM Learning Network (http://www.osln.org/hubs/), the Tennessee STEM Innovation Network (where they were the pilot program for STEM Boy Scouts programming), see their strategy plan until 2018: http://thetsin.org/news/resource/tennessee-stem-stragegic-plan/
  • Battelle also manages the STEMx Network, which covers many of the States. The tag line for STEMx, “Transforming STEM Education and Workforce Development in the states, by the states.” (http://www.stemx.us/about/) Member states: MI, TX, OK, NM, NC, ID, IN, OR, KY, WA, NY, AZ, CA, GA, and DC (District of Columbia).
  • IF you do not see your state listed above OR if you want to find out more from your state listed above, follow these suggestions:
  • Check with your state’s Dept. of Public Instruction, remember, I found my journey beginning at the State Board of Education’s meeting agenda announcement.
  • Notice over the past 3 days when I’ve written about waivers and education, how many colleges and universities are involved. Check your state’s higher educational institutions. Much of the research pertaining to your state will be housed there, studied there, or involved in some way. Think outside the colleges of education, if needed. I found one educational research group hidden in the college of surgery and physicians because it was considered a science project.
  • Go back to the initial RttT application for your state. See what provisions your State Board of Ed promised. Follow the paper trail from there. Each plan had to be reviewed, accepted as a draft, affirmed as an action, then a copy returned to each state. Follow ups by the state level education departments has had to be made each year. You should be able to access each of those reports.
  • Check where your state is in the Waiver re-authorization process. See my post from Monday of this week on where to access that information.
  • IF all else fails, exercise your citizen’s right to a FOIA letter (Freedom of Information Act).
  • Remember, even IF your state didn’t receive the initial RttT funding, each state is impacted by the educational waivers, by workforce, and by STEM. Being sold by at least 13 federal agencies, promoted by the U.S. President’s massive budget for it, and all the clamor of the public private partnerships, STEM will NOT be going away.

Related resources:

From the US Dept of Ed, their STEM page, http://www.ed.gov/stem

From the International Technology and Engineering Educators Association, a paper about the rise of STEM in America (be sure to note how the National Science Foundation had a big hand in this, then refer back to the PCAST report and connect the dots): http://www.iteea.org/Resources/PressRoom/AustraliaPaper.pdf

Finally, if you would like any more suggestions, have any leads from your states, or have questions, comments to send my way, I’d love to hear from you. Thank you for allowing me to be a part of your fight.