Tag Archives: museums

Monday Musings: The CCSS “Are You Kidding Me?!” Files

While this cartoon was depicted a U.S. Congress run by monopolists, it can easily resemble the 'CCSS Machine' running  education.
While this cartoon was depicted a U.S. Congress run by monopolists, it can easily resemble the ‘CCSS Machine’ running education.

As October winds down, anti CCSS Warriors, the hype supporting CCSS appears to be ramping up. Today’s post will show you how. Use the information to keep the pressure to STOP ‘Common Core’ (and all its aliases)!

First up, Special Needs:

Those running the CCSS/CTE Machine have made it no secret that ALL students, regardless of their educational choice OR abilities are to be run through the streamlined fare ‘Common Core Standards’ and all its accompanying resources. This, sadly, impacts our special needs kids. IF your family receives any IDEA funding, you are being subjected to CCSS in some way. When the schools receive their IDEA funding (and this includes post-secondary schools or all kinds), your students are most definitely being slammed with Common Core, Career and College Readiness, STEM, and, Career Ed Tech.  To find out MORE, please refer back to https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/10/19/monday-musings-idea-when-good-goes-ccscte-bad/
If you would like the ECS (Education Commission of the States) document from 2014 where plans to collect more ‘measurements’ of special needs students progress as well as their parents, see: SPtracking To see another way the special needs students were tracked, is a report from 2004. See: SpecNeedsDataCollect If you’d like to learn just how toxic the re-authorization of the ESEA (Elementary and Secondary Education Act) via HR5 (Student Success Act), please read Anita Hoge‘s article where she speaks in plain English how special needs students (as well as all the other types will be marginalized horribly).


Here Come the STEM, CCSS latest moves:

Most folks balk at me when I even dare to mention how STEM is tied to CCSS, yet, the evidence is there. In case you didn’t see the news about the STEM Act passed into law at the federal level, here’s the article where I shared all the news about it. The Act is named “The STEM Education Act of 2015”. Why would a new Act concerning education be a problem? First, it’s at a FEDERAL level! As in ‘federally led education’. On Twitter anti CCSS Warriors refer to it as ‘fed led ed’. Secondly, the federal level law dictates a certain type of course now be included in STEM. Seriously?! Yes!! So where was the parental input? Where was the local level of education? It was excluded…just like we’ve seen from D.C. more and more in our recent past. This Act involves several other federal agencies in education, alignment, and data mining! This Act is so overreaching into education, it will not stop at the school yard’s boundary. No, this one takes education into almost every informal learning environment we could possibly use. For example, your libraries, museums, field trips, and so on. Again, HR5 (see above) has stealthily embedded the CCSS tied-STEM into the language as part of the  ‘afterschool programs’ and ‘wraparound services’.
Read all about it: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/10/21/wybi-tying-stem-to-ccss-again/
If you’d like to see the archive where I was able to find the STEM tie to HR5, refer to:

Rumor Has It:

I’m including my release of this past “Weekend’s News” because you have to get the vital information somehow! What do I mean? I’m referring to the ‘block’ I received from social media when I was sharing the truth about what’s up in America and CCSS. Once again, (this isn’t my first time being blocked), and, as other anti CCSS Warriors have experienced, the CCSS Machine tried to stop me. But, the funny thing about truth is..it ALWAYS wins! Thankfully, several of my fellow Warriors, picked up the story and passed it on for me. However, there are many others who didn’t get the what’s up. So, I’ll state briefly WHY the “Weekend News” was so controversial it got blocked.
1) It named certain people as being involved in the corruption of education in America
2) I openly displayed the social media site in some of my screen shots
3) Point by point CCSS/CTE/STEM tied programs were specifically named and tied back to a well known university
4) Of those named, two are legislators in NC and another is running for the US Presidency
5) I exposed the fallacy which was shared over social media that NC had removed CCSS recently, when in fact, the original source was from 2014 AND didn’t tell the entire story!
Get it while you can: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/10/25/weekend-news-ccss-rumors-abound-at-least-in-nc/

I urge you, read the article. It IS so vital to our War Against the Core! You need to see just how far the CCSS/CTE Machine is going to place specific people in very educational influential positions. Yes, we’ve seen this before, BUT the operators of the CCSS Machine are becoming less and less stealthy about it! We MUST act! We MUST continue to expose the injustice that is happening every day in America via education reform! We know the bottom line isn’t an academic education, it’s about a ‘talent pipeline’ to feed a ‘workforce agenda’.

From ‘Your’ U.S. Dept. of Ed:

As you read this, the US DofEd is hosting a “Parent Camp”. I kid you not. If you use Twitter, be sure to look up ‘#ParentCamp’. You won’t believe the ‘shuck and jive’ dribble about education leading parents. Better yet, why not scoot over to the US DofEd’s Family Engagement page. There you can find all kinds of things the Dept has put together to show you HOW to parent THEIR way! Think I’m joking?! Read this excerpt, “If effective cradle-to-career educational partnerships between home and school are to be implemented with fidelity and sustained, engagement initiatives must include a concerted focus on developing adult capacity, whether through pre- and in-service professional development for educators; academies, workshops, seminars, and workplace trainings for families;” Want to read the rest? Be sure not to miss that one of the 4Cs in this parental persuasion is ‘human capital’!


From The US Chamber of Commerce’s Education and Workforce Committee:

Their latest efforts? Using local Workforce Boards to highlight the skills gap needs to be closed. As I’ve shared in the past (as have other anti CCSS Warriors, there is NOT a skills gap! The CCSS Machine has presented the fallacy that such a gap exists, but it does not)

The skills gap 'fear factor' fallacy is successful because those spreading it, use the wrong numbers s their source.
The skills gap ‘fear factor’ fallacy is successful because those spreading it, use the wrong numbers as their source.

By the way, the article to which the Chamber refers is worth reading. Get it:
Here is the picture the “Register” chose for the article:

So, my fellow Warriors Against CCSS, we have MUCH to do and not much time in which to accomplish it!

WYBI? Tying STEM to CCSS…Again

For my return to “Would You Believe It?!” Wednesdays,  I’ll share with you how the STEM Education Act of 2015  ties back to Common Core Standards. If you’ve followed my blog long enough, you are aware of the numerous times I’ve given you documented evidence of how STEM, STEM to STEAM, are all   aligned with CCSS. (Did you know there’s now a STEM to STREAM? (It stands for Science, Technology, R______, Arts, and Math).

STEM, by way of Common Core..and not in a distant galaxy.
STEM, by way of Common Core..and not in a distant galaxy.

So, What is the STEM Education Act of 2015?

If you haven’t heard of this new federal law, it became such on October 8, 2015. In a nutshell, the law states that STEM must now include computer science. While that sounds perfectly innocent, there’s more to this law than a simple course addition. You wouldn’t need a federal law for that.

Here’s one of the ‘there’s more’ statements: “to support existing STEM education programs at the National Science Foundation.” Now, before I go on, let me clarify that this statement is only a short version, or a summary of the law. If you were to stop there, again, you’d think ”this doesn’t sound bad”.
But, let’s look at the Act itself. Here are the other organizations this extends STEM to. “For purposes of carrying out STEM education activities at the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and the Environmental Protection Agency.”  These cover STEM in formal education settings, but wait..the new law covers STEM in informal settings as well. As in museums, camps, or anywhere else you can have an informal learning environment. Here’s the direct language, “improve STEM  learning outcomes and increase engagement for K– 12 students, K–12 teachers, and the general public,  including design and testing of the scalability of  models, programs, and other resources.” You’ll also want to read how the Master Teaching Fellows are included. Read the new law:
To read how the Gates Foundation funded EdNews broke the story, see: http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/curriculum/2015/10/new_law_includes_computer_scie.html?cmp=eml-enl-cm-news2-RM


So, Where are the CCSS Connections?

Back in June 2015, I wrote an article after attending an education conference. Here is the one sentence expert from that article that ties NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) not only to STEM, but CCSS, as well: “NASA’s CCSS/STEM statement: http://spacemath.gsfc.nasa.gov/media.html 
If you’d like to read the rest of the article and where I found more CCSS/STEM ties:

NOAA: When I searched the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration website, I was able to find an entire library of NOAA, CCSS resources. See: http://search.usa.gov/search?affiliate=oceanexplorer.noaa.gov&query=common+core+state+standards
If you want to see their STEM resources, http://search.usa.gov/search?utf8=%E2%9C%93&affiliate=oceanexplorer.noaa.gov&query=STEM+&commit=Search
NOAA even has the Next Generation Science Standards! See: http://search.usa.gov/search?utf8=%E2%9C%93&affiliate=oceanexplorer.noaa.gov&query=Next+Generation+Science+Standards


EPA, The Environmental Protection Agency:

Their website is on you should certainly check out. Why? This agency is not only ‘big’ in education, but its ‘big’ into our communities as well. See their ‘students’ page.
http://www2.epa.gov/students If you visit there, notice how they are classifying their offerings for education. It’s called ‘Environmental Education’. See that page: http://www2.epa.gov/education

What might be of particular interest is their rather dated pdf on aligning EPA issues with those of educational standards. As they put it, ‘Aligning EE Resources to National and State Curriculum Standards’. In this document (from the days of NCLB), you will find the FCAT assessment, the ASCD (Gates Foundation funded educational company), and more! Please make note the EPA used the 1983 “Nation At Risk” report, and Americans questioning education as reasons to align their resources with education. The report concludes with how the EPA planned on continuing to align with education in the future. Get the document, EPAalign
You may find the Washington Post’s article about the EPA CCSS aligned reading materials a bit ‘snarky’. After all, who wouldn’t want to replace classic reading materials with insulation guides? See: https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/compost/wp/2012/12/07/the-common-cores-70-percent-nonfiction-standards-and-the-end-of-reading/



The PCAST Report:

Rather than continue on with how each of the named federal agencies are tied to CCSS, I want to go back to when I first began to blog about fighting CCSS. After years of in-depth research, and sharing in among a few people also fighting CCSS, I was encouraged to go national with the sharing. Hence, the blog. One of the first articles was the original tie between STEM and Common Core. Since then, I’ve referred to it a lot. Why? Because that PCAST report laid out how the need for a STEM nation would use the, then, new ‘common standards’. Here’s an excerpt you might appreciate, “Nuggets of information include clear bipartisan support in the need for education reform in general (page vi); on page v, increasing federal involvement in education and a presence of public private partnerships is also brought into play. I found it interesting that the P3s were mentioned before the states.”
Be sure to read this one, warriors. You’ll especially want to see point #3, where the 2 prongs and 5 overarching priorities are laid out. Read: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/09/02/from-the-files-pcast-stem-and-common-core/

If that’s not enough ‘evidence’, be sure to go back and read the 3 part series I wrote about the STEM, STEAM, and CCSS.
a) https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/05/27/wybi-stem-to-steam-ties-to-common-core-pt-1/
b) https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/05/28/tech-thursday-pt-2-stem-to-steams-ties-to-common-core/
c) https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/05/29/friday-special-post-part-3-stem-to-steam-ties-to-ccss/

Then there’s is the article about the STEM Affinity Network, The Race to the Top Funding, and Educational Waivers. Read, https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/12/02/wybi-wednesday-rttt-stem-ed-waivers-and-more/
For how CCSS/STEM devoted the NSF (National Science Foundation) is, read: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/02/18/wybiupclosewithnsf/



What About the Computer Science?

Notice in the new law it specifically adds computer science. How is computer science aligned to CCSS now? I found the Computer Science Teachers Association‘s map of each course in computer science and  its place in the CCSS. Get the map,
You might be interested to know that the CSTA has ‘completed crosswalks’ with Google, Linux, Oracle, and Tech Corps. See: http://www.csta.acm.org/Curriculum/sub/CompletedCrosswalks.html
You can also see the CSTA map of the Computer Science courses aligned to STEM.
Get that map: CSTA_Standards_Mapped_to_STEM_Cluster_Topics-2
If you’d like to see the CSTA sponsors, see:
You shouldn’t be surprised to see Google and Microsoft among the sponsors, but you may be surprised that the College Board is also a sponsor. Warriors, remember, the College Board is funded by each state!




Above, you can see I have given you much information about the STEM to STEAM shift. But STREAM??  If we look at the EdWeek article, notice the ‘R’ could stand for ‘religion’, or ‘reading and writing’, etc. Is there a more non-Gates funded perspective to what the ‘R’ subject may be?
The National Writing Project has their opinion, ‘ agencies also realized that adding the arts to STEM is not enough. We also need to add the thinking skills embodied in reading and writing. STEAM may condense into STREAM!’ This project also states how the National Endowment for the Arts, the NSF helped with the ‘A’ in the “STEAM”. Refer back to the above STEM to STEAM articles to see how CCSS aligned both these groups are.
In 2014, Huffington Post shared their take on STREAM. Reading took the ‘R’. This article also shared how essential to the ‘core’ ELA (English Language Arts) has been. Read the article, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rob-furman/stem-needs-updated-to-str_b_5461814.html

In my researched opinion, it appears the STREAM, just like the other standards based education reforms, needs proper vetting BEFORE they are made into law, but more importantly BEFORE they are EVER introduced into our classrooms!!

Monday Musings: CCSS Field Trips?

Has your child taken a field trip lately? Just how CCSS aligned was it?
Has your child taken a field trip lately? Just how CCSS aligned was it?

Who doesn’t love a great field trip with the class or group? How far as CCSS gone to line up these educational excursions? Let’s see if we can find out!

Road Trip Ahead!:

I don’t know how much you may or may not know about field trips. I know plenty. It used to be my business, literally. My business partner and I had a great time planning educational field trips for private schools.

Then, 2008 came, and suddenly, the business dried up. Times were so financially tough, field trips fell to the back side of the planning table. Since then, I’ve noticed in researching Common Core that many of the destinations schools or educational groups go to are becoming more and more aligned. Then, I got my latest issue of the Student Group Travel magazine (seems my free subscription didn’t get cancelled). While not one mention of CCSS was in the glossy ads, plenty of clues to lead to the alignment were.

Down on the Farm:

So, why would some these destinations CHOOSE to align themselves with CCSS? After all, most of the places chosen for a field trip have no full time teachers for lesson planning. What do I mean? Well, take for example, a local farm which has become an agritourism location. What this means is the farm gets visitors, the visitors get activities and lessons. Here in NC, the agritourism has partnered with the NC Dept. of Public Instruction. No question about Common Core’s presence there. Below look at the graphic which was put together by NC State and is on file in the NC General Assembly’s website.

While not visible in the graphic, we know 'education' is more than 'workshops'.
While not visible in the graphic, we know ‘education’ is more than ‘workshops’.

In fact, in this 2014 report, education is the second highest benefit of agritourism! I’m including the entire pfd, as you’ll want to see how ‘community(collective) minded’ the entire movement is. See: 2. NCSU_Agritourism_2014 You’ll also note that MO and NC worked together on this and that most of the data appears to be from 2011. I imagine, you may be asking the question, “That’s great, Lynne, but where’s the NC DPI tie in?” See this graphic from a farm near where I live in NC:

This is just one farm in NC where agritourism has met CCSS.
This is just one farm in NC where agritourism has met CCSS.

If you were to click each of the Standards, you’d be taken to a separate page where the CC is laid out for Preschool and up. Please note that I’m not suggesting ALL agritourism is CCSS aligned, but I’ve found where back in 2009, all kinds of agribusiness leaders met and were learning from each other how to increase agritourism for the ‘collective region’ of TN, GA, NC,and SC. Grant money was used to fund this educational meeting. See: http://www.caes.uga.edu/center/caed/pubs/agritourism/documents/AgritourismTrainingforAgricultureProfessionalsManual.pdf  How this can be helpful in your area? It will show you where to look in your state’s agritourism (example: USDA grants). I was able to find in SC, a specific type of grant used, RBDG (Rural Business Development Grant). Among the institutions which may be able to benefit are higher learning facilities. See: http://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/rural-business-development-grants

Don’t think I’m out to kill the farmers, I grew up on a farm. I love farmers. However, when CCSS is involved, I’m not afraid to dig up the dirt!

Going shopping or to the classroom?:

You, as a warrior of CCSS, know, it is everywhere, but what about at the mall? Yes, I found it at the Mall of America! Remember I said I had a magazine with suggested field trips? This one was a featured destination. In the event you’ve not been to MOA (Mall of America), it’s in MN, where supposedly, there’s no CCSS. So, is it true? MN has only adopted the ELA portion of CCSS. See: http://www.mprnews.org/story/2013/06/07/education/common-core-standards

Nickelodeon has a big place at the Mall. So big, it’s called “Nickelodeon’s Universe”. Nickelodeon is the #1 brand with kids. It also is part of Viacomm. Viacomm is a huge supporter of STEM (yes, STEM is absolutely connected to CCSS). At the “Universe”, you can get a 3 or 4 hour physics class. The materials have recently been updated. I did find the old physics guide, but to access the updated version, you have to contact group sales. I was able to find that on Nick, Jr. preschool games are crammed with STEM. See: http://www.nickjr.com/blaze-and-the-monster-machines/about-blaze/blaze-curriculum_ap.html

American Girls brand and Legos each have big stores in MOA. Both have chosen to align with CCSS, as well. AG (American Girls) uses history as a main feature in their dolls. Legos, we know, involves science and creativity. The news about AG broke a couple of years ago when a Pearson Publishing mini textbook showed up in the accessories for the dolls. See:
http://thefederalist.com/2013/12/13/even-american-girl-dolls-spared-common-core-national-standards/  As far as Legos,  they have an entire page of CCSS ELA, Math, and Science, see: https://education.lego.com/es-ar/lesi/elementary/storystarter/ss-curriculum/ss-standards

Other Field Trips:

Aquariums, museums, and yes, even amusement parks can have CCSS.

For example, I live near Carowinds Amusement Park. Each year there’s an Educational Day where school groups of all educational choices may join in and learn engineering, science, physics, math, and other subjects. Is CCSS there? Through the partnering group, Discovery Place, yes it is! While DP supplies the lessons, which are aligned, Carowinds provides the place lessons are carried out. Sneaky! If you’d like to see the STEM/CCSS Teacher Workshop Guide (funded in part by Bank of America, another big supporter of the CCSS Machine), http://www.discoveryplace.org/content/education_studio/resources/educators/pdf/7.pdf

Where can you find the CCSS tie to museums? If they are connected to any sort of U.S. Department, you can bet your school bus, CCSS is there. If they are associated with the Smithsonian Institute, CCSS will be there. If your museums are gifts to the state citizens, CCSS will be there. For example, here in NC, we have public aquariums on the coast. Aligned lessons are there. Why? Funding is part of the answer. The Dept. of Public Instruction’s the other. See the below screen shot:

Even the turtle's a victim of CCSS!
Even the turtle’s a victim of CCSS!

It’s a shame CCSS is ruining education, but it’s absolutely horrid that field trips are going down the same road.