Tag Archives: National Center for Education Statistics

Skills Gap, Ad Nauseam

Warriors Against CCSS/Fed Ed, how many times have we heard that the education reform we’re seeing (and have been seeing), will ‘close the skills gap’?! I do not know about you, but I’ve seen it and heard it so much in researching HOW CTE (Career Tech Education, an arm of Common Core) will be our ‘saving grace’, that I could throw up.

It doesn’t matter that CTE wasn’t included in the original ESEA (Elementary and Seconday Education Act of 1965), by the time ESSA was made into law (Every Student Succeeds Act), CTE had been thrown in.

Not only does CTE show up in ESSA, but, you can find it in the HEA (Higher Education Act) of 2008, WIOA (Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act) of 2014, American Apprenticeship Initiative, the STEM Act of 2015, and a host of other initiatives, Acts, or proposed bills.

To date, countless proposed bills have been and are being considered to use CTE as the ‘savior’ for….the economy.

It’s pretty simple, Warriors, align the education to jobs, make more jobs available, and BINGO..the economy is stable.

However, reality shows that those who need jobs aren’t getting them. Aligned education, or not! So, where are all these ‘jobs’?

Why is the economy more precious than education?! Because the CTE is a global mindset, not an American one!

Think about it, Warriors, CTE was thrust upon us just as much as Common Core BECAUSE it IS Common Core! Where are the roots of Common Core? In Agenda 21 from the UN (United Nations). CTE breeds CBE (Competency Based Education). CBE is not new, nor is it American made.

If you missed my last article, then you didn’t see this graphic:

7cbes

The Millennial Report:

Released in 2015 was the ETS (Educational Testing Service) Report on “America’s Skills Challange: Milliennials and the Future”.

So why is a 2015 Report relevant in 2017? The DC legislative push to increase CTE for the 21st Century learner is why. Part of the ‘sales pitch’ from Congress is that CTE closes the ‘skills gap’ quite nicely.

If you do not know what ETS does, the company is in the assessment business. It’s also a CCSS Machine member organization. In one of my January 2017 articles, I tied ETS to the Education Commission of the States (ECS). ECS has ties to the Gates Foundation, National Association of Charter School Authorizers, College Board, and a host of others.

Other ETS articles I’ve written will show you plenty about their ties to:

A) DLC (Digital Learning Council) and the 10 Key education reform points woven into WIOA, ESSA, and, HEA.
B) The NSGT (National Society for the Gifted and Talented). Students who are gifted will also be aligned to the same type of education as everyone else, thanks to ESSA.
C) IMS Global (a consortium for digital learning). Thanks to ESSA, digital ‘upgrades’ and ‘implementation’ of technology, every student will be aligned 24/7, 365 days.
D) Lastly, the shift for lifelong learning to include adult charter schools.

With ties like these, you certainly cannot escape the agenda behind the CCSS Machine.

So, what does the 2015 ETS Report reveal?
1) It is the first in a series, so watch out for more.

2) An excerpt, “The subject of this report is our nation’s millennials, those young adults born after 1980 who were 16–34 years of age at the time of the assessment. The authors chose to center attention on this cohort for several key reasons. First, these young adults include the most recent products of our educational systems. Second, according to recent reports, they have attained the most years of schooling of any cohort in American history. And, finally, millennials will shape the economic and social landscape of our country for many years to come.”

3) Our American students are, one more time, being compared to their international peers. The Report is choosing to focus on our 16-34 year old young adults because they are still showing weak signs in literacy, numeracy, and problem solving. The goal of targeting this special group? They are the biggest part of the workforce.

etsccr

Warriors, let’s pause here for a minute and consider that not all the 16-34 year olds will have had a CCSS aligned education in their K-12th grades, BUT they will have had a CCSS/CTE aligned education when they attended post-secondary educational facilities. If any of these people had dual enrollment, they’ve had a CCSS/CTE aligned education. IF any of these people have taken hybrid or on-line classes, they’ve more than likely met the CCSS/CTE alignment without realizing it.

4) An excerpt from a cited source in the Report states, “That the twentieth century was both the American Century and the Human Capital Century is no historical accident. Economic growth in the more modern period requires educated workers, managers, entrepreneurs, and citizens. Modern technology must be invented, innovated, put in place, and maintained. They must have capable workers at the helm…”

5) Data used in the Report is from the PIACC (Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies). The roots of the PIACC are tied to the OECD, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). OECD is also where you’ll find the PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment). PISA is relied on by the CCSS Machine extensively.

Enter the U.S. Dept. of Education:

Here in the USA, the data mining arms of the U.S. Dept. of Education(NCES and IES) National Center for Educational Statistics and Institute of Education Sciences, began back in 2010 and will conduct a third round of data collection in 2017.

Here’s the excerpt,Data collection for the PIAAC Field Test was conducted in 2010, and the first round of international data collection, including the United States, began in August 2011 and finished in April 2012. NCES’s “First Look” report of the PIAAC data and the OECD’s international PIAAC reports were released in October 2013. The United States first round, officially known as the U.S. PIAAC Main Study, was supplemented by a second round of national data collection in 2013-14, officially known as the U.S. National Supplement. NCES will conduct a third round of national collection in 2017.

piaacusa

 

(If you’d like to learn about the American PIAAC  partner information from the NCES/IES website.) Be sure to look at the NCES/IES  PIAAC Sample assessment items. Then, consider the age group being tested. (*Note: Look on the left hand menu to find all the sample items.)

Other ‘tidbits’ of PIAAC information from the NCES/IES:
A) The next PIAAC Report is due Winter 2017. (*Note: ESSA will be in its first few months of complete implementation by then.)

B) The USA is locked into the data mining for PIAAC until 2021, per the NCES/IES website.

C) To access PIAAC directly: http://www.oecd.org/skills/piaac/
If you’d like to see the short OECD video as to WHY PIAAC is so ‘important’.

Also available from the PIAAC website, is a 2016 resource about “Why Skills Matter”.
It’s about an hour and a half, but is very much worth listening to. You’ll hear about what skills are measured/tracked, and so much more.  Skills Matter Video  .

Related Resources:
1) The CBE Network’s website: http://www.cbenetwork.org/resource-library/?category=141245
(*Note: Be sure to read the 8 elements of CBE)
2) U.S. Government Accountability Office’s website shares that closing the skills gap is a government-wide effort. In fact, it appears to be among the “High Risk” alert category the GAO has.
3) Congress even soliticed the help of a celebrity to pump up the volume on the ‘Skills Gap’ being solved by CTE.

rowecte

Closing:

Warriors, in case you need a visual to cement in your mind how Congress is approaching American education, let Rep. Foxx’s statement be clincher.

foxxed

States Get Graded CCR, Style!

CCRMenuLogo
How does your State stack up on CCR?

Hot on the heels of Dr. King’s confirmation as the Secretary of Education, Achieve, Inc. has released its report of grading each of the States on College/Career Readiness (CCR), a form of CCSS (Common Core State Standards). CCR is embedded in the ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act) several times.

Since Sen. Alexander felt it important enough to ball up his fists and bang them on the podium in expressing the need to ‘implement ESSA just as it was written’, we know CCR will be part of the process.

The Report from Achieve, Inc.:

First, the link to the website: http://www.achieve.org/state-profiles

Secondly, an excerpt of interest. For more than a decade, Achieve has issued an annual 50-state report on each state’s adoption of college- and career-ready (CCR) policies as reflected in state standards, graduation requirements, assessments, and accountability systems.”

A reflecting question:
Hmmm…wait a minute, CCSS is NOT a decade old, is it? IF CCSS is that old and CCR is a part of it (as I have previously proven and shared with you), why are we just seeing CCR instead of CCSS, especially in the ESSA?
The answer: As we know, CCSS is a toxic phrase, by switching the language to a not-so-well-known-name-of-the-same-thing, you impress folks that all is well. However, those fools didn’t count on savvy anti CCSS Warriors who KNOW no matter WHAT name is slapped on a piece of paper, when it comes to CCSS, it is ALL the same!

What the Report says:
“These individual state profiles, as well as a K–12 summary report, represent the first time that indicators of college and career readiness, from publicly available sources, have been compiled to paint a picture of college and career readiness in every state in this way. The report and accompanying state profiles illustrate that too few high school graduates are prepared to succeed in post-secondary education, the military, and careers.” 
My guess? Achieve, Inc. is painting a subjectively based picture. Why? How many times have we seen ‘research’ that is from one CCSS Machine member based on other CCSS Machine members findings? PLENTY!

achieveessa

The Report gives you charts, percentages of CCR success based on SBAC, PARCC, SAT, AP, and ACT testing. It will give you a map of the USA color coded by degree of the following:
1) no current CCR standards or coursework in use
2) has current CCR standards/coursework, but will not publicly share that information
3) has current CCR standards/coursework and does publicly share the information.

Thanks to the language of the ESSA, all States will have CCR Standards, or Challenging State Academic Standards which must meet the assessments used.

The Report also gives you the name of each State’s diploma name. Be sure to read how many have some form of CCR in them! (One important note: while the introduction says all 50 States, all 50 State’s information is not included! Why? That pesky category #2 from above, not all the States publicly share CCR information. By the way, since you know I live in NC, I can share NC doesn’t publicly share its CCR information. Fortunately however, I have!)

Further in the Report you will find the CCR measurements of dual enrollment students, early college students, Tech School, and IB (International Baccalaureate) students. Since many homeschool students use AP, some IB, early college, Tech Schools, and dual enrollment (and since this will only increase in the ESSA) options for education, you can see how even these students do NOT escape CCR!

Access the Report: CCRHSGradsMarch2016

The Report’s Research and Methods? NCES (National Center for Education Statistics), College Board, ACT, Inc., and the Education Trust. ALL CCSS Machine members! Talk about subjectivity! Talk about massive data mining/sharing!

Part of the research and methodology included race, income, STEM, formative assessment scores, and military or post-secondary enrollment. To access the methodology: Achieve-Methodology-CCR_HS_Grads

If you live in a State which does not publicly share CCR information, Achieve, Inc. has you covered there. Use the link at the very top (will say ‘state profiles’). Scroll down to the portion of the website you see each State’s name. You can click there and access the findings Achieve, Inc. has been able to use to paint their picture. You can print off or download each of the State Reports if you choose.

Oh, and one last note: Achieve, Inc. believes in CCSS/CCR SO much they even provide you with a video on how to understand the Report at the bottom of the page. They seriously need a new set of paints and paintbrushes!

If you need more proof of the Achieve, Inc.’s agenda for aligned education, be sure to see their page: http://www.achieve.org/our-agenda
Don’t miss their proud work on their initiatives of Next Generation Science Standards, Competency Based Career Paths, and using CCSS to its fullest! See: http://www.achieve.org/our-initiatives

Weekend News: Workforce’s Got Your Number!

This weekend’s news will feature the CCSS/CTE laden Workforce Data collection systems.  We learned how our students are referred to as ‘human capital’. We’ve already learned about the U.S. Government’s Workforce Data collection system; the state level ‘human capital life tracking systems. Let’s find out what the private sector in American business is doing to help out in tracking our students/citizens.

Konos Management (not to be confused with the Konos homeschool curriculum):

You can find the computer based giant at: http://www.konos.com
You need to know not only help education manage its ‘human capital’, it helps the government, healthcare systems, and many others manage their ‘human capital’. They are in the business of helping your business not only collect massive amounts of data, but helping you streamline information in the guise of saving time and money. Wow, how ‘noble’ of them. The company also measures compliance, is global in its workforce tracking, and are corporate partners with “Adopt-a-Classroom” and “National Academy Foundation” (NAF is devoted to career tech schools for those ‘underserved’).

From a 2010 report, find out what “Do You Automate? Saving Time and Money” states. The excerpt I’m sharing is discussing education grant money.
“Given the central importance of grant funding in K–12 education, it is essential to avoid putting these funds at risk. Nearly all schools in this country depend on grants
for a portion of their funding. While it’s true that grants come to K–12 schools from many sources, the federal government alone gives out more than $13 billion in
grants each month. Additionally, the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act of
2009 will put nearly $6 billion forward in new competitive grants to states to help them pursue higher standards. A significant portion of those dollars will go to school modernization. The requirements for properly managing the funds available under
the act and other grants are extensive Similarly, the need for district accountability with respect to good time-and-effort reporting cannot be underestimated. Such is the magnitude of the need for rigorous grants management.”

This particular document also factors in the NCES (National Center for Education Statistics) report about “Common Core of Data”. The particular year of NCES’s report? 2007-08.  So what is included in the “Common Core of Data”? Who heads this CCD up? I can answer immediately the ‘who’ question, it’s the IES (Institute of Educational Sciences..as in the U.S. Dept. of Education‘s IES! The U.S. Dept. of Ed also contains the NCES! Now, it’s important to stress here that the “Common Core of Data” is not the same as the ‘Common Core State Standards’. The CCD information DOES, however, HELP the CCSS Machine manipulate schools, states, and all those people involved. How? By collecting information of how many students drop out, or at-risk, by looking at where and how money in your school is spent. Think of all the CCSS malarky we’ve heard about the ‘graduation rates MUST’ be at a certain number. Think about how the states were ‘incentivized’. These two areas are not the only areas in which the CCSS is aided by all the data mining and ‘education sciences research’. Oh, one more thing, the data mining happens for ALL ages of our students.

To see the Konos 2010 report: Sept10_SBA_Automated-Workforce-Mgmt
To see the CCD website: https://nces.ed.gov/ccd/index.asp (*Note, when you visit this site, be sure to look at the publications. There you’ll find  fiscal reports. These are great for seeing where the CCSS/CTE trail of money lies.)

Getting back to Konos, I was able to find in another document how Konos partners with MicroStrategy. What does this partnership allow? Well, with Konos’s  special interest in management of money and data, MicroStrategy is considered a leader in the business world for ‘intelligence’ gathering software. Here’s the excerpt about what you can choose for the Konos/MicroStrategy system to do for you (if you were a customer). “Customers may choose to use all available functionality, but use of specific features may not be supported by Kronos [including: Consolidations, Freeform SQL, Event-based Alerting, Intelligent Cubes, Flash Rendering of Documents, Data Mining Services, Derived Elements, Import Data, Creation of Custom Roles and/or User Groups, Advanced Metrics (Level, Conditional, Nested), Custom Groups , VLDB Property Modifications, MDX Cube Report, Query Builder Report.” The name of this system? “Workforce Analytics 8.0 Learning Path” It’s important to stress here that this particular system in about minding/managing workers in all the sectors Konos serves. This document: 4704933-001_WFAN_80_learning_path_rev_a-final
Konos has a lot more on their website in the publications section about how the data they manage is used. If you know an anti CCSS/CTE warrior gifted in understanding all this technology, have them dive into the documents to show you how the information being collected is being used to help the CCSS Machine. (See: http://www.kronos.com/search.aspx?searchtext=common%20core)

Before we move on, Konos 2015 Conference is coming up in November, in Las Vegas. Why is this important to a CCSS/CTE Warrior? Anyone involved in schools IT departments, human resource departments, education finances, etc. are invited to attend. A host of other education related groups will also be in attendance. See: http://www.kronos.com/kronosworks15/who-attends.aspx  Remember, Warriors, data and money are what the CCSS Machine thrives on! Also, take into consideration, Konos is considered a leader in tracking, managing, and ensuring employees are “Workforce Ready”. What this means to us as anti CCSS/CTE Warriors is simple. After students are shoved through the CCSS/CTE tracks, they have another one waiting upon employment!  See: http://www.kronos.com/products/smb-solutions/workforce-ready/selected-resources.aspx

National Academy Foundation (NAF):

The website: http://naf.org/
One CCSS Machine tie in: The Gates Foundation grants.
From 2006, nation wide engineering academies:
http://www.gatesfoundation.org/How-We-Work/Quick-Links/Grants-Database/Grants/2006/09/OPP45211
2006: for support of existing career academies, strategic placement of new career tech academies across the nation:
http://www.gatesfoundation.org/How-We-Work/Quick-Links/Grants-Database/Grants/2006/03/OPP41757
From 2007 in New York for education reform:
http://www.gatesfoundation.org/How-We-Work/Quick-Links/Grants-Database/Grants/2007/11/OPP49430
2007 in New Orleans for “Learning Labs”:
http://www.gatesfoundation.org/How-We-Work/Quick-Links/Grants-Database/Grants/2007/08/OPP48634
2008 for communications support: http://www.gatesfoundation.org/How-We-Work/Quick-Links/Grants-Database/Grants/2008/10/OPP52560

naffuture

Oh my fellow anti CCSS/CTE Warriors, the CCSS Machine influence isn’t only Gates, it envelopes SO many others! The curriculum providers are the Buck Institute (huge on Project Based Learning, which fosters the ‘collective collaboration’ portion of CCSS), the IB Schools (International Baccalaureate Schools, which are the UNESCO portion of CCSS), Project Lead the Way, the STEM Academy (I’ve proven to you repeatedly how STEM is the driver behind the CCSS agenda), and  Paxton-Patterson. The list of CCSS/CTE aligned groups NAF belongs to is also there. You’ll  see everything from White House initiatives to well known CCSS Machine members. Groups NAF calls “Peer Organizations” includes the NC New Schools (which is so full of CCSS it’s toxic), ConnectEd (which is the White House’s plan for digital CCSS/CTE overload), and, a host of other well researched/exposed CCSS/CTE members. See all the ‘fellowship’: http://naf.org/about/our-partners

NAF also offers “NAFTRACK” (yes, another system devoted to keeping tabs on students..and all in the name of getting a good job. See:
http://naf.org/our-approach/naftrack-certified-hiring 
See the NAFTRACK’s certification process (which includes a specified curriculum, projects and on-the-job assessments):
http://naf.org/our-approach/naftrack-certified-hiring/naftrack-certification
The specialized careers NAF schools offer: finance, hospitality/tourism, information technology, engineering, and health sciences. Five career tracks, warriors..only 5. Wow.
See: http://naf.org/naf-network/themes
To see those individuals sold out to the STEM portion in the CCSS Machine: http://naf.org/about/stem-advisory-committee
To see NAF‘s brochure on the corporate sell outs involved in the education reform: NAFCorporateEngagementBrochure

Resources: 

To see my previously published Buck Institute article and how PBLs are ruining education:
https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/10/25/sic-em-saturday-ccss-progressives-and-pbls/

Other PBL articles (you’ll see connections to Gates, STEM, and more):

How those summer programs your students may have been involved in are part of the design to align:
https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/05/09/sic-em-saturday-aligned-summer/

A brief recap of the PBLs and other anti CCSS/CTE things which are important:
https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/05/02/sic-em-saturday-ccss-rewind/

See the vast network across the nation:
https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/03/13/fom-achieving-cc-aligned-competencies/

STEM and other Education Waivers tied to PBLs:
https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/12/02/wybi-wednesday-rttt-stem-ed-waivers-and-more/