Greetings, my fellow Anti Fed Ed Warriors! As we’ve known for quite awhile the alignment facing our nation’s schools is no longer hanging back in the shadows. No, since ESSA’s passage (Every Student Succeeds Act), it has been very easy to see even more alignment being flaunted in our faces.
While I’ve been away from my home taking care of a family crisis, I’ve been keeping up with most of the education news. Warriors, as you know, I’ve shared with you the moves of the NC Dept. of Public Instruction (NC DPI). You’ve also seen my evidence where the NC DPI and the NC SBE (NC State Board of Education) unite forces to project the grinding down of our educational system.
Since it’s a new year, new faces are popping up in the NC DPI/NC SBE. Among these faces are their ties to CCSS Machine member groups which have posed as groups with only the best of intentions concerning your child’s education. The stark reality is that these groups do NOT have the best of intentions at all concerning education. Their feigned interest is propelling the CCSS Machine’s alignment for workforce based training to every school in America, regardless of choice.
Meet The New NC SBE Attorney:
Warriors, that’s right Eric Snider, a former Teach for America member will now be the attorney for the State Board of Education. While this may not seem like a big deal, consider that our current State Superintendent, Mark Johnson, is also a Teach for America alumni. When you access Snider’s LinkedIN profile, notice he also is involved with the NC Business Committee for Education. The sole goal for the NC Business Committee for Education is aligning workforce training to the CCSS Machine’s grasp on education in the name of the economy. To see how the American Bar Association (which includes the NC BarSnider belongs to) is helping promote the CCSS Machine, go here. If you missed how much the NC Chamber of Commerce is on board with the CCSS Machine, here it is. *Warriors, remember the Gates Foundation has given millions to the national level Chamber of Commerce to divide up and distribute money to each State for the express intent of alignment between jobs and school based education.
Helping Widen The Back Door Approach:
Warriors, you should be able to find the Joint Education Oversight Committee in your State. For NC, 2 of the Co-Chairs are virtually CCSS disciples. Rep. Craig Horn and Rep. Linda Johnson. To see the entire list of serving legislators, go here.
Among the Joint Committee’s 2017 Reports received includes quarterly documents from Teach for America.From the introduction of one of the reports comes what you see in this screen shot:
To access the Oct. 2014 Report, go here. To access the NC Joint Report the screen shot exposes, go here. From my archives, the researched article where I exposed how the Consortium for Educational Research and Evaluation (CERE) is tied to the NC Teacher Corps as well as how CERE uses the national GEAR UP program for CCR (College and Career Readiness). In that article, you’ll see the numerous States involved in GEAR UP.
Enter NC’s 2017 Education Report:
Warriors, even if you do not live in NC, you can use this as evidence to look for what’s afoot in your States. This recently released publication details not only the laws and bills concerning education, but dollar amounts the taxpayers will need to cough up to support the back door alignment.For example: the DLP (Digital Learning Plan) will need over $2 million in funding so there can be an increase in how much time is spent on a computer. Then the Workforce and Education Innovation Commission will need big bucks to move from it’s current State level position to the NC DPI! Then there’s legislation and funds for specialized high schools (more workforce training institutions), CTE (Career Technical Education) for 6th and 7th graders. Alignment for early education, ‘future ready’ students, and so much more!
Warriors, while we are seeing more and more overt moves in education, we MUST continue to see, speak, and, act on what is exposed. No State is exempt. No child will be excluded. How do I know this? ESSA’s chilling language that ALL education MUST align to workforce based industry credentialed standards.
I’m bringing this up because, as I tweeted from Raleigh on Monday at the most recent ASRC meeting, July’s guests will be from the NC business community. Here’s the screen shot below:
By knowing ahead of time just how stacked in favor of CCSS July’s Academic Standards Review Committee is in for, is huge for us warriors! Why? It’s been well documented (by other anti CC warriors, myself included, that our state Chambers of Commerce are a part of the CCSS Machine!) If you’ve not seen any of these types of articles, here’s an excerpt from one of mine specifically about the NC Chamber:
“When tax payer funded education comes from somewhere OTHER than your state’s Dept. of Education:
Here in NC, everyone wants in on the educational direction our students take. We have the Dept. of Commerce firmly involved, we have the NC Chamber of Commerce foaming at the mouth to put their money’s worth in, private corporations have become education’s pimp. All the while, the most of the politicians smile and tell you how ‘great’it is!
My anti CCSS warrior friend, LadyLiberty1885 wrote back in March 2015 how the NC Chamber of Commerce was pushing the NC ASRC to re-brand CCSS, much like the re-branding of CCSS efforts in FL. (see: http://ladyliberty1885.com/2015/03/12/foia-nc-chamber-pushing-asrc-to-consider-rebrands-like-florida/) *Note: be sure to notice the graphic to your right in her article about the threats the NC Chamber was giving the NC legislative members over HB1061, which was the stronger version of the Repeal CCSS in NC bill.)
So, What’s an Anti CCSS Warrior to Do?:
With just over 1 month until this seemingly pro CCSS parade marches before the Academic Standards group, we can do plenty! We can attend, we can listen in, we can object, we can do what we do best: inform others! What message would you like to send those who are hell-bent on aligning education to the CCSS agenda of global economy, worker citizens, and the like? Warriors, the CCSS Machine is churning out lie after lie to block our students progress as individuals and regroup them into a common people. Want to stop the Machine? Create a massive roadblock! Remember, many states are facing similar issues as we are, here in NC. There’s a lot to glean from our citizens in this fight.
For today’s Tech Thursday post, I’ll be giving an update to my original article titled, “Aligned and Employed” , which looked at Common Core extending from high school to community college.(see: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/09/13/sic-em-saturday-aligned-and-employed/)
Before we look at what’s new about this subject, please note when you access the original one, it is specific to NC, however, like anything I write featuring NC, I do keep in mind that I have readers all over the world who are using this information to fight federal overreach in education. So, let’s see what’s new so that your fight against post-secondary CCSS, can be a fully armed one.
Here’s an excerpt from the original, “What you should know that’s revealing about this? Commerce in the state of NC, just as in most US States is all about businesses and economy. Most of the time, one organization is their common bond…Chambers of Commerce. In case you didn’t know it, the NC Chamber of Commerce is so supportive of the Common Core Standards, they formed their own CC Coalition…”
Now, you may consider the fact the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s vested interest in Common Core old news. Have you checked with your state or local level chambers? They receive funds from the U.S. Chamber. Think of it as a passing along of a basket containing tasty biscuits. The U.S. Chamber received its money from the Kitchen, where the biscuits were baked (Gates Foundation contributed millions), then being a sharing sort, the U.S. Chamber gave each state’s Chamber of Commerce some biscuits. Then the state level chambers got busy promoting CCSS at the more local level. Finally, the biscuits run out upon reaching your local Chambers. So, let’s see what is new in the realm of Chamber of Commerce Common Core movements.
First stop, The Kitchen (aka Gates Foundation):
Straight from the Gates Foundation Grant Database:
Date: November 2013 Purpose: to lead the effort to engage and educate state and local chambers to support Common Core State Standards Amount: $1,383,041 Term: 15 Topic: Global Policy & Advocacy Regions Served: GLOBAL|NORTH AMERICA Program: United States Grantee Location: Washington, District of Columbia Grantee Website: education.uschamber.com (this link is no longer viable)
Here’s a short video from the Institute for a Competitive Workforce, titled “Talent Pipeline Management”
The above is a cutesy video to address the ‘skills gap’. Somehow, Common Core aligned workers will solve this ‘dilemma’.
Lead, Hunt, or Get Out of the Way?
New updated information about where each state is in, not only education reform, but Workforce training, 21st Century Teacher Force and more can be found at the U.S.Chamber Foundation’s website called “Leaders and Laggers” (way to be encouraging there, US CofC). The website, http://www.leadersandlaggards.org/ Since the Chamber is so concerned with a ‘talent pipeline’, here’s a resource you’ll definitely want to use in your state. It’s titled, “Preparing Students for the World of Work: The Need for Career Readiness Data” Wow, more need for our students data. Here’s how they are selling this angle, “States have recognized the challenge and taken proactive measures to help students better prepare for their futures by adopting more rigorous college- and career-ready standards. Included in this mix are more than 40 states and the District of Columbia that have signed on to the Common Core State Standards, which “are designed to be robust and relevant to the real world, reflecting the knowledge and skills that our young people need for success in college and careers.” Common Core provides the baseline for all students to be ready for careers or college, leading to their eventual participation in the workforce.”
Read the article, http://www.leadersandlaggards.org/report-card/preparing-students-world-work-need-career-readiness-data
Out of the Kitchen and into Your State:
Here’s an excerpt from my original article about the NC Chamber of Commerce’s Common Core action, “Commerce in the state of NC, just as in most US States is all about businesses and economy…. so supportive of the Common Core Standards, they formed their own CC Coalition, send out a very suggestive communication (as in negative reaction) to any legislature who didn’t stick up for Common Core earlier this year when our state was in the early stages of trying to pass ‘repeal’ legislation.” So, let’s see if they have updated their efforts where Common Core is concerned.
Wait, There’s More!
In the opening pages of the 2014 Annual Report for the NC Chamber of Commerce come these words, ” To empower the business community, the NC Chamber Foundation is leading initiatives to provide solutions-oriented policy recommendations and to track North Carolina’s progress on the four Pillars of a Secure Future – Education and Talent Supply, Competitive Business Climate, Entrepreneurship and Innovation, and Infrastructure and Growth Leadership. ” Did you catch the ‘talent supply’ reference? Almost word for word what the U.S. Chamber said in their video. Yep, keep passing those biscuits, folks.
Here’s another excerpt, I’m sure the anti-CCSS warrior in you will love, “Protecting HIRE Standards: The NC Chamber Foundation led the Hire Standards, NC coalition to educate North Carolinians on the importance of high academic standards – joining the voices of our state’s military, teachers, business leaders, police chiefs, parents, and local chambers of commerce. Coalition members steered many initiatives including a website, digital and print ad campaigns, local events, and others to create greater understanding around higher standards. Ultimately, Senate Bill 812 was signed into law, which brings greater predictability and certainty to North Carolina teachers, students and job creators by keeping the current higher standards in place while a standards review commission researches and provides revisions, which can retain elements of the Common Core State Standards, in part or full, as a basis for future standards.” Sorry, NC Chamber, this is SO not what Senate Bill 812 was to do at all or accurately states the process our educational system is in at all!
As far as the aligned employment? NC’s got us covered, I bet your state does too! Here’s a bit more from the 2014 NC Annual Report from the Chamber of Commerce, ” the NC Chamber Foundation has joined the Office of the Governor, the Department of Public Instruction, Community College System Office and the Department of Commerce to launch a statewide initiative to certify communities and counties as NC Works Certified Work Ready Communities..” Remember, this is all thanks to CCSS, or those “Hire Standards” AND our state’s Chamber of Commerce. But, thanks also needs to be given to the providers..the U.S. Chamber’s Foundation AND the Gates Foundation. Yeah, right. If you’d like a copy of the NC Chamber 2014 Annual Report, see: http://ncchamber.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/NC-Chamber-14-01-Annual-Report-2014-LR.pdf
I hope that your state isn’t as sold out to an aligned employment system, but then again your state may be even moreso than mine. Either way, the move is on to ‘marry’ education and labor, no matter what, we the citizens say. Think about yesterday’s article updating the Workforce Quality Data as well as the Education Data? I urge you, look at what your Chamber of Commerce are up to. Use NC’s boon doogle as an example!
At the last NC Academic Standards Review Commission meeting;
the topic of Common Core Standards was ripe in the air;
the members were gathered, each with much care.
When one member, much to his own delight
says, “We need to do this right–
consult those who work, who own businesses;
Without them, we face an incorrect fate–
kids who can’t work, when they graduate.”
“So, let us all, turn to the Chamber of Commerce–
They will know we must be immersed;
Common Core Workforce alignment
will build the kids education, while filling the businesses purse!”
I’d like us to take a short look at the supporting groups behind the man who expressed how we (as the citizens of NC) NEED to involve more businesses in education (aka: P3s; public private partnerships). I’m sure, in your state, you have people just like this. Considering how the U. S. Chamber of Commerce was given so much Gates Foundation money to pass on to the state level Chambers (the express purpose of promoting Common Core), you may in fact, know several supporters who share this man’s perspective.
I, however, do not. I’ve done too much research into CCSS to buy the ‘skills gap’ argument; the dire need for businesses weighing into how the schools should align classes to fill their jobs. Do these people NOT remember that for thousands of years all that was needed is a strong base and ANY job can be attained. No, they are too busy spouting off the ‘best practices’ line or the ever popular ‘skills for a 21st Century.’ How many of them have stopped to think back to those folks who ALSO were in changing times of old? Did they always align education to fit future? No, yet somehow, we’ve been able to NOT only survive as a nation, but THRIVE.
So, what groups am I referring to? For starters, The NC Assoc. of Middle Schools. This state-wide group is sponsored by Glencoe/McGraw Hill for starters (duh..no CCSS here, right?! GMH not only supports CCSS, it aligns its PreK to Adult educational materials to the Standards). To learn more about GMH, http://www.mheducation.com/about/investors. The NCAMS is also sponsored by Thinking Maps, which is based here in NC, but used globally. They love CCSS very much, as well. From their website, you’ll see visual patterns used to align children’s thinking skills. Wanna see it for yourself? http://thinkingmaps.com/thinking_maps_common_core.php Another sponsor? The College Fund of NC. Yep, this group was given to the state by the NC Legislature back in 1999. Their tie to CCSS? Funds used at every single community college (in previous posts I’ve featured how all the NC community colleges are CCSS aligned already.) AND the 4 year institutions. Yep, most of them are CCSS aligned, supportive, or both already. Another sponsor of the NC Middle School Association which is also CCSS aligned from secondary school to those Career Clusters/Pathways?! Why, 4-H, of course. Here’s an excerpt from an on-line farm game, “farm safety activities that align with Common Core Standards and National Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources Career Cluster Standards.” (to see the rest of the game: http://www.extension.org/pages/71192/play-it-farm-safe:-an-online-educational-game#.VJD6OSvF-hR)
Now, knowing our Review Commission has an active sitting member supported by a main group so rich in CCSS, it’s no wonder his view was ‘let’s listen to, involve, and align with the business world.’
More rhetoric on ‘workforce’:
On Tuesday, just one day after the Review Commission meeting, was a “Future Forum” meeting. None other than the NC Chamber of Commercewas the ‘proud parent’ of this soiree. I don’t know about your state’s Chamber of Commerce, but NC’s has been extremely vocal about not only its support, but its love and devotion to not only the Common Core, but the Career Pathways. Why, they use wonderfully embracing phrases to describe your students (‘talent supply’, “human capital”, ‘talent pipeline’, etc.). Why I mention the Chamber is their report from 2012 was brought up during the Review Commission meeting.
The Workforce Report mentioned during the meeting, is available on the NC Chamber of Commerce’s website. http://ncchamber.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/North_Carolina_Workforce_System_Review_and_Options_for_Reform_2014-Final….pdf *Note: the 2012 one is actually an appendix item in this updated report. One of the reform items? Continuing to use the community college system as a means to an end. Then, there’s how all the funding can help NC become even more aligned. So, if the community college is a means to an end, what does that make the student?
As far as that Forum: Go take a look at the featured speakers for the Forum. http://ncchamber.net/chamber-events/future-forum/Even though the event is past, If you want to find the Twitter feed from the meeting, #FutureofNC (yes, even if you don’t live here, you need to see this. Why? I can bet your state has similar efforts going on..especially with your state level Chambers of Commerce involved). Okay, I’m assuming you’ve looked. You may be saying “So??” Dr. Tony Wagner of Harvard was a celebrated speaker at this event. Harvard..as in the University. The same university which partnered with Pearson Publishing to create the ‘Career Pathways’ movement that (now) is an integral part of Common Core (in previous Tech Thursdays posts this has not only been shared, but backed with documents and links).
So, after seeing some of the tweets and adding it to what I already know about the love affair between Harvard, CCSS, Chambers of Commerce, I decided to take a bit of a closer look at Dr. Wagner’s stance. I think you’ll find it interesting too.
A look behind the man:
Here’s a short video the doctor is featured in that’s all about 21st century preparedness in the classroom. http://vimeo.com/88923503 (you can copy the address and open in a new window)
Listen to his message. Yes, you may be dazzled by the gadgets. C’mon, who doesn’t love a good gadget?! However, listen to the vernacular being given by, not just the doctor, but the others. All about the collective. Gee, where have we heard that in CCSS? Want more views from him about why we all should innovate education? http://www.tonywagner.com/1016
I’ll assume you’ve just read his commentary from the above link. No, you didn’t see Workforce or Common Core per se, but did you get the overall drift of the CCSS agenda?
On to the “High Tech High School” he mentioned. Yes, it’s based in CA. Yes, it’s the brain child of the Gary and Jerri-Ann Jacobs Investments, along with many other public/private partners. BUT it’s also the product of the Gates Foundation as well. Back in 2005, High Tech High received $3 million dollars, then in 2012, $100,000 for innovation in the 10 schools that belong to the High Tech High School network. (see: http://www.gatesfoundation.org/How-We-Work/Quick-Links/Grants-Database#q/k=high%20tech%20high%20school)
Projects at the High Tech High School are funded by the Public Charter School Dissemination Grant Program. How do I know, when I was investigating the website, an embedded logo at the bottom right hand of the page told me so. (see: http://www.hightechhigh.org/projects/)
‘Common Core’ at High Tech High? You betcha! Here’s an excerpt from a press release, “
“Teachers are working hard to prepare their students for Common Core, with limited access to updated resources,” said Michele Hansen, president and CEO of the Girard Education Foundation, whose philanthropic support enables teachers, parents and students to access the website at no cost. “Activate Instruction facilitates teacher collaboration and makes it easy for teachers to access quality content from high-performing schools for free.”
“Teachers on Activate – who number nearly 4,000 – can now search for, and follow, sets of more than 18,000 resources (including nearly 2,000 playlists). Many of these resources have been uploaded by high-performing schools that have voluntarily shared their content. Those schools include: Summit Public Schools in the Bay Area, High Tech High in San Diego, and Da Vinci Schools and KIPP LA Schools in Los Angeles. Teachers can even follow other teachers’ specific playlists, creating the opportunity for teachers’ work to be recognized nationally.” (get the rest of the press release: http://www.activateinstruction.org/about/press-kit/)
So, what does all this mean for Workforce, Adult CC, and my student?
It means we need to be ahead of those in charge by connecting the dots between Common Core in the secondary level and the post secondary level. We need to continue to expose the overreach of federal, and now, state government programs which continue not only support P3 involvement in education, but seek to purposefully seek it out, encourage it, and reward it. As others, including myself, have shared..Workforce tied to CCSS is NOT going away. It is gaining momentum. If we wish to stop a CCSS aligned work skilled nation, WE must gain momentum, too!
Now, back to the Review Committee:
One of the charges to carry out the Committee has is to have the best for NC students. I’m not sure how seeking to incorporate the Chamber of Commerce will be best for NC as long as it continues to support CCSS AND bring in those who are also supportive to whip up support from the business end. It creates a false positive environment. It’s employing the appeal to fear fallacy (we must bring in the business owners or we won’t have a skilled workforce), the bandwagon fallacy (you can’t have 20th century teaching in a 21st century world; kids won’t be employable), and the argument from ignorance fallacy (we’re dancing all around CCSS and what it’s doing to NC, but we’re not really willing to be objective about it either).
What can your state learn from NC?
Plenty! We’ve got to get the P3s out of the education bed. We’ve got to stop allowing the false argument that 21st skills are more important than any other century. We’re not the first group of people finding ourselves in a state of change. Every generation has had change to face! Every century has had folks face the unknown. Do you think it the times gone by that everyone had a answer for every future job? No, BUT they did the best they could. If you look close enough, you’ll see that their best has served you and I for many years EXTREMELY well. Just because the CCSS Machine is grinding out the message of Workforce alignment, doesn’t mean we have to accept it. If NC wants the best for the students, I’d have to say how things are being handled isn’t the answer. The clock is ticking, folks..how will the BEST happen as long as mediocre mockery is in play?