Tag Archives: NCLD

FTF: CCSS Frying Pan into the Fire

A recent round of supposedly good news for us anti CCSS Warriors, deserves a closer look. As we’ve seen in the past, what’s reported as victories for defeating the CCSS Machine, we’ve learned the news is always bittersweet. It’s like 2 steps forward, one step back; or jumping from the frying pan into the fire.

A look at the news behind the latest CCSS headlines.
A look at the news behind the latest CCSS headlines.

TX and AR’s “Ditched Assessments”:

In recent news both TX and AR have ‘ditched’ their high stakes assessments contracts.
At least those are the headlines. There’s even been some celebrating. However, when you take a closer look at these types of stories, you’ll find that while it’s apparently those well known high stakes assessments are on their way out, what is replacing them is ALSO just as toxic.

1) Texas announced in May of this year that it was ending its contract with the high-stakes assessment company, Pearson Publishing. (See: http://www.centerdigitaled.com/k-12/Pearson-Loses-Bulk-of-Texas-Student-Testing-Contract.html)

While those of us who are familiar with how Pearson is involved in the USA’s national assessments ‘game’, it appeared at first to be quite a blow in favor of  those opposed to CCSS..until you look at what entity is to replace Pearson.

That is ETS (Educational Testing Service). I’ve written about ETS at least two other times. The man behind the helm of ETS is also the head of the Marzano Institute.  Marzano Institute which is heavy into the social emotional end of CCSS. I have a ‘tell all’ article about the whole convoluted jumble which connects “MI” to many other groups…all intent on amassing as much information on our students as possible. See: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/03/02/monday-musings-purposed-embedding-for-the-core/
For my other article on ETS (which will detail how ETS is tied to an international competency based group), see: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/03/01/rmt-why-is-the-deck-still-being-stacked-to-serve-ccss/

2) Announced just yesterday, AR was another one which supposedly struck a blow to the CCSS Machine by ending its’ ties with PARCC.(See: http://governor.arkansas.gov/press-releases/detail/governors-council-on-common-core-review-makes-testing-recommendation)..only to replace it with the ACT Aspire (See: http://www.arkansasbusiness.com/article/105408/arkansas-to-pull-out-of-parcc-use-act-for-standard-tests).

ACT Aspire is used in the Career Pathways, Career Clusters, Career and Technical Education alignment to set a path for students. Again, when you peel back the surface, you’ll see just as much data mining and CCSS as with PARCC. See my fellow anti CCSS Warrior’s article about Aspire: http://ladyliberty1885.com/2014/07/02/common-core-aligned-act-replacing-tests-with-aspire/
I also wrote about ACT and their Career alignment. See: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/01/27/ftf-tuesday-iassc-universal-certification/

If you’d like to learn more about the “ACT Aspire” straight from their website, here’s the link:
http://www.discoveractaspire.org/ Just know where “Aspire” is, ACT will be and where ACT will be, so will the CCSS Machine waiting to unleash the “WorkKeys” assessment, where even more CTE and data mining wait. (I’ve got an entire set of Workkeys articles, as do some other anti CCSS Warriors. You can access mine:

Special Needs and a ‘New’ U.S. Dept. of Ed Official:

Also happening in the past day or two was Arne Duncan swore in a ‘new’ member of the U.S. Dept. of Ed team. While this may not be such epic news, we need to look beyond the headlines to see who was sworn in and what he will be responsible for. Here’s the link to the Flicker account where you’ll see Arne Duncan and Michael Yudin. (https://www.flickr.com/photos/departmentofed/sets/72157654245709205 )

So, who is he? Let’s find out. The Washington Post (on June 5th, 2015) reported Mr. Yudin had been cleared by the Senate to serve as Asst. Sec. for Special Education and Rehab Services. But, he’s been at this position since 2012. (See: http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/personnel-changes-at-us-department-of-education/2015/06/05/50c91182-0b8d-11e5-a7ad-b430fc1d3f5c_story.html ) *NOTE: look for the last paragraph of the article.

So, just who is he? The Post article said almost nothing.  I did find, however, that according the the U.S. Government’s bio of Yudkin, if it has to do with Special Education, he’s involved. If you read the entire biography you’ll notice his involvement with all kinds of education activities which we know (now) are impacted by CCSS. Also consider this, he’s been given a rubber stamp to carry on. See the entire bio: http://www.allgov.com/news/appointments-and-resignations/acting-assistant-secretary-of-education-for-special-education-and-rehabilitative-services-who-is-michael-yudin-121020?news=845999

Why or how does this tie to CCSS? Think about the ways in which the funding for the students with special needs are factored into state education budgets; how scores of parents have shared how awful anything CCSS is for their children. Then consider the following. From my article about CCSS and alignment, I was able to find this document from the NCLD (National Center for Learning Disabilities), National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD): Their website, http://www.ld.org/ , has a tab ‘Advocacy’. You’ll want to access that to see the 4 pages of policy statements the organization has on their stance in education for those with special needs. Among them?Workforce, Career Tech Readiness and Higher Education;  Competency Based Outcomes. (see: http://www.ncld.org/action-center/where-we-stand/?page=3)” (If you’d like to see the entire article:


Data Mining and Teacher Assessments (by Way of AK):

I love the warriors in Alaska who fight CCSS. They are so far in distance from those of us in the lower 48, yet every bit of CCSS evidence I’ve seen from them has been tremendous.
Case in point: from their Facebook page, just yesterday, was a stark revelation about how the teachers are held under the ‘effectiveness’ microscope. We’ve seen teachers almost everywhere take a bad rap, thanks to CCSS and the CCSS Machine. The report that was shared by the AK Warriors shows the 3 levels of data mining happening to teachers.

AK assess

The image is from the Alaska Comprehensive Center website: http://alaskacc.org/node/882

Also on this site is a recent study about how the 3 levels of data is collected and used. The CCSS tie? WestEd, Linda Darling-Hammond, the Gates Foundation, the AACTE (American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education), the New Teacher Project, and others.
Get the report: aacc_teacher_quality_report

If you’d like to read my published article about the AACTE and CCSS, see:


Well, there you have it. Lots of news about CCSS from around the nation. I hope you’ve been able to find out something informative AND useful for your state.

Related resources:

See my article exposing even more high stakes assessment consortia across the USA. If your state backs out of SBAC or PARCC (or they were never in them) , there are others ion charge or waiting to step in. NO matter which consortia or service it is: if it’s tied to CCSS, it’ll be the same old business, just a different company.

For an article I’ve published about the IEPs special students need and how CCSS is rewriting them, see: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/03/10/rmt-ccsss-present-to-special-needs/

For an article about WestEd and its ties to CCSS:


FTF: More Evidence for Aligned CCSS Higher Education

Recently I saw where another anti-CCSS warrior posted on an anti-CCSS Facebook page about a Pearson Publishing RTI (Response to Intervention) Scale. Knowing how there’s always more behind the scope of Pearson in regard to Common Core, I went digging and discovered the RTI Action Network. (Their website: http://rtinetwork.org/) Of course, the site is set to be a tool for those with special needs. It’s part of the National Center for Learning Disabilities.

From Florida Against Common Core.
From Florida Against Common Core.


RTI: RTI Action Network’s founding partners include the AFT (American Federation of Teachers), the NEA (National Educators Association), as well as others. Most of these I’ve found to support the CCSS. Cisco Foundation also supports the RTI Action Network. Here’s their statement of support for CCSS (Common Core State Standards), “Cisco Borderless Networks solutions for core networking, secure wireless networks, and virtual desktops will help districts in Common Core states to meet the requirements for online assessment for every student in a district.” (see the rest of Cisco’s CCSS brochure: 


Also in the RTI Action Network family are the implementing partners. Among them are also some well-identified CCSS supporters. For example, the Gates funded ASCD (Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development) is among those helping CCSS become entrenched. To see the other implementing partners refer to the website address in the first paragraph. Pearson Publishing’s Clinical Assessment arm is a sponsor of RTI Action Network, too (to access the other sponsors, http://www.rtinetwork.org/about-us/sponsors)

National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD): Their website, http://www.ld.org/ , has a tab ‘Advocacy’. You’ll want to access that to see the 4 pages of policy statements the organization has on their stance in education for those with special needs. Among them? Workforce, Career Tech Readiness and Higher Education;  Competency Based Outcomes. (see: http://www.ncld.org/action-center/where-we-stand/?page=3)

What I found a bit interesting is in the NCLD’s mission statement is the purpose of ‘transforming schools’. Where did I find this? In their 2014 “State of Learning Disabilities 2014” Report. It includes all kinds of information. Including not only, Common Core, but, assessments, post-secondary career training, and more. On page 28 of this report you’ll find that those students with learning disabilities are entering community colleges, colleges, universities, vocational technical schools, and other similar schools. Now, knowing that community colleges are aligned or in the process of being aligned to CCSS (in some of my 2014 posts, I reported on how most community colleges in the USA were CC aligned already. I live in NC, where all our community colleges are 100% Common Core aligned), this should be quite alarming. Research has shown the CCSS is not geared to help those with special needs, learning disabilities, or those gifted. Further in the report, on page 35, you’ll find the CCSS component is to speed up the IEP (Individualized Education Plan) Process among other ‘advantages’. Be sure to look for the Longitudinal Study that’s been conducted on those with LD–it’s in the report as well. (see the entire report: 2014-State-of-LD-FINAL-FOR-RELEASE)

Back to the RTI Action Network:

Found on the RTI Action Network’s Resources page, I found the following document, “Common Core State Standards and Teacher Preparation: The Role of Higher Education”  Published by the APLU (Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities), along with the Science and Mathematics Teacher Imperative (SMTI, which is a grant project of the APLU ), and The Leadership Collaborative (TLC, which is a National Science Foundation grant project) Working Group on the Common Core State Standards. Here’s an excerpt of why these 2 groups support higher education CCSS alignment, “Higher education plays multiple roles in ensuring the success of the Common Core State
Standards. In this brief, we lay out an action agenda for the role of higher education institutions in this collective work. Four are noteworthy:
1) Aligning higher education curriculum with K–12 curriculum (which includes both adapting admissions standards and revising curricula of first year courses that act as bridges between K–12 and college majors). What this looks like in reality? “The Common Core State Standards and accompanying assessments will allow teacher preparation programs to identify individuals to recruit in middle and high school, community college teacher pipeline programs, and university-based undergraduate teacher preparation
programs as freshmen.”
2) Preparing and educating teachers, both prospective and practicing (which includes revising curriculum in disciplinary departments to prepare teachers to teach the Common Core, revising professional preparation coursework and experiences, and working in partnerships with professional development programs). What this looks like in reality:
“In particular, an emphasis needs to be placed on the Standards for
Mathematical Practice, described in the CCSS, which paint a very different view of mathematics learning than is common in many content courses for teachers. Just as the CCSS outlines the knowledge and skills that will be expected of K–12 students, we will also need standards for teachers that outline the knowledge of mathematics and sciences that teachers will need in order to effectively teach the CCSS content.”
3) Conducting research on issues of teaching and learning the Common Core State Standards, teacher quality, and the implementation of the Common Core State StandardsWhat’s sad to point out here is that Finn and Petrelli’s 2010 Study about college and career readiness is cited here! The need for assessing teachers, for ensuring they are taught in the ways of CCSS, and other implementation ‘bonuses’.

4) Establishing and sustaining long-term partnerships with other actors and agencies in the educational system.” Those ‘actors’?? Oh, these include state educational departments, state level higher education agencies, and the P through 12th grade schools. “Yet responding to the CCSS will require states to reform teacher certification requirements, and those requirements include the entire university community. Furthermore, work must be done to better align the mathematical preparation of students between P–12 schools and higher education. Thus, it will be important for higher education to build stable, long-term partnerships with state education departments and with P–12 schools that include and extend beyond teacher preparation.”

The ‘Plan of Attack for Higher Education Staff’ includes:

1) Raise awareness of the CCSS with university presidents, provosts, deans and department chairs.
2) Build a coalition of actors to engage the multiple units across disciplinary departments and teacher education departments to consider their responsibility in responding to the CCSS. (more of how to do this will be further detailed in later pages of the report)
3) Build coalitions with higher education institutions across the state to build support for the CCSS, to ensure a commonality of vision, and to develop shared resources for responding to the CCSS.
4) Demonstrate a public commitment to be accountable to the needs faced by K–12 education by the CCSS.
5) Work with Government Relations Offices to communicate institutional support for the CCSS and to garner the resources needed to provide support for implementation efforts

Included will be education task forces, more partnerships, SHEEO, and other CCSS friendly groups. (If you aren’t sure who SHEEO is, see my article, https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/11/11/ftf-tuesday-meet-sheeo/) There will be a ramping up of STEM (if you think STEM is a safe educational endeavor, please see my eye-opening report about how STEM, CCSS, and a President’s Council (which includes the National Science Foundation’s input) are all impacting our schools as we speak). https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/09/02/from-the-files-pcast-stem-and-common-core/  There’s also plans for aligned curriculum (remember how we’ve been told repeatedly the CCSS isn’t curriculum, it’s just standards?!)

Here’s the entire report for your perusual: APLU_CCSS_Discussion_Paper

Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities: Their website, http://www.aplu.org/ includes a map of all the qualifying universities (see:http://www.aplu.org/page.aspx?pid=249) , major projects, and news underwritten by the Kellogg Foundation to support higher education reform, complete with ‘partnerships’. If you search their site with “Common Core Standards”, you should get back 660 reports, stories, or tags. Oh, yeah, I almost forgot, APLU has received copious Gates Foundation funding. Click on the picture to enlarge it to see amounts of money.

APLU Gates

So, in closing, as we’ve discovered when it comes to not only Pearson, but of Gates, now SHEEO, and the others mentioned here, the movement to align those with learning disabilities is a long, twisted mess with Common Core thrown right in the middle of it all.