Tag Archives: New America

“Conformity Readiness”

Warriors Against the Core: In today’s “Tech Thursday” article, I will be taking an in-depth look at the ‘College and Career Readiness’ so interwoven in the ESSA. How does it connect to the Common Core? History, updates, resources, and much more information you need to know.

You recognize CCR, right? The College and Career Readiness that was to replace CCSS (Common Core State Standards), that was to be better than CCSS? That was to be one of the ways the ESSA(Every Student Succeeds Act) ditched the CCSS? Yeah, right..I we all have beach front homes in KS!

“Air Apparent”:

It is no secret how much a part of the CCSS Machine Air, Inc. is but in case you haven’t seen some of the latest CCR (College and Career Readiness) propaganda, you are in for a ‘treat’!
Before we continue our look at AIR, Inc. let’s take a step back in time to see the foundation for CCR (College and Career Readiness).


A Step Back:

One of the only truly apparent things about CCR is that they were woven into the RttT (Race to the Top) applications and waivers..right along WITH CCSS! Below (as an example) is what NC did with its RttT money for CCR:
Access the document: NCCCRRttTguide

From the blast of the past concerning the screen shot above, comes this excerpt that will help continue the point I am making today.
Career & College: Ready, Set, Go! is designed to mobilize all of these individuals and groups toward the goal of graduating all students from high school prepared for further education and successful employment. This high-level goal encompasses many smaller goals and objectives that will move North Carolina public schools forward. In their successful application for federal Race to the Top funding, state education leaders capitalized on the work that was already underway and received federal funding to help North Carolina move further and faster toward realizing Career & College: Ready, Set, Go! for every school district, every public school and every student.

Now, notice that “public schools” were stressed. Back when this was written, most school choices were not conforming to the CCR.
Fast forward to 2016..and every school choice, in some way or other is conforming to CCR!

This is NOT a NC specific problem, either, this is a nation-wide one. Before we move on, take one more look at this old NC document. Notice the SAT ties, the AP ties, the post-secondary aspects (community colleges and major 4 year universities). Notice the timeline. The 2016-17 school year is the LAST year before ESSA’s complete implementation is to take place. (Per the ESSA, everything must be in place no later than the 2017-18 school year.) Again, a nation-wide problem, not just a NC issue!


So what do you think the rest of the States will do with the money coming down from D.C. with the CCR ties in the ESSA? If what the States did with RttT is an example, they will use it to continue breeding master conformers NOT citizens with free will! However, if your State didn’t get RttT funds, you still have the CCR..thanks to the CCSS Machine! All so conformity can be the end result of education for workforce needs.


Those Handy, Dandy Air, Inc. CCR Pocket Guides:

These are rather dated as well, the post I found was from 2013. Again, before the ESSA and its passage, but also another portion of the CCR foundation. It is here we will see the point in time when our States truly sold us out.

The Guides were created in a way to ‘help state and local policymakers and practitioners implement the college- and career-ready reforms included in the flexibility waivers approved by the U.S. Department of Education. In 2011, the Department of Education waived certain provisions of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act in exchange for reform plans related to four principles, including achieving college and career readiness.’  What were the other 3 reform plans? Revamping state waivers to adhere to CCR; how CCR would be defined; and using best practices to help shape the States for CCR. Air, Inc. just helped promote the CCR to the States (at that point, 35 in total). It was the ESEA Flexibility Waivers the States received to help them conform to CCR

It is important to point out that the ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act) does contain a passage where it declares the ESEA Flexibility Waivers as expired. However, there are other passages where the CCR lives on without them. Go back and read those Flex Waivers,however.
Why? The ESSA gives MORE power to the SEAs(State Education Agencies) in alignment for CCR’s Outcome Based Education. ESSA also gives the Feds MORE power when it comes to approving any State’s education plan. The old Flex Waivers study by Air, Inc. will tell you the CCR was rapidly replacing the importance of high school graduation. Why? The economic impacts!
The CCR Pocket Guide (below); read it to also see the involvement of the NGA (National Governors Association), the CCSSO (Council of Chief State School Officers), the P21 (Partnership for 21st Century Skills) and how the embedding of CCR into the CCSS (Common Core State Standards) would bring about all this conformity!
To get the CCR Guide this information is from: CCR_Pocket_Guide_0

Warriors, did you catch that? CCR was embedded INTO the CCSS! Since the ESSA embraces CCR that means the CCSS will live on! ESSA does use the phrase Common Core State Standards Initiative(CCSSI) 4 times in its Final Conference Report (1,059 pages), which means it is ALSO in the 391 page ESSA Final Law!! (Pages 130 uses CCSSI in relation to standards states use and their assessments; 825 uses CCSSI in relation to State educational waivers; 843 uses CCSSI in relation to federal financial support to the States; and 859 in relation to not prohibiting the States from withdrawing from the CCSS.)

Warriors, ask yourselves this: How can you keep the Initiative without the Initiative’s Standards??

Air, Inc.’s 2015-16 CCR Resource Guide:

What is the most interesting about this guide (not available in pocket size) is that while it says College and Career Readiness Standards and Assessments, scroll through and see how many of the resources are in fact, Common Core State Standards and Assessments. Notice how many other CCSS Machine members you see! Get this Guide: College-and-Career-Readiness-Assessment-Resources-Winter-2015-16


‘New America’ Maps CCR:

This member of the CCSS Machine has a handy, dandy website where you can literally see a map of the USA in colors to denote just how CCR they truly are. To see it: http://atlas.newamerica.org/mapping-college-readiness

How I know they are a CCSS Machine member: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/01/21/wybi-new-america-ed-central-pre-k-to-high-pay/ (*Note: the biggest clue to The Atlas website and my article? Beside the name, the logo gives it away.)




When you search for the exact phrase ‘college career readiness’ in the ESSA Final Report, you will receive nothing. However, shorten it to one word (in my search, I used ‘readiness’). I found the following page numbers which will tie up the point:
CCR is most definitely embedded in the ESSA! It isn’t going away!
*Be sure to note that these are summaries. How did the writers omit CCR as we know it? ‘Post-secondary readiness’ OR ‘career readiness’, but NOT ‘College and Career Readiness’!

Page 85, Page 324, Page 328, Page 340, Page 374, Page 439, Page 462, Page 482, Page 516, Page 597, Page 601, Page 611, Page 615, Pages 626/629, Page 631, Pages 677/684,
Page 695, Pages 723/724, Page 803, Page 884, and Page 951.

Warriors Against the Core, just because the writers and sponsors of ESSA performed ‘language foul play’ by not using the exact phrase “College and Career Readiness”, doesn’t mean CCR isn’t there..it is, in plain sight with words that mean the same thing!!


Other Handy, Dandy Pocket Guides from the Government:

Directly related to the ESSA (and the supposed return of state control/CCR improvements/ and more) I give you the U.S. House of Representative’s EdWorkforce Committee Pocket Guides. 

From the U.S. Senate’s HELP (Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions) page, I searched for their take on CCR, the top resource? A group of supportive statements for the ESSA’s passage into law, where CCR was mentioned by several. See: http://www.help.senate.gov/ranking/newsroom/press/widespread-support-for-every-student-succeeds-act
To see their pdf documents for ‘CCR in Practice’:

Also of note from the HELP website is a document they have in their archives titled
This undated document is from the WV Dept. of Education and its addressing of the (then) newly released, voluntary CCSS.
Why do I bring this up? The search I conducted was for ‘College Career Readiness’, the description HELP has this document labeled with is that the NGA and the CCSSO published the CCR Standards(see the screen shot). Do you see the connection? The NGA and CCSO did publish Standards, but they were the CCSS, this document serves as proof the CCS AND the CCR are one and the same!


Here’s the most CCR excerpt I could find from the document, “Lastly, the common standards are aligned with college and work expectations. By preparing all students to be both college and career ready, all students are able compete in their post-secondary education and/or career choice. Preparing all students to be college and career is absolutely critical to the long-term success of the country. By providing a set of expectations that are clear to students, parents and educators about what it takes to be college and career ready, the states have taken a major step forward in producing students who are ready for later success.” To access the entire document: Paine1 
To see the 2014 CCSSO CCR Task Force ReportEmbargoedCCSSOTaskForceonCareerReadiness120114

Warrior Question, why is it ‘Standards’ if they are ‘expectations’?


Other CCR Standards WannaBes:

Pearson Publishing’s CCRCCR_WEB_FINAL Pearson
EPIC’s (Education Improvement Policy Center’s) CCR:
ACT, Inc’s CCR Standards claim: https://www.act.org/standard/
Their pdf document (be sure to see the bottom of Page 2): ACTAlignment-White-Paper


There you have it Anti CCSS Warriors, the story of the CCR, CCSS, ESSA, and conformity in excess. We have much information to share, many more battles to fight, so let’s get busy!


Tech Thursday: More on the HEA (Higher Ed Act)

Will CCSS/CTE (Common Core State Standards/Career Tech Ed really become embedded in the re-authorization of the HEA? Let’s take a trip back in time to see if our answer lies there.

The U of P/New America Effort:

Back in November of 2014, the University of PA and the New America Foundation hosted a panel discussion centered around the efforts to re-authorize the HEA (Higher Education Act). I recently wrote about it and how it can be tied to CTE/CCSS (Career Tech Ed/Common Core State Standards). Today, we’ll focus on this discussion. However, before you watch the video,  you may appreciate a bit of background on each of the hosts.

New America:
A non partisan think tank..funded by Gates. Just this year, over $2 million for ‘post secondary success’. See the GF grant information: http://www.gatesfoundation.org/How-We-Work/Quick-Links/Grants-Database/Grants/2015/01/OPP1125829

If you’d like New America’s policy brief on CCSS and college, you can visit their website: http://www.newamerica.net OR you can access the pdf here, NewAmericaCC

Now, what’s interesting is that, in the brief it’ll tell you there’s ‘no standard’ for higher education. Then, I’d like them to explain away this: CCRStandardsAdultEd (*If you ‘d like to see the original article I published about these “Adult Standards”, see: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/09/04/common-core-after-high-school-reality-check/ ). This is just one of the many documents I’ve included with my articles about CC beyond high school, yet time and time again, it is denied by those who know the truth, but don’t want to acknowledge it.

How does New America feel about CCSS? Look at the screen shot:


One more thing, The Foundation has a Post-Secondary Policy branch, but the website page was inaccessible. So much for accountability and transparency. I wrote about New America earlier this year (Jan. 21, 2015). The mindset of New America? ‘Pre K to High Pay’. There is SO much more you need to know about this group, so here’s the link to the original article, https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/01/21/wybi-new-america-ed-central-pre-k-to-high-pay/

University of PA:
Specifically, it was the College of Law which partnered with New America. So, what does the U of P have in connection to CCSS besides influencing those who will be helping uphold and or shape our laws? Let’s see if we can find out.

I can share with you that the Graduate School of Education at Univ. of PA is considered a world leader in the field. In fact their GSE Faculty portion of the website has an entire page full of Common Core opinions, studies, findings, and more. This is the institution where you’ll find Dean Andy Porter, who is considered an expert on NCLB. Oh wow! What a leap from NCLB to CCSS. Here’s the link to the ‘experts’: http://www.gse.upenn.edu/pressroom/faculty/common_core

You’ll also want to know that Univ. of PA is part of a Consortium for Policy Research in Education (CPRE). Other members? Teachers College, Columbia; Harvard University;
Stanford University; University of Michigan; Northwestern University; and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Each of these universities has been in some portion of CCSS and/or CTE at some point. The funding sources? Oh, you’ll love the list, here’s the excerpt:
“CPRE has received funding from many sources. These include: U.S. Department of Education, National Science Foundation, William T. Grant Foundation, Spencer Foundation, Atlantic Philanthropies, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Carnegie Corporation of New York, Goldman Sachs Foundation, William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, Joyce Foundation, Merck Institute for Science Education, National Center on Education and the Economy, Pearson, Pew Charitable Trusts, Rockefeller Foundation, Student Achievement Partners, General Electric Foundation, SRI International, and others.” 

The Consortium’s mission? Preschool to age 20 improvement in education. Among their publications is a guide about British education and how it can impact America; how CCSS was present in 2014 elections, how education should be top/down built, and more. (*NOTE: you can find these and more on their website under “Publications”.)

The Video, Will Reauthorizing Save the Higher Education Act:

The video is about 1 hour long. Thirty minutes or so is devoted to a panel of ‘experts’, while the remaining time is devoted to Q and A with the audience. Below, I have the key concerns for you. However, be sure you listen on your own to hear the exact words each ‘expert’ utters. The Panel consisted of Ted Mitchell, the U.S. Dept. of Ed Undersecretary (also was a former New Venture Schools Fund employee); Laura Fern of the PA Higher Ed Alliance, specializing in state policy; Kevin Carey of New America Foundation, and considered an education expert; finally, Nick Anderson of the Washington Post who has authored several education based articles.

1) The host shares that the reauthorizing of HEA will be a change from within over the next 10 years. Listen for how he says connecting with policy makers in Washington plays into all this.

2) The panel was unanimous in wanting the new HEA to pass. Listen to Mr. Mitchell’s description of what the proposed Higher Education Act is and can do. “Garden project”, streamlines all; will simply or eliminate FAFSA; will encourage all to think about college earlier; we must be all about accelerating the completion of school. Oh, and that the states (meaning the 50 of them) need to make stronger efforts.

3) An interesting set of comments will center around the value of the constituency (meaning us as citizens). Somehow, in all this we can’t be overlooked. REALLY? What about before now? We’ve been overlooked plenty thanks to the CCSS Machine! But now, we can’t be ‘minimized’?

4) The new Federal Rating System for Education is focused mainly on outcome based results, not quality. Again, the goal of education is attainment, not a desire to learn more or even well.

5) People haven’t been given enough guidance to figure out the higher education system, so we must have more classes or ways to teach us to figure it out. It was heavily suggested that the reason so much student debt was around is because we’ve not given good enough guidance into which post-secondary option is just right for our students. Yet, we landed a man on the moon without CCSS or CTE!

6) Incentivize the states. Make sure students graduate 12th academically ready for college.

7) A national federal higher education policy needs to be strengthened.

8) Pipelines in degree or credit bearing classes.

9) High quality schools mean something to the labor markets, that’s why more are partnering with community colleges. I believe the exact phrase was ‘credit bearing pipeline’.

10) The 2014 WIOA (Workforce Investment Opportunity Act) in regards to students not on a 4 year college path is ‘truly vibrant’.

11) WIOA is an enabler of people.

12) The Dept. of Ed. basing all their actions on outcome based education and expansion of the federal role. (HR5 will accomplish much of this as well as increase the power of Local Education Agencies (LEAs) or SEAs (State Education Agencies)). Between WIOA and HR5 our school districts will have almost no say!

13) Questions, while not appearing to be staged, might of well have been given the very specific material of them. In other words, you’d have to know the HEA’s language very well to ask such detailed questions. The first up dealt with CCSS and its political football status. Watch and listen to the answers this one gets. During the questions, the reporter heralds Sen. Lamar Alexander’s bill (referring to HR5). He stated higher education would be a ‘quieter discussion’ in Congress. He appeared to be confident that our Congress would go for the ‘hot issue’ of K-12 education, which hasn’t been updated in quite some time.

14) A helpful tip from all the questions was look at the appropriations bills coming through Washington. Plausible policy changes (in education ) will be embedded in these. Why? Money! The Dept. of Ed. will be watching and cheering on any bill which focuses on the ‘big prize’..the student’s best.

15) Lastly, and this is what I want to leave you with. At about 44 minutes into the video, the New America ‘expert’ really shows his colors. Listen for the new federal program he discusses about student loans. Basically, if you have student loan debt, set payments can be made. Then go to work in the public sector and in 10 years whatever debt is left is forgiven! So far, the students signing up for this are a disappointment.


Warriors, I hope you can see the dangers the re-authorization of the HEA is not what’s best for America. It’s what’s best for the agenda. Look at the similarities between what you know about the Student Success Act (HR5) and the HEA (Higher Education Act). Help raise awareness, folks! Is CCSS/CTE there in the Acts? Yes..both of them!