Tag Archives: New Schools

ESSA and Digital Overload

ccssattribute

It’s a virtual (digital) overload out there!

For today’s ‘Tech Thursday’, we will look in the ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act) for all the digital parts of education via College and Career Readiness (the new ‘Common Core’ name). (*Note:  in the ESSA, ‘Standards’ is innocently stated as “Challenging State Academic Standards”). Why do I point this out? The law (ESSA) uses both phrases for education!

Why is digital learning a topic worth looking into? An Initiative called ‘Digital Promise’, fits oh-so-nicely into the CCSS Machine’s plans for education overhaul. As we have seen with top-down initiatives in America, where there is a plan, there are P3s (public private partnerships) who stand to profit BIG. Education is the new cash cow!

Where the Digital References Are:

The following list is from the ESSA Final Conference Report. They will also be in the Final Law Version, but the page numbers will be different.
Page 138: Your LEAs (local education agencies) will assist in the development of digital learning skills to improve academic achievement.
Page 363: Students via literacy instruction will be able to navigate, understand, and write about complex print and digital subject matter.
Page 450: States, communities, schools, and LEAs must work together:
a) to provide a well rounded education experience
b) to improve school conditions for students to learn more
c) improve the use of technology for academic achievement and the digital literacy of all students (*Note: ‘blended learning’ quickly follows this portion)
Page 451: Some element of on-line or digital learning must be included in education.
(*Note: further down the page is the ESSA’s definition of what this means)
Page 463: Rural access to high quality digital learning opportunities must be in place.
(*Note: the parameters are on Page 464)
Pages 485-488: The consortia for digital learning and state funding. What the uses of the funding mean and how they tie to digital overload.
Page 630: Preschool and ‘Ready to Learn’ digital content, especially via PBS (Public Broadcast Stations).
Page 943 begins Section 9210 of the ESSA Law. This is the biggest overreach of all!
Why? “Student Home Access to Digital Learning Resources”! To find out how successful students are at HOME, a Study conducted by the Director of the Institute of Educational Sciences (IES) no later than 18 months AFTER all portions of ESSA are in place! Details of the Study will be found on Page 944.

What This All Means:

First, the ‘Digital Promise Initiative’. Back in 2011, from the White House came this report,
Digital Promise is a new national center created by Congress with bipartisan support to advance technologies that can transform teaching and learning. It is being launched today with startup funds and support from the Department of Education as well as the Carnegie Corporation of New York and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. Answering the President’s call to action, a number of prominent leaders in education and technology will help lead Digital Promise. Board members, who were appointed by Secretary of Education Arne Duncan based on recommendations from the House of Representatives and United States Senate, include John Morgridge (Chairman Emeritus of Cisco), Larry Grossman (former President of NBC News), Irwin Jacobs (co-founder of Qualcomm), Gilman Louie (founder of In-Q-Tel), Eamon Kelly (President Emeritus of Tulane University), Mark Dean (IBM Fellow and Vice President), Shae Hopkins (Executive Director and CEO, Kentucky Educational Television), Vince Juaristi (CEO & President, Arbola, Inc.), and Shirley Malcom (Head of the Directorate for Education and Human Resources Programs, American Association for the Advancement of Science).”
To read the entire report of facts, https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2011/09/15/fact-sheet-digital-promise-initiative
Be sure you note the other related initiatives for Digital Promise. I would like to point out two names I saw which jumped out at me and are also very heavily tied to the CCSS Machine. NSF (National Science Foundation) and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math). Why this two? I have researched both extensively and have shared with you in previous articles just how embedded in the CCSS Machine’s agenda they are.
To see the Digital Promise website: http://www.digitalpromise.org/
(*Note: be sure to read the Manifesto.)

Next, the Digital Promise League of Innovative Schools. See their webpage:
http://www.digitalpromise.org/initiatives/league-of-innovative-schools
Here is the number of students/schools, League members represent more than 3.2 million students in 73 districts and 33 states. Their experiences reflect the diversity and shared challenges of public education in America.” (*Note: Be sure to look at the initiatives the League has. You should be able to spot another huge  CCSS Machine member: Verizon. Also, note the adult level of activity.)
One of the featured schools? (*Note: you can find more of them, as well as the school I am about to feature in the League’s News category.)
Right in my town of residence: Mooresville, NC! This was the President’s (as in the U.S. President) ‘school of choice’ for the national address he gave about the success of digital technology. What he didn’t share is that the Superintendent of the MGSD (Mooresville Graded School District) was hand picked by Pearson Publishing for his success in Project Red (digital technology and data mining all in one slick program.) Anti CCSS Warriors, he was picked to come to a small school district to implement this digital shift in education! How do I know all this? See: http://ladyliberty1885.com/tag/project-red/ and the follow up article,
http://ladyliberty1885.com/2014/07/26/more-about-project-red-and-nc-ties/

(*Note: Digital Promise is also written into the HEA (Higher Education Act, 2008) in Section 802)

Next, Rural Education is something to dig a bit deeper into. Let me point you back to the U.S. House’s version of the re-authorization of the ESEA (Elementary and Secondary Education Act), known as HR5. Why? The recently passed into law, ESSA, is in fact, a big compromise of the House and Senate. Certain portions of the House’s wish list for education AND portions of the Senate’s found their way into the ESSA. Rural education was brought into the mix back on Page 280 of the HR5! I wrote about it,
https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/03/05/tech-thursday-workforce-gunning-for-hr5/
This article will show you how Rural Education via the New Schools (another CCSS Machine member) will be all about College and Career Readiness,
https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/11/19/tech-thursday-post-secondary-champs/
(*Note: The U.S. Dept. of Agriculture will surface in this one.)

What about the consortia for digital learning and the state use of funds for digital learning?
First, the consortia members include any number of groups involved in education, especially your communities, but, secondly, it is the language used which is alarming.
“ensuring that all service and  community partners are aligned with the  academic expectations of a community school in order to improve student success…” Then a bit further down the page you find this, “USES OF FUNDS.—Subject to section 4106(f),  each local educational agency, or consortium of such agencies, that receives an allocation under section 4015(a) shall use a portion of such funds to improve the use of technology to improve the academic achievement, academic growth, and digital literacy of all students, including by meeting the needs of such agency or consortium that are identified in the needs assessment conducted under section 4106(d) (if applicable), which may include….”.
You need to read Pages 486 and 487 for yourselves to see what those inclusions are. Let me just summarize that those including are students, teachers, and school leaders; that funds are to used in not only assessments, but purchases of digital technology; and more!

Those PBS broadcasts are our last area of focus.
When I wrote about the PBS presence among the Board members of the Urban Institute (a CCSS Machine member), it was in regards to early learning research and how it will encompass immigrant children as well. The catch? CBE or Competency Based Education. See: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/11/10/ftf-prek-research-ccss-cbe/
Then there was their involvement in higher education, ‘American Graduation Day’.
See: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/09/28/monday-musings-national-graduates/
Then the PBS characters from Sesame Street surfaced in another early learning program where the reading books had been aligned to the CCSS. See: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/11/02/monday-musings-alignment-for-wee-ones/

 

Closing:

The IES and their upcoming Study?
That, my Warriors Against the Core, is the next article to be written.

Related:
For my look into STEM and how it is tied to CCSS Machine:
https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/09/02/from-the-files-pcast-stem-and-common-core/

For my first look into the NSF:
https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/02/18/wybiupclosewithnsf/

To read the ESSA Final Conference Report for those pages you should see for yourselves:
ESSA FINAL CONFRPT_112915

 

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Tech Thursday: Post Secondary Champs?

What every US citizen said they always wanted... NOT!
What every US citizen said they always wanted… NOT!

For today’s “Tech Thursday” article, I want to shine the light on the CCSS alignment in post-secondary education yet again. Shouldn’t my focus be on the re-authorization of the ESEA (Elementary and Secondary Education Act)? While the focus is on that (my last 2 published articles were devoted to the ESEA re-authorization push), we need to understand the upcoming push to re-authorize the HEA (Higher Education Act) is ALSO in need of our attention. Why? The CCSSI (Common Core State Standards Initiative) depends on a TOTAL alignment, from pre-K to grad school, to be complete! In my researching the subject, I know the CCSS Machine (all the efforts put into motion by the CCSSI) cannot succeed with only a pre-K to 12th grade movement. It HAS to encompass ALL education for it to succeed. It is my goal, since I began researching and speaking out, to foil those actions as much as possible! So, what can I shine the light today? Read on, my fellow Warriors….

 
‘Career Readiness Champs’ to Them, ‘Chumps’ to Me:

The CCSS Machine has churned out many names to confuse and detract the general public from the fact that no matter what name it stuck on their modern education reforms, it’s STILL Common Core aligned! Case in point, ‘career readiness’, ‘college and career readiness’, “CTE, Career Tech Education”, “Career Pathways”, and so on. While the War Against the Core is raging on in the K-12 arena, movements in the post-secondary realm are continuing on. It is my belief that is exactly what the CCSS Machine wants. For us to be so attentive to only one portion of the reform, we don’t notice the reform efforts in birth to 5 years, or the post-secondary areas. Did you know that more and more states are establishing now (or have established in the past) CRIs (Career Readiness Initiatives)??
Yes, it’s true. California as of 2/15 has established such, see:
 http://www.cde.ca.gov/eo/in/cr/ However, since I don’t live in CA, but NC, I’m going to use NC as my example for the most part to see what moves the CCSS Machine has made here. As you know, using what I have found can help you look in your state for the same type of movements. Below, you can find some of the CCR champs/chumps.

Champ/Chump #1: NC’s Career Readiness Certification Organization:

The website: http://www.crcnc.org/info/AboutCRC.aspx
The goal:North Carolina ’s Career Readiness Certification (CRC) is designed to meet the needs of both employers and job seekers in this transitioning economy. 

·        For employers, the CRC offers a reliable means of determining whether a potential employee has the necessary literacy, numeracy and problem solving skills to be “job ready.” 

·        For job seekers, the CRC serves as a portable credential that can be more meaningful to employers than a high school degree or a resume citing experience in a different job setting.

The CRC is based upon WorkKeys, a nationally recognized, skills assessment tool developed by ACT Inc.” {*Note: I’ve written about the WorkKeys assessments many times, if you’d like those links, let me know.}

Since we know the WorkKeys is tied to career paths, the CRC uses WDBs (Workforce Developments Boards) and other P3 information (public, private partnerships) to help you search the CRC’s “Talent Pipeline”, see: http://www.crcnc.org/search/geosearch3.aspx
Along with these alignments and P3 participation, you have business owners and managers chiming in on what a great champion all this CCSS/CTE/CRC alignment is. See it in their own words, http://www.crcnc.org/info/Quotes.aspx

Is the NC CRC the only group of its kind in NC? No, we need to look at the NC New Schools Rural Education work, too. You can find them at: http://ncnewschools.org/national-rural-education-initiative-to-improve-college-and-career-readiness/ Did you notice the web address included ‘national rural education’? NC is embedding it out in 6 school districts, however, SC, MS, and other states are set to reap a champion ‘bumper crop’ as well.
Here’s an excerpt, “Students in rural areas of Illinois, Indiana, Mississippi and South Carolina will soon have greater access to college- and career-readiness efforts through the Rural Innovative Schools initiative, funded by a $20 million federal grant and additional private investment. The initiative is led by Breakthrough Learning, the national brand of NC New Schools, which is also implementing the work in six North Carolina school districts.”
If you’d like to know how many of our tax dollars the US Dept of Ed spent and what other ‘private’ donations were made, read below:
“The U.S. Department of Education last fall awarded the initiative a five-year, $20 million grant to develop new college and career readiness and college access opportunities for students in rural communities. The grant represents the only “scale-up” grant awarded under the recent Investing in Innovation (i3) initiative, which aims to develop innovative approaches to improve student achievement and replicate effective strategies nationwide. An additional $4.2 million in funding will be raised jointly over the five-year initiative by Breakthrough Learning and participating districts and states. Investment partners in the Rural Innovative Schools scale-up initiative currently include: AT&T Aspire, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina, Carnegie Corporation of New York, ChildTrust, Edward M. Armfield Sr. Foundation, Golden LEAF Foundation, Goodnight Educational Foundation, NC Electric Membership Corporation, SAS, Wells Fargo Foundation and the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation.

Champs/chumps #2: In case you didn’t know it New Schools is a Gates Foundation backed organization. See:
http://www.gatesfoundation.org/How-We-Work/Quick-Links/Grants-Database#q/k=New%20Schools%20Venture
If you’ve not seen the Gates Foundation’s CCR work, see: 
http://www.gatesfoundation.org/What-We-Do/US-Program/College-Ready-Education,
and,
http://www.gatesfoundation.org/search#q/k=career readiness

Since the Gates Foundation is a well known member of the CCSS Machine, it won’t be hard to connect the dots there. New Schools are in several cities and states across the nation, so they should be easy to connect to the CCSS Machine as well.

Champs/Chumps #3: Bring on the CCSSO (Council of Chief State School Officers):

In case you’ve not seen there Task Force on CCR, you can read it all by accessing:
EmbargoedCCSSOTaskForceonCareerReadiness120114
See below for the members of the Task Force, among them? Many states and pro CCSS/CRTE groups!
CCSSOtaskers

So, How Does All This Tie to the HEA (HIgher Education Act)?

As I’ve shared in the past about the current HEA and the proposed updates, the bridge between secondary education and post-secondary needs to be streamlined (I’ve written about those bridges before and pointed you to the documented ‘research’ churned out by not only the Gates Foundation, but others as well. If you missed those articles, let me know, I’ll be happy to share them again.) The ways in which post-secondary educational institutions are to be graded and governed in also in the proposed updates. See the Education Commission of the States report: ECSBlueprint ( the Commission is a nation wide one, not a NC specific one) The report shares how the P-20W data (pre-school to grad school or Workforce) plays into the situation as well. P-20w is in the HEA, too!
(*Note: the Education Commission of the States has detailed legislative records of each of the 50 States in America. I was curious if I could find a ‘champ/chump’ example. I did! Under the “Career/Technical Education” tab for NC, I found where CCSS aligned post-secondary education was signed into law! See below:

To find your post-secondary champs/chumps: http://ecs.org/state-legislation-by-state/
To find your post-secondary champs/chumps:
http://ecs.org/state-legislation-by-state/

Others involved?
1) If you’d like to see the NACEP (National Alliance for Concurrent Enrollment Partnership) joint report with Jobs for the Future (2013)on  what needs to be done to further the CCSS Machine (mainly through STEM: Science, Technology, Engineering, and, Math) push into post-secondary education, see: http://nacep.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/HEA-joint-policy-recs-Bard-NACEP-JFF-August-2013.pdf
Jobs for the Future’s CCSS ties? There are plenty, use this link to find their ‘research’:
http://www.jff.org/tags/common-core
NACEP’s CCSS ties? See Strategy #1, objective #2: http://www.nacep.org/about-nacep/strategic-plan/

2) If  you’d like the document tying Lumina, Gates Foundation, and other well known CCSS Machine members where the goal is engaging higher education institutions in aligning to CCSS, see: http://rockpa.org/document.doc?id=232 (*Note: this one’s worth downloading before it disappears)

3) Helping write the re-authorization the HEA are some of the same members of Congress who’ve embedded so much pro CCSS language in the re-authorization combination of the HR5 and the S1177 (Student Success Act; Every Child Achieves Act)! These are all champs to the pro side of CCSS/CTE/CCR, but to the rest of us? Just a bunch of power hungry, sold out to the CCSS Machine chumps!