Warriors Against the Core, it’s a new week. It is getting closer to BTS (Back to School). It is also, according to NPR (National Public Radio), “Worm Week”. In my anti CCSS/ESSA/Fed Ed mindset, it is also a good time to look at the ‘biggest worms’ in the illegally based education reform. ESSA, Every Student Succeeds Act, has rubbed stamped and codified this education reform. It has re-branded ‘Common Core’ into ‘College and Career Readiness’ and/or those “Challenging State Academic Standards”.
It’s been a while since I have used Monday’s article to express my views (when I first started sharing my research, Mondays were dubbed “Monday Musings”). So, who or what do I consider as an educational worm?
We can contrast real worms to conceptual worms. Relax, I will not too graphic.
Real wormshave no legs, educational worms have no legal leg to stand upon. Real worms have long and thin bodies, educational worms are thin in objective research. Real worms havedifferent jobs, some compost and recycle, some destroy. The educational worms recycle ‘Common Core’ and destroy true learning and teaching. Real wormsare found in every habitat, educational worms are shifting academics to workforce based in every habitat. Real wormshave been doing what they do for a very long time, educational worms have been reforming education for about 100 years. Real worms have caused a lifelong fascination for some people, educational worms pass off their reform as ‘lifelong learning’.
Warriors, I am sure you can add to the list.
So, Who or What Will Receive “Wormiest”?
Below, are my nominations for “Wormiest Education Reformers”.
Their ‘prize’? A rotten apple trophy. (see below)
In no particular order:
1) The ESSA, ESEA, HEA, WIOA, STEM Act, NCLB, and every related law in between. (ESSA: Every Student Succeeds Act; ESEA: Elementary and Secondary Education Act; HEA: Higher Education Act; WIOA: Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act; STEM: Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math; and the NCLB: No Child Left Behind).
2) Those responsible for writing, campaigning, and passing any of the laws while in Washington, D.C. in number 1. If you voted for any of these, I won’t be voting for you in Nov. 2016.
3) The P3s (Public Private Partnerships) who have taken government overreach in education to lower and more disgusting levels than ever. P3s saddled us with CCSS in the first place.
4) The United Nations and all the global partnersfor assuming Americans would actually be okay with transforming from American educated citizens to ‘globally ready ones’.
5) For the organizations (including the sold out teacher unions) hell-bent on trampling teachers, aligning school staff members, subjective influencing parents, and misguiding students. This would extend to those involved in ‘educational research’.
6) The local and state level leaders too used to complacency (and the big amounts of money) to actually stand up to this egregious mess and put a stop to it.
7) The ‘posers’ among the anti CCSSWarriors. As the ESSA gets closer and closer to being fully in place, we are finding those we thought were against this ed reform, who are in fact, among us only pretending to fight. Their goal? To help deceive us.
Shame on every blasted one of these laws, people, and companies.
Warriors, who or what would you nominate? Why would I ask you to name them? Exposing them! Now is the time for us to be roaring, not soft-peddling our message. The CCSS Machine marginalizes us on a daily basis. It is time we fire back. Name names, name the laws, identify the companies. We should do this on a daily basis. Why? To show we mean business. That we mean, we are fed up and that this kind of activity will NOT be acceptable in 2016-17’s school year!
If you haven’t seen Dr. Duke Pesta’s “Common Core, Six Years Later” video, you should. It is just over an hour long, in the opening seconds he expresses EXACTLY my message for today.
If you have seen it, share the opening comments with your local family and friends in this Warwith us.
Anti CCSS Warriors, it is no secret that the CCSS Machine knows who we are. I have to chuckle, however, when I get mail (snail or electronic) from one of the members. Case in point, Dr. John B. King, himself! As in the U.S. Dept. of Education’s Dr. John B. King.
What did he say? A lot of BS wrapped in a ‘can do spirited’ letter!
I have no clue if you received such a letter, but I will share what I got. Notice the screen shot above. The image was at the bottom of the letter with 2 ways to share it with all my friends. The title of his letter to me, was ‘What My Teachers Did for Me’. I agree, our teachers are PRICELESS in what they teach…when they CAN teach! However, we are well aware that the activity of teaching is not happening like it should. So, what else did Dr. King wax eloquent about? See below in a point by point way. I will warn you, my musing self will add comments of satire. Why? Because a) it’s Monday and b) I have no respect for this man.
1) He called me ‘friend’. (Aren’t I the lucky one?)
2) He gives a super short description of how important ‘well rounded’ education is. (Tell me something I don’t know, Captain Obvious! While you’re at it, the real definition of ‘well rounded’ is NOT what you are overseeing.)
3) Almost the entire letter is about himself and his rough life. (Awwww, isn’t that special?)
4) He whines about not enough of today’s students are having ‘life changing’ educations. (Sure they are. They hate school, think they are dumb, hurt themselves, and other negative life changes.)
5) He shares that we have said there is too much focus on math and English. He cites NCBL (No Child Left Behind) as the problem. (Oh geez, here we go again, blame the past for ALL this mess instead of acknowledging the CURRENT law (ESSA, Every Student Succeeds Act) which extends the mess!)
6) He then sets the tone of “I have spoken” with his statement of agreeing with the President and the recently departed Arne Duncan, as Secretary of Education that there is too much testing. While I agree the testing is too much (this is possibly the only truth in this letter, by the way), stating it in a bossy tone and admitting you agree with two other CCSS Machine members doesn’t make a strong statement I can believe.
7) Here is how he ended the letter, as my ‘friend’…
I guess this is the part where I am supposed to fawn over this invitation to partner with the U.S. Dept. of Education..NOT!
What the ‘Can Do Spirit’ is Doing on Twitter:
If you noticed above, in the very first image, you saw the Twitter handle Dr. King has created for all this partnering he has invited us to. If you don’t see it, it is: #WhatSchoolCanBe
Upon visiting, and leaving a few truth zapping comments, I noticed what appears to be at least one other Anti CCSS Warrior group, OptOutPinellas (FL). A big hat tip to them!!
The rest, all CCSS Machine members, organizations, or fans. Their ‘Can Do, Can Be Spirit’ is off the charts. (My ‘Fib-o-Meter’ would have a field day with this.) Pardon me, Warriors, but it is despicable. The U.S. Dept. of Ed has many other Twitter accounts and is using some of them to create buzz. One such?
The CCSS Machine organization, Teach to Lead’s tweet was pretty far off the Fib charts, too.
This one is crystal clear about the ‘Can Do/Can Be’ agenda..globalness.
Trust me, if you want to check the rest out, do so..Then leave a few truth zapping facts, as the OptOutPinellas Group and I did. But, if you do check it out, be warned, you will get a belly full of indoctrination and CCSS support, if you do!
It is no secret how fed up most American teachers are with Common Core Standards. Now iron-clad bound by the ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act).
What MORECCS (aka: Competency Based Education, College and Career Readiness, or Challenging State Academic Standards) will they be subjected to? What about the other school leaders (principals, superintendents, school board members)? Will, they to, now be dancing with ESSA puppet strings? You bet!
How many of our tax dollars with be used to set the music? Plenty!
Today’s focus: the President’s Education funding requests built into the Fiscal Year 2017 Federal Budget. Why talk about it now so early in 2016? The Budget has just been released and needs Congress’s rubber stamp!
Lead On, Oh ‘Mighty Feds’:
In case you missed the preceding article where I detailed the CCSS Machine’s grasp on the ESSA and how it impacts students, schools, families, and communities, see: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2016/02/11/fed-ed-2017-are-you-ready/
Knowing the agenda BEHIND the CCSS (Common Core State Standards) is one of ‘cradle to grave’AND will include every citizen, we know that teachers and leaders in our schools will NOT be exempt from aligning to whatever name the CCSS Machine slaps on their educational standards.
Like yesterday’s article, you will get a summary of the main ways in which this alignment will either continue or begin.
Oh, and one technicality, ‘Mighty Feds’: ESSA, like CCSS, is illegally based and thus is Constitutionally prohibited! Asking money to back all this ‘conducting’, is quite egregious.
ESSA’s ‘Sheet Music’:
To see the U.S. Dept. of Ed’s blog article about the Education Budgetrequests for teachers/leaders, see: http://blog.ed.gov/2016/02/the-presidents-fiscal-year-2017-budget-request-supporting-teachers-and-school-leaders-for-student-success-3/
To see the hidden CCSS Machine ‘notes and strings’ is where we will spend the bulk of this article.
The article begins with a pretty big erroneous statement about how the ESSA passage will continue the ESEA (Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965) and its civil rights legacy. I guess the U.S. Dept. of Ed totally overlooking the NCLB (No Child Left Behind) as a continuation of the ESEA, is no big deal. Without NCLB, there would not of been the RttT (Race to the Top) which saddled all of us with CCSS in one form or another! Be sure you read the next part about what research proves and every parent understands “the most important school-based factor impacting a child’s academic success is the quality of the classroom teacher..” No, it isn’t, U.S. Dept. of Ed! As a retired private educator I know for a FACT that the teacher IS important, but she/he is certainly NOT the MOST important factor in education. There is MUCH more that goes into a student’s academic success. I will add, as I have heard from parents and teachers across the nation that they not only understand this, but KNOW it! So, how will the federal government apply even more pressure to perform on our teachers/school leaders? Let’s see:
1) ‘RESPECT: The Best Job in the World’, a new billion dollar program in MANDATORY funding. What is this ‘new’ program? From the 2017 Federal Budget Fact Sheet: “Helping ensure equitable access to effective teachers and school leaders for low-income and minority students in high-need schools by investing $1 billion in mandatory funds for the new RESPECT: Best Job in the World program to support a nationwide effort to attract and retain effective teachers in high-need schools, and $2.8 billion in discretionary funding to support teachers and principals at every phase of their careers.” Page 5 of the 7 Pages of Facts points out this billion dollars is a one time investment and implies the program is an update of an older version. I found the older version, as well as what ‘RESPECT’ stands for. From the Federal Budget 2015 Justifications document, “Recognizing Education Success, Professional Excellence, and Collaborative Teaching (RESPECT) Project”. See the dollar amount below in the screen shot:
2) Ten million taxpayer dollars will go to to ‘Teach to Lead’, a most definite collection of CCSS Machine members support this program. Visual proof below is directly from their website (http://teachtolead.org/) You can click on the picture to enlarge it, if needed.
3) A proposed ‘Teacher/Principal Pathways’ program is also included in the 2017 taxpayer funded Federal budget. The cost? It isn’t spelled out in the Ed’s blog, but I did find a dollar amount in the Fact Sheet. There it states, $125 million. Here is the excerpt, “$125 million for the proposed Teacher and Principal Pathways program for grants to institutions of higher education and nonprofit organizations, working closely with school districts, to create or expand high-quality pathways into the teaching profession, particularly into high-needs schools and high-need subjects such as science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).” I have repeatedly shown proof as to HOWSTEM is a federal led program to create a STEM nation filled with STEM citizens who have STEM jobs and HOW the CCSS was the best way to embed this. Here is JUST one of my anti CCSS Warrior, need-to-know, articles where you can learn this fact AND more! See: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/10/29/tech-thursday-stemccss-push-making-it-american/
4) Supposedly saving students ,who decide to teach, big bucks (‘up to $25,000’) is a built in forgiveness clause in the 2017 Budget Request. Sad truth of it all is, the forgiving won’t apply until 2021 and as one teacher who left a comment on the Blog stated, she can’t qualify because she already consolidated her student debt load in 1994! From the Fact Sheet, “A streamlined and expanded initiative to provide up to $25,000 in student loan forgiveness for teachers graduating from an effective preparation program who serve in low income schools, starting in 2021. This proposal would consolidate various post-secondary assistance options available for teachers, such as TEACH grants and the current teacher loan forgiveness program, into a single loan forgiveness program in which the benefit increases over time as teachers stay in high-needs schools.”
5) ‘Teacher and School Leader Incentive Grants’ will receive a whopping $250 million dollars. As an anti CCSS Warrior, you need to know what they will be getting for their money. From the Ed Blog, “support efforts to develop, implement, or expand human capital management systems or performance-based compensation systems in schools.” Why? From the Budget Fact Sheet, “attract, develop and retain talented, committed, and accomplished teachers in high-need schools.”
6) “Supporting Effective Educator Development (SEED)”, will get $100 million. Being sold as a way to help teachers become better teachers, this money will go to “nonprofits (who) can provide evidence-based professional development activities, as well as prepare teachers and principals to serve in traditionally under-served school districts.” Below is the screen shot of the 2015 SEED grantees.
For the last look at the proposed (after all, Congress hasn’t approved all this yet) 2017 Federal Education Budget Request, the focus will be the overreach into post-secondary education and how the ESSA is involved.
Here’s the riddle for this Sunday: Want to keep Common Core Standards?
I sure don’t!! However, there are those who not only believe CCSS is the way to go, but are proposing legislation to help keep it for our students. Please continue to read on to see how you can help STOP the “Common Core Machine” dead in its tracks!
Washington Requests Our Input:
An avid reader of my blog and active anti CCSS warrior, Dr. V sent me a ‘heads up’ notice recently. The notice? A Washington, D.C. based legislator wants feedback on his bill to make sure we keep CCSS via an amendment to No Child Left Behind. Now, I know I’m not the only one writing about this, but I feel it only fair to alert you to the fact WE, the warriors AGAINST Common Core have an opportunity to leave feedback for this legislator. We don’t get opportunities like this often, so we need to active swiftly. We need to act with respect while being firm, truthful, AND fierce in what we have to say. Before I get to the body of the bill he’s proposed let me give you a direct quote from the good doctor, “You can write him Chairman Alexander who has asked for input on his proposal here: fixingNCLB@help.senate.gov“ (Note, the Chairman is actually Senator Lamar Alexander, a Republican from Tennessee). Why the clock image above matters? Comments will only be taken until Jan. 21st, 2015!!
Officially, this Amendment to the No Child Left Behind Act of 1965 to be known as “This Act may be cited as the ‘‘Every Child Ready for College or Career Act of 2015’’ ” The Amendment is over 300 pages (387 to be precise). As my fellow warrior pointed out, on the surface the Amendment is being considered a great thing. BUT, as is usually the case with the Common Core Machine, there’s another side that IS a terrible thing. So, why would the Senator from TN offer this?? We’ll address that riddle AFTER we look into the ‘terrible thing’ embedded in this Amendment.
The Hidden-in-Plain-Sight Agenda?!:
From page 2 of the Amendment, “SEC. 4. STATEMENT OF PURPOSE. The purpose of this Act is to restore freedom to parents, teachers, principals and other school leaders, States, Governors, and local communities so that they can improve their local public schools.” IF this could be a reality, then, yes, it WOULD be a fantastic thing..it would actually be honoring our U.S. Constitution!!
However, let’s look a bit deeper..other things that have been updated (oops, sorry, in legal speak, amended) the definition of ‘college and career ready’ now includes NO Remediation AND closing the skills gap (so I guess the false argument will not be gospel because it’s in an amendment that could become law?) LEA grants will be a whopping $15 billion per year until 2021. Add to that $400 million for assessments. Federal money will be relegated for the states to have ‘technical assistance’ in these 2 areas.
Okay, so , so far, nothing really contradiction-wise yet. After this above information, you’ll begin to see the part of the Amendment that is ‘the States this, the States that’. The states will be held accountable to the federal government for several things beyond assuring that ‘challenging state academic standards’ have been aligned, adopted,and implemented. It appears this is especially the case for the English Language Arts and Math (including the participation in the Nation’s Report Card, student data mining, continued teacher assessments, and, because of Perkins Funds and IDEA legislation those ‘career pathways’ will be cemented in education). What I kept noticing is the amount of power the LEAs will be granted under this Amendment (this includes PreK, post-secondary, outside the classroom, etc.)
Other nuggets of a darker side: family financial data as supplied by the U.S. Dept. of Commerce, The U. S. Dept. of Commerce’s branch, The Census Bureau (especially their American Community Survey, which is a mandatory on-going process that helps determine how tax dollars are used). For more about the ACS (American Community Survery, see: http://www.census.gov/acs/www/ , the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics; proposed sharing of assessments, standards on a voluntary basis between states, thereby saving money; ‘Developing challenging State academic standards and aligned assessments in academic subjects for which standards and assessments are not required..’; ‘Refining State assessments to ensure their continued alignment with the challenging State academic standards and to improve the alignment of curricula and instructional materials.’; ‘Evaluating student academic achievement through the development or improvement
of comprehensive academic assessment instruments, such as performance-based assessments that emphasize the mastery of standards and aligned competencies in a competency-based education model, technology-based academic assessments, computer adaptive assessments, and portfolios, projects, or extended performance task assessments.
Collaborating with institutions of higher education, other research institutions, or
other organizations to improve the quality, validity, and reliability of State academic assessments.’; the use of formative and summative testing will continue as well.
On page 113, ‘Career Technical Education’ will be replacing ‘Vocational Education’ if this Amendment is adopted. Why is this bad? CTE (Career Tech Ed) is the Adult version of CCSS! By the end of the page, be sure to note the seemingly harmless word changes. For example, ‘student’s progress’ would be known as ‘improve student achievement’. More of these are in the next few pages which follow. Page 116 uses a phrase about information being made available to all interested educational parties. From what I’ve researched that could mean almost anyone, especially in the public/private partnerships seeking to redefine education.
Be sure you note the activity the Amendment would allow the Secretary of Education to exercise. (now, bear in mind, in the earlier portions, many restrictions were laid out) If the Secretary were to enact this exercise, Congress would only have 30 available for review/comments, the public would have 90 days. Whatever it is he could put in motion is expected to cause the States tremendous burdens. (see the pages 117-121).
Teacher reform is laid out in detail in this Amendment. So is having school leaders help transform curricula via technology. As with students, the States will have to submit accountability plans for teacher training, etc. (As above, the states accountable to the Feds..hhmm, does anyone sense something amiss??)
Page 145 gives you CCSS without ever mentioning it or the catch phrase ‘challenging state academic standards’. See for yourselves, ” providing programs and activities to help students prepare for post-secondary level coursework, including early college or dual enrollment programs, Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate programs.” (don’t see the CCSS ties in AP or IB? Consider who oversee AP courses..the College Board. As far as IB? Yes, it’s Common Core via the United Nations) I’ve written about both, as have others who are fighting CCSS. (here’s one of my articles about how indoctrinated IB schools/programs are with CCSS: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/11/14/fib-o-meter-friday-ib-international-baccalaureate-schools-common-core/ )
Page 150 states that among all their professional development only certain types of groups will be included. Here’s an excerpt, “promote innovative instruction and learning strategies by nationally recognized organizations with a proven track record of effectiveness in providing preparation and professional development activities and programs for teachers, principals, and other school leaders, particularly in underserved areas.” Pardon me, but who will be responsible for overseeing these ‘proven’ organizations? With so many private businesses with their fingers in the educational mix which don’t have any business there, does this mean they’ll be given the green light to continue to step in and reform education?? Not too far after this section of the Amendment is a bit about money from 2003 that’s not been touched could get tapped IF the Secretary of Education deems it needed.Where would these funds be used? National Programs!
This Amendment also allows for any non-profit OR for-profit entity to jump in a student’s education..as long as achievement is the goal (pages 153, 154).
Par for the course in American education, the Amendment continues to do all it can to promote outcome based education…both for STUDENTS and TEACHERS. Institute of Education Sciences will be key to all the evaluations of effective programs (page 164) This is only a few sentences before a section that tells us the Secretary of Education (or any other federal employee) can’t mandate states. This includes curricula, standards, and assessments.
Pages 189/90 mention National Professional Development Project and a National Clearinghouse. Be sure when you leave comments, you ask for more details about what these are, who they involve.
On beginning on page 193 is the ‘Healthy and Safe Students’. Now, do not misunderstand me, I’m all for healthy and safe students..just not under the federal government’s plan of the 21st Century Community Learning Centers (also a huge portion of CCSS, Agenda 21). What do I mean? Read the Amendment text, “The purpose of this title is to improve students safety, health, well-being, and academic achievement during and after the school day by (1) increasing the capacity of local educational agencies, schools, and local communities..” Items 2 and 3 cover a student’s mental health and drug awareness/abuse. Have we not yet had enough evidence of the federal government’s increased efforts to know this can’t be a good thing?? As far as the mental health component? Several authors, including myself, have stressed grave concerns on CCSS aligned ‘professionals’ charged with the mental health of our students. When you add that money and the allotment of it is added to this, I’d be raising a red flag!
Beginning on page 217 is the “Empowering Parents/Expanding Opportunities” section. Great!? Especially when you find that the empowering/expanding has to do with charter schools and magnet schools. (Note: I have nothing against these 2 educational choices, however, both have been largely considered as CCSS free..guess what? Not!) This section lays out how even MORE charter schools will be provided for. They’ll be known as ‘high quality’ ones. Not sure being concerned about charter schools/CCSS? Read: http://ladyliberty1885.com/2014/07/07/guest-post-common-core-in-charters-private-homeschools/ and https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/10/07/ftf-tuesday-clarity-for-sale-aligned-to-common-core-for-free/
As far as the Magnet schools?? “magnet schools that will substantially strengthen the knowledge of academic subjects and the attainment of tangible and marketable career, technological, and professional skills of students attending such schools..” Yep, MORE Career Tech Education to be written into law!
Be sure to ask for more information on the “Rural Education Initiative” and the “Rural Education Achievement Program” (page 280) This is yet another big way to write in CTE Common Core Standards garbage.
Page 287 lays out how the Secretary of Education will award in a competition style method money to states with a certain criterion for low-income based schools. (gee, does anyone remember this style of funding?? Can we say “Race to the Top”?) State level agencies will get to award money like this as well..to the satisfaction of the Dept. of Education.
Page 300 makes a point to include the Hawaiian Workforce Development Council in the mix..hhmm..we know Workforce is tied into not only the U.S. Dept. of Labor BUT Career Tech Education, Career Pathways as well. Be sure to ask about your state’s Workforce Council.
Page 318 is where in-home instruction for Alaska students will be impacted. State money will go towards education ‘readiness’ for preschool Native American residents. Near page 323 is how military children(U.S. Dept. of Interior enters the data mix when military activity is involved) will be impacted. I especially found the phrase ‘federally connected children’ unnerving. (NOTE: Puerto Rico and other U.S. Territories are included in this entire document)
How our tax dollars will be collected/used is also included under “Impact Aid”.
Almost at the end of the document is this nugget (pages 348/49) seeking a change in verbiage. As we’ve seen changes in wording are HUGE, especially where CCSS is involved. ” by striking ‘‘until an agreement for the extension of United States education assistance under the Compact of Free Association for each of the freely associated states becomes effective after the date of enactment of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001’’ and inserting ‘‘except during any period for which Secretary of Education determines that a Compact of Free Association is in effect and contains provisions for education assistance prohibiting the assistance provided under this Act’’ “
This is followed by the teachers using aligned standards, assessments, curricula, and programs all tied together. (page 350-51)!
If you’ve not read enough to cause you to be extremely wary of this Amendment, I would ask that you review how CCSS got started, where it has spread, who it impacts, how it continues to ‘align and mine’ our students, and it continues to penalize teachers. Our time to act is short, but we MUST act NOW! How can you help? Go to the link featured here, http://www.fixingNCLB@help.senate.gov/
FYI: The Senator behind this bill is not only a former TN governor, but a Common Core Supporter. See: http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2014/03/24/sen-lamar-alexander-let-s-don-t-talk-about-common-core/