Tag Archives: North Carolina

A Fox In The Hen House


Warriors
, in my last Weekend News, I shared with you much about the Ed/Workforce Committee’s latest email propaganda moves for education. (If you missed it, here’s the link: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2016/12/04/weekend-news-worker-ed/ )


As if to rubber stamp all the success of the Ed/Workforce under Kline’s leadership, it was announced on 12/2/16, that Rep. Virginia Foxx (from right here in NC) had been tapped as the new leader.

It hit the news on that same day that one of Foxx’s statements included how she’d love to take down the U.S. Dept. of Ed. While that may or may not be what happens under her rein over Ed/Workforce, I do know how unhappy quite a few of Foxx’s fellow North Carolinians are with her education votes from the past.

(To see the news article: http://www.politico.com/tipsheets/morning-education/2016/12/foxx-in-the-house-217653)

To see how she reacted to the House’s version (HR5) of  ESSA moving forward,
https://ladyliberty1885.com/2015/02/26/rep-foxx-is-dead-wrong-on-h-r-5/

Look below and you will see how StopCommonCore NC reported her vote on ESSA (after HR5 and S1177 were combined):

nostopfoxx

To read the entire article:
http://stopcommoncorenc.org/house-passes-esea-to-see-whats-in-it-see-how-north-carolina-reps-voted/

If you think Rep. Foxx will help rein in the U.S. Dept. of Education, please look at the screen shot below. The added emphasis is mine.

henfoxx

Here’s an excerpt of her statement, H.R. 5587, the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act, updates the law to reflect today’s economic needs and the challenges that students and workers currently face.In particular, I’m pleased that the bill streamlines the number of performance measures for postsecondary programs and aligns them with the performance measures in WIOA, retaining that law’s precedent-setting accountability standards that let taxpayers and lawmakers see clearly which programs work—and which programs don’t. This bipartisan bill goes a long way toward ensuring that individuals who pursue a technical education have the knowledge and skills they need to succeed. However, I believe it’s time we acknowledge that all education is career education and stop dividing the path to a high school degree into two tracks.”
The entire statement: http://edworkforce.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=400943

HR5587? That’s a nightmarish bill which has been championed as a savior for America! It’s also one the Ed/Workforce has used Gov. Pence’s 2015 CTE speech as a selling point. To see just how toxic for true academic education this bill is:
https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2016/11/09/does-it-really-matter/

The Lady Doth Protest TOO Much:

About 1 month ago, I researched and published an article about the ‘angry 25’ Congress members who felt it necessary to pen a letter of disgust over the way in which ESSA was being implemented. One of those ‘angered’? Rep. Foxx. See the screen shot for an excerpt from that article.

angryfoxx

To access the entire article:
 https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2016/11/07/edworkforce-false-positive/

Funding The CTE Love:

Since Rep. Foxx has a background in both business and education, I was curious as to when she went from academic based education to career based education. Especially in light of her bold statement (see the fox in the hen house picture).

According to the FEC (Federal Election Commission), among her recent Campaign contributors are:

Education Affiliates based in VA (a education business group which ‘delivers real-life career skills’) What’s interesting is that both managing members of EA were formerly employed by Global Knowledge, Inc. Global Knowledge, Inc. has ties to IBM (a huge CCSS/CTE supporter).
Their website: http://www.edaff.com/ (*Note: to see the management team info, select ‘management’. Click on ‘our schools’ to learn how education is a business for profit.)

Finance Scholar Group based in CA, but has offices across the nation. FSG assesses public policies and advises clients in strategic moves. They also conduct research. Among their experts are ties to at least 3 pro CCSS/CTE universities or foundations: Harvard, Carnegie Mellon and the Kellogg Foundation. Rep. Foxx was not listed among the FSG’s client list.
Their website: http://www.fsgexperts.com/

College America, Inc. (is part of Center for Excellence in Higher Education, Inc.) based out of UT, but has non-profit campuses across the nation. CA offers free GED courses (GED is now CCSS/CTE and College/Career Readiness aligned); skill based degrees (since 1964), and more. The parent company, Center for Excellence in Higher Education, Inc. is also based in UT. The sole stock holder, Carl Barney has a very interesting education philosophy. He literally bought schools without any educational background. His biography revealing this can be found: http://essonline.biz/Carl_Barney%20.pdf
Barney’s education activities were also reported in the NY Times:
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/03/business/some-private-colleges-turn-a-tidy-profit-by-going-nonprofit.html

The Center’s website: http://www.cehe.org/
College America, Inc.’s website: http://www.collegeamerica.edu/

There are probably many others, too. If you’d like the link to her FEC information:
http://www.fec.gov/fecviewer/CandCmteTransaction.do

In 2014, Huffington Post published an article questioning the top corporate donor ties between for profits educational groups and Foxx’s campaign. See: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/davidhalperin/top-donor-for-house-educa_b_5378324.html

According to Open Secrets website, Foxx’s top donors include quite a few pro CCSS/CTE corporations like: BB & T, Home Depot, SAS Institute, and AT & T.
Open Secrets Website
:
https://www.opensecrets.org/politicians/contrib.php?cycle=2016&cid=N00026166&type=I&newmem=N

In 2010, Home Depot, Inc. began giving Trade Scholarship in support of CTE.
See: http://www.techedmagazine.com/node/1813
As seen below, in 2014, they still were at it:

depotcte
In 2013, the NC Bankers Association presented NC Governor Pat McCrory with their support statement endorsing Common Core State Standards. BB & T is a member of the NC Bankers Association and has Board members in several committees.
See: https://www.ncbankers.org/press-release/north-carolina-bankers-association-presents-common-core-resolution-to-governor/

SAS Institute was one of the most frequent presenters in NC at several hearings. Always in support of the Standards, too. Here’s one example:
 https://ladyliberty1885.com/2014/05/22/an-nc-chamber-holds-common-core-propaganda-event-pt-3/

AT & T’s been supportive of CCSS/CTE in many ways. The Foundation arm of AT & T is a member of the GradNation Project; The AT & T website has a 21st Century Career Skill Initiative going on.
The GradNation link: https://medium.com/building-a-gradnation/to-young-people-across-america-8dd8d204c4d6#.kzpm8w93b
The 21st Century Skill link: http://about.att.com/content/csr/home/possibilities/at-t-aspire/powering-career-skills.html

However, the biggest ‘smoking gun’ about AT & T and the federal overreach into education can be seen below. To see the full announcement:
http://about.att.com/content/csr/home/possibilities/at-t-aspire/mobilizing-learning/connected.html

connectfoxx

Closing:

Will Rep. Foxx be another ‘ed champ’ or ‘ed chump’ for America? Unless she’s changed her views on CTE, it looks like the CCSS Machine has another ally in a strategic location. From the financial aspect, I do not think we need to wonder.

Tech Thursday: Career Pathways Meet Competency Based Pathways

Just released a day or so ago,  an article describing how Achieve, Inc (a huge part of the CCSS Machine) and the NASDCTEc (National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium) joined forces to complete their look at how the progress between Career and Technical Education and Competency Based Pathways was coming along.

According to the article, each state has BOTH a CTE arm AND a CBP arm. If you’ve followed my blog long, you know we’ve delved into the CTE side of Common Core quite a bit. Today, we’ll look at the CBP side of Common Core. Below is the screen shot from the NC CBP documents sharing webspace.

The Article: 

From “Getting Smart”, a pro CCSS/CTE site, http://gettingsmart.com/2015/08/ctecbe/

Here’s one short statement directly from the article that we need to have in fighting to save our educational systems and all who are involved in them.
“One system that has often been overlooked in conversations about competency based pathways has been that of career technical education (CTE).”

From NC’s CBP (Competency Based Pathways) Information:

CBP4NC

From what I can tell, this particular NC webspace of information, is from 2013. If you cannot access the screen shot, here’s the website address: https://sites.google.com/site/competencybasedpathways/home/policy-frameworks/state-policy/state-policy-resources

This particular framework gives lots of great anti Common Core warrior information. You can see which pro CCSS groups are involved in reshaping what education is really accomplishing; you’ll see the states not embracing a big push to complete their CBP (Competency Based Pathways) strategies; you’ll see the states in the throes of completing their CBP designs; you’ll learn which states are ‘racing ahead’ in their CBP grasp on our students.

Here’s the basic idea about state policies in education, at least in the CBP Way:
a) ‘good’ policy moves include using students outcome to drive precedents.
b) ‘guarding’ those high quality academic standards
c) ‘create’ a community wide education effort (ie: must include ALL ‘stakeholders’)
d) offer incentives to help force certain outcomes and remove any rules or regulations not encouraging ‘more ways to learn/earn’

Some other great information you can use to fight the CCSS Machine’s grasp on local education:
“seat time waivers”
CBP exploratory task forces
CBP pilot programs
Flexible credit awards (means there’s more than one way to earn that degree)
Expanding educational offerings so the entire K-12 system, the community, is not only involved in CBP, but thriving in it.
Elimination of certain educational parameters that have serve our communities for long periods of time.
Aligning ALL K-12 students with CBP choices.

These items AND others are being used to re-arrange education infrastructure right under our noses!

What do I mean? Here’s the excerpt from NC’s CBP information for an Advanced CBP state:
“A few states are racing ahead, designing policies that boldly advance competency-based learning. They provide excellent building blocks in the nascent field of competency-based systems for designing comprehensive state policy frameworks. Drawing upon the lessons learned from the most advanced states, an initial starting point for aligning the policy infrastructure include: 

  • Eliminate seat-time and redefine awarding credits based on competencies.
  • Require districts to offer competency-based credits so that students have competency-based options.
  • Provide support mechanisms including technical assistance providers to create competencies, train teachers, and establish information management systems.
  • Establish quality-control mechanisms to safeguard equity and to ensure that higher expectations for student learning are not compromised. 
  • Expand learning options in the community, after school, and in online courses.
  • Align higher education with K–12 competency-based efforts. Teacher training, college admissions, and streamlining budgets to support accelerated learning are all critical elements to creating a sustainable competency-based approach.
  • Design balanced assessment systems and accountability systems that provide valuable information for improving student learning and school performance. “To read more, be sure to access the website for NC’s information given above. Below is a screen shot of just one of the other CBP resources available from this webspace.
iNACOL, the International Association for K-12 Online Learning created this map in 2013.
iNACOL, the International Association for K-12 Online Learning created this map in 2013.

iNACOL’s part of the CCSS Machine as well, my Warriors! See: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/06/08/monday-musings-ccss-tech-schedule/ (This recent article, June 2015, shares how iNACOL is helping communities become ‘blended learners’)
Then, see this one: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/10/24/fom-friday-knowledgeworks-or-knowledge-quirks/
(This article from 2014, shares how iNACOL has partnered with KnowledgeWorks, the CCSSO (Chief Council of State School Officers), and others to bring about not only competency based education, but entire aligned cities and towns to the CCSS Machine’s agenda.
Achieve, Inc.’s Part of the CCSS Machine?

While many of us anti CCSS Warriors/researchers/writers have shared plenty of proof for Achieve, Inc. and CCSS, almost everything I’ve written about them is from the CTE, higher education, and/or Career Pathways side of education. I’m including only the MOST relevant articles about Achieve’s OTHER aspirations for aligning all the CCSS/CTE, CP, and now CBP it can.
See: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/03/13/fom-achieving-cc-aligned-competencies/
(This is from March 2015 and gives you the report of transforming high school transcripts to become just like the post=secondary ones..full of CBPs! It also lays out the ties to the New England Secondary Education Consortium’s ties to Bill Gates)
Then: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/11/13/tech-thursday-collegecareer-readiness-success-and-common-core/
(This article from 2014, is a virtual snake pit of CCSS Machine groups, Achieve, Inc. being only one of them, with not only the plan for CCSS, College and Career Readiness Standards to meet and assimilate into Competency Based Learning, but the states already divided up!)
Finally, to see Achieve, Inc.’s latest report, as mentioned in the “Getting Smart” article,
http://www.achieve.org/CBP
NASDCTEc’s Part in the CCSS Machine:

This group is no stranger to me due to all my research. While I’ve written about them several times, again, I’m only giving you the MOST relevant articles. Use all the documents, links, etc. you can in this to share with those in your realms of influence who don’t see the dots connecting yet! We must!
See: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/11/16/rmt-vp-unions-career-tech-and-common-core/
(This is from November 2014 and gives you how the Vice President, Career and Technical Education, Perkins Funding, and NASDCTEc’s in unison to transform education into workforce training.)
Then: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/03/12/tech-thursday-difference-between-careers/
(This one, from March 2015, gives you not only the NASDCTEc’s portion of the CCSS Machine, but the ACTE’s (Association for Career Technical Education) portion, too! You’ll also get to find out how Harvard University is related to all this; how the Gates Foundation helped fund ACTE for the EXPRESS purpose of aligning CCSS and CTE.)
To see the August 3rd, 2015 NASDCTEc/Achieve, Inc. joint report on strengthening the ties between competencies and your students, http://www.achieve.org/CTECBPConnections

Note how Achieve is using iNACOL's definition to guide your state's CBP.
Note how Achieve is using iNACOL’s definition to guide your state’s CBP.

Lastly, you’ll need the “Imperative” report for state leaders from Achieve’s ‘related’ resources for all the competency based pathways and their policies to be set into stone.
http://www.achieve.org/imperative-state-leadership

 

RMT: Witches Brew, CCSS Style?

I recently got a message from a very concerned citizen about a Common Core lesson a kindergarten student in her group of friends was taught. Called “The Earth is Our Mother”, my reader asked me if this was indeed not only a CCSS lesson but a witch’s chant as well. IF this is true, then……

Our riddle today is why would this be appropriate in anyone’s mind for a kindergartner?

The Song, Is It Really a Witch’s Chant?:

Depending on what website you choose, you’ll find the “Earth is Our Mother” has been said to be a Native American song; a pagan ritual song, a witch’s chant, an Earth Day activity, and so forth. So, which one is correct?

Songs for Teaching’s website uses the the song as a Native American culture tie in. See: http://www.songsforteaching.com/gemini/theearthisourmother.php

Better Lesson’s website (which is features expressly CCSS related lessons) had this for “Saving Mother Earth”, which uses the concept for recycling. I couldn’t find a direct mention of the song in today’s riddle, but I wanted to include this so you could see a first grader’s look at a recycling CCSS lesson. See: http://betterlesson.com/lesson/557938/pollution-and-recycling

I found several pagan websites that use the song as a chant. (one example is Chant Goddess’s website. See: http://www.chantgoddess.com/theearthisourmother.htm) One Wiccan website has the “Earth is Our Mother” in their songs/dances category. (See: http://www.thedance.com/wicca101/songs.htm )

Not knowing which vain the teacher was using the song in or being privy to the assignments given, we cannot get a clear cut answer to our riddle. However, we’re not quite through digging yet.

How CCSS fits in:

Since I do know this real life event happened recently in NC, I was able to locate the Kindergarten CCSS Music Standards. I can tell  you based on this information the teacher was looking for relevance, response, and literature. I can also tell you the Kindergartner Music Standards take up 2 pages. Below is a screen shot of just SOME of what a kindergartner is to glean via CCSS in music.

Two pages of the K-8 NC CCSS Music pdf are exclusively for K students.
Two pages of the K-8 NC CCSS Music pdf are exclusively for K students.

To see the entire K-8 Music CCSS pdf: http://www.ncpublicschools.org/docs/acre/standards/new-standards/arts/music/k-8.pdf

If you’d like to see the CCSS Text Exemplars for NC: http://elaccss.ncdpi.wikispaces.net/file/view/ELA+Text+exemplars.pdf

To see some more CCSS resources NC uses for its potential lesson planning: Sample Unit and Lesson Plans and Resources for ELA Common Core

Related:

I found the following resources helping in delving into the county’s school system my reader was concerned about. Since these are general links, no privacy has been violated. Since music has long been used as a portion of literacy. I thought some of the information would be helpful, especially as we have to filter so much about CCSS.
1) The NCTE (National Council of Teachers of English) has this guide to teaching literacy sample by Joy Foss.  See: http://www.ncte.org/library/NCTEFiles/Resources/Books/Sample/29900chap01x.pdf

2) Here’s a video of 21st Century Communication Skills as per the “21st Century Literacy” site. (website: http://read6351.wikispaces.com/21st+Century+Literacies )

3) A CA based Kindergartner lesson plan for ‘Mother Earth’: http://www.coastal.ca.gov/publiced/directory/global_k.html

4) A Native American lesson plan involving ‘Mother Earth’ from CO: http://static.dpsk12.org/gems/indian/indianedlesson5.pdf

5) If you’d like to search for lessons featuring the song in our riddle from the perspective of Wiccans (witches) and/or other faiths which honor the Earth as a parent (Muslim is among them). Please do so on your own. Based on what I found, I chose to NOT include links in my article due to the nature of some of the information I found. I can share with you, much is available.

Closing:

So, was my reader over-reacting when she contacted me? I don’t believe so. I think in today’s world, especially in education, we must really question WHY some resources are being singled out as appropriate. Was the “Earth is My Mother” an appropriate choice for a group of Kindergartners? I don’t agree that it is, however, I wasn’t there to see HOW it was used. At the tender ages of a K student, they are just grasping family concepts, forming bonds. I think any THING called as ‘mom’, ‘dad’, or other family names can be a bit too confusing. Especially when you factor in Common Core’s agenda.

I would encourage you to keep a sharp eye out for what’s going on in the classrooms; to question why a teacher is using a resource or asking how it’s suitable for your child. From other readers who’ve contacted me, they’ve shared they do EVER get to see what’s being used or being notified BEFORE a certain resource is chosen. When did the family in today’s story learn of what they were told was a witch’s chant? After it happened.

Finally, if you care to see a You Tube video of the song, I’ve included it below. I searched for a version that would not be too scary to post.