Tag Archives: Noyce Foundation

FTF: Romancing the CCSS

No, I've not gone to the CCSS dark side, but some have!
No, I’ve not gone to the CCSS dark side, but some have!

If you’ve followed my blog long, you know that each Tuesday I feature a file of some sort that’s from the CC past. A few months ago, a devoted follower requested I supply documents from the ‘dark period’ for CC. What she shared was, the overabundance of proof that’s been uncovered from before the Core appears to be plentiful. From just after it was rolled out, not so much. So, today’s article features a video from 2013. The featured speaker is Dr. P. David Pearson. If you don’t know the Doctor, here’s a few key items you might like to know.
1) He teaches at Berkeley University

2) He’s quite revered in Language Arts

3) He works with teachers to implement CCSS

4) His featured page on the Berkely website has a typographical error (sorry, I find that rather ironic)

For the above items, see: http://gse.berkeley.edu/people/p-david-pearson

Further exposing his love for CCSS? Read this excerpt, ” Pearson shares the underlying research that informed the Standards and highlights the research evidence of follow-up documents such as the Publisher’s Criteria (produced by CCSS writers). Pearson then describes actions educators can take in keeping policies and practices grounded in the Standards themselves and not in supplementary recommendations that did not go through the rigorous review of the Standards themselves.” Where did I find this? See: http://www.devstu.org/workshop/a-conversation-with-p-david-pearson-phd

The Videos:

Dr. Pearson has been featured on several YouTube videos discussing the virtues of CCSS. The  video I’m including has the lady introducing Dr. Pearson as a long revered literacy comprehension scholar. He also was one of the members of the CCSS Validation Committee. You know, the same one Dr. James Milgram and Dr. Sandra Stosky refused to sign off on the Standards, as they failed miserably. So why, would this honored professor not only validate the CC, but help promote them? Text Project was the organization which asked Dr. Pearson to lead the below presentation; the presentation was aired in 2013. More about Text Project in a bit.

Did you notice Dr. Pearson’s  reasons for potential in ELA via CCSS? Did you catch how he described the Standards? Did you hear that he worked with the Noyce Foundation on research? What about those ‘defensible positions’ he spoke of regarding CCSS in English? What about how he felt in the area of assessments for SBAC and PARCC where CC English is concerned? Before the 5 minute mark, Dr. Pearson tells you exactly how he was ‘sold’ on CC. That nebulous ‘they’ were the ones who presented the materials for CCSS to the validation committee. Want to guess ‘they’ was? (sorry, that was a rhetorical question)

By 6:44, Dr. Pearson shares all hasn’t gone well in CCSS. (What an understatement). Listen for his 5 assumptions. Comprehension and leveled reading are the 2 he highlights in the above presentation. The other 3 are in his book all about CC. “Quality Reading instruction in the Age of Common Core” (see: http://www.reading.org/General/Publications/Books/bk496.aspx )

To access the slides Dr. Pearson had on his 2013 Text Project video (and you’ll love the visual for the Rand Model), PDPearson-webinar-Research-and-the-Common-Core

To access the ScienceLiteracy website address at the bottom of some of the slides in Dr. Pearson’s presentation, http://www.scienceandliteracy.org/, Dr. Pearson serves on the team for SL. It’s also a bit interesting that the home screen says “Next Generation” curriculum.  If you’re interested in who helps write and develop or to meet the other members, see: http://www.scienceandliteracy.org/about/meetteam  (*Note: I have no proof that this is tied to Gates Foundation funding, but GF did grant Berkely University over 2 million dollars back in 2009 for developing science/literacy formative assessments. See: http://www.gatesfoundation.org/How-We-Work/Quick-Links/Grants-Database/Grants/2009/11/OPPCR060)

Text Project:

Speaking of romancing CCSS, this group really goes all out. Here’s their collection of CC Presentations which cover not only teachers but the school leaders and/or legislators. See: http://www.textproject.org/library/professional-development/guides/

Dr. Pearson is a board member for TP as well as the Vice President of Scholastic, Inc. (Scholastic is a well known CCSS supporter/aligner/profit maker). See their bios and the others they work with, http://www.textproject.org/about/textproject-board-members/

(*Note: one of TP’s partners is a lady who not only serves TP but the SBAC as well. As in the Smarter Balanced Assessement Consortium. See: http://www.textproject.org/about/textproject-s-partners-in-research-and-practice/ )

Noyce Foundation:

I was able to find on the ScienceLiteracy website a 2008 study the company completed for the Noyce Foundation. See: http://scienceandliteracy.org/sites/scienceandliteracy.org/files/biblio/cervettibravoduong_etal_2008_pdf_10364.pdf

So how does Noyce love the CCSS? Let’s count the ways. Here’s one resource called “Inside Mathematics” (see: http://www.insidemathematics.org/ ) Here are at least 3 others, when you click on the first website, know that there are more in-depth links available. See: http://www.insidemathematics.org/common-core-resources)

To access Noyce’s website: http://www.noycefdn.org/ Be sure to look at their “New Initiatives” and “Previous Initiatives”, note that they’re big into STEM, partner with the Carnegie Foundation, and more. See: http://www.noycefdn.org/newinitiatives.php (*Note: be sure to look at their “Human Capital” pages/efforts as well).


To say there’s love and romance in the supportive side of CCSS, it appears to be plentiful. If you’d like to see more of Dr. Pearson’s supportive CCSS videos, just insert his name in the YouTube search bar and notice all the different presentations he’s done.

Two more files for you: Here’s the pdf featuring not only Dr. Pearson, but mentions the copyright owners for the CCSS. Pearson_Research_Foundations_Common_Core_State_Standards_in_ELA

Here’s the one Dr. Pearson and the others on the Committee submitted from June 2010. CommonCoreReport_6.10


WYBI: Up Close with the NSF

Do you know how much power NSF has in education?
Do you know how much power NSF has in education?

How much do you know about the NSF (National Science Foundation) and their ties to CCSS and STEM? Would you believe Arne Duncan was considered an expert by them back in 2007? Yep! It happened. But wait, there’s more…

A brief look at NSF’s History:

NSF has been around since 1950. President Truman signed the NSF Act after the atomic bomb was dropped. The goal? Peace via science. In 1953 and 54, the federal agency beefed up teaching in the post-secondary and secondary areas. 1957 brought the advent of the social sciences under NSF’s grasp. Then, in 1971 and 72, improving minority education as well as being responsible for all science education began. A makeover/upgrade for K-12 science curriculum happened in 1987. 2000 brought “Partnerships for Innovation” where education, communities, and P3s (public, private partnerships) were encouraged. (for more history, see their timeline, http://www.nsf.gov/news/special_reports/history-nsf/timeline/index.jsp )


Bring on the Common Core/STEM beginnings:

From 1999, a paper about workforce, common standards, and education: http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/1999/nsb9931/nsb9931-5.htm

From 1999, a paper about common math and science education standards: http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/1999/nsb9931/nsb9931-3.htm

From the Meeting Minutes for the NSF, May 2014, this is what I found on page 5: “For the topic of the Common Core, which was popular in the media recently, he called on Dr. Córdova for information on this subject. She introduced Dr. Joan Ferrini-Mundy, Assistant Director, Directorate for Education and Human Resources (EHR), for an overview on common core standards and issues for the Board’s attention. Dr. Ferrini-Mundy reported that the Common Core State Standards in Mathematics and English Language Arts were the current phase of a long series of activity around K-12 standards based education from the 1980’s. These were developed by the National Governors Association (NGS) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) beginning in 2009 without a direct Federal role in the development. The two major goals of the Common Core State Standards in Mathematics are to create clearer and higher standards that (1) describe what students should know and be able to do in order to be ready for college or career at the end of high school; and (2) to ensure common outcomes across various jurisdictions. One of the major features of this movement is to look for equitable access to learning opportunities across the states, where previously there were major differences in expectations for students across the country. The Standards were released after an elaborate development process in 2010 for state adoption. As of 2011, 45 states plus the District of Columbia adopted the Common Core State Standards in Mathematics. The Department of Education funded two consortia to develop the Common Corealigned assessments of states that have come together with nonprofit groups to prepare the assessment tools that will then measure whether students are making progress towards these common standards. There is considerable controversy about the Common Core. She stated that it is complicated and it has multiple facets. Dr. Ferrini-Mundy stated that teachers in 45 states plus the District of Columbia were expected to work with the Common Core State Standards in Mathematics. NSF sees proposals for work that will help to better understand and to address the challenges of implementation of Common Core and other standards in states that are not using the Common Core. As NSF does not have a special program around the Common Core, the proposals go through the standard merit review processes. Federal support that was provided for their development is in the form of the support that the Department of Education provided for the assessment work. In response to a question on examples of Mathematics Common Core, Dr. Ferrini-Mundy indicated that the Common Core State Standards have many interpretations and do not prescribe curriculum or instructional approaches to ideas. One of the actual implementation issues is how to go from standards that say “here is what students should know and be able to do” to “what is the best way to effectively help learners get to these places.” She added that watching how these assessments play out will be important as they are coming at a time when the standards have not been fully implemented. From the NSF perspective, the potential of standards to help to improve access to good learning is important.”  (see the entire meeting minutes: http://www.nsf.gov/nsb/meetings/2014/0506/minutes.pdf )

From May 2014: The NSF’s vision for redefining education: AC_ReEnvisioning_Report_Sept_2014_01 (*Note: when you access this download, you’ll notice on page 6, the phrase ‘federal Common Rule’. If you don’t know what the federal Common Rule is, it’s definition can be found at the U.S. Health/Human Service’s website. You will be most interested to see what this rule allows/prohibits when it comes to the types of research and data collected on us as humans. You’ll want to see all the federal agencies with access to all this information, too. http://www.hhs.gov/ohrp/humansubjects/commonrule/ )

The Power Congress Gives NSF:

If you aren’t aware of how much money and power our U. S. Congress gives the NSF, you’ll want to see the 2014 FIRST Act. Then, consider how much is devoted to blending academics, research, and workforce. See: BILLS-113HR4186ih-HR4186FrontiersinInnovationResearchScienceandTechnologyActof2014 (*Note: you’ll notice STEM is used repeatedly. Remember NSF is the group which coined the term as a updated reference to SMET (Science, Math, Engineering, and Technology) to influence us, especially in education. The first evidence of the use of “STEM” that I could find was from a testimony given by Dr. Rita Colwell back in 2002. Dr. Colwell was speaking to the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions as to why an increased federal budget was needed. (see her testimony: http://www.nsf.gov/about/congress/107/rrc_help061902.jsp )


1) It has been argued that STEM is not served well by CCSS. However, I had evidence that proves STEM, as an overall agenda item (meaning not only education, but workforce), is using CCSS as a means to an end. How so? See my previously published article: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/09/02/from-the-files-pcast-stem-and-common-core/)

2) The 2007 National Action Plan for STEM is another resource you may wish to have. stem_action2007 (*Note: you’ll be pleased to know that current Dept of Ed Secretary Arne Duncan was among the members who was considered an expert on 21st Century education.  He was, at that time, CEO of Chicago Public Schools.)  This report is slam full of alignment for what’s taught, P-20 Councils, workforce, global good, and the usual rhetoric we hear for CCSS. Here’s an excerpt from one of the sidebars, “Dewey urged scientists to convey the science way of thinking to all phases of education as a “SUPREME INTELLECTUAL OBLIGATION.” Although this includes critical thinking, curiosity, skepticism, and verification by observation and measurement, its deeper meaning has to do with the sense of wonder and awe that emerges from the student’s gradual realization that the natural world is orderly and comprehensible. Th e overarching laws of science enable predictions: sunrise, weather, and the hour and day of the return of Halley’s Comet in 2061. Th e appreciation and respect implied here are tragically missing from our science classrooms.”

3) For all the NSF monetary awards given for CCSS, STEM, (which may also include NextGen Science Standards), see: http://www.nsf.gov/awardsearch/advancedSearchResult?QueryText=common%20core%20standards&ActiveAwards=true&#results (*Note: one of the biggest awards (almost $600,000) was given for CCSS curriculum)

4) See NSF’s statistics for college-ready students: http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/seind14/index.cfm/chapter-1/c1s2.htm

5) To see a 2012 press release which states the shift from high stakes assessing to constant momentum tracking, http://www.nsf.gov/news/news_summ.jsp?cntn_id=126071

6) To see NSF’s $200,000 grant awarded to Clark University for developing NextGen Exemplars, http://news.clarku.edu/news/2013/03/05/nsf-awards-clark-university-200k-for-innovative-next-gen-science-teaching-exemplar/

7) Here’s a 2010 press release detailing NSF’s funding to the Noyce Foundation and how it all ties back to CCSS. See: http://www.aaas.org/news/push-new-science-mathematics-standards-described-nsfaaas-education-conference

A video from the NSF’s YouTube Channel that you might find interesting, where you’ll hear the “PreK to Gray” education phrase. You’ll also be pleased to know that the grants NSF gives use YOUR taxpayer money!

Here’s another one from 2011, where the First Lady pushes STEM. However, listen to the gentleman who speaks before her. Listen for his shared vision between NSF and the current administration’s goal for education.

FTF Tuesday: ST, SEL, Common Core

It’s “From the Files” Tuesday!! Time for me to share something from the stash of  CCSS downloads I’ve been able to collect. Today’s feature: “ST and SEL”. Huh?! What’s “ST”? What’s “SEL”? “ST stands for ‘systems thinking’. “SEL”, is short for social and emotional learning’. ST and SEL _ Soled Partnership   As my files go, this is not a particularly big one and is skimpy on information. However, if we look closely, even this ‘slim jim’ can reveal much.


“Triple Focus” or Triple Whammy?

From the main website, selling the book you see above, the description is as follows:  “Daniel Goleman and Peter Senge provide educators with a rationale for incorporating three core skill sets in the classroom—understanding self, other, and the larger systems within which we operate—and show why these competencies are needed to help students navigate a fast-paced world of increasing distraction and growing interconnectedness.”

Okay, well said, but what exactly does this description mean? Who are these gentlemen and where’s the CCSS connection? Let’s press on.


Social and Emotional Learning is a global movement. One portion of its development began as “Social Development Curriculum”. Created by Roger Weissburg, formerly of Yale University’s Psychology Department, now at the University of Illinois, Chicago as “Chief Knowledge Officer”.

‘SDC’ is considered (at least by the authors) to be one of the pioneering pieces of SEL. Their argument is if you behave well in class, you’ll perform better in class…especially at testing time.

Here’s what CASEL (Collaborative for Academic,  Social, and Emotional Learning) says the outcomes for SEL are to be:

“The short-term goals of SEL programs are to one, promote students’ self-awareness, social awareness, relationship and responsible-decision-making skills; and two, improve student attitudes and beliefs about self, others and school.”

CASEL defines academic, social, and emotional skills can be grouped into 5 ‘core clusters’. While you really will want to check out the 5 core clusters, I’ll share just one of them. I think you’ll understand why when you consider where all this is leading up to Common Core. Here’s the exact definition of self management: ‘The ability to regulate one’s emotions, thoughts, and behaviors effectively in different situations. This includes managing stress, controlling impulses, motivating oneself, and setting and working toward achieving personal and academic goals.’  See the rest: http://www.casel.org/social-and-emotional-learning/core-competencies

So how are SEL, CASEL, and the authors connected?

Daniel  Goleman is one of the co-founders of CASEL as well as the co-author of the “Triple Focus”. Also sitting on the Board of CASEL are Mr. Weissburg (from above), Linda Darling-Hammond (a well known pro CC advocate), and the University of Illinois at Chicago is where their research base is held.  As in any collaborative, especially in education today, you’ll find all kinds of groups represented. This one’s no different. Among the different schools and youth groups(including Special Olympics) guiding CASEL, the following pro-CCSS companies or charitable trusts are involved:

Institute of Education Sciences, a direct arm of the U.S. Dept. of Education..absolutely no need to wonder where CCSS support is there. You’ll want to read their connection to CASEL: http://www.casel.org/funders/institute-of-education-sciences

Noyce Foundation, “In 2013, CASEL received its first-ever grant from the Noyce Foundation for a collaboration with the Charles A. Dana Center at the University of Texas at Austin. The Dana Center focuses on mathematics and science education with an emphasis on strategies for improving student engagement, motivation, persistence, and achievement. The CASEL and Dana Center project focuses on the intersection between SEL and the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics.” 

To see all the others at CASEL: http://www.casel.org/people

SOLED (Schools and Communities Learn for a Sustainable Future, part of the SOL Education Partnership):

From the thin file I’ve shared, if you open it, scroll down to the bottom, you’ll see in red, “Deeper Learning and the Common Core”. That’s where we are headed next. It’s a post from 2013. Here’s the link: http://soledpartnership.org/450/

The post tells you the project actually began in 2012. Is funded in part by the Hewlett Foundation (we heard of their CC funding in other posts). If you read a bit further, you’ll see ‘related articles’. Here’s an excerpt from one of those about the beauty of CC and systems thinking. “The Common Core Deeper Learning project draws connections between the rigorous learning of the CCSS and the use of system thinking tools and habits. The nearly perfect match of the CC ELA Standards for Reading and the systems thinking…” The excerpt is from a 2014 article.

“The main intention of the CCSS
is to prepare students in the U.S. for success in higher education
and in the workforce.”

Sherry Martin, Ed Director for ‘Deeper Learning through CCSS’

Here’s the “Constructing Meaning” report the above quote is featured in: Constructing-Meaning-SM One of the thinking models referred to is the “Iceberg”. Here it is below, you’ll need to click to enlarge it.

From the Waters Foundation, which helps fund the SoL Education Partnership and the Deeper Learning through Common Core Project.
From the Waters Foundation, which helps fund the SoL Education Partnership and the Deeper Learning through Common Core Project.


Systems Thinking was ‘discovered’ back in 1956 by an MIT Professor Jay Forrester as a component to better understanding new ideas in social settings, much like we do in understanding fields like engineering. Why engineering? Because preciseness is needed. According to the Thinking Net (website: http://www.thinking.net/Systems_Thinking/OverviewSTarticle.pdf), where I found an easy to understand explanation of ST, states that traditionally, we break our thinking down into small pieces. Systems thinking doesn’t do that. You’ll notice, if you access the pdf above, it is using crops as an example. Supplant that example with CCSS and our students.

Contrast that example of ST with the one from Waters Foundation, which helps fund the CC Project we’ve been looking into.
“Systems thinking utilizes habits, tools and concepts to develop an understanding of the interdependent structures of dynamic systems. When individuals have a better understanding of systems, they are better able to identify the leverage points that lead to desired outcomes.”

Now, consider the two. Can you imagine why kids are struggling with the CCSS so much? It is developmentally unsound to expect a younger student to see an entire system. They have to break things down in smaller pieces! We don’t begin our students with books, then expect them to DIGRESS from there into paragraphs, sentences, words,  and letters, do we? NO!! We begin with letters, move UP to words, sentences, paragraphs, and then books.

Just in case you want to see how ST is embedded in CCSS: http://watersfoundation.org/systems-thinking/standards/

Just in case you want to see how SEL is embedded in CCSS: http://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/how_to_integrate_social_emotional_learning_into_common_core

Closing thought:

If you go to vote today, please consider the candidates, especially for school boards. Are they supportive of CCSS? If so, don’t allow them into office. If they are on the fence, share this information with them, as well as all the other information you have about the inappropriate development component of Common Core.