Tag Archives: NY Times

A Fox In The Hen House

, 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,

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


To read the entire article:

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.


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:

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.


To access the entire article:

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:

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:

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

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:

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:

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:



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.


100, 500, and Still Counting

Celebrating my 100 anti CCSS/Fed Ed blog followers AND my 500th post! We’ve come quite a long way together. I pray our time together will continue to be fruitful. We seek not fame or fortune in what we do to fight the CCSS Machine. We ARE, however, leaving a legacy of patriotism, devotion to remaining free, and love for our people, regardless of educational choices. We do what we do to help each other, not to stand on each other’s shoulders. How absolutely refreshing it would be to see our leaders do the same.


There’s a double purpose to using numbers in this article. One of the best ways to get news out is social media. However, some sites are more oppressive than others. So, purpose #1 is to celebrate, purpose #2 is to hide the article in plain sight on social media.

I’m Not the Only One Spinning Numbers:

ICYMI: My latest article which was banned on Facebook revealed how numbers will be shifted to abuse teachers via ESSA and Title 2 Funds; how special needs and their IDEA funds via ESSA get squeezed; how numerous families across our nation will now be receiving “Family Engagement Ambassadors” aka U.S. Dept. of Ed Parent Nannies.
See: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2016/09/28/bon-voyage-hello-grinders/


Then, there are the numbers CCSS Machine member/publisher McGraw-Hill are trying to spin in their most recent survey. I just found this one yesterday.


Oh, I cannot stop chuckling over how stupid this company assumes us to be by a quiz like this!


So, what questions does McGraw-Hill have? The brief introduction tells you they got together with top education research groups to create this. Can’t you just smell the CCSS Machine stench already? But wait, it gets deeper. Scroll down to the bottom of the main page and you’ll see it’s a survey to point to the 2016 elections!! I kid you not.

Q1) Proficiency in math question. (Source: the NAEP scores)
Q2)  About ELLs (English Language Learners) (Source: U.S. Dept. of Ed’s National Center for Educational Stats)
Q3)  U.S.’s world rank in reading. (Source: PISA)
Q4)  Low-income students percentage. (Source: Southern Education Foundation)
Q5)  Internet speed in schools. (Source: Education Superhighway) *Note: according to the explanation, 3/4 of the country NOW exceeds the FCC’s requirement.
Q6)   High school graduation numbers. (Source: U.S. Dept. of Ed)
Q7) Cost of remediation in colleges. (Source: Education Reform Now)
Q8) How long it takes to graduate college. (Source: National Student Clearinghouse Research Center)
Q9) Students who need financial aid. (Source: U.S. Dept. of Ed’s National Center for Educational Stats)
Q10) Unemployment for college graduates. (Source: NY Times)
Q11) Student loan defaults. (Source: U.S. Dept. of Ed)
Q12) Over your lifetime question. (Source: College Board) *Note: CB states that the BIGGEST pay increase happens at the Bachelor degree stage.

To take the survey: http://www.mheducation.com/ideas/how-much-you-know-us-education-quiz.html

Oh, and you’ll find it ironic that I ‘flunked’ this survey from the “how many did you get correct” viewpoint. Oh well, flunking a CCSS Member group survey is not something I will fret over. On the more serious side of this survey though, look at the questions agenda points, the sources cited, and what will be more than likely coming soon.

Remember, the ‘fine print’ points all this to the November 2016 elections. Helping drive the conversation? None other than McGraw-Hill’s CEO. Read his article, https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/lets-talk-education-david-levin

If you would like more CCSS Machine numbers, McGraw-Hill ever-so-nicely embedded their Workforce Readiness 2016 Study in the CEO’s article..and think, just in time to influence our votes.

Check out this bunch of numbers from the Study:


I’ve got an idea, use this screen shot as proof that your State’s CTE (Career Tech Education), STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math), as well as CCSS (Common Core State Standards or by their ‘new’ name, CCR, College and Career Readiness) Tracks, Paths, etc. AREN’T WORKING!!

This Study also plays the ‘gender card’. That’s something you may wish to see. You may wish to see how McGraw-Hill’s plays into Pearson Publishing ‘gender intelligence’ CCSS Machine plan. If you didn’t know about Pearson Publishing ‘GI’, I’ve got your back.
See: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2016/03/07/pearsons-gi-more-alignment-in-the-workplace/

To access the McGraw-Hill Workforce Readiness Study2016-student-workforce-readiness-survey-expanded-results


Need More Numbers?

10/17/16: US PIE (United States Parents Involved in Education) “Keep Your Child Home From School Day” to protest the U.S. Dept. of Ed on its 40th anniversary. See:

I have understood via social media that more groups besides US PIE are doing something ‘radical’ for Ed’s 40th anniversary.  As long as we Warriors Against the Core are rebelling against educational tyranny on that day (or for that matter, every day), I think the message will become even louder. If we could unite our events, beyond  our usual circles of influence, we could teach Congress what true teamwork CAN do! As always, know that I am all for speaking out, just be safe and respectful.

This number:

Congress, 9/29/16; call! Protest the move to remove American internet and give it total global access. Knowing how much ESSA is spending on digital, Internet, and all related parts, we NEED our privacy as in tact as we can to protect our children.

See my dear fellow Warriors (Gretchen Logue/Cheri Kiesecker) warning article!



Warriors, I’ll have more news about numbers and legislation soon. In the meantime, fight, fight, with all your might!  I leave you with a short clip from a TV show in the 1960s called “The Prisoner”. The show was one my Daddy loved. I hated it. I was so young, it scared me.

While I don’t know the entire plot, I do know the main character was not free to be himself. He was assigned a number; his name no longer necessary. Of all the things we give our children, their names are their very first gift upon their birth. Their names are beautifully hand-picked, lovingly chosen, and carry on our family identities. Much like “The Prisoner”, our children are in danger of losing who they truly are.

Tech Thursday: P-Tech; It’s Here, It’s Now, and It’s Part of the P3, CCSS Machine

The current Administration in DC loves this aspect of CCSS.
The current Administration in DC loves this aspect of CCSS.

Maybe you live in NY or CO and have heard of “P-Tech”; maybe you live elsewhere and have heard of it. Maybe it’s a new term for you. However, either way, it’s still more CCSS and CTE (Common Core State Standards and Career/Technical Education). Join me today as we discover just why the current President is so in favor of this program.

The Year was 2013:

According to what I found, back in 2013, the current President of the USA brought “P-Tech” up in his State of the Union address. After a litany of ‘hot’ topics which included healthcare, the economy, and, more, the President tackles education. First he shares the plans about early education…and then the ‘clincher’..here’s the text excerpt, “Let’s also make sure that a high school diploma puts our kids on a path to a good job. Right now, countries like Germany focus on graduating their high school students with the equivalent of a technical degree from one of our community colleges, so that they’re ready for a job. At schools like P-Tech in Brooklyn, a collaboration between New York Public Schools, the City University of New York, and IBM, students will graduate with a high school diploma and an associate degree in computers or engineering. We need to give every American student opportunities like this. Four years ago, we started Race to the Top – a competition that convinced almost every state to develop smarter curricula and higher standards, for about 1 percent of what we spend on education each year. Tonight, I’m announcing a new challenge to redesign America’s high schools so they better equip graduates for the demands of a high-tech economy. We’ll reward schools that develop new partnerships with colleges and employers, and create classes that focus on science, technology, engineering, and math – the skills today’s employers are looking for to fill jobs right now and in the future.”
The entire text can be found: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/13/us/politics/obamas-2013-state-of-the-union-address.html?_r=1

Related documents you’ll find helpful with the context above:
1) Reinventing_American_High_School (published 2006) but very telling considering the CCSS agenda and the President’s above message. You’ll need to really take a close look at this entire document which is full of all kinds of useful anti CCSS and adult version CCSS (CTE) information.

2) I’m including an NC specific 2013 STEM, Race to the Top report so you can see what a) one looks like and the strides toward re-invention that have been made;  b) what your state’s RttT STEM paperwork may contain; c) how “New Schools” is interwoven (among other known CCSS aligned efforts), and d) how your LEAs are part of the efforts to re-invent high schools. (again, think the context of the President’s speech). What’s worth noting is that for every year NC’s had RttT funding used, there’s a report detailing it, especially when it involves STEM (that’s the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math the President mentioned). NC had a 2014 report about RttT and STEM as well.
(*NOTE: New Schools tie to all this (apart from being part of the CCSS Machine) is not only ‘transforming public education’ {per their website}, but  funded by some of the biggest Common Core profit makers known to us, to date. See their donors page for proof, http://www.newschools.org/donors ) 
Back to the P-Tech:

One of the resources I discovered which led me to P-Tech actually comes from VSA Partners and their announcement about the President’s text, the P-Tech, and the CCSS friendly related groups, like IBM and Time magazine. See their announcement, http://www.vsapartners.com/news/vsa-branded-educational-model-has-fans-in-high-places/ If you’d like to learn what VSA does and how IBM is one of their partners, see their ‘About’ web page, http://www.vsapartners.com/about/ (*NOTE: did you notice how IBM is a part of the CCSS Machine and that VSA is a partner of theirs? Does that mean that VSA is also a part of the CCSS Machine? In a simple answer, I believe it’s ‘yes’.)

As was mentioned in the 2013 State of the Union address, the NY Schools was mentioned. Here’s the website I was able to find about P-Tech. See: http://www.ptechnyc.org/site/default.aspx?PageID=1
Briefly stated, the purpose of a P-Tech is not only early college in high school and STEM, it’s “express intent was to create an innovative, replicable model for education — one that united the expertise of the public and private sectors to provide new opportunities for young people, and addressed the need to strengthen the continuum from school to college and careers.” (see the entire purpose,

The guide to re-designed STEM schools (ripe with Common Core and Career Pathways interwoven in them) can be found, STEM-Pathways-Playbook_Feb-2012 How do I know that STEM and Career Pathways connect to Common Core? Two documents, my fellow warriors. First, the PCAST document that is pre-2013 State of the Union address’s timeline, but is essential in tying STEM to Common Core as STEM being the agenda and CCSS being the vehicle of choice to deliver STEM to the masses of citizens. Then, the Pearson, Harvard University “Pathways to Prosperity” report, which helped create the Career Pathways you now see in high schools and post-secondary schools. The “Pathways” are even showing up as early as 3rd grade in some states.

The documents mentioned above:
1) PCAST’s document will give you these actual facts; a) “Since the beginning of the 20th century, average per capita income in the United States has grown more than seven-fold, and science and technology account for more than half of this growth. In the 21st century, the country’s need for a world-leading STEM workforce and a scientifically, mathematically, and technologically literate populace has become even greater, and it will continue to grow – particularly as other nations continue to make rapid advances in science and technology. In the words of President Obama, “We must educate our children to compete in an age where knowledge is capital, and the marketplace is global.””. This document is included in one of my very first blog articles, where I point out for you just HOW STEM is being used against Americans via Common Core. You’ll also find the PCAST report embedded in my article. See: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/09/02/from-the-files-pcast-stem-and-common-core/

2) Getting to the “Pathways for Prosperity” can be found in my original post, https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/01/08/tech-thursday-national-career-pathways-network/ AND https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/03/12/tech-thursday-difference-between-careers/ Both of these articles are directly related to P-Tech via the Pathways and all the Career Paths the President was referencing, as well as the P-Tech website.

If you wonder how supportive IBM is of the CCSS, here’s an excerpt, “A company like IBM or all the other companies that we do business with depend on a high-skilled workforce, and the Common Core is directly connected to giving our kids the skills that they need to be effective in the workplace,” said Stan Litow, President of IBM International Foundation.” See the entire article, http://www.cbsnews.com/news/businesses-want-common-core-for-common-reasons/ (*NOTE: be sure to watch the short IBM video statement giving the thumbs up to CCSS, and Career Tech alignment)

So why bring this ‘old news’ up now? Because since the CCSS Machine began to churn, effort after effort across the nation has been made to bring this ‘dream’ of career alignment, STEM/ CCSS agenda, and our schools to become a stark reality. As seen in this recent Denver article,

Is a P-Tech School in your state’s future? Use the above evidence to investigate!

WYBI: CCSS Supporter Profiling Higher Ed Degrees

Back in 2011, The CCS/CTE/CCR (Common Core Standards/Career Tech Ed/College, Career Readiness) and other higher education institutions got a ‘leg up’. Thanks to Lumina’s desire to be a part of the “Goals 2025”. What IS the ‘leg’? What is Goals 2025? How does Lumina play a part in this; better yet, what is Lumina? Come along my friends, fellow anti CCSS Warriors, and associates…We’ve got lots to go over.

Lumina Foundation:

For our more seasoned warriors against CC, we know what Lumina is. However, for those who are new to the war against the Core, Let’s see what kind of foundation Lumina is.
Their website: http://www.luminafoundation.org/ Lumina is private and independent (meaning it’s not for profit, non stockholder group) Their main reason for existence? Getting more Americans into higher education. Their budget to do this? Over $1 billion dollars. To access their fact sheet: http://www.luminafoundation.org/about
On the policy page of the website, here’s the first sentence you’ll read, “Any effort to make meaningful social change is notoriously difficult and inherently risky—and some aspects are too risky for anyone but foundations.” You’ll go on to read how they do not support legislation one way or the other; that they hold the public’s trust. Their leadership influences both federal AND state levels. What a pity all that power and money is devoted to aligning American students to the agenda behind Common Core. Lumina’s been around since 2000.

Profiling Your Degrees:
As stated above, this written report was published in 2011. Lumina enlisted the help of the Institute for Higher Education Policy (IHEP), Center for Higher Education Management Systems (NCHEMS), a professor and author from Kent State University, and Association of American Colleges & Universities (AAC&U).
From some of the pages, I was able to glean the following points. Quality outcome based education always lends itself to needed assessments; benchmarks for students for all 3 levels of higher learning institutions graduation requirements (meaning associates, bachelors, and masters); the profile will guide both students and instructions in regards to curriculum and lessons so that the students goals and understanding align with the institution they are attending; field specific training and competency based learning are also some of the main goals (I’m not quite sure how that’s higher quality..I mean I want my oldest daughter about to enter grad school to MASTER her field. After all, it is called a “Masters Degree” and not a “Competency Degree”!)
Here’s a visual of how this is to look (you’ll need to enlarge it):

The 5 areas? Applied Skills, Civic Skills, Broad/Integrative Knowledge,Specialized Knowledge, and Intellectual Skills
The 5 areas? Applied Skills, Civic Skills, Broad/Integrative Knowledge,Specialized Knowledge, and Intellectual Skills

Here’s the PDF. Please, research it. There is much more to be learned in this document. While it was published 5 years ago, it should give you a better understanding how and why higher learning institutions are becoming more and more common. They have to be, look at the CCSS Machine. It relies on total alignment from PreK to Career. The_Degree_Qualifications_Profile
Goals 2025:

This initiative relies on outcome based education. It operates on the premises that by the year 2025, America should have a 60% higher education graduation rate. While that doesn’t sound so bad, remember Lumina’s all about CCSS/CTE/CCR. Even their description of the Goals 2025 uses the phrase ‘obtain a high quality degree or credential’. This program began in 2009. If you looking for more of the same old rhetoric about global achievement and where we supposedly lag; how America MUST be globally competitive; how business need skill-based workers…then this is your jackpot! This Goals 2025 initiative also has all the redesigns for those 21st century learners, too. Gee, aren’t we lucky?! You see by having more graduates, we’ll have a better socially gifted country, we’ll have better economics, too. Of course, all this will have to be conducted in the ‘Even Steven’ fashion. God forbid we should let anyone NOT attain a high quality degree or credentials. By the way, just WHOM or what entity ensures these degrees and credentials are worth more than the paper they’re printed on? According to Lumina’s 2013-2016 Strategy Plan for Goals 2025, THEY WILL! Access the Strategy:

University Innovation Alliance:


This brainchild is funded by not only the Lumina Foundation, but the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation as well. Website: http://www.theuia.org/#home You won’t find the above fact on the website, in plain sight. No, access the Prospectus ( UIA-Vision-Prospectus ) This document will not only give you ‘facts’ and figures, but you’ll be able to see how, as this Alliance grows, more involvement with ‘subject experts’, technology, and other public, private partners will be a great thing. You’ll also see the memo sent to the U.S. Dept. of Ed for their input toward the re-authorization of the HEA (Higher Education Act).

Here’s the YouTube Video for the Alliance which I found on Lumina’s website:

Lastly, Lumina’s Common Core Devotion:

Connecting K-12 and Higher Ed via the CCSS:

Guiding schools and school districts toward successful implementation of the Standards:

Here’s the Heartland Institute’s report on the biggest foundations fund CCSS. Lumina is among them.

From the Stop Common Core NC website, this article on how Lumina helped fund a “NC Ready for Success” program.

From the SREB, Southern Regional Educational Board, their account of how they are working with Lumina. Note, you’ll see the Gates Foundation there, as well.

From Oregon’s “Core to College” website, how Lumina and the big members of the CCSS Machine, are involved in several states with this same program. (Note: 2011 is when all this began).

FYI: Most of Lumina’s money, if not all of it, comes from the sale of it’s original company to Sallie Mae. As in THE Sallie Mae and student loans. You see, Lumina began its life as USA Group. USA Group is what Sallie Mae acquired.
Here’s a press release: http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/sallie-mae-completes-usa-group-transaction-new-executives-and-board-members-named-72598737.html

NY Times stated this transaction took place in 2000. Their article states $770 million. So how Lumina’s been able to turn that into billions? I don’t think we need to guess too hard. http://www.nytimes.com/2000/06/16/business/company-news-sallie-mae-agrees-to-buy-usa-group-for-770-million.html

I’ll be looking more in depth at some of the other groups mentioned above which helped Lumina with the Degree overhaul. Stay tuned for the follow up!

RMT Sunday: VP, Common Core and Jobs

Repeatedly, I’ve written about the Workforce plans for the US that are wrapped up with CCSS (Common Core State Standards) laden Career Pathways. So, what would you say if I asked you to believe me when I say, Vice President Biden was given a big job to do by overseeing the workforce plans for America take shape. Would you believe it or would you think it a riddle?

The President:

Yes, VP Biden was given the job earlier this year (2014) by the President himself. Dated 1/30/14 is a Presidential Memo directing the VP, along with others, to put into motion Workforce alignment.  “Job-Driven Reform of Federal Employment and Training Programs. (a) Within 180 days of the date of this memorandum and in coordination with the Office of the Vice President, the National Economic Council, the Domestic Policy Council, the Council of Economic Advisers, the Office of Science and Technology Policy, and the Office of Management and Budget, the Secretaries of Labor, Commerce, and Education (Secretaries), in consultation with other executive departments and agencies as appropriate, shall develop a specific action plan, to be provided to me through the Vice President, to make the workforce and training system more job-driven, integrated, and effective.” Among one of the ‘concrete steps’, is this:  “ensuring better alignment across secondary, post-secondary, and adult education, and workforce training, including coordinating Federal programs and promoting foundational skill development for employability, on-the-job training, and apprenticeship options..” then:  “encouraging effective regional partnerships among industry, educators, worker representatives, nonprofits, and the workforce system to prepare, support, and train youth, unemployed workers, low-skilled employed adults, and others for career path employment and advancement.”

See the rest of the Presidential memo: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/01/30/presidential-memorandum-job-driven-training-workers

Note: the 2015 budget that the President has laid out asks for $6 billion for the community college-businesses relationships are continued (ie: public private partnerships).

The Vice President:

See this excerpt, “Q. How does WIOA(Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act) align with the Vice President’s review of federal job training programs? A. The Vice President’s review of federal job training programs highlights several key elements that characterize job-driven programs and best practices to make our national training and skills investments more job-driven. WIOA also includes these key elements. The Vice President’s report and WIOA complement one another and both advance the goals of preparing workers for 21st century jobs and ensuring American businesses will have skilled workers to be competitive in our global economy.” I found this in a pdf file from the U.S. Dept. of Labor. The pdf is a ‘Workforce FAQ file’.

His job as directed by the President?  “The vice president’s charge was to work in consultation with the heads of other executive agencies, including the secretaries of labor and education, to develop an action plan with key policy recommendations.” Just some of the policies are a Career Pathways Exchange, online program for states to build their Pathways even stronger; for up to 10 of the states to be selected to broaden Career Pathways in their school districts’ Each of the participating U.S. States (at this time, all states will eventually be involved) must present unified plans from their Workforce Investment and Opportunity Act 2014 integral departments (such as education, labor, etc.).

Back in June 2014, the Vice President was the main speaker at a Third Way Workforce Panel. I’ll include the video, but, first, here are some interesting folks you need to know about.

The Panel assembled was fairly well stacked with not only industry leaders with union connections, but educators who are making headway in helping align their domains with the federal agenda. One Panel member is convinced there’s such a skills gap, he’s written numerous books about it. (If there’s such a skill gap, why are we investing money to write about it, when that investment could go to a better solution?) Another Panel member is from Aspen Institute, which not only is a known CCSS supporter, but according to the President of Third Way, the leader in career pathways strategy for America! While there are many other note worthy members of the Panel which can be tied to STEM, CCSS, it’s the Walla Walla WA Community College that I want to finish this portion with. Why? Because WWCC is consider the pioneering leader in using wage data to target students career paths in education. This Panel’s job is to not only assist the VP, but to help solve the Workforce problem in America.

Points that I’d like to feature for you (in the event you don’t have the hour to watch the video)
“Upskills”; American Job Centers and the Dept. of Labor are the Match.com approach; people who work with their hands (this was repeated several times); the Workforce programs are accredited by the U.S. Dept. of Ed/Labor, known as ‘stackable’, because not only can you punch a ticket to middle class, but to education super highway. (middle class is the highest goal that was repeated by all those who spoke in this video); ‘when middle class is doing well, everyone does well’; ‘middle class not gone, just redefined’; ‘we have respect for intellectual property’; ‘we, as a nation, can change quickly’; citizens of America have never let Her down’; we must reward colleges for outcomes achieved. Main point: Matching skills to jobs, that’s where community colleges, business partnerships enter. “Community college is the single most flexible educational institution out there.” (VP said that)


Third Way:

If you’re like me, you haven’t heard of this think tank organization. However, that’s about to change. This group says it represents the middle, not the left or right. It tackles some of the biggest issues in America and helps suggest policies. Among their most pride filled accomplishments: helping reduce America’s deficit, helping with climate change issues, and other hot button social conundrums I refuse to mention. However, it’s their take on education you really need to look into. Things like ‘preK is largely for the affluent, so while universal pre-K is one solution, the third one…’pre-K Plus’, BUT only for some. Here’s an excerpt: “As we envision it, pre-K plus doesn’t just mean focusing on enrolling low-income students — it also means ensuring they are being taught the skills they need to be successful in school and in life (not just their ABCs). Learning the alphabet is important, but at least as important to future success are things like executive functions and non-cognitive skills like grit, delaying gratification, controlling impulses, self-regulation, and focusing attention that help both children and adults deal with confusing or unpredictable situations and thrive.” Can we please remember how old kids are in Pre-K?! (op-ed piece is where I got this quote, however, under their ‘education’ tab, you can find the full report complete with a community wide ‘we’ll take care of you’ component not mentioned in the above.) http://www.thirdway.org/op-ed/its-time-to-rethink-education-policy-and-consider-pre-k-plus

Their take on Common Core?! Oh, you’ll ‘love’ this.. “In most states where the standards have not been adopted, the existing standards were substantially similar or equal in rigor, and of the states which have dropped the standards, most are doing so basically in name only. The truth is that Common Core is here to stay.” There is an infographic image that is supposed to give you all the facts, but I didn’t see that is was worth sharing. It’s the same old groupings of this state adopted, this state didn’t, this state pulled out, etc. However, if you’d like to view it:  http://www.thirdway.org/infographic/facts-over-frenzy-common-core-is-more-commonly-accepted-than-you-may-think 

As far as Third Way’s ideas on Workforce, again complete services to ‘take care of you’ type thinking. treating education like a business, and embracing community colleges to help all this happen. (I’ll be writing more about this in the upcoming Tech Thursday post, so I’ll save the rest for then)

To fulfill the line Third Way requires accompanying any of their information, I am to have the following credit appear, so please apply this credit to anything you decide to share.
“This material [article] was published by Third Way”

The Media:

Boston Globe, in an October 2014 article had this to say about Third Way: “Third Way, backed by Wall Street titans, corporate money, and congressional allies” Further down, in the article, “Third Way raises just over a third of its $9.3 million annual budget from undisclosed corporations. The remainder, the bulk of its funding, is donated by individuals, almost all of whom are members of Third Way’s board of trustees.” The article does share a direct quote from the President of Third Way and one of the co-founders,“We are centrist Democrats, not centrists,” Cowan said.  Wait, didn’t the website say they were left or right, but in the middle?? Hmmm..word play..by using ‘centrist’ and not ‘central’, I did what most of us would do, see the word as what I thought is was being suggested as, not for what it truly is. Nice, deceiving move, there Third Way.

Not knowing you, my readers personally, I have no idea how you would react to the rest of the information in this article, so I’m sharing the link for you to read on your own. I will tell you, it is quite illuminating.

The NY Times, in December 2013, in an article about think another think tank and its donors included Third Way  in a small bit of press in the article: ‘Sean Gibbons,  a spokesman for Third Way, rejected any suggestion that the group’s work was distorted by the origin of its financing. “No one — not our donors, our political allies or our friends — tells us what to think, write or say,” he said.’ (To see the rest of the article, which is another illuminating read: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/14/us/politics/think-tank-with-ties-to-obama-discloses-corporate-sponsors.html)

Bringing this back to CCSS and Workforce:

Remember the original assignment the President gave the Vice President? Head the Workforce Initiative? Here’s what Mr. Biden’s final report to the President said, “Two days later, in Waukesha, Wisconsin, he( Obama) signed a Presidential Memorandum on Job-Driven Training for Workers, assigning Vice President Biden and the Secretaries of Labor, Commerce, and Education – working closely with the National Economic Council, the Domestic Policy Council, the Council of Economic Advisers, the Office of Science and Technology Policy, and the Office of Management and Budget….”

Here’s another excerpt pertaining to the foundation for what has happened, “Under the leadership of Vice President Biden, Secretary of Labor Tom Perez, Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, the Administration engaged in an intensive review to identify, initiate, and implement actions to make federal employment and training programs and policies more job-driven and effective, consistent with existing statutory authority. ” Here’s something else you’ll need to know, ” constructive engagement of Cabinet Secretaries and leaders of employment, training, education, and workforce development programs in the Departments of Agriculture, Defense, Energy, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, Interior, Justice, Transportation, Veterans Affairs, the Social Security Administration, and Environmental Protection Agency, and from the expertise of the Department of the Treasury, the National Science Foundation, and the Office of Personnel Management.” 

Under the ‘stakeholder’ sidebox on page 6, education is the second largest one. Here’s how it is described, “Educational leaders at community colleges, universities, and high school CTE programs” and also, “Workforce and job training partnerships, American Job Centers, community leaders” Note: In case you don’t know or don’t remember, “CTE” is ‘Career Tech Education’ which is short for ‘Common Career Core Technical Education’.

Promote a seamless progression from one educational stepping stone to another, and cross work-based training and education, so individuals’ efforts result in progress. Individuals should have the opportunity to progress in their careers by obtaining new training and credentials. Job-driven training programs should make it easy for individuals to transition from one post-secondary program to another, including Registered Apprenticeship and occupational training programs, and from basic education programs into post-secondary programs.” Here’s a question, all this money, all this effort and career paths are being established right now, as early as in middle school! Then carried on into high school. So, the question is, why is all the information, while open, not open enough to include this?!

We know from past researched links and resulting posts, that career paths begin much too early for our students. Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act will only continue to force this issue into classrooms.
We know from past researched links and resulting posts, that career paths begin much too early for our students. Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act will only continue to force this issue into classrooms.

Here’s the entire report: skills_report_072014_2

Money buys Workforce Education/Training:

September 2014, $450 million dollars given to boost Workforce Education/Training. Here’s the announcement, http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/09/29/fact-sheet-vice-president-biden-announces-recipients-450-million-job-dri

Part of the funds will be used to increase Career Tech Education both online and in schools. Notice in the below image that by the time the students get to high school, they’re already in the training pipeline.

As part of the video featuring the Vice President, the phrase ‘learning quicker to earn quicker’ or very close to those words were used. Why? In one word, ‘economics’. At the price of our students.