Tag Archives: OBE

Weekend News for the Anti CCSS Warriors

Like cookies shaped in a certain way, we are seeing our nation similarly shaped to CCSS's mold.
Like cookies shaped in a certain way, we are seeing our nation similarly shaped to CCSS’s mold.

Greetings, Warriors. As we all have seen by now, the media has put its spin on the recently signed new law known as ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act). We have seen legislators released statements claiming victory, too.

Warriors, we have led the charge across the nation to point to the language of the new law, as well as other aspects of this CCSS based education reform. We, more than likely, have even had some of our family, friends, neighbors, and nay-sayers buy into the false claims being so rampantly spread since the rushed hack job in D.C. occurred.

My fellow Warriors, we CANNOT give up, I’ve stated this in previous posts. Other anti CCSS Warriors, as well as others who have been fighting, have also repeated this truth. It is only since the ESSA was signed that I have been contacted with folks who have not been aware up until now, that they, too, want to know what is in the law’s language which will point them to the ‘untold’ items embedded that will further the CCSS Machine’s alignment of American education.

As in other previously published posts, I have shared with you the WIOA (Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act) embedded ties, the CTE (Career Tech Education, which is an adult version of the CCSS) embedded ties. I haven’t stopped digging through this new law’s language.

Why would I do this? Isn’t it a moot point now? NO!! As I have shared with you in the past, the more we know what is embedded, and will be enacted in each of our states, the more we can raise awareness to the CCSS aligned efforts! The more we can have the proof to show others that all is NOT what has been ‘sold’ to them via all those pro CCSS spins we have seen in the past few days. It is STILL very important to know that what is taking those of us still combing through the language (which our legislators should of done BEFORE voting on it) many hours to complete, we will discover the truth and share it. However, when we share the truth, we must be careful HOW we share it. It would be a great idea to have the portions of the mammoth document with what you are sharing highlighted. It would be even more helpful when you share those highlighted sections, that you have any other documents which support your points of concern. It certainly will help when pointing out a law that is violated, or a state statute which is being violated. Remember, if we are to continue to fight, we must fight well; with the right information given at the correct time. Otherwise, our very valid points will miss their mark.

All this being said, what do I have to share with you this weekend which will help? Read on, my Warriors!

 

The ESSA Document:

If you have not been able to access the final confirmation report which the Senate and House voted on to advance the ESSA to the President’s desk, here it is:
ESSA FINAL CONFRPT_112915

If you have not ever searched through a massive amount of information in a pdf file, like this, here are 2 pointers:
a) Look at the top of the pdf and see if you can locate the magnifying glass emblem. If so, click on that to enter a word or phrase you are seeking. (For example, when I wrote the first article featuring each page number you could find “Workforce” used in the ESSA, this was a tool that made wading through over 1,000 pages quicker. I simply got each page number, then went back to read the context the term was used in).

b) If you cannot find the magnifying glass, use your ‘control’ key and the “F” key at the same time. You should be able to see a search box appear. The ‘previous’ and ‘next’ tabs will help you jump forward or backward to where the term you are searching for appears. Again, once you have the page numbers, go back and read the context.

 

The White House’s Official ESSA Report:

In very rapid response to the ESSA being signed into law, the White House has released an official report. The report is slam full of all the (by now) well publicized pro CCSS points. Why? We must remember, all the CCSS alignment fits right into the White House’s education reform. By using a pro CCSS document (as I have done many times), you can easily locate the fallacies, as well as see how slick the agenda to reform American education is being packaged.
To access the WH(White House)  ReportESSA_Progress_Report
For example, when you read this report, you will find ‘new incentives’ for each of our states. Specifically, page 9, second bullet point states “Develop, refine, and replicate innovative and ambitious reforms to close the achievement gap in America’s schools, similar to the Administration’s existing i3 program.” From this statement, look at the language closely. Almost immediately, you will see ‘reform’; ‘achievement gap’; but, the biggest phrase which should jump out at you, is the ‘Administration’s existing i3 program‘. What is the ‘i3 program’? I am so glad you asked!! The i3 ‘program’ has roots in the RttT (Race to the Top) and is short for “Investing in Innovation”. This ‘i3’ is only one portion of the “Reform for the Future” agenda the White House is pushing. To see the website where you can learn all about the Reform:
https://www.whitehouse.gov/issues/education/reform
(*Note: when you access this website, be sure to click on the highlighted blue words, there you will find reports, initiatives, and more. Note how you see STEM, Promise Neighborhoods, etc…these, too, are all part of the pro CCSS alignment in American education)
Before I leave this Report, did you notice the presence of RttT? Didn’t we hear speeches passionately given when ESSA became law that RttT waivers were a thing of the past? Yet here, we see the RttT is still in play in a new way! That should be a big piece of evidence to use from a state level point of view.

 

A New Search Term for ESSA:

Knowing I had already used ‘Workforce’ and similar terms, I wanted to see what the search of the ESSA’s confirmation language would bring me with the term ‘alignment’.
Here is what I found:
Page 48: aligning challenging state academic standards (CSAS) to meet post secondary credit bearing parameters (we’ll need to see how the HEA (Higher Education Act‘s re-authorized language spells this out, but from my research, CCSS/CTE has its firm grasp on post-secondary education already)
Page 65: alignment of ELA (English Language Arts)
Page 207: twice ‘alignment’ is used in relation to assessments and CSAS
Page 216: also twice used concerning LEAs (local education agencies) and state grants for assessments
Page 502: OBE (outcome based education) used to evaluate and align academics
Page 508: alignment used in relation to assessments and data mining for CSAS
Pages 759-766: several uses of alignment and/or realignment in regards to LEAs and military bases
Page 970: what groups are limited in alignment activities in education
Page 1034: improving states alignment of their assessments

Closing:

What you can expect from me in the very near future posts is this: more documents which you can use to see how, now more than ever, we need the information of the roots planted BEFORE ESSA was enacted as the educational law of the land. Why? If you listened closely to both the celebratory speeches of Senators Alexander and Murray, they revealed the ESSA was not a few months in the making, but 5 years! Many of the documents the White House Report (see above) are anywhere from 2010 to today.  However, many are featured by the WH, you can bet there are plenty more NOT featured. Have no fear, Warriors, I have quite a few we can glean from.

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FTF: Recaps for Anti CC Warriors

In case you missed these articles or wish to review them.
In case you missed these articles or wish to review them.

Face it, anti CCSS/CTE Warriors, we’ve come a long way together. We also face much more activity before we can find ourselves finished. Since the recap of my “Would You Believe It?” articles was a big hit, I thought the “From the Files” would be helpful, especially when each one has embedded documents we need for our battles against the CCSS Machine.

Arranged by topic, these are sure to be ones to share with new warriors. Thank you for your continued trust.

For You, the Anti CCSS Warriors:

https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/03/17/ftf-celebrating-fighting-ccss/

CCSS, More than ‘Just Standards:

https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/09/09/from-the-files-common-core-curricula/

https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/09/23/from-the-files-tuesday-equity-excellence-in-education/

https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/10/21/ftf-tuesday-common-core-network/

https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/12/02/ftf-create-they-know-your-school-do-you-know-them/

https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/08/04/ftf-ccssncte-and-back-to-school/

Where STEM, CCCS, and CTE Intersect:

https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/09/02/from-the-files-pcast-stem-and-common-core/

https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/02/24/ftf-romancing-the-ccss/

https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/07/28/ftf-update-for-stem-workforce-and-the-hea-part-one/

Private Funders, Political Agendas, and America’s Alignment to CCSS:

https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/09/16/from-the-files-tuesday-down-in-the-valley/

https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/03/03/ftf-hey-parents-the-ccss-roundup-is-coming-for-you/

https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/03/31/ftf-ccss-pearsonites-at-your-higher-ed-campuses-now/

https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/07/07/ftf-this-just-in-military-bases-economy-and-ccss/

https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/08/18/ftf-ccss-education-community-alignment-reaction/

Health Care, Social Emotional Learning, CTE, and CCSS:

https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/09/30/from-the-files-health-care-gets-a-common-core-transfusion/

https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/11/04/ftf-tuesday-st-sel-common-core/

https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/06/30/ftf-more-know-thy-title-9-ccss-and-education/

https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/08/11/ftf-ccss-dehumanizing-characters-daily/

Charter Schools, Private Education, and, CCSS:

https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/10/07/ftf-tuesday-clarity-for-sale-aligned-to-common-core-for-free/

CCSS,CTE, CCR (College CareerReadiness), Adult Education, and Outcome Based Education:

https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/10/14/ftf-tuesday-competency-vs-mastery/

https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/11/11/ftf-tuesday-meet-sheeo/

https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/11/18/ftf-tuesday-ccrec-college-and-career-readiness-evaluation-consortium/

https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/01/06/ftf-more-evidence-for-aligned-ccss-higher-education/

https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/02/03/ftf-tuesday-comprehending-assessments/

https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/04/14/ftf-chea-cte-ccss-and-america/

https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/09/01/ftf-ascending-and-aligning/

Workforce Education and  Massive Data Mining:

https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/10/28/ftf-tuesday-align-and-mine-part-2/

https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/01/20/ftf-tuesday-career-readiness-and-data/

https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/01/27/ftf-tuesday-iassc-universal-certification/

https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/03/24/ftf-tuesday-aacte-and-common-core/

https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/09/08/ftf-human-capital-the-new-name-for-citizens/

https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/09/29/ftf-more-tracking-the-workforce-aligned-society/

Being a ‘Core Ready’ School:

https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/12/09/ftf-tuesday-the-core-is-ready-are-you/

https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/09/15/ftf-revisit-to-redesigned-ccss-high-school/

For The Alignment of Our Teachers:

https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/01/13/ftf-tuesday-ccss-teaching-or-frustrating/

CCSS and the Small Business Administration:
https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/02/10/ftf-the-sba-and-common-core/

Featuring the Man Tapped as Duncan’s Successor:

https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/02/17/ftf-creating-common-core-minions/

CCSS,CTE, and, Special Needs:

https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/03/10/rmt-ccsss-present-to-special-needs/

CCSS Possible Legislation:

https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/05/26/ftf-ccss-testing-bill-maybe-maybe-not/

CCSS Assessments:

https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/06/09/ftf-ccss-frying-pan-into-the-fire/

CCSS, CTE, and, Home Education:

https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/06/23/ftf-crossing-into-ccss-land/

 

Closing:

While you see many topics above, be sure to use only the topics you need and save the others for future reading. My goal is NOT to overwhelm you, but to show you just how all encompassing the CCSS Machine is. Be sure to tune in to the usual Wednesday media outlets I contribute to. I’ll be back on the blog Thursday.

To access the special half hour Negdog Radio Show: 347-843-4165, from 10:30 am to 11:00 am, ET.
To access the Women on the Wall call: 302-202-1110, conference 702165 at 8:30 pm, CT.

FTF: CHEA, CTE, CCSS, and America

I know you recognize CCSS (Common Core State Standards). You probably know that CTE is short for Career Tech Education (which is post-secondary speak for adult CCSS). But, do you what CHEA stands for? Council for Higher Education. This is the group responsible for ensuring that your students attend a post secondary school that is accredited. Meaning the degree they receive (or in CTE’s case, a national certificate) is really worth something. However, I’m digging in to see who’s ensuring the CHEA is worth believing. After all, if they’d aligned with the CCSS Machine, how credible can THEY be?!

http://www.chea.org/default.asp
http://www.chea.org/default.asp

Background Articles for You to Research:

(ICYMI: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/01/31/sic-em-saturday-ccss-in-christian-schools-even-more/) *NOTE: the article will link you to another related one.
Here’s another one which exposes JCSEE (oversees the standards we use in America) as well as some other groups: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/02/17/ftf-creating-common-core-minions/
For another look at yet another organization in charge of charter schools: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/10/07/ftf-tuesday-clarity-for-sale-aligned-to-common-core-for-free/ 
As we all know public schools are accredited by state governments.  So, all this to ask, what is accrediting a school? Answer: quality control. Yet, how can you have quality control in Common Core?

Quality control with CCSS is like fool's gold. Yeah, it looks like the real thing? But it's a mockery.
Quality control with CCSS is like fool’s gold. Yeah, it looks like the real thing? But it’s a mockery.

CHEA:

As state above, CHEA is short for Council for Higher Education. It is the largest organization of its kind, overseeing more than 3, 000 schools. It is the primary voice to both the U.S. Congress and the U.S. Dept. of Education. It also has an international presence among education circles. It is a primary data resource for other schools and institutions. They have a principle of forcefulness when it comes to advocacy. CHEA is also in clear understanding of existing educational standards; as a results they know what to hold higher learning institutions to as quality education. See all the facts about them: http://www.chea.org/pdf/chea-at-a-glance_2012.pdf

The Higher Ed Guidelines:

It’s important to know just how CHEA judges a school to be worthy of accrediting. After all, your student’s loans and grants will go to these schools. Your students will more than likely be living there. You want to know that the school is a good one.
No matter where your student attended their former educational days, when they go off to ANY post-secondary school in today’s America, They face CCSS via Career Pathways, Career Tech Ed, or it’s embedded in those classes that are fundamentally required. Think about all that I’ve shared over the past months about many of the higher ed schools and how they’ve been instrumental in CCSS.
So, does CHEA include CCSS or CCR or CTE in THEIR guidelines? Let’s look. The CHEA website points you to their research and publications on the home page of the website. So, I clicked on the “Guidelines” pdf and was taken immediately to a brightly colored report. Nothing too unusual in that, but it was the tie to the Carnegie Foundation that caught my attention. Carnegie LOVES the CCSS. Grants from Carnegie’s Foundation and the Teagle Foundation made the 2012 report possible. What also caught my eye is that CHEA has the publication, but another organization’s name was cited as authoring it. (see below) We’ll come back to who’s behind the New Leadership Alliance for Student Learning and Accountability later. First, let’s see those guidelines.

According to NLAFfSLaA's website, not much information about WHO makes up the Alliance is there.
According to NLAfSLaA’s website, not much information about WHO makes up the Alliance is there.

From the introduction of the report comes the U.S. government’s agenda right off the bat. Here’s an excerpt, “The U.S. government has made a commitment to lead the world in post secondary degree attainment. This is a necessary and laudable goal that is critical to the economic competitiveness, equal opportunity, and a healthy democracy.…The primary responsibility for assessing and improving student learning falls on (two- and four-year) colleges and universities. Those granting educational credentials must ensure that students have developed the requisite knowledge, skills, values, and attitudes that prepare them for work, life, and responsible citizenship.”

First guideline is ‘ambitious goals’ via outcome based education. I guess seeing the failure of OBE in preK-12th isn’t enough. Secondly: gathering evidence students are learning (fancy talk for data mining). Third goal has to do with using that evidence to steer improvement. How’s this concerning? Improvement isn’t only based on evidence..it’s based on current policies as well. IF the policies are CCSS laden, so’s the improvement. The fourth goal is sharing all that evidence with internal AND external constituents (aka ‘stakeholders’) Lastly, our trust as a public in those higher learning educational places. Along with the Alliance’s Board of Directors, the following organizations fully support these goals and all that goes with them.

“ACPA — College Student Educators International, American Association of Community Colleges, American Association of State Colleges and Universities, American Psychological Association, Association for the Assessment of Learning in Higher Education, Association of American Colleges and Universities, Association of College and Research Libraries, Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, Association for Institutional Research, Center for Community College Student Engagement, Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education, Council for Aid to Education, Council for Higher Education Accreditation, Council of Independent Colleges, Council of Regional Accrediting, Commissions Higher Education Data Sharing Consortium, Higher Education Research Institute, Institute for Higher Education Policy, John N. Gardner Institute for Excellence in Undergraduate Education, Midwestern Higher Education Compact, NASPA — Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education, National Center for Higher Education Management Systems (NCHEMS), National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment, National Survey of Student Engagement, National Advisory Board, New England Resource Center for Higher Education, State Higher Education Executive Officers, and Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education” 

Board members for the Alliance: Gretchen Bataille Senior Vice President, American Council on Education, Walter Bumphus President and CEO, American Association of Community Colleges, W. Robert Connor Senior Advisor, The Teagle Foundation, Judith Eaton, Chair President, Council for Higher Education Accreditation, Richard Ekman President, Council of Independent Colleges, Peter Ewell Vice President, National Center for Higher Education Management Systems, Paul Lingenfelter President, State Higher Education Executive Officers, Sylvia Manning President, The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association, David Paris, ex officio Executive Director, New Leadership Alliance for Student Learning and Accountability, Carol Geary Schneider President, Association of American Colleges and Universities, and David Shulenburger Senior Fellow, Association of Public and Land-grant Universities. To access the entire guideline report:
http://www.chea.org/pdf/Committing%20to%20Quality.pdf

That Alliance:
Earlier I stated we’d look at the New Leadership Alliance for Student Learning and Accountability. Website: http://www.newleadershipalliance.org/home.html (you’ll need to know that what you see is all there is. There is no ‘about us’ or ‘history’, there’s no list of members of the Alliance, no funding information either. I did find a principles statement from the Allliance on CHEA’s website. I’ll include it here. While there’s no specific mention of CCSS, CCR, CTE, or any other CCSS Machine speak, you’ll really want to read about the basis of this allied group. Not once did I see ‘rigor’, BUT I did see ‘vigor’. Could it be the CCSS Machine has switched to a new buzzword?
Don’t get me wrong, I know higher education is needed. Our students have every right to a free (as in how to live life) and  wonderful future. What is grievous is that higher ed, just like all the other types of education are being filtered through the Common Core/Career Tech Ed/Career Pathways/Career Clusters/Workforce agenda.
Oh, the leader of the Alliance (stated above as ‘ex officio Executive Director’) David Paris? From his bio on the American Association of Colleges and Universities (also an Alliance member), he appears to be steeped in modern education reform. He’s even a fan of Horace Mann’s. He’s an expert in political theory and public policy, too. We’ve seen what those 2 entities have done to education. (the complete bio: https://www.aacu.org/contributor/david-paris) As far as the principles document?
(See: http://www.chea.org/pdf/2008.01.30_New_Leadership_Statement.pdf )

CHEA and the Feds:

Here are the links to find out just how deep the CHEA is tied to the U.S. Dept. of Ed. In 2013, a news brief detailing how much money the Dept of Ed. could use to help accreditation  changes via CHEA; how more organizations can get in on the student loan game, and what bills they were supporting that stood to change education. (see: http://www.chea.org/Government/FedUpdate/CHEA_FU31.html ) *Note: CHEA and the US Dept. of Ed, TOGETHER set the standards for higher education! CHEA’s funding comes from its member institutions. We know where Dept/Ed gets their funding from.

CHEA and the CTE:

Yes, Career Tech Education is alive and supported via CHEA. Here’s a report showing not only CHEA’s list, but the U.S. Dept. of Ed’s list of organizations for higher ed/career tech: CHEA_USDE_AllAccred

It's the Under Secretary for U.S. Dept. of Education who sets post secondary policy!
It’s the Under Secretary for U.S. Dept. of Education who sets post secondary policy!

The CHEA Sales Pitch:

Knowing public trust can be used against us is something we’ve seen happen repeatedly in the CCSS world in which we live. Here’s how CHEA sells what it does to those shopping for education in higher institutions.

Monday Musings: Purposed Embedding for the Core

Oh, the things I find in my email.
Oh, the things I find in my email.

Going through my email a couple of days ago, I opened this ‘lovely gem’. It’s all about how I can learn to purposefully embed formative assessments in my classroom.  While many anti CCSS warriors AND pro CCSS supporters have tackled formative assessments, we still are seeing new resources everyday geared to help us shine in the CCSS spotlight. What a crock. My hard earned money to pay for a book to teach me how to align my students. Let’s see what else we can find out. Join me as I ponder over assessments.

One Co-Author:

Pictured above is Dr. Dylan William. If you don’t know his name in education. That’s okay. I didn’t really either. I can tell you he’s got a great British accent. I can tell you he’s been in education for over 30 years. You can ‘google’ him and find out all kinds of CCSS related things he’s done. For example, “Education Week” writer Mr. Hess had an article back in 2014 about the 5 non signers of the CCSS validation committee. Dr. William was one of the five. However, his love for CCSS is ever present. See this excerpt, “In any event, one of the more interesting responses I received was from my friend Dylan William, emeritus professor of educational assessment at the Institute of Education, University of London; former senior research director at ETS; and author of Embedded Formative Assessment. Dylan was one of the 29 members of the Common Core Validation Committee and one of the five who refused to sign off on the standards. I asked if I could share his note, and Dylan gave his okay. It’s worth noting that Dylan remains bullish on the Common Core. He writes, “To re-iterate, I think the Common Core State Standards are our best shot at creating an education system that meets the challenges of the 21st century. I am frankly appalled at the level of much of the debate, so if you think this can help, by all means share it.” ” To see the rest of the article,

http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/rick_hess_straight_up/2014/09/common_core_validation_committee_non-signer_dylan_wiliam_shares_thoughts.html (*Note: ETS stands for Educational Testing Service. I’ve written about ETS as recently as yesterday. See: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/03/01/rmt-why-is-the-deck-still-being-stacked-to-serve-ccss/)

From back in his days at ETS, I did find a speech he gave to during the Salzburg Global Seminar back in 2011. Conference Theme? “Optimizing Talent: Closing Educational and Social Mobility Gaps Worldwide”. Dr. William’s full speech? “How Do We Prepare Students for a World We Can’t Imagine?” I found the document in Dropbox form, but I encourage you to access it for yourselves. It’s important you read and discern for yourselves what was shared. I’ll give you a hint however, his abstract paragraph opens with words to the effect of educational achievement is any given country’s economic detriment.  I urge you to access the 2011 version, then compare it to the 2014 version. Optimizing-Talent-20140829

If you’d like ETS’s short version of the 2011 speech, see their 2012 publication: optimizeded

NWEA:
A little more snooping on the internet and I found Dr. William on the NWEA‘s website (Northwest Evaluation Association). Based off the 5 ways William states that formative assessing should be embedded, is a blog article that you’ll need to read to believe. Especially the embedded video. The narrator of the video shares a huge nugget of information for us as CCSS warriors. He states that IF the kids score higher, get better jobs, the taxes generated off this successful students would pay the entire K-12 public school system’s needs for the next 30 years! See the blog AND definitely watch the video: https://www.nwea.org/blog/2013/using-formative-assessment-to-build-school-and-teacher-leadership/ 

(*Note: If you’re a bit curious about NWEA, be sure to check out their website: http://www.nwea.org  Maybe you’ve heard of their best product “MAP” (Measures of Academic Progress), which is used is both PARCC and SBAC. See: https://www.nwea.org/?s=MAP

You might also be interested in this 2011 article about NWEA which shared how NWEA is funded. See: http://www.oregonbusiness.com/articles/99-may-2011/5177-educational-nonprofit-makes-software-for-schools?start=1 )

Hawker Brownlow Education:

This company is a privately owned one in Australia and featured Dr. William back in 2013 where he extolled the virtues of formative assessing. Now, don’t get me wrong. When taken away from CCSS alignment, I believe formative assessing CAN help our education. But herein lies the “Catch 22”, no one in the assessing business seems capable of NOT aligning to CCSS, or to College/Career Readiness Standards, Next Gen Standards, and on and on. So, does HBE have ties to CCSS? Let’s see…

From Down Under, more CCSS alignment.
From Down Under, more CCSS alignment.

To see their video featuring Dr. William:

HBE also partners with  the Marzano Institute. If you’ve not heard of them, you will know about this group in a few minutes.

Marzano Institute:

Based in America, but with global outreach capacities. Also head of the RISC (Re-inventing Schools Coalition). Before we get to RISC, however, my Texan friends will most likely tie Marzano to CSCOPE. Their not “CCSS” but yes, it really is CCSS nightmare. Here’s an excerpt I found on The Blaze’s website, “But while the groups to which CSCOPE appears relatively beholden may sound alarms for critics, the actual researchers CSCOPE credits with providing the basis for its curriculum seem to be formidable industry veterans by and large. Those educators include Robert Marzano, Fenwick English, John Crain, Heidi Hayes Jacobs, Grant Wiggins, Jay McTighe, H. Lynn Erickson, and James Barufaldi.” (see the entire article: http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2013/03/07/cscope-exposing-the-nations-most-controversial-public-school-curriculum-system/) You’ll probably want to read the 2013 article Freedom Outpost/Charlotte Iserbyt’s published article  as to how they described Dr. Marzano’s take on education. See: http://freedomoutpost.com/2013/06/school-choicecharters-will-kill-private-education/

To read Dr. Marzano’s own words, see his article on the (Gates Foundation funded) ASCD website: http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/dec93/vol51/num04/When-Two-Worldviews-Collide.aspx

To see Marzano’s CC publications,

More Core for sale!
More Core for sale!

RISC (Re-Inventing Schools Coalition):

Their website: http://www.reinventingschools.org/

Right off the bat, at this website, I was greeted with the “Acheive, Inc.” logo. This won’t take long to find the CCSS tie, now will it? You’ll want to see all the groups who are partnering in the RISC project. Access the information:

 http://www.reinventingschools.org/about/affiliates/

In their own words, a chart to continue the outcome based type of education that doesn’t honor our students as much as it rates them on performance.

Nothing says OBE quite like 'perform, perform, perform!'
Nothing says OBE quite like ‘perform, perform, perform!’

In case you didn’t blow up the screen shot above, the web address to see more about how our schools are being re-invented: http://www.reinventingschools.org/about/the-risc-approach-to-schooling/ 

If you hurry, you can learn about the upcoming RISC/CCSS alignment package! It’s set to be in our faces by 2016. See: http://www.reinventingschools.org/services/common-core-proficiency-scalesassessment-package-2/

Closing:
SO much purposed embedding! Have you noticed a theme among the different people, groups, and organizations? I sure did. Economy, taxes, performance. UGH! What happened to real education?! As long as powerful people like this with very global agendas that are frankly un-American, we will need to sharpen our efforts to remain a land of free thinkers.

 

FTF Tuesday: Competency vs Mastery

It is the 'classic' battle of the educratic words.. competency vs. mastery.
It is the ‘classic’ battle of the educratic words..
competency vs. master

First up, The ‘file’:

I’m focusing today on a ‘file’ that’s full of so many educratic Common Core/College-Career-Readiness buzz phrases, it could start its on fertilizer patch! If you’ve followed me for long, you know I’m one to look behind the words thrown around meant to impress us with how great CCSS is (and all that goes with it). So, today. we’re getting in the ring with this competency vs. mastery!

The blog article is called “Three Key Characteristics of Competency Based Learning” (see: http://blog.blackboard.com/3-key-characteristics-of-competency-based-learning/) The very first sentence states,Competency based learning empowers learners to focus on mastery of valuable skills and knowledge and learn at their own pace.” In all fairness, the author does tell you to use the lexicon guide to understand what competency based learning is. So, I went there. Guess what? There’s no ONE definitive meaning.

So, here’s a clue..since people are so different and there’s no ONE way to constrict competency based learning, WHY BOTHER?? Maybe I’m being too simple minded, but as an educator, I didn’t (still don’t) have time, luxury, or desire to try to adhere to something that has to fit a mold. I certainly will not force my students to adhere to this system of learning. It’s disaster filled. You want a student who can learn at their own pace, look at how Benjamin Franklin achieved this. He was a self-taught person. Thomas Edison..horrid in a traditional school, fabulous in his own setting. Why those who are funding CCSS and running the education of American won’t look at this kind of REAL learning? It will not fit their agenda. So, instead, they seek to conform, relegate, and belittle those in the classrooms.

Words that Confuse, Round One:

“Mastery”, what does THAT mean? Well, as far as the ‘helpful’ lexicon the author refers you to? You have to download it..Come on..be helpful..show me in the article, don’t tout your project and then send me somewhere else! I have enough downloads now! Below, is the American Policy Center’s definition of ‘Outcome Based Education’ otherwise called, ‘Mastery Learning’:

“OBE is not a curriculum. It is an anti-intellectual, highly politicized, psychological process designed to create students who are accepting of and susceptible to control by selected authorities. Successful OBE programs produce students who reject individual goals and achievements in deference to the needs and goals of a group. Student acceptance of individual competitiveness, parental authority and traditional societal structures are seen as barriers to achieving a successful education process. Assessment tests and national standards are established to determine if a student is accepting the new set of attitudes, values and beliefs.  Concerns for academic achievement are never considered in the OBE process.  LEARNING: a change in behavior which persists. Under the OBE behavior-modification system, a child is said to be learning when assessment tests show that he/she has begun to succumb to and accept the predetermined set of values and outcomes prescribed and preset in the OBE process.   Where once a student answered “white,” but now says “gray,” the OBE process says he/she is beginning to learn. Soon he/she will answer “black” and the education establishment will declare that the student has “mastered” his/her “core subjects,” ready to add to the “Goals 2000″ 90% graduation statistic to prove how the new education process is working.” (if you’d like to read the rest of the article: http://americanpolicy.org/1999/03/29/how-to-understand-the-double-speak-of-the-educrats/)

The Dictionary, Round Two:

When in doubt, turn to the dictionary!! My personal favorite is my old, beat up Random House Collegiate one. (I’ve seen the updated versions; ghastly in their rewritten, modern forms) So, just WHAT does the dictionary say ‘competency’ is? Adequate, sufficient; certain minimum requirements of age, soundness of mind, citizenship, and the like.”

‘Mastery’, according to the dictionary, “The state of being a master {person with ability, power to use, control or dispose of something}; power of command or control. Command or grasp, as in a subject. Expert skill and knowledge.”

‘Empower’, “To give power or authority. To permit or enable.”

Closing thoughts, Final Round:

Now, go back and apply this to the opening sentence: It should sound something like this:Sufficient,  minimum requirements enable  learners to focus on being a master while complying.”  

From this context, the rest of article is a mass of mixed messages. Very few true masters of anything were minimal. Take DaVinci, he was 24/7, full throttle..wide open. Now, imagine someone like him under the constraints of Competency Based Learning. He’d probably be out the door (if not dead) in less than a week. Filter the rest of the article with this in mind. Especially when you get to all the practical, buy-in, everyone wins part.

When did education become so much about ‘buy ins’, ‘leverage’, ‘lowering’, and collective? Those who support the Common Core, seem to be wholeheartedly behind this OBE, Competency based learning.  Look, at not just this article, but others like it. Talk is big about how great it all is, the students can learn SO much..and at their own pace. If you’ve not seen the pattern yet, there’s not much time, desire, or energy left for ‘individualized learning’ in this model.

You either want a student to succeed at his or her best or you don’t. You cannot have a student be both competent based AND mastery based. It’s either setting the bar too low or teasing them. To be competent, you only have to meet the standard, to be an master takes years of hard work. Look at any expert down through the ages..they weren’t awarded ‘mastery’, they toiled for it. Common Core will not give us real masters in education. If it did, why are the Standards written by those who are competent in education? No real expert or master of education stands behind them! You want sub-standards in education, CCSS gives you some ‘bang up’ models then! You want real mastery in education, keep looking..Common Core has set our students up for failing..for just getting by..for minimalist ‘education’ as prescribed by someone else that will not help your student be THEIR own person, nor be THEIR best!

CommonCore-Equal-Fail

Tongue-in-cheek assessment of Competency Based Learning, The Knock Out Punch:

There’s an old phrase, the educrats seem to have laid aside, “Jack of all trades, master at none.” Who wants to be THAT person? Who wants their students to be THAT person?? I don’t! It’s time to stop the falsehoods, folks. Let’s get back to real education in America.