Tag Archives: outcome based learning

Tech Thursday: Online Learning for Everything?

Warriors Against the Core, We know there are all kinds of great ways to teach and to learn. Common Core has ruined this in SO many ways. With the push for digital this, digital that, on-line courses, and all the other resources available via the computer it can be SO confusing to know which are CCSS aligned and which are not. While the question I’ve posed to you in the title is rhetorical, we still should see what are some of the latest offerings out there. Why? To help steer clear of them, to inform others who might need to know, and to see what pro CCSS organizations are behind them.

 

English Language Learners:

As an avid education researcher, I get all kinds of notices about educational products which are new. One such recent announcement was a way to help those learning the English language with a new ” innovative digital ELL curriculum designed to help close the achievement gap.” The goal? Improved student outcomes. According to the sales pitch the product was to ‘boost performances’ of those ELL students. Shameful..we boost the performance of our cars. In my researched opinion (and personal experience as an educator) we shouldn’t be teaching to ‘boost performance’ of our students. We should be seeing educational resources which ‘encourage and help our students to LEARN’ not to ‘perform’! The on-line lessons are provided by Middlebury Interactive Languages. However, MIL worked in tandem with ‘We Are Teachers’.  MiL (Middlebury Interactive Languages has courses for K-12 students in all school choices, including homeschooling). If you’re curious about the CCSS Machine’s propaganda, don’t be, it is there plain as day. Here is an excerpt from the website, “Middlebury Interactive Languages is the academic leader in digital language learning for K-12 students. We provide access to superior world language and English Language Learner curriculum solutions that prepare students with the skills and cultural understanding to compete in the 21st Century global marketplace.” So, what company or organization is behind MIL? Middlebury College! What is also interesting is that most of the board managers have had some tie (at one time or another with K12, Inc. K12, Inc. has ties to CCSS, as well.) We can come back to them in a minute or two. If you look at MIL’s education partners, you will see quite a few members of the CCSS Machine. See them: http://www.middleburyinteractive.com/about/partners

K12, Inc. I previously showed you their CCSS ties in two articles. One ties them to the NASBE (National Assoc. of State Boards of Education). See: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/02/14/sic-em-saturday-do-you-know-nasbe/
The next one showed you how this on-line school fared with North Carolina. (hint: it wasn’t nice) See: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/02/23/monday-musings-two-wrongs-no-right/

We Are Teachers, (WAT) This group has a ton of resources available for anyone who is on the internet. When I found it I could get anything from lessons, to free printables, and free recipes. When I looked closer, I saw I could get all the STEM stuff I wanted, as well as PD, Professional Development. As you know, my research has proven just how twisted the ties between STEM and CCSS are. But back to the website, it seemed everything was easy to find EXCEPT who runs WAT. We Are Teachers is a LLC (Limited Liability Corporation) based in TX. It appears that all kinds of educational information is available for anyone on-line. See their terms of use policies, http://www.weareteachers.com/homepage/terms-of-use
The concern is, with this type of information sharing can have you come face to face with CCSS, STEM, or who knows what else? The screen shot below is from the WAT ‘Assessment’ section of the website.
WATstuff

 


Closing:

My fellow warriors, what do you think about all this? An on-line educational company so bad they were at once run out of a state, only to at a later day, be allowed?! Educational services based out of a college that has been around for years, which not only offers its CCSS aligned materials to public students, but extends them to those who are homeschooled?! A LLC where teachers are encouraged to share, but has a nebulous side to it?! Not to mention STEM?! Why, oh why, must everything  connected to education seem to always come back to the CCSS Machine?! I am so beyond mad over the fact that the CCSS Machine has slicked up its offerings to include any student or teacher in or outside of the traditional public schools!

What is a take-away from this article which I most hope you will share with others? If you must choose on-line for all your student’s needs, SNOOP! Be nosy, ask questions about what group created the educational content. Has the curricula been vetted properly? Bottom line: if something does not appear to be trustworthy, walk away! If it sounds too good, check it out anyway! We say in the anti CC warrior conversations that ‘we will not conform’. If we really mean those words, we MUST investigate everything! When we find ANYTHING connected to the agenda of the CCSS Machine, we MUST expose it! Warriors, let’s learn a valuable lesson from our proCCSS fellows about what NOT to do when it comes to education.

It can best be summed up in an old saying.  ‘Ride the fence too long, you find splinters in your bottom’.

fencemessage

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Tech Thursday: More Alexander, HEA, and the Next America

Part two of the look at the recent conference discussing the re-authorization of the Higher Education Act.
Part two of the look at the recent conference discussing the re-authorization of the Higher Education Act.

In today’s post, we pick up where the CCSS/CTE trail left off from yesterday. That is the “Next America” Conference held recently. Sen. Alexander, Ted Mitchell, and the others you see above all spoke. We looked at Mr. Mitchell’s speech yesterday. Today, it is an opportunity to hear what the Senator said. We’ll also look at what the panel had to share as well. Will there by more Common Core/Career and Technical Education speak?

The Video Archive of the Conference:

Once again, here’s the You Tube video of the conference hosted by “National Journal”, the Gates Foundation, and Lumina.

Sen. Alexander’s portion of the Conference begins at the 1 hour, 23 minute mark. Interestingly enough, his speech isn’t nearly as long as his predecessor, Ted Mitchell, but his speech is full of things we anti CCSS Warriors need to know…and fight. If you missed part one (Mr. Mitchell’s speech and a brief look at the hosts of the “Next America” conference [exposes their ties to the CCSS Machine], see: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/06/10/wybi-sen-alexander-the-hea-and-next-america/)

Pride Goes Before a Fall:

One thing we’ve seen in those pushing the CCSS/CTE legislation, is their pride in the belief that all this reform and alignment is the greatest thing since sliced bread. IF the person is a politician, the pride factor of how they’ve been key to this is doubled. Below are the key times and CCSS/CTE catch phrases from Sen. Alexander. His speech begins with a ‘gloom and doom’ statement about America being 5 million jobs short by 2020 because we won’t have enough properly skilled post-secondary trained graduates. (as stated above, Alexander’s speaking begins at the 1 hour, 23 minute mark).

From that point to near 1:25, Alexander condemns K-12 education as well as give you a brief history lesson about post secondary education. Then, three key agenda items to be written into the re-authorized version of  the Higher Education Act (HEA).
1) reduce the red tape which regulates Higher Ed
2) stop the ‘kids can’t afford college’ lie
3) make college more affordable
(*Note: when you see this, notice what document he holds up with pride. It’s the ‘blueprint’ for exactly how this 3 top priorities (he’ll go on to tell you the blueprint has 59 changes). If you don’t have this blueprint, you need it. It is full of just how CCSS/CTE friendly the HEA will become. See: Regulations_Task_Force_Report_2015_FINAL Be sure to listen for the other key legislators the Senator keeps naming. We need to look further into their part in all this (at a later time).

1:27-1:32, you’ll hear how those top 3 priorities are now suddenly 5 steps. Be sure to listen for the Medicare funding connection; the filling out the FASFA (which would be re-named) in your students junior year of high school (‘we must get them started even earlier’); how College Board’s opinion is of importance; and how ‘free’ (or ‘nearly free’) colleges can be.
(*Note: The Senator will compare student loans to car loans to make his points)

Alexander’s speech ends at 1:34. Then, it’s on to the one-on-one talk with one of the hosts. This is the part of the video you need to have a piece of paper and something to write with.

1:35 his work with Sen. Murray to fix NCLB by Sept. 2015
He also mentions the “Fast Act”.(see: http://www.help.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/Final_draft_Onepager%20for%20fin%20aid%20bill%20with%20Bennet.pdf)

1:36 getting all this new technology into post-secondary education
1:38 (and several other times) ‘skin in the game’ reference. This relates to having colleges join in on student debts.
1:39 broadening incentives to colleges
1:40 broadening mandates with incentives (uses TN’s community colleges as an example)
1:41 that ‘other’ white paper on student data collection
1:43 refers to Ted Mitchell (US Dept of Ed)’s college rating system and data collection
1:44 listen for the ‘ax grinding’ or grudge that Alexander displays toward the U.S. Dept. of Ed and how he now can address it via legislation.
1:45 repeats broadening incentives
1:46 admits he blocked votes
1:47 mentions Elizabeth Warren’s plan for public college and debt free students
1:48 ‘free’ or ‘nearly free’; ‘average’ (all referring to the cost of college. I’m not sure how much college costs have been studied by the Senator or his staff. The figures he gives are ridiculously low)

The Assorted Other Speakers at Next America:

As in part one, I shared with you how the Gates Foundation and Lumina were both not only hosts of the Conference, but speakers as well. I encouraged you to look at each of the biographies for these assorted members of the panel. It is at the 1 hour, 50 minutes mark, the balance of those featured in the above picture, gather to speak about all that’s been shared thus far. If you’re looking for indoctrinated talk, you’re in for a treat. The Q/A begins with modern innovations in the classroom.

1:56 ‘lots the federal government CAN do and SHOULD do.’
(*Note: start counting how many times ‘outcome based’ education or funding is used from this point on.)

Other statements you’ll want to know were spoken:
*Having employers become part of the post-secondary accreditation mix so that college is relevant and can respond to businesses.
*Need for more data heaviness
*Culture shift in higher education
*How more states are participating in performance education based funding and how many more should be participating.
*Data learning outcome based statistics
*STEM degrees
*No quick track for education/graduation
*Collecting student/school data and publicizing it
*Risk taking by colleges; federal government pushing institutions to comply (‘islands of excellence’)
*Have or re-vamp existing ‘outcome based education framework’
*Get that degree any way you can
*Data-lifting the student ban
*College degrees to better help graduates in the Work Force

Related resources NOT part of the Conference:

1) The 2006 Spellings Report for Higher Education (see how much of the CCSS/CTE main themes are in this older report): 2006 hea spellings
2) The ‘Realignment of High School’ (with the ESEA rewrite and the HEA rewrite being overseen by the same education reformer, we need to see how much of what’s reported here is part/parcel of the newer versions of the ESEA/HEA)
Reinventing_American_High_School
3) Gates Foundation’s post-secondary agenda items (how many of these will end up in legislation?) Gates Higher Ed policies
4) The House of Representatives HEA paper: hea_whitepaper

Closing:

As a follow up to today’s article, be sure to read the “Fib-o-Meter” Friday article coming tomorrow. I’ll connect the dots on how community colleges (so overstressed in this conference as the answer America needs) are so entrenched with CCSS/CTE.

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:
2013-lumina-strategic-plan

University Innovation Alliance:

unitedcollege

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:
http://www.luminafoundation.org/files/publications/DQP/A_path_to_alignment.pdf

Guiding schools and school districts toward successful implementation of the Standards:
http://www.luminafoundation.org/resources/roadmap-for-a-successful-transition-to-the-common-core-in-states-and-districts

Here’s the Heartland Institute’s report on the biggest foundations fund CCSS. Lumina is among them.
http://news.heartland.org/newspaper-article/2014/01/28/foundations-spend-millions-promoting-common-core

From the Stop Common Core NC website, this article on how Lumina helped fund a “NC Ready for Success” program.
http://stopcommoncorenc.org/nc-ready-success-part-2/

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.
http://www.sreb.org/page/1598/major_grants.html

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).
http://oregoncoretocollege.org/

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!