Tag Archives: Overreach

Pot Stirring

Warriors Against the Core, what do you get when you take an at-home ‘teachable moment’ and add digital badges?!  You get a CCSS pot stirring lesson.

Look below and see if you can see the hiding-in-plain-sight CCSS/STEM themed agenda.

uncleben

Uncle Ben:

What you see above is from the name brand “Uncle Ben” rice. The cooking with your family concept is wonderful. It’s part of how we bond. It’s a great way for parents to guide their children. However, not everything connected to education needs an agenda. So, IS there an agenda to the Uncle Ben’s current project?!

The company behind Uncle Ben’s  is Mars Food North America. Back in Oct. 2015, Mars/Uncle Ben’s conducted an educational survey. Here’s an excerpt about the survey. “Between both the survey and video, the goal was to have parents stop and ask themselves if they were taking the same level of passion around homework into the kitchen to teach their children how to cook,” said Andrew Cops, U.S. Director of Marketing. He went on to state, “Cooking is an integral part of a child’s development because it teaches them math when they measure out ingredients, science when they bring things together and reading as they learn to understand and decipher recipes.”
If you’d like to see the entire Press Release and see the video mentioned in the excerpt,
http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/the-uncle-bens-brand-shines-light-on-missing-piece-of-childrens-education-through-parent-survey-300154870.html

Let me pause here to say that I think teaching kids to cook is absolutely vital. My concern is as always, is there more just under the surface we should know? For example, is Mars Food North America a CCSS backing company? Is the ‘Homework Direct’ service featured in the video a real service? Is the “Ben’s Beginner Program simply a way to teach cooking, or is there CCSS or any of its related alignment present in the Project?

Mars and Common Core?!

Mars Foods (aka Mars, Inc.) is a global company. They make more than rice and candy, however. Pet foods are among their products. They also are the company behind Banfield Pet Hospitals and many other products/services.
Mars, Inc. is also into STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math). STEM is a big part of CTE, Career Tech Education, which is part of Common Core. Mars is involved with fossil fuels, solar energy, green house gas emissions. Their webpages on these will show you they are convinced (and thus leading others to the same conclusion) that the climate change is a big, scary deal. See: http://www.mars.com/global/doing-our-part/principles-in-action

Mars, Inc. has their own “Career Paths”. As you may know Common Core also uses the phrase “Career Pathways” as part of  CTE, Career Tech Education. To see Mars’ ‘Paths’:
http://www.mars.com/global/careers/explore

Mars, Inc. believes in, and participates in P3s (public private partnerships) in education. Through the Wrigley Foundation (as in Wrigley’s Chewing Gum). See:
http://www.mars.com/global/doing-our-part/community-outreach/people-societies/improving-education-through-partnership
(*Note: to see the Wrigley Foundation’s overreach into the classroom with CCSS and STEM, see this CA school: https://dornsife.usc.edu/wrigley/foodforthought/ )

Mars, Inc. is a member of the Business RoundTable. A HUGE ed/workforce, Common Core; Career Tech Ed; CCSS Machine member organization. If you haven’t seen the latest pro CCSS/CTE/STEM propaganda out of the BRT, you can find it here:
http://businessroundtable.org/issues/education-workforce


The Uncle Ben’s Project:
The Mars Foods/Uncle Ben’s project is called “Ben’s Beginners”. You can see, above, what the purpose of the Beginner’s project is. There is more, however. Look below:

ricecontest
Okay, winning something for your school isn’t too bad, BUT…

ricepta
Knowing that the National PTA is a CCSS Machine member, we need to ask about our State PTAs or local PTAs. Are they, too, aligned?! (see: http://www.pta.org/commoncore)
For all the promotion are expected to do in the picture above, all you get for motivation is coupon worth less than $3.00!

You can download the official Press Kit, https://beginners.unclebens.com/docs/default-source/about/pr-toolkit.pdf?sfvrsn=2

The resources for PTA/PTOs can be found: https://www.unclebens.com/ben’s-beginners/for-schools

As far as the ‘digital badges’? You receive them upon completing each recipe/lesson. For example, when you click on the link below, notice the steps as the link loads. “Polishing badge” will appear. See:
https://beginners.unclebens.com/lessons/en-us/recipes/chicken-broccoli-and-rice-casserole/ingredients
There are 5 lessons/recipes in all: https://beginners.unclebens.com/cooking-lessons

October 15th has been set aside by the folks at Uncle Ben’s as “International Cook With Your Kid Day”. See: https://beginners.unclebens.com/cwykd


‘Loose Grains of Rice’ (related information):

As far as the question about “Homework Direct”, as featured in the Uncle Ben’s video, there is NOT a real service that I could find with that logo or tied to Mars. I did find several services with that name, however. The biggest one is from the United Kingdom. I didn’t find any connections, though.

October 15th, 2016:
Interestingly enough the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) has deemed Oct. 15th as “Global Handwashing Day”. See: http://www.cdc.gov/features/globalhandwashing/

There’s even a public private partnership (P3) for Global Handwashing Day. See:
http://globalhandwashing.org/global-handwashing-day/

Finding ‘Ben’s Beginnings’ in your school district’s budget: I found the Mars/Uncle’s Ben’s Project in a FL public school 2013-14 budget. Pasco County, FL Warriors, take note!
Page 31 is what you see below:

Pascoben31

Pasco’s 2014-15 Budget included the Ben’s Beginnings again. Same General Fund (CCSS comes under that General Funding, too), same account number. Page 30, though.

Closing:

You won’t find “Ben’s Beginnings” exclusively in FL, just like CA is not the only State the Wrigley Foundation’s overreach in the classroom can be found either. Since Mars, Inc. is connected to Uncle Ben’s and Wrigley’s Foundation, it’ll continue its quest for global CCSS/STEM/CTE alignment. Who knew a pot of rice could contain so much agenda?

The Gift That Keeps Aligning

Anti CCSS/ESSA Warriors, have no fear, I am still here! Yes, it has been a few days since I last shared any education research with you. However, that does not mean I have been slacking off. Quite the contrary. I have found myself involved in a project which has me combing through the ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act) once again. I wanted to make sure I hadn’t missed any nugget of truth hidden inside the Law. The first time I read the Law (yes, I actually read all the pages of the Final Conference Report (1, 059) pages and the Law (391 pages) ), I knew there were mandates in there to impact every single educational choice known to man, but I also knew that with the ESSA Proposed Regulations Public Comment period drawing to a close (Aug. 1, 2016), I’d better see if there was anything else I missed the first time. A special note for you Warriors, the Final Conference Report AND the Law have the same wording, items, and intent, it is simply a matter of page number difference. The font on the Report is much easier to decipher.

That Gift Quote:

Warriors, we know the ESSA was signed in early December 2015. We know the CCSS Machine members in the Congress, White House, and those in attendance, were almost giddy with joy over the Law. (See below)

ESSA gift
Now, I am not rubbing salt in any wounds. I am actually using the President’s quote to make a valid point:

While the Law was to ONLY encompass K-12th, look at the picture. This is based off my research/reading of the ESSA (as well as the WIOA and HEA) As I have shared with you in the past, birth to career education is embedded in the Law.  ESSA embeds WIOA and HEA in it! ESSA will not stop at the school’s front doors, it means to invade your home, your neighborhood, your entire town (rural or urban), it means to invade your job, too! { WIOA: Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act; HEA: Higher Education Act) } Some gift…some miracle, Obama.
( To see the entire speech: https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/12/10/remarks-president-every-student-succeeds-act-signing-ceremony )


The Gifted Students:

While I have covered how ESSA will cover every educational choice and shown you have almost every type of student/citizen will be entwined, I have not gone into as much detail for the gifted students as I have for the others. So, the remainder of this article will focus on how ESSA will take this subgroup (as ESSA refers to any type of student outside of the traditional public school student) and align them as well.

The National Gifted and Talented Student Associations:

If you didn’t know it, there are a few of these groups. There is the NAGC (National Association of Gifted Children), there is the NSGT (National Society for the Gifted and Talented), The U.S. State Department’s Gifted Education, The Acceleration Institute and, more. (*Note: According to the Open Education Data Base Website) there are at least 50 organizations of some type for gifted students. See: http://oedb.org/ilibrarian/50-essential-links-for-the-parents-of-gifted-children/)
I urge you to look into as many of these as you can. Like always, I am delving into just one of these groups and ESSA Law itself. (I will be looking in-depth at the other gifted groups later.)

NAGC, National Assoc. of Gifted Children:

Website: https://www.nagc.org
Their stance on Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards:
 https://www.nagc.org/sites/default/files/Position%20Statement/Common%20Core%20and%20Next%20Generation%20Science%20Standards.pdf

An excerpt from this Press Release, ” The developers of the CCSS and NGSS have acknowledged individual differences of gifted students noting that some students will master the standards before grade 12, and that it is up to educators to extend the learning goals and objectives beyond the standards to meet their needs. This acknowledgement means that effective implementation of the standards requires specific instructional strategies and curricular materials, including modified formative and summative assessments, for advanced and gifted students whose levels of learning exceed grade-level expectations. Effective instruction using CCSS and NGSS for gifted students will require extensive professional development on the standards and the assessment systems, sufficient materials and personnel resources to support implementation..

The NAGC’s Board of Directors includes a Dr. Dina Brulle. If you do not recognize her name, she has written much on the subject of Common Core, gifted students, how they learn, and why group cluster settings are the best for the gifted learners. You can see her position paper on the group cluster settings on the AASA (American Assoc. of School Administrators, aka: The School Superintendents Assoc.). AASA is a huge CCSS Machine member organization! Access the paper: http://www.aasa.org/content.aspx?id=17446

Now, Warriors, why would I point out this one Board member? Certainly there are others who are CCSS Machine friendly. Brulle is a former Product Developer for Pearson Publishing’s Assessments Division! Her CV (Curriculum Vita) shows that from 2006-2009, Pearson was Brulle’s employer. See the CV: https://webapp4.asu.edu/directory/cv?id=282980

To see the other NAGC Board Members: https://www.nagc.org/about-nagc/who-we-are/nagc-board-directors
The NAGC Annual Fund uses part of its money to promote and train leaders for gifted students in Common Core. Among the top donors in 2015? Pearson Publishing! See: http://www.nagc.org/get-involved/volunteercontribute-nagc/thanks-these-nagc-2015-annual-fund-donors

nagc
To access the NAGC’s Common Core/Next Gen Science website pages:
http://www.nagc.org/common-core-state-standards-national-science-standards-and-gifted-education

Warriors, you might be interested in the NAGC’s Special Interest Groups and what groups they network with in the name of educating gifted students. See: http://www.nagc.org/get-involved/nagc-networks-and-special-interest-groups

There are Gifted Programs nation-wide which align to the NAGC Standards. One example is from CA. The University of California at Irvine’s Extension has the GATE (Gifted and Talented) program. Not only does it align to the NAGC Educational Standards, but to the CAG (California Assoc. for the Gifted) Standards. See the UCI brochure:
https://ce.uci.edu/pdfs/brochures/color/gate.pdf

Do the GATE Standards include Common Core? Indeed they do. Taken from the 2013 document from the CAG, is the screen shot below:

GATECCS

To see the rest of how CCSS and GATE influence gifted learning:
https://c.ymcdn.com/sites/cagifted.site-ym.com/resource/resmgr/docs/ccss-gate_cde_website.pdf


ESSA, That Gift for the Gifted?

Okay, Warriors, just WHAT does the ESSA have to say about gifted students? Well, according to the NAGC, ESSA includes several items (mandates) from the TALENT Act. TALENT Act was to support and enrich gifted/talented learners. (*Note: TALENT stands for:  To Aid Gifted and High-Ability Learners by Empowering the Nation’s Teachers Act {S. 363 and HR2960}. To read the S 363, (HR 2960 is an exact copy): 
https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/114/s363/text
Basically, the Act was to help address the so called achievement gap, both here in the US and globally in the 21st Century with 21st Century skills. As we know, ESSA is full of this very theme.

As far as what those several TALENT Act items are, the NAGC doesn’t make too clear on their page concerning ESSA and gifted learners. See: http://www.nagc.org/get-involved/advocate-high-ability-learners/nagc-advocacy/federal-legislative-update/every-student

SO, what have I found in the ESSA language about gifted and talented learners? From my July 5th article, I showed you how an entire program (called Envision) is geared for younger gifted students and uses CTE (Career Tech Education) as one of its ties to both the CCSS Machine AND ESSA. See: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2016/07/05/youth-envisioned/

Back in January 2016, I shared with you how gifted students (including those in AP Courses and dual enrollment) where being sucked in by ESSA. This one gives you exact page numbers, too.
See: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2016/01/07/the-great-education-experiment/

Not included in either article are the following ESSA Final Conference Report page numbers and how they relate to gifted students:
Page 138, identifying schools serving gifted and talented students (means any school with gifted learners will be noted.)
Page 328, ELLs (English Language Learners) who are identified as ‘gifted’  receive personalized  learning
Pages 335 and 336 explain how local funds must include activities for gifted learners
Page 636 (Section 4644) begins the Supporting High-Ability Learners and Learning details.
Here is a screen shot as to why this should be a concern.

giftedESSA

On Page 637 you will find that it is the U.S. Dept. of Ed’s Secretary who will consult with Gifted and Talented Child Experts and enter into contracts with the States for funding the Javits Program. Further in on Pages 637 and 638, you will find how the U.S. Dept. of Ed’s Secretary will have any group or person wishing to help educate the gifted and talented, must submit an application to him, NOT their States!

Page 639 establishes a National Research Center for Gifted and Talented Students! Here is the proof, “CENTER FOR RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT.—
‘‘(1) IN GENERAL.—The Secretary (after consultation with experts in the field of the education
of gifted and talented students) shall establish a National Research Center for the Education of Gifted and Talented Children and Youth through grants to, or contracts with, one or more institutions of higher education or State educational agencies, or a combination or consortium of such institutions and  agencies and other public or private agencies and organizations, for the purpose of carrying out activities described in subsection (c). ‘‘(2) DIRECTOR.—The National Center shall be  headed by a Director. The Secretary may authorize  the Director to carry out such functions of the National Center as may be agreed upon through arrangements with institutions of higher education,  State educational agencies, local educational agencies, or other public or private agencies and organizations.”

More details can be found out about this National Center from Pages 639-642.

Closing:

I know this is a lot to take in. It is a lot to wrap our heads and hearts around. How in the world our Congress members DID NOT read this Bill before it became a LAW is still something I do not understand. Aligning education is one thing, using our teachers and students for ‘research’ is quite another. Let’s remember, however, that ALL students and teachers will be used for ESSA purposes, not necessarily their own.

Be sure to stay tuned for my look into the other Gifted Associations.