Tag Archives: PBLs

Update on “Of Late”

When I wrote “Of Late”, I knew there were several key pieces of evidence to present and somehow tie together. 

Almost immediately after the article hit the social media circuit, I got at least 2 other leads from fellow Warriors, making EVEN more connections to the subject matter in “Of Late”. If you missed that topic, it was all about the how our current U. S. Congress is bowing MORE to a global vent for workforce based education for all ages and all educational choices.

What follows is to be used as tools for every anti Fed Ed Warrior out there. Yes, it’s in-depth. But, it needs to be.

Where I Left Off:

Warriors, I left you with the confirmed evidence that American education is being used as a tool against us for the purpose of reshaping our nation. To continue that re-shaping, look to North Dakota, first.

Heading West:

My fellow Warrior from “The Roughrider State”, noticed that some of the items I shared seemed a bit TOO familiar. She then referred me to Gov. Burgum’s recent Innovation in Education Summit. She laid out some quick facts about the ties some of those presenting ‘expert’ evidence have to the CCSS Machine. She heavily questions how well these people represent the values of the North Dakotians.


I  found Dintersmith involved in another education reform area (which was also another tip from my ND friend). That is the “Most Likely to Succeed” documentary. This was filmed back in 2015 and was considered a hit by the Sundance Film Festival. What the documentary shows is chilling, Warriors. Below is the just over 2 minute trailer. Notice the key CCSS Machine members (Robinson is tied to Pearson, Khan is tied to the Khan Academy and received Gates Foundation funding to switch to CCSS, Common Core State Standards.)

(*Note: the full length documentary is not available legally for free on You Tube due to copyright issues.)
Below is a ‘team’ spirited description about the documentary. The number one team member? Dintersmith!

If you’d like to see the “Most Likely to Succeed Learning Sparks” (short videos to spur you into action to help create more ‘innovation’ in your schools), find them here. Warriors, you find out how to ‘hack’ education and more. Look for Linda Darling-Hammond to be among the ‘experts’. Try not to cringe.

Warriors, I haven’t forgotten Dintersmith’s assignment by former President Obama (in the brief bio description above) to the UN. Neither should you.

Time and time again, I’ve shown you fact based research on how the former leader and his administration bent over backwards to help continue the cycle of ‘dumbing down’ American education.
There was the PCAST Report from 2010 where STEM was ushered in as a disguise for the UN’s SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals), thanks to the NSF (National Science Foundation) and many other CCSS groups. There was also ‘innovation’ after ‘innovation’ initiative or some digital push to be foisted on our teachers and students.

Thanks to ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act), those ‘innovation’ and digital overhauls are 100% certain. Has our current President slowed any of this down? Hardly.

Mr. Trump has, in fact, seemingly turned a deaf ear to the CCSS Machine’s technology de facto moves.

To see what Pres. Obama’s White House Report (Next Generation High Schools) featuring Mr. Dintersmith, contained, look here.

Warriors, remember, Dintersmith is a business man, not an educator. The fact sheet for the same White House Report reveals not only a big STEM push, but CTE (Career Tech Education) push, too. Both STEM and CTE are tied up in CCSS, apprenticeships, and the global education scheme of the United Nations.

Getting Back To The “Most Likely”:

Warriors, here’s an almost 30 minute video featuring the producer and lead team member for “Most Likely to Succeed”. You’ll not only see clips from the full documentary, you’ll hear first hand pro CCSS Machine discussion. Once again, Linda Darling-Hammond will surface during this video with her explanation as to how ‘grit’ will help solve the outdated American education. Listen all the way to the end. There is key evidence there.

Meanwhile In North Dakota:

One of the major concerns of my ND Warrior friend is shared by others in a few other States. The profiling of our high school students. If you’ve heard of “NorthStar” you know what I mean. The Facebook group Educray is based in TX. When my ND Warrior shared her concerns on social media, Educray was quick to join her. See below:

From TX, the Highland Park ISD graduate profile reeks of “content rich” global citizens rhetoric.

To see the Profile of a Graduate/EdLeader21 description of these types of data mining profiles, access the information here. To see the 4 Cs, collaboration, creativity, communication, and, critical thinking (which replace the 3 Rs in education), look here.
Getting Smart (Tom VanderArk) has a detailed article and podcast you’ll need to investigate. You’ll see other States using these profiles for ‘quality education’.

ReTool Your School:

Also featured in the ND Innovation Summit was “School ReTool”. If you’re not familiar, have you noticed how many of our schools are building torn down to be replaced by buildings which could double as a prison? To find out about this movement and how it connects to the global scheme:


If you wonder about the ReTool’s ‘mission’? Look below:


 Among School ReTool’s Partners? Groups from ME, NH, CO, CCSS Machine members Hewlett Foundation, Ted Dintersmith, and more. Find the rest here.

Part of the ‘retooling’? “Academic interships”..a fancy name for ‘Apprenticeships’!! If you’ll remember, Warriors, most of the “Of Late” article spells out for us the global ties to apprenticeships, higher education, and more. To see School ReTool’s Academic Internship plot, visit here.

Warriors, since most of the apprenticeships and internships are targeting our high schoolers in an attempt to groom them for higher education, we know to be watching the post-secondary reform like a hawk. You also know, I have been helping you do just that for years. EdWeek has an article, published earlier this week which reveals some valid points (even for a pro CCSS/ESSA source).

Point #1: Since the U.S. Secretary DeVos has been in office, she’s tackled much more higher education reform than K-12th grades.
Point #2: There’s a ton more federal control on colleges, community colleges, proprietary (for profit) schools, and all the early college, skill prep programs to unite K-12th to post-secondary education.

Innovation Kills:

Warriors, much of the conversation about all this alignment, reform, and increased innovation leaves out the bare faced fact that innovation actually stunts our minds.
How? Too much of anything is bad for us. As the push to unite the USA to a global education continues; technology and innovation/infrastructure for such will continue to envelope us. 

Released in 2016, is the short You Tube film which depicts a father and child. Conformity to a work/school system is the topic. According to the resource I found highlighting this film, the tone of the writer is that we must change society to join work and education.
Exactly the message we are hearing from the UN, Congress, and our Administration in Washington, D.C. 

The writer stresses that is it our current mindset toward work and school which is killing our student’s minds. In the fact-based research and evidence, it is the CCSS Machine grasp on education which is doing the stunting. NOT parents, not our environment.

I was able to find that one of the producers of “Alike” (Daniel M. Lara) is tied to the Blender Foundation and their 2016 Conference, where he was a featured speaker. Blender Conferences have been an annual event for a while now. Blender’s focus? Arts, technology, animation, and all related subjects. I also found that the Blender Foundation was cited as a resource (page 86) in a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) publication from 2015 for IGI Global for use in America. This Google Book is a goldmine of education reform. Chapter 83 is all about embedding pedagogy into NGSS (Next Gen Science Standards), you’ll see how innovation is to be used to target those ‘less academic’ than their peers, you’ll find out STEM is being unleashed on our babies, how ‘blended learning’ and PBLs (Problem Based Learning) is to shift education’s responsibility from teacher to student as a force tactic, future trends for K-20 education (kindergarten to 4 year college degree or similar), service based education (as in grooming the ‘collective, global citizens’), computer games as science teachers, multi-pronged distance education, how the Europeans are educating in these ways, open source lectures (coding classes will tie in here), and, more. (*Note in the beginning pages the number of American Universities.)

A 2014 Oregon State University Blender Camp brochure. Warriors, it will show you how ‘blending art’ and STEM fit into the classrooms.

A Blender Foundation “STEM in the Classroom” example. It’s called “Teach STEM Now”.

Interestingly enough, Betsy DeVos and Ivanka Trump just promoted more girls to STEM in the Smithsonian Museum, 7/25/17. They teamed up back in March 2017 to do much the same. (*Note: Not so funny, one of the UN’s SDGs is promoting women in education, especially STEM.)

IGI Global has a Pearson Publishing assessment available for a price. Check it out.

Last Stop, North Carolina:

Warriors, as you know I’ve shared with you how sold out to the CCSS Machine, NC is. Living here has given me the opportunity to show you things to watch for. Look below. One of the NC legislators is bragging on how ‘we’ will be the first in the nation for state-wide classroom internet access. Remember, ESSA’s mandates in technology include such. Way to align, NC.

Access the “Economist” article and you’ll literally read the beginning words with the name of B.F. Skinner, quickly followed by Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerburg.


The long road of reform to a global education is fully in the works. Warriors, let’s get busy!

Youth Envisioned

Anti CCSS/ESSA Warriors, in the past couple of weeks, I shared with you a look at Envision and how it is tied to the CCSS Machine. If you missed it, the article exposed how Act, Inc. is partnering with Envision in the name of globally workforce ready students. (See:
https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2016/06/24/envisioning-you/ )

While researching the Envision entity, I uncovered a similarly named group. It appears that only the names are almost the same. So, today’s article will look at this other ‘Envision’ group which is designed for gifted students.

Envisioning Gifted Students:

To access this Envision program, http://www.mindvinepress.com/about.html
Look below at the screen shot. The question in red (mine) will be where we spend the remainder of this article.:


Mind Vine Press:

According to the Mind Vine Press website, the Envision tools you see in the picture begin in Grade 3, last one year, and are great for personalized learning. Remember the question above? I am most interested in how the ‘Career Aspiration’ connects to the CCSS Machine. We can get to how this connects to the ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act) in a bit.

See this screen shot as an example of how this gifted program is tied to the Common Core AND the Career Tech Education (adult CCSS):

When you use the address to find the other Student Links, note that it is interesting how few Career links are actually given. Of those, it is also not a surprise to see how the CCSS Machine is included. You may also catch that the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) is among the links. It has been proven that the EPA is tied to CCSS/CTE and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math). See: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/10/21/wybi-tying-stem-to-ccss-again/

So, who is behind Mine Vine Press? I can only find one person on the website. The Mind Vine Press is based in TX. Melanie Bondy is not only the only person I could find on the website, she is also the author and consultant for Mind Vine Press. Below is the latest brochure from the Press:

To see Ms. Bondy, speech topics (and see her fee based schedule):

According to LinkedIn, Bondy has been at the Mind Vine since 2007. See:
https://www.linkedin.com/in/melanie-bondy-b4919246 (*Note: her educational background is listed as  Central Michigan University.)
If you would like to access CMU’s CCSS information,
See: http://libguides.cmich.edu/c.php?g=104186&p=677683
If you would like to see CMU’s CTE (Career Tech Education) and STEM information, see:  https://www.cmich.edu/colleges/ehs/unit/css/Pages/Future-Teachers.aspx (*Note: the CTE information will be in plain sight. The STEM information can be found at the bottom of the page.)

You may find it also noteworthy that back in 2014 (the same copyright date on the presentation below), Central Michigan University partnered with the Michigan Dept. of Ed to target high school students desiring to become educators in a CTE based program. See: https://www.cmich.edu/news/article/Pages/cmu-to-offer-course-credit-to-high-schoolers-looking-to-become-teachers.aspx

Other Bondy information:
1) Access this  previous presentation Bondy gave and note how the Bloom Taxonomy is the basis for the Mind Vine Press publications. (Slide #5)
http://www.gagc.org/Resources/Documents/2015%20Convention/Handouts/Mind%20Vine%20Press/2015%20Bondy%20Handouts%20(1).pdf (*Note: be sure to see her slides on the Career Paths)
2) Related is Bondy’s 2007 Career Path resources from Texas, see: http://www.humbleisd.net/cms/lib2/TX01001414/Centricity/Domain/150/careeraspirationposter.pdf
3) If you’d like to find more of Bondy’s Career/Envision Path tools, resources (all geared to PBLs (project based learning) ), where you can find the U.S. Dept. of Labor, various State Depts of Labor, etc, be sure you check out her Pinterest page:

What you WON’T see on Bondy’s work is a copyright from CCSS or CTE, BUT you do see the ties. You can see the support she gives the CCSS/CTE Machine!

Tying CTE to the ESSA:

Since it appears the overall goal of Envision for Gifted Students, is workforce (I mean career based) education, how DOES CTE fit in the ESSA?! Will gifted students be standardized just like all the other students via ESSA?!

For a quick answer, CTE is found in the ESSA under a few different phrases. For example, ‘post-secondary readiness’. CTE is also woven into the WIOA (Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act). WIOA is specifically named in the ESSA multiple times.

A bit more in-depth answer is that while CTE (is also called Career Pathways, Career Clusters) is in the ESSA under other phrases (in addition to CTE), the post-secondary readiness (PSR) factors includes ALL students AND all teachers. Students must learn to be PSR AND teachers MUST teach everything to PSR factors. Who is deciding those factors? Supposedly the States, but look at the current Proposed U.S. Dept. of Ed ESSA Regulations where PSR is among the mandates. If you look closely at the Proposals, you can see other CCSS Machine member groups as cited in research/evidence sources for justifying these proposed measures.

We also need to consider that Career Pathways (another one of the CTE names) is embedded in WIOA (2014) at least 21 different times..again, interchanging phrases! We also need to remember that the HEA (Higher Education Act) is full of ALL of this as well!

Below are links to not only my articles with research/evidence to support the answers you see here, but to the Proposed ESSA Regulations.

To see how I found WIOA in the ESSA (and connecting them to the HEA and STEM Acts):

To see how AP (Advanced Placement) Courses, Exams (usually attended by gifted students) ties into the standardization of ESSA:
(*Note: while this article is geared for private education, AP is most definitely included.)

To see how teachers will be rewarded/punished via the ESSA and student achievement:

To find where the ‘post-secondary readiness’ is in ESSA (and how it is craftily substituted for ‘college/career readiness’):

To see how PBLs tie to CCSS and CCR:

To find the ESSA Proposed Regulations:
1) https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2016/05/31/2016-12451/elementary-and-secondary-education-act-of-1965-as-amended-by-the-every-student-succeeds
2) https://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=ED-2016-OESE-0032
3) My response to the Regulations (so far): https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2016/06/30/leading-the-charge/


Warriors, we need to know that there are many large pro CCSS/ESSA groups AS WELL as some smaller groups. We need to know how they are carrying on the ESSA, CCSS reform, AS WELL as the push to continue shifting education to Career-based NOT traditional based.
We need to continue to hold accountable ANY person, group, or company in education or ANYTHING connected IN any WAY to education! Why? ESSA will level and standardize every student (young, old, rich, poor, gifted, special needs, private educated, homeschooled or not).

ESSA will go down as one of the greatest bridges in the educational reform. Why? It bridges birth to K and higher ed for a streamlined workforce full of competency based quasi-education. One of the worst parts in all this? Companies (big or small), speakers (well known or not-so-much) are making lots of money while seemingly pedaling student supportive educational materials.


Full Steam Ahead

Make NO mistake: it has been a calculated plan for STEM and Common Core to be directly related. Thanks to the ESSA, it will be even more embedded in education via College and Career Readiness.

For this edition of my Weekend News, I will be diving into STEM, STEAM, College and Career Readiness and how these connect to not only education, but a top-down Washington, D. C. led agenda to make our nation a STEM one.

How I know STEM is a Top-Down Agenda for the Nation:

1) The first article I wrote exposing the PCAST (President’s Council on Advisors of Science and Technology will give you the full Report laying out how STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) was to be quietly implanted in the (then) about to be released Common Core State Standards. The Report will state (in so many words) that the agenda was for a STEM nation, a STEM workforce, and we would be STEM citizens. This agenda is meant for everyone, not just students in traditional schools. If you haven’t read it: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/09/02/from-the-files-pcast-stem-and-common-core/
Here you will find out how STEM was embedded in your RttT funding and has been extended via education waivers:

If you would like to access the current activities of the PCAST, where STEM will certainly be a huge factor of:
https://www.whitehouse.gov/administration/eop/ostp/pcast (*Note: Be sure to read their ‘Future Cities Report’ as well as the ‘Smart Cities’ Imitative from the White House.) You can access both here: “Smart Cities”: https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/09/14/fact-sheet-administration-announces-new-smart-cities-initiative-help
The PCAST Future Cities: pcast_cities_report___final_3_2016

2) Further evidence was revealed here on my blog about the connections of Common Core, STEM, and STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, and Math).
a) https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/05/27/wybi-stem-to-steam-ties-to-common-core-pt-1/
b) https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/05/28/tech-thursday-pt-2-stem-to-steams-ties-to-common-core/
c) https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/05/28/tech-thursday-pt-2-stem-to-steams-ties-to-common-core/

Where to Find the Above in the ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act):

For the Data portions, as featured in my previously published article directed to those seeking school board positions: “Data (and all that goes with it), Technology, and the In Home Assessments:
Page 123; 138; Page 255; Page 363; Page 450/451; Page 463/464; Pages 485-488; Page 508; Page 630; and Pages 943/ 944.”

For a very detailed look at the Digital/Data/Transformation, see:

For some of the ways our communities will be transformed via Promise Neighborhoods which qualify as Future Cities: “Section 4624, titled “Promise Neighborhoods” specifically.” See this article for all the other information connected. It is HUGE! https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2016/01/04/meet-your-new-neighbor-essa-seriously/ ”

Another of my articles will show you more on how our communities will face education transformation where you will be able to find STEM/STEAM, etc:

As featured in my previously published article about ESSA and Teacher Pay, the way in which the STEM Master Corps is involved, “Page 406 Enter the ‘STEM Master Corps’! “State-led effort to elevate the status of the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics teaching profession  by recognizing, rewarding, attracting, and retaining outstanding science, technology, engineering, and mathematics teachers, particularly in high-need and rural schools.”

This article gives you a state specific example of the STEM overreach in education:

Visual Evidence of the Overreach of STEM/STEAM  in our communities:

Here, where I live, in NC, the daily media is stepping up the STEM offerings for our community. I first showed you this effort last year, 2015 in my article titled ‘Aligned Summer’. In it you will find a short You Tube video, as well as links to check out for  yourselves to see where and how STEM is being quietly implanted.

From a local charter school (click on the picture to enlarge it):
From an NC University:
From the Charlotte Observer, an entire listing of community STEM offerings:

From the Boy Scouts of America:

From the Girl Scouts of America:

From a Christian Camp near my home:
ChristianSTEMTo find the camp: http://www.charlottechristian.com/page.cfm?p=981, to find the descriptions like you see above, select dates/descriptions, then choose a week.

To find out how Legos is aligned to Common Core, see: https://education.lego.com/ru-ru/lesi/elementary/lego-education-wedo/curriculum/standards-correlations

Another upcoming camp for Girls and STEAM:

If you want to know what those who implant STEAM in our schools do, read this excerpt from ‘How to Start a STEAM Program’, “The approach to STEAM varies from school to school, depending on each district’s appetite for integration. Some schools fully immerse the arts in STEM subjects, developing a full year’s STEAM curriculum to accompany
every lesson unit. Other schools pick and choose projects to integrate throughout the year.
Many schools are creating physical spaces, often called “makerspaces,” as a home base for STEAM. Similar in vibe to a lab or studio, these makerspaces are often converted storage closets or computer labs. Students can work in these makerspaces on STEAM projects independently, in small groups or with a whole class. Typical materials and devices in a makerspace run the gamut: 3D PRINTERS, LASER CUTTERS, ROBOTICS KITS, ELECTRONIC INVENTION KITS SUCH AS THOSE FROM LITTLEBITS AND MAKEY MAKEYCOMPUTERS,  CRAFT SUPPLIES, HAMMERS, NAILS AND SAWS, SEWING MACHINES and FABRIC.”
For more about Little Bits and their STEAM connections, http://littlebits.cc/
For more about Makey Makey from JoyLabz and their alignment: http://blog.makeymakey.com/2014/09/24/jay-silver-stem-everywhere/

To see the entire document (where you can see how more actions are taking place for STEM/STEAM Communities), WP-littleBits–How_to_start_a_STEAM_program

Related to the very first picture above,  where you see PBLS, CCSS, and STEM:
For PBLs (Project Based Learning) and their connections to STEM:

For PBLs and their connections to Common Core:

For PBLs and College/Career Readiness (which is one of the phrases used in the ESSA in place of Common Core):
http://www.p21.org/news-events/p21blog/1593-project-based-learning-and-other-college-readiness-tools- (*Note: P21, Partnership for 21st Century Learning is heavily involved in the total community makeover we are being set up for via ESSA. You can also access their views about how great STEAM in from the main page. Just look to your right hand side menu.)

For the State Level legislation embedding STEM in our lives (NC as the example):
http://www.ncga.state.nc.us/enactedlegislation/statutes/pdf/bysection/chapter_116c/gs_116c-5.pdf and http://www.ncleg.net/Sessions/2009/Bills/Senate/PDF/S1198v4.pdf

For a State Level Dept. of Education’s overall STEM plan, again with NC as the example:

STEM in the Workforce from a state level (NC is the example state):
Education and Workforce Innovation Program Legislative Report 4 30 15

The federal level of STEM in education as a law:

For the look into WIOA (Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014 and how it ties STEM to not only our workforce on a national level, but ties to the HEA, Higher Education Act.): https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/07/30/tech-thursday-part-two-of-the-hea-stem-the-workforce-and-america/ (*Note: Part One is embedded in this article.)


Anti CCSS/Fed Ed Warriors, make no mistake, our nation is being STEAM rolled! Use the above information and visuals to investigate what is happening locally and state wide in your states! Don’t forget the local public libraries, the museums, after school programs, your cities parks/recreation departments, even your churches upcoming VBS programs.
Check out this 16 minute STEM Vacation Bible School held in VA back in 2014 (the website page: http://nsbepotomacriver.org/event/vacation-bible-school-nsbe-stem-initiative-workshop/)

Monday Musings: “Global Readiness” and CCSS

NC has its first "Global Ready" School. Is your state next?!
NC has its first “Global Ready” School. Is your state next?!

Anti CCSS Warriors, another work week is upon us. Another week to fight against the agenda behind the CCSS Initiative. We know part of the agenda is NOT a true academic education, but a workforce based, globally minded, and career ready citizen who will be an economic ‘positive’. I’ve written much on the topic. Our students, regardless of the their age are being described as ‘human capital’, ‘talent supply’, and other disgusting phrases. We can now add the dishonorable ‘globally ready’ to this list, at least in NC. But are there other states already willing to sell out their schools? You bet!

NC, First is ‘Globalness’?

Where can you find out more? http://www.ncpublicschools.org/globaled/
Where can you find out more?

I invite you to enlarge the above screen shot. This is no joke for NC, but it’s a foolish move for the state, nonetheless. Why? Because instead of the state receiving LESS CCSS, it is continuing to LOCK CCSS into the schools!!
Here’s a quote from the page above, “In September 2011, the North Carolina State Board of Education (SBE) formed a Task Force on Global Education to assess the state’s effort to produce “globally competitive” graduates ready to live, work, and contribute in an interconnected world.” The Task Force found 6 major goals and committed to 5 of them. What are they? I’m so glad you asked! Below you’ll find the 6 goals in plain language, not the tricky double speak so often used in CCSS supportive dribble.

1) prepare students for global readiness
2) use LEAs (Local Educational Agencies) to co-ordinate and align for global readiness
3) prepare and align teachers for global readiness
4) stress global language and culture
5)  involve as many P3 (public private partnerships) to get in the ‘global push’ as possible
6) hone a sustainable, global competitive edge in communities

The 5 commitments? Again, in plain language, not pro CCSS rhetoric!
1) embedded global themes, more PBLs (problem or project based learning), and groom teachers for more globalness, not less
2) partner with HLIs (Higher Learning Institutions) for more to increase the supply of global ready teachers
3) transform schools into ‘new schools’ with the help of non-education related entities
4) expand the ‘global ready’ push to more NC school districts
5) work directly with the NC Dept. of Commerce and other external partners

To see the pro CCSS language as the State Board of Education’s Task Force stated the 6 goals and 5 commitments: exec-summary

Okay, that’s just the summary above, but what was in the 2013 Full Report?? Read on, anti CCSS Warriors, but have a ‘barf bag’ close by, you’ll probably feel your stomach begin to revolt! Oh, and I’m leaving it in their words this time. Following each quote, I’ll provide you with a plain speak articles of HOW each of these are locking in MORE CCSS, CTE, CP, STEM, and more! {*Note: CCSS is short for Common Core State Standards; CTE is short for Career Tech Education; CP is short for Career Pathways; and STEM is short for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math}

College- and Career-Ready Standards. Like 45 other states, North Carolina is implementing the internationally-benchmarked Common Core State Standards in Mathematics and English Language Arts. In addition, unlike elsewhere, the state has also developed the new NC Essential Standards that underpins the newly developed North Carolina Standard Course of Study for all content areas.
My recent article where you can see how sold out to CCR (college/career readiness NC is and just which groups and schools are involved):

“Teacher and Principal Evaluation. Beginning in 2008, North Carolina implemented new, statewide teacher and principal evaluation instruments..”
See how principals are being encouraged to align not only traditional students to CCSS, but encompass the special needs students as well!:

“Longitudinal Data System. To enable greater levels of data-driven decision-making, the state has implemented a Common Education Data Analysis and Reporting System (CEDARS), which links students and staff and allows data to be analyzed across sources, such as financial systems, teacher licensure, student information, and testing.”
To see how well NC has covered its backside on mining student data and for how long it will go on in our student’s lives. I must warn you, other states are doing this as well!:

“District and School Transformation. 118 low-performing schools and 12 school districts are receiving intensive and ongoing support to dramatically increase educator effectiveness and student achievement.”
School district alignment often involves those who are employed therein. See how the CCSS Machine has its grasp on some of the nation wide groups overseeing or helping school districts!:

“Early College High Schools. The state has 69 early college high schools in operation on community college and university campuses..”
Dual enrollment combines the last part of high school with that of the first year of college. In NC, all 58 community colleges are CCSS/CTE aligned. Most of the major universities are also helping grease the wheels of the CCSS Machine.:

NC STEM Learning Network. The NC STEM Learning Network guides implementation of our state’s coordinated STEM Strategy to increase student achievement in STEM…”
Learn about the STEM Affinity Network that’s in full speed across America!:

North Carolina Virtual Public School (NCVPS).  NCVPS offers over 100 courses to students across the state, including Advanced Placement (AP), World Languages, Occupational Course of Study (OCS), and credit recovery courses.”
What the NC Dept of Public Instruction doesn’t reveal is that NCVPS pulls in homeschoolers and other educational choices!:

“Instructional Improvement System (‘Homebase’). The state is developing this online system to help educators manage student work and assessments, classroom activities, and their personal professional growth.”
What the NC Dept of Public Instruction prefers you DON’T know about “Homebase”!:

“Early Literacy Interventions. The state is developing a comprehensive, diagnostic assessment for K- 3 students.”
To see the NC ‘homegrown’ birth to 5 year literacy, pro CCSS alignment:

If you’d like the full 2013 report this juggernauts come from: final-report

Here’s a screen shot of the 2015-16 “NC Global School Ready Rubric”:
To get the entire rubric: ncglobalrub
To get the school district ‘global ready’ rubric: NCdistrictrub
{*Note: the partnerships used in creating this rubrics. Asia Society is among them. To learn where the Asia Society is housed and how it connects to the CCSS Machine, as well as the CCSS aligned teacher standards see:



So, I’ve shown you what’s up in NC, but what about the other states? Look for phrases like ‘globally connected’, ‘global network’, ‘future ready’, and similar. If you want more information on how many states are already connected to the GEN (Global Education Network): https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/09/17/tech-thursday-global-day-for-education/
If you’d like to learn about the Global Competency Task Force:

With moves like these in our states, we know LOCKING in more CCSS/CCR/CTE is a reality, not a questioned possibility. If our leaders are saying ‘no’ to CCSS, but ‘yes’ to ANY of the above, we must hold them accountable!

Weekend News: Workforce’s Got Your Number!

This weekend’s news will feature the CCSS/CTE laden Workforce Data collection systems.  We learned how our students are referred to as ‘human capital’. We’ve already learned about the U.S. Government’s Workforce Data collection system; the state level ‘human capital life tracking systems. Let’s find out what the private sector in American business is doing to help out in tracking our students/citizens.

Konos Management (not to be confused with the Konos homeschool curriculum):

You can find the computer based giant at: http://www.konos.com
You need to know not only help education manage its ‘human capital’, it helps the government, healthcare systems, and many others manage their ‘human capital’. They are in the business of helping your business not only collect massive amounts of data, but helping you streamline information in the guise of saving time and money. Wow, how ‘noble’ of them. The company also measures compliance, is global in its workforce tracking, and are corporate partners with “Adopt-a-Classroom” and “National Academy Foundation” (NAF is devoted to career tech schools for those ‘underserved’).

From a 2010 report, find out what “Do You Automate? Saving Time and Money” states. The excerpt I’m sharing is discussing education grant money.
“Given the central importance of grant funding in K–12 education, it is essential to avoid putting these funds at risk. Nearly all schools in this country depend on grants
for a portion of their funding. While it’s true that grants come to K–12 schools from many sources, the federal government alone gives out more than $13 billion in
grants each month. Additionally, the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act of
2009 will put nearly $6 billion forward in new competitive grants to states to help them pursue higher standards. A significant portion of those dollars will go to school modernization. The requirements for properly managing the funds available under
the act and other grants are extensive Similarly, the need for district accountability with respect to good time-and-effort reporting cannot be underestimated. Such is the magnitude of the need for rigorous grants management.”

This particular document also factors in the NCES (National Center for Education Statistics) report about “Common Core of Data”. The particular year of NCES’s report? 2007-08.  So what is included in the “Common Core of Data”? Who heads this CCD up? I can answer immediately the ‘who’ question, it’s the IES (Institute of Educational Sciences..as in the U.S. Dept. of Education‘s IES! The U.S. Dept. of Ed also contains the NCES! Now, it’s important to stress here that the “Common Core of Data” is not the same as the ‘Common Core State Standards’. The CCD information DOES, however, HELP the CCSS Machine manipulate schools, states, and all those people involved. How? By collecting information of how many students drop out, or at-risk, by looking at where and how money in your school is spent. Think of all the CCSS malarky we’ve heard about the ‘graduation rates MUST’ be at a certain number. Think about how the states were ‘incentivized’. These two areas are not the only areas in which the CCSS is aided by all the data mining and ‘education sciences research’. Oh, one more thing, the data mining happens for ALL ages of our students.

To see the Konos 2010 report: Sept10_SBA_Automated-Workforce-Mgmt
To see the CCD website: https://nces.ed.gov/ccd/index.asp (*Note, when you visit this site, be sure to look at the publications. There you’ll find  fiscal reports. These are great for seeing where the CCSS/CTE trail of money lies.)

Getting back to Konos, I was able to find in another document how Konos partners with MicroStrategy. What does this partnership allow? Well, with Konos’s  special interest in management of money and data, MicroStrategy is considered a leader in the business world for ‘intelligence’ gathering software. Here’s the excerpt about what you can choose for the Konos/MicroStrategy system to do for you (if you were a customer). “Customers may choose to use all available functionality, but use of specific features may not be supported by Kronos [including: Consolidations, Freeform SQL, Event-based Alerting, Intelligent Cubes, Flash Rendering of Documents, Data Mining Services, Derived Elements, Import Data, Creation of Custom Roles and/or User Groups, Advanced Metrics (Level, Conditional, Nested), Custom Groups , VLDB Property Modifications, MDX Cube Report, Query Builder Report.” The name of this system? “Workforce Analytics 8.0 Learning Path” It’s important to stress here that this particular system in about minding/managing workers in all the sectors Konos serves. This document: 4704933-001_WFAN_80_learning_path_rev_a-final
Konos has a lot more on their website in the publications section about how the data they manage is used. If you know an anti CCSS/CTE warrior gifted in understanding all this technology, have them dive into the documents to show you how the information being collected is being used to help the CCSS Machine. (See: http://www.kronos.com/search.aspx?searchtext=common%20core)

Before we move on, Konos 2015 Conference is coming up in November, in Las Vegas. Why is this important to a CCSS/CTE Warrior? Anyone involved in schools IT departments, human resource departments, education finances, etc. are invited to attend. A host of other education related groups will also be in attendance. See: http://www.kronos.com/kronosworks15/who-attends.aspx  Remember, Warriors, data and money are what the CCSS Machine thrives on! Also, take into consideration, Konos is considered a leader in tracking, managing, and ensuring employees are “Workforce Ready”. What this means to us as anti CCSS/CTE Warriors is simple. After students are shoved through the CCSS/CTE tracks, they have another one waiting upon employment!  See: http://www.kronos.com/products/smb-solutions/workforce-ready/selected-resources.aspx

National Academy Foundation (NAF):

The website: http://naf.org/
One CCSS Machine tie in: The Gates Foundation grants.
From 2006, nation wide engineering academies:
2006: for support of existing career academies, strategic placement of new career tech academies across the nation:
From 2007 in New York for education reform:
2007 in New Orleans for “Learning Labs”:
2008 for communications support: http://www.gatesfoundation.org/How-We-Work/Quick-Links/Grants-Database/Grants/2008/10/OPP52560


Oh my fellow anti CCSS/CTE Warriors, the CCSS Machine influence isn’t only Gates, it envelopes SO many others! The curriculum providers are the Buck Institute (huge on Project Based Learning, which fosters the ‘collective collaboration’ portion of CCSS), the IB Schools (International Baccalaureate Schools, which are the UNESCO portion of CCSS), Project Lead the Way, the STEM Academy (I’ve proven to you repeatedly how STEM is the driver behind the CCSS agenda), and  Paxton-Patterson. The list of CCSS/CTE aligned groups NAF belongs to is also there. You’ll  see everything from White House initiatives to well known CCSS Machine members. Groups NAF calls “Peer Organizations” includes the NC New Schools (which is so full of CCSS it’s toxic), ConnectEd (which is the White House’s plan for digital CCSS/CTE overload), and, a host of other well researched/exposed CCSS/CTE members. See all the ‘fellowship’: http://naf.org/about/our-partners

NAF also offers “NAFTRACK” (yes, another system devoted to keeping tabs on students..and all in the name of getting a good job. See:
See the NAFTRACK’s certification process (which includes a specified curriculum, projects and on-the-job assessments):
The specialized careers NAF schools offer: finance, hospitality/tourism, information technology, engineering, and health sciences. Five career tracks, warriors..only 5. Wow.
See: http://naf.org/naf-network/themes
To see those individuals sold out to the STEM portion in the CCSS Machine: http://naf.org/about/stem-advisory-committee
To see NAF‘s brochure on the corporate sell outs involved in the education reform: NAFCorporateEngagementBrochure


To see my previously published Buck Institute article and how PBLs are ruining education:

Other PBL articles (you’ll see connections to Gates, STEM, and more):

How those summer programs your students may have been involved in are part of the design to align:

A brief recap of the PBLs and other anti CCSS/CTE things which are important:

See the vast network across the nation:

STEM and other Education Waivers tied to PBLs:

Sic’ ‘Em Saturday: Aligned Summer

No matter how fun it appears, a summer CCSS machine program is still full of agenda!
No matter how fun it appears, a summer CCSS Machine program is still full of  cruel agenda!

Ahh, summer approaches. While you may have plans of relaxing fun, the CCSS Machine has a fully ‘locked and loaded’ menu of intentional alignment to illegally crafted Standards. Would you know where to spot them?

CCSS, Summer Style:
Type in “CCSS Summer” as a search option. If your results are anything like mine, almost 500,000 results will appear. One such group is “Student Achievement Partners, Inc.”. They are hosting  summer courses around the country. They partner with your local schools, so you may not always see “SAP”, you may see “Achieve the Core”, or some other innocuous name.

“SAP, Inc.” was  founded by David Coleman, Jason Zimba, and Susan Pimentel. They are a non-profit group. From their website, http://www.achievethecore.org, “Student Achievement Partners, Inc. was founded by David Coleman, Susan Pimentel and Jason Zimba, lead writers of the Common Core State Standards. We are a non-profit organization with one purpose: to help all students and teachers see their hard work lead to greater student achievement.” (the preceding excerpt is from their http://achievethecore.org/about-us page.) I urge you, as an action step to read the entire ‘About Us’ page. You’ll see how the group is careful to point our where their money comes from (or not), who’s on the governing board, and more. (*Note: be sure to expand the ‘see more’ option near the bottom of the page.) As far as funding, I bet as a studied anti CCSS warrior you can guess at least one of the partners funding this group. That’s right, the Gates Foundation!! See their huge grant to the SAP suckers (sorry, couldn’t resist that jab). http://www.gatesfoundation.org/How-We-Work/Quick-Links/Grants-Database/Grants/2012/06/OPP1061551

So how does “SAP, Inc.” wind up in your school if they don’t receive taxpayer money? Easy, they get invited by your community. One “Become a Core Advocate” page of SAP’s, you find out that “Core Advocates live and work all across the country, in 46 states. As of 2014, Core Advocates in 13 states have also launched their own local networks, which are teacher-led and focused on addressing Common Core needs specific to their states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Kentucky, Louisiana, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Washington state and Washington, DC.”  You can read more about the networking, agenda driven advocates:

Below is a screen shot of 2 of the other  SAP, Inc. partners responsible for helping CCSS aligned resources (be sure to see what summer ‘fun’ they have planned).
There are all kinds of CCSS Summer groups, programs, and resources out there. This is just ONE group with a monumental grasp on the nation. Action step: Look behind that summer program or class BEFORE you sign up!!

I could spend all day pointing out other CCSS Summer plans, but I want point out other CCSS Machine plans for the other illegally based portions of Common Core. Why do I say illegally based? Each one of the following categories is based off the CCSS in some way. Knowing CCSS was illegally crafted and thrust upon us, it is reasoned the rest of the associated arms of education reform are as well.

A “CTE” Summer?:

Could your family be facing a Career Tech Education filled summer as well? You bet!! I was able to find a 2006 Association of Career and Technical Education’s plan for redesigning high school. However, their approach targets the teachers first. How so? Summer conferences and workshops! Here’s the ‘re-design’ plan: Reinventing_American_High_School So how will you know if your state is hosting a summer conference? Here’s the ACTE Arizona’s 2015 Summer Conference page as an example. Action step: AZ isn’t alone, on my quick search I found that CT, PA, AL, TX, GA, and many others are also hosting summer career tech education conferences. If you can attend, do so!! If not, access the documents connected to the Conferences!
AZ’s page:

Remember, ALL 50 states have CTE!
Remember, ALL 50 states have CTE!

STEM Summers:

Yes, by far and away, my pointing out that STEM is part of the CCSS Machine has gotten me the most heated criticism. However, the factual documents I’ve shared throughout my writing have proven otherwise. STEM is the agenda behind CCSS! If you’d like the document which proves this, please contact me. But let’s keep focused on the summer ahead.

STEM summer camps, on-line classes, and even public library programs will be everywhere AND hosted by any number of organizations. Action step: before you sign your family up, look behind the scenes of the program. Here’s just one of the thousands of STEM summer resources: http://www.stemsummerexperience.com/ Based near where I live this popular (and that’s part of the problem..STEM camps are geared to promote fun while building invisible chains to agenda). Watch the promotional video and see if you can spot the invisible agenda item:

Another example, this time from a city wide approach (meaning public funds are used AND more than likely private funds as well) from NY. See: http://ny.chalkbeat.org/2015/05/07/city-offers-new-stem-summer-program-to-hundreds-of-students/#.VU4b0vlViko

Here’s another example, this time from the local community college/university approach.

To learn more:  http://www.careercornerstone.org/pcsumcamps.htm
To learn more:

Next Generation Science Standards:

Like it’s cousin, CTE, NGSS will be focusing on the teachers this summer. In July 2015, take your pick, ‘sunny’ CA or ‘happening’ NJ. Here’s how it’s being promoted, “Join NSTA for one of two first-ever summer institutes to help science educators and leaders implement the NGSS. Each event kicks off with a special keynote address from Barbara Morgan, former NASA Astronaut and Distinguished Educator in Residence at Boise State University, then continues with an engaging series of sessions given by NGSSexperts and differentiated for two grade bands: elementary and secondary.”  CA’s agenda: http://www.nsta.org/docs/2015SummerInstituteAgendaAnaheim.pdf
NJ’s agenda: http://www.nsta.org/docs/2015SummerInstituteAgendaAtlanticCity.pdf

Action step: If you’re not sue how CCSS and NGSS are intertwined, read the Eagle Forum’s articlehttp://www.eagleforum.org/publications/educate/july13/next-generation-science-standards-common-core-incognito.html
Action step: If you want the actual appendix that lays out for you the direction connections:

STEM to STEaM Summers: 

You may or may not be familiar with the newest movement from the CCSS Machine. It’s called “STEM to STEaM”. The “STEaM” part stands for ‘Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math”. I’ve not written much about this to date. Not because I haven’t researched it, but because it was do to be published in a national magazine. However, the publisher has since changed its mind and declined my article. Not to fear..it will appear here! You’ll hopefully be amazed to the point of action when you find out all I’ve uncovered. However, let’s keep this on the upcoming summer.

The official website, STEM to STEaM’s opening line is a classic rhetoric filled statement we’ve seen in much of the CCSS Machine’s propaganda..the U.S. economy. Read it for yourselves, “In this climate of economic uncertainty, America is once again turning to innovation as the way to ensure a prosperous future.” Website: http://stemtosteam.org/

As far as this summer, look for all kinds of ‘fun’ from all angles: public AND private (just like STEM).

Here’s an example from East Carolina University: http://www.ecu.edu/cs-cfac/soad/STEM-STEAM.cfm Which part of the University is hosting this? Why the College of Fine Arts and Communication! The selling point, a community outreach. Another collegiate example? The University of TX at Dallas. See: http://www.utdallas.edu/atec/steam/

Another example: A private Christian school’s summer STEaM/STEM camp. This school is located in CA. Look at the way in which the camp is sold to the parents. From the 7 to 12 year old’s camp, “Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math will be used to solve the daily individual, partner, and group challenges.  The essence of STEAM/STEM is problem-based learning for 21st century students.” From 5 to 10 year old’s camp: “Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math will be used to solve the daily individual, partner, and group challenges.  The essence of STEAM/STEM is problem-based learning for 21st century students.  Aspiring scientists and engineers plan, build and test their designs, and then improve them until they are successful.”
For the older camp, see: https://www.tccs.org/event-registration/index.php?option=com_vikevents&task=viewevent&itid=90&Itemid=676 For the younger camp, see:

PBLs, the 'latest, greatest' invention in education?!
PBLs, the ‘latest, greatest’ invention in education?!


Sic’ ‘Em Saturday: CCSS Rewind

The Common Core Machine loves to create minions to do its bidding.
The Common Core Machine loves to create minions to do its bidding.

Thanks to my wonderful family and friends, this anti CCSS warrior was able to have a week’s respite from not only fighting Common Core, but my other full-time task of caregiver. So, was I able to do anything for fighting CCSS while I was away? Yes! I’ll be happy to announce just what I was up to when it is published!! (Hint: that’s a big clue for you). In the meantime, I’ve got some of my earliest “Sic’ ‘Em Saturday” posts which are very relevant in the most current news about CCSS.

Behavior Standards:

As we’ve seen and heard in the news, how our students behave emotionally via CCSS is an alarming component. If you’re new to fighting CCSS, then maybe you missed my November 8, 2014 article about this. Why this is important now: you can not only catch up on what the American School Counselors Association  is up to, but what the National Alliance of Pupil Services Board is up to. You can also find out how all this will fit with the dreaded ‘college/career readiness’, too! See:  https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/11/08/sic-em-saturday-common-core-minding-our-manners/

Project Based Learning:

Just last week, I shared with you a true account of a student facing too many projects in her school day. “Carol” isn’t alone. Much of CCSS depends on ‘Project Based Learning’. When I originally wrote about how connected to CCSS, PBLs are, back in October of 2014,  it was shared to some of you, but not all of you. So, to help you be able to understand why turning every homework or classroom assignment into a project (hint: really creates a co-dependency in our students) isn’t the best we can give our students, please see: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/10/25/sic-em-saturday-ccss-progressives-and-pbls/

Why this is relevant to today? We’re nearing the end of a school year, when a lot of these projects are due.


CCSS’s “Googly Eyes”:

Back in September 2014, I shared with you some of the latest, greatest CCSS aligned Google information about their foray into the classrooms. We all that since then, Google’s provided even MORE CCSS or CCR (College/Career Ready) resources for the classroom! However, back in September, my followers weren’t as many as I have now. So, to help you have some background context, here’s the original article’s link: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/09/27/sic-em-saturday-googles-common-core-classroom/

Despicable Me 2 exclusive DVD clip


IF you have a “Sic’ ‘Em Saturday” topic you need a bit of history on, let me know. If I’ve already published an article, I’ll be happy to share it again with you. IF not, I’ll be happy to investigate.

Once again, it’s great to be back with you. Together, we’ll render the CCSS Machine into uselessness.

WYBI Wednesday: RttT, STEM, Education Waivers

Thus far this week, there’s been  a timely inter-connected theme for my :education waivers, Common Core, and our individual states are being impacted. Today’s post is no different.


I broke this article late last night to my fellow NC anti CCSS warriors due to the 2 day State Board of Ed meeting beginning in just a little while. However, there is much for the rest of the states to use as information. I encourage you to review the past 2 days posts if you would like to use all 3 of the waiver posts as weapons. Today’s article, how the waivers continue to point back to Race to the Top.

Thanks to transparency, accountability laws, and requests for information, our job of finding tools to fight Common Core has been made SO much easier. Recently I was tipped off about a regularly scheduled State Board of Education meeting happening today and tomorrow here in NC. One of the agenda items caught my eye. NOT for the subject matter, but for the ‘Network’ mentioned. In fact, it’s called the “RttT STEM Affinity Network”.

The RttT STEM Affinity Network:

Housed in NC’s Dept. of Public Instruction is this ‘lovely’ component given to us, the citizens by the Race to the Top funding, that also ‘gave’ us Common Core. If you are new to my blog, you’ll need to know that STEM was the main agenda item set up by the PCAST (President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology) who, in turn, created a game plan given to the White House. Common Core was the ‘perfect’ guise to use in incorporating STEM into our lives. (see:  https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/09/02/from-the-files-pcast-stem-and-common-core/)

Here’s an excerpt from the NC DPI on the “Affinity Network”, “The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction’s (NCDPI) dedication to building a world-class workforce through innovative STEM education has partnered with The North Carolina New Schools to build a network of STEM-themed high schools throughout the state. North Carolina New Schools in collaboration with NCDPI has identified 20 themed high schools tied to the economic development of the state.  These schools serve as either Anchor or Affiliate Network high schools that reflect the areas workforce development in either: Aerospace, Security, and Automation, Biotechnology and Agriscience, Energy and Sustainability, or Health and Life Sciences.” 

NC New Schools is Gates Funded since 2006. Over $1 million dollars has been given to the project. http://www.gatesfoundation.org/How-We-Work/Quick-Links/Grants-Database/Grants/2006/04/OPP41526
NC New Schools is Gates Funded since 2006. Over $1 million dollars has been given to the project. See:

To see the NC DPI’s website page on the other items related,


Enter the ‘Consortium for Educational Research-North Carolina’:

Known as CERE-NC for short, this group has been crucial in reporting the success of NC’s use of RttT funding when it comes to the partnership project of NC New Schools and STEM Affinity Network.  The STEM report I found on-line from this group, (which consists of SERVE Center of the University of Greensboro, Friday Institute (a  pro CCSS group)housed at the NC State University, The University of NC at Chapel Hill, NC Institute of Public Policy) Why a STEM report? It was part of NC’s Race to the Top Evaluation and a kind of ‘where do we go from here’ message. I’ve included the final version of the 2013 CERE-NC, STEM Affinity Report for you. RttT-STEM_Y3-Report_FINAL_12-05-2013

Here’s a list of the items most crucial to our fight:

  • 2013 marks Year 3 of NC’s RttT involvment, according to the report, page 181
  • New Schools and Friday Institute were deemed ‘objective’ in their findings, page 180
  • The Appendices, especially the Curriculum Development and Student Surveys, begins on page 78
  • A 4th year report which was to be finalized in Sept. 2014 should reveal where the Network under the RttT Initiative is headed. (see page 75) Why this is important is since the RttT funding is be non existent beyond 2014, what replaces it will be in question.

‘The primary focus of implementation in the schools is on changing instruction to incorporate the Common Instructional Framework across all subject areas, while development of STEM projects and themes is a secondary focus.’ (an excerpt from page 74) In reference to certain Affinity schools visited.

Reoccurring themes I saw:  Use of data collection; use of digital technology; more student led teaching; needing the staff and community buying-in; how great STEM/CCS are; leaving larger schools and creating smaller, comprehensive schools; combining early college that streamlines/aligns and thereby over-emphasizing the need for college/career readiness; confusion over which group schools should be accountable to, LEAs, NC’s Dept. of Public Instruction or the NC New Schools. STEM’s underlying agenda that depends on extending ‘learning’ into 21st Century Community Learning Center activities; big dependence on P3s (Public Private Partnerships) like SAS (a well known Common Core supporter and data mining company); ‘rigor’; ‘relevance’; ’21st Century skills’.

Before we move on..

Here’s one principal’s view, “With the Common Core and NSP [New Schools Project], it’s all about critical thinking and problem solving and that’s what we’re leaning towards more and more and we’re trying to move away from the traditional sit and get. . . . I would say that 80 to 85% of the faculty have embraced the [NC New Schools Design Principles]. We have very few naysayers.”

How this ties to the educational waivers:

Since I just published this on Monday, a couple of days ago, I know that it means for NC, continued implementation of everything that was included in our initial application. Here’s an excerpt, ““NC has been granted an extension of one year on the ESEA waiver. I see there are several things a group from the US Dept. of Ed have found while considering NC’s extension. One that strikes me, is a ‘monitoring report’, then I see almost at the closing of the letter, this, “I am confident that North Carolina will continue to implement the reforms described in its approved ESEA flexibility request and advance its efforts to hold schools and school districts accountable for the achievement of all students.” ” (see the rest: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/12/01/monday-musing-educational-waivers-friend-or-foe/)

So, does your state have a STEM Affinity Network or a CERE?

Not by those exact names, however. I did find the following that may help you track down the STEM/RttT connections for your states.

  • Battelle (http://www.battelle.org/our-work/stem-education/stem-learning-networks) manages at least 2 STEM networks with funding from the Gates Foundation. The Ohio STEM Learning Network (http://www.osln.org/hubs/), the Tennessee STEM Innovation Network (where they were the pilot program for STEM Boy Scouts programming), see their strategy plan until 2018: http://thetsin.org/news/resource/tennessee-stem-stragegic-plan/
  • Battelle also manages the STEMx Network, which covers many of the States. The tag line for STEMx, “Transforming STEM Education and Workforce Development in the states, by the states.” (http://www.stemx.us/about/) Member states: MI, TX, OK, NM, NC, ID, IN, OR, KY, WA, NY, AZ, CA, GA, and DC (District of Columbia).
  • IF you do not see your state listed above OR if you want to find out more from your state listed above, follow these suggestions:
  • Check with your state’s Dept. of Public Instruction, remember, I found my journey beginning at the State Board of Education’s meeting agenda announcement.
  • Notice over the past 3 days when I’ve written about waivers and education, how many colleges and universities are involved. Check your state’s higher educational institutions. Much of the research pertaining to your state will be housed there, studied there, or involved in some way. Think outside the colleges of education, if needed. I found one educational research group hidden in the college of surgery and physicians because it was considered a science project.
  • Go back to the initial RttT application for your state. See what provisions your State Board of Ed promised. Follow the paper trail from there. Each plan had to be reviewed, accepted as a draft, affirmed as an action, then a copy returned to each state. Follow ups by the state level education departments has had to be made each year. You should be able to access each of those reports.
  • Check where your state is in the Waiver re-authorization process. See my post from Monday of this week on where to access that information.
  • IF all else fails, exercise your citizen’s right to a FOIA letter (Freedom of Information Act).
  • Remember, even IF your state didn’t receive the initial RttT funding, each state is impacted by the educational waivers, by workforce, and by STEM. Being sold by at least 13 federal agencies, promoted by the U.S. President’s massive budget for it, and all the clamor of the public private partnerships, STEM will NOT be going away.

Related resources:

From the US Dept of Ed, their STEM page, http://www.ed.gov/stem

From the International Technology and Engineering Educators Association, a paper about the rise of STEM in America (be sure to note how the National Science Foundation had a big hand in this, then refer back to the PCAST report and connect the dots): http://www.iteea.org/Resources/PressRoom/AustraliaPaper.pdf

Finally, if you would like any more suggestions, have any leads from your states, or have questions, comments to send my way, I’d love to hear from you. Thank you for allowing me to be a part of your fight.

Sic’ ‘Em Saturday: CCSS, Progressives and PBLs

I have a ‘suppose this’ scenario for you…Suppose I wanted to take progressively liberal agenda, add Common Core and come up with something ‘wonderful’? What do you suppose the results may be? You’d get PBL (Project Based Learning). Now PBL has been around awhile, but think, what better way to move my ‘educational agents of change’ than by a combination of the two?



From a CA county School district

The ‘skinny’ on Common Core aligned PBLs:

According to the Buck Institute for Education, which trains the teachers to lead classrooms, they’ve put together a plethora of resources devoted to aligning your PBLs. In fact, they make it sound like the greatest thing ever to be heard of! Here’s just one of the glowing positives they feature on their website, “Project Based Learning is a transformative teaching method for engaging ALL students in meaningful learning and developing the 21st Century competencies of critical thinking/problem solving, collaboration, creativity and communication.” Unlike some of the websites I’ve researched, this one does still have resources that are NOT CCSS aligned. However, you really have to read the large and fine print to ensure you are staying clear of them. Buck Institute is certainly NOT the only PBL CCSS aligned group out there. There are plenty of others, too. However, if you watch the video below, listen for the familiar CC buzzwords, notice who they seek advice from or have praise from. Look who’s helping lead their teacher workshops. All these are clues to the progressiveness behind social change.

The hype about CC aligned PBLs:

Well, just looking at the video, you’ll see the business surrounding PBLs is booming, at least for Buck. But what about other facts/figures? It will definitely depend where you look. For example the school district in CA, whose logo is above, where they host CC aligned PBL workshops, some are low priced ($150.00) per person, others were in the thousands of dollars for a group. That’s just one school district. But there are many private companies, non profits, all on the latest bandwagon…PBLs that are aligned. PBLs are heavily used in STEM curricula, classes, lesson plans too. The profits for all those connected corporations is incredible. There are ‘design your own PBL’ resources, there are ‘we’ll do it for you’ resources, the ‘we’ll teach you how’ resources, the ‘career technical PBLs’ (yeah, we know CC is only K-12, right?) each and every one will more than likely have a price tag. Keep in mind, for every PBL the federal government offers, we taxpayers, have funded it.

PBLs, the 'latest, greatest' invention in education?!
PBLs, the latest, greatest “invention” in education?!

Why PBLs aligned to CC shouldn’t get all the hype:
Like many educators, I know there’s too much fuss over them. Honestly, when I first discovered ‘PBLs’, it wasn’t when CCSS came around..in fact ‘PBL’ is a new, catchy name for what, quite frankly, is as old as time..’learning by doing‘. You know, it’s the way kinesthetic learners can tackle their toughest subjects, it’s the way our parents taught us to go to the bathroom, tie our shoes, mow the grass, and on and on. PBLs are hardly as recent invention as they are touted to be. Thousands of public, private educators and  home educators have successful taught AND graduated many students using not only the ‘learning by doing’ method,  but by every other conceivable tried and true method as well. Those of us who have been teaching, know there are many different intelligences, and accordingly, many different ways to teach. This is why we know, one size does NOT fit all, one way to teach does NOT fit all. An artist doesn’t use a single brush to create a masterpiece, a chef doesn’t use one pan to bake everything, a parent shouldn’t treat their children all the same AND a teacher should not be constricted in the classroom!

Labeling it CC aligned PBL isn’t going to ensure its success. I, like so many educators (or all ages, grades and choices), know projects can serve a classroom well, just not a constant diet of them. To help you understand why I believe this AND have see it play out, consider a college professor’s lament.  I recently was listening to a college professor give examples of why PBLs DON’T work. The biggest reasons: students cannot grasp what it is to work independently, to stay on task on their own, to be responsible for their own work, or, to function in an educational setting well. In short, ‘clueless’. His examples were all based on students in the last 2-3 years where high school was the last place they’d been. 

The Progressive component:

When you factor in all the public private partnerships which saddled us with CC, it isn’t hard to look at the overall progression they desire to move us from the American Dream to the global citizen. If you’ve read my blog in the past week, you’ll know I have shared my progressive plans already in motion, especially connected to the CCSSO (Council of Chief State School Officers). Look at the resources with CC, listen to those supporting it, all about ‘the greater good’, the ‘collective effort’ and so on.

Consider using these 3 quotes in your action campaigns!

Professor Yong Zhao, a global thought leader on education, has some refreshing words to say related to America’s 1)‘suicidal quest with Common Core’.(his phrase to describe CC) While he very progressive minded and I do not embrace everything he believes or speaks, I do like that he’s very solid on how rotten CC is.

Below are some words he had in a debate with Marc Tucker (who’s very pro CC):
“…my main point: it is 2) impossible, unnecessary, and harmful for a small group of individuals to predetermine and impose upon all students the same set of knowledge and skills and expect all students progress at the same pace (if the students don’t, it is the teachers’ and schools’ fault). I am not against standards per se for good standards can serve as a useful guide. What I am against is Common and Core, that is, the same standards for all students and a few subjects (currently math and English language arts) as the core of all children’s education diet. I might even love the Common Core if they were not common or core.” Read the rest, http://zhaolearning.com/2013/01/17/more-questions-about-the-common-core-response-to-marc-tucker/

 3)“Stop the Common Core or ready your basement for your college graduates.”
quote by Yong Zhao (renown global education, technology reformer) featured on his blog 07/02/14