Tag Archives: private education

Blurred Lines

Anti Fed Ed Warriors, no doubt the headlines are causing your heads to feel like ‘Holy cow! When will this end?’ I totally understand. While D.C. is ‘rocking’ and Hollywood is ‘knocking’, there IS a lot happening.

However, as we’ve seen before, distractions of these kinds usually play out while the ‘real story’ is muted somewhere in the background.

Warriors, it’s blurring lines. Lines of truth; lines of communication; and, lines of information.

So, has the ‘real story’ already happened and we don’t know it? It’s possible. It’s also possible the timing isn’t right.

Here’s one ‘story’ I think may be PART of the D.C. reality being buried by the headlines.


Blurring Education Lines:

Flashback to 2017, Supreme Court’s ruling for Trinity Lutheran Church (Columbia, MO) vs Comer (MO’s Director for the MO Dept. of Natural Resources).

Warriors, the Church had a preschool and a day care center. At that time the Center did carry the Church’s name but was a separate entity. Then, the Center and Church merged. The Center was now on Church property. The Center’s ‘non profit’ status stayed with the Center, even on Church grounds. When the Center wanted to upgrade their playground, they applied for a grant given by the MO Dept. of Natural Resources. The Center was denied because it was not just a Center, but a Church. The Church (and the Center) sued in Federal Court. The Center/Church claimed its freedom of expression (under the First Amendment) had been violated. The Dept. of Nat’l Resources had a strict policy that churches didn’t qualify for the type of grants being offered (based on MO law that no government aid for funding could go to any religious group or church).

If you want to learn HOW it ended up in the U.S. Supreme Court, you can read the 55 page syllabus, here. How did the case end?
“The Court today reaffirms that “denying a generally available benefit solely on account of religious identity imposes a penalty on the free exercise of religion that can be justified,” if at all, “only by a state interest ‘of the highest order.’”

March 2019, DeVos’s Lines:

On March 11, 2019, the U.S. Dept. of Education released this news (added emphasis is mine):


(*Notes: a: The 2010 Congressional Concerns will cite religious funding issues on Pages 5 and 6. b) Back in 2015, I exposed CAPE’s ties to the CCSS Machine, so it’s really NOT that surprising Sec. DeVos was speaking to them. Appearances like that help blur lines frequently. c) CAPE did publish a document explaining how ESSA was their ‘friend’. Religious groups will be able to use Title One funds for services, under ESSA.
d) In 2014, the hidden CCSS assessments used in a Catholic private school.)

The Hill’s article on DeVos’s lines at CAPE, share that she will amend, stop, or look over existing religious education funding and eligibility programs. The article also ties into her family’s ties to Hillsdale College (where they support K-12 charters as public-private choices). Higher education will also be lumped into the religious relaxing of lines.

So what’s the REAL Story? By blurring these lines, the federal government will use the ‘school choice’ tax credits and/or ESAs (education savings accounts) to have free access to religious based schools. This will also bring in federal overreach and alignment BY being allowed into the religious schools at ALL levels. It means that whatever freedom your religious school offers will now be compromised!

HOWEVER, the OTHER, untold part of the story is this, by Christian based groups claiming their 1st Amendment rights need to be upheld, so do all those other groups considered to be religions. For example, the Church of  Satan fought for AND won it’s First Amendment rights to be included in education.

This also brings up Muslim faith based groups. What if you don’t want Sharia practices in education? Too bad, under this ‘relaxation’, the door is now open. What about those Post-Modern or Marxist based religions? These too.

So, by relaxing your education stance for one group, means EVERY group considered BY The Dept. of Defense, The IRS, etc., can be lumped in as well. In 2017, the U.S. Dept. of Defense announced that the list of federally recognized religious groups in the US was around 221. (*Note: The IRS, the Dept. of Defense and several other U.S. federal agencies overreach into education due to the CCSS Machine and violations of the U.S. Constitution.)

Topping the list, at least in the Hill article, Humanism. Earth-based worship was also pointed out in the article.

Warriors, this openly blurs the lines so that all the UN’s SDGs (United Nations Sustainable Development Goals) earth-based, humanistic views are more accessible and easily embedded! Warriors, look at what the U.S. State Dept (or Dept of the State) has in place for religious activities:

Almost reading like the State Dept’s Plan is straight from the pages of the UN, the National Strategy is another open line for globalism. The underlying story here, is that religion will be watered down and homogenized so that everyone will be ‘at peace’.

So, why would a seemingly ‘righteous line’ carried by Sec. DeVos cause us pause?
DeVos has proven she is a globalism disciple repeatedly. By using education as a bully pulpit to align American education to the UN’s workforce based ‘birth to death’ treadmill of ‘lifelong learning’ is not only egregious or unpatriotic, it’s criminal!!!

Blurred Lines for Title 9:

This 2019 relaxation DeVos is carrying out will not only impact Title One funding, but Title 9. In 2018, Real Clear Education stated that religious exemptions in the funding were all but left out of the headlines.
How will this impact private religious schools? Federal funding. Warriors, if we’re going to see one side of the line protest about separation of church and state, WHY are private religious schools taking federal funds?! To see the latest on the U.S. Dept. of Education’s Title 9 religious information, go here.

governmentcant           How long will it be before we need government permission to worship God?

ESSA/Immigration Blurred Lines in Education:

Long before DeVos uttered her 2019 edict for blurring lines, plenty of intersection was going on between church and state, in education.

In 2017, I gave you an update on CAPE and the blurred lines between State Social Services and churches. In response to that article, came this one where it was pointed out the federal government funnels refugee and immigration funds through churches AND it’s used in educational classes.

After ESSA was passed, I warned you of the passages and mandates that would overreach into religious education.
The mental health overreaches will include faith based groups.
How private education of EVERY type (including homeschools) would be assimilated.

Bring Up This Line With Your Pastors:

Warriors, in 2018, I challenged Pastor and every American who cares about preserving our religious freedoms with some hard hitting questions. Where will they draw the line as shepherds when it comes to their flocks and the overreaches into education? The CCSS Machine has already crossed the line into the church’s territory. The question is what will the American church do to throw the Machine back over that line?





NC’s Brain Freeze

(Featured picture is courtesy of My Cute Clipart)

My fellow Warriors, sometimes in research for educratic BS (or related ties), you find something so ridiculous, it’s hard to pass it up.

Warriors, believe it or not, NC (the State where I reside) sends out a weekly email with the week in review for education bills in our General Assembly. So imagine my surprise when I see NC HB 30.

The purpose? To declare an official State Frozen Treat.

My friends, how woeful it seems; all this time, the taxpayers have been denied an OFFICIAL dessert of a frozen variety.

Go ahead, laugh. I certainly did. All the things which need legislation AND this comes up in education related business? Let’s see what we can find hiding in the freezer….

First, A Fun Fact:

Did you know July is National Ice Cream month? The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) established that and President Reagan declared it back in 1984. We’ll come back for a second scoop on information about IDFA in a bit.

NC Has A ‘Problem’?

From the 2019 NC General Assembly, a look at HB 30, The NC Official Frozen Treat Act:


Warriors, Rep. Torbett is a 5 term Representative. According to VoteSmart, his campaign funding can be tied to a few CCSS Machine member groups in NC. The NC Chamber of Commerce, Wells Fargo, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, American Airlines, General Motors, and, Duke Energy name just a few.

Ironically the NC Dental Association also helped fund Rep. Torbett’s last campaign. I’m truly hoping the NC dentists will be ready for all those brain frozen patients when it comes time for filling cavities. (The NC Dental Assoc. is part of the American Dental Assoc. which has evidence that ice cream alone adds 6.5% more sugar to your diet and therefore can cause tooth decay.)


If you look at the Committee assignments for Mr. Torbett you’ll not see any farmers or dairy councils. He is the Vice Chair for the NC House Appropriations, though. 

Warriors, before we go further back in the ‘freezer’, go back and look at HB 30’s text.

Ice cream contributes $39 billion to the US economy but only employs roughly 200,000 people? Somebody’s sure ‘double dipping’. (Gee, could it be a brain freeze AND Common Core math-itis?)

NICRA (National Ice Cream Retailers Association):

This is a trade organization which serves up ice cream and frozen treats across the globe. Much of the service goes on here in the US.
is headquartered in MO.
Part of
NICRA’s mission is to have education as part of a career track. Scholarships are available to young students for tuition, room, board, and school supplies.
Listed among the
NICRA’s Supplier Leadership Officers is a representative of ConAgra Foods. ConAgra is a CCSS Machine member.

NC’s Dept of Agriculture & Consumer Services:

Back in 1991, the NC Dept. of Ag/Consumer Services inducted Mr. Kilgore into the NC Agricultural Hall of Fame. Look at the amount of money one ice creamery made.


Second Scoop, IDFA:

Warriors, if you are wondering where Rep. Torbett got the $39 billion figure, it is right off the IDFA’s website for National Dairy Month. So here’s a question, since this is a State specific bill WHY the national figures?

Why not use the NC economic figures and job numbers? By the way, if you want local dairy economic figures and jobs created, the IDFA has a mobile app you can use.

, be sure to look at the IDFA’s ‘issues’. You’ll see bioengineered food, NAFTA (which can be tied back to WIOA (Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act), the (Science, Technology, Engineering, and, Math) STEM Act of 2015, HEA (Higher Education Act), and ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act), and a few more ‘sprinkles’.

If you look at a recent IDFA Press Release you’ll see an international sweetener conference was held in FL. Among the topics: the US-Mexico-Canada (USMCA) Trade Agreement. This will also tie back to ESSA and its aligned workforce education track. If you didn’t know it the USMCA replaced NAFTA.

Warriors, hold on to your toppings! Look below to see not only the IDFA supports Agenda 2030, but other US organizations connected to the dairy industry do, too!



To see the 2016 Rotterdam Declaration, read it here. 

Warriors, just yesterday, I exposed a huge UN-led grab via STEM for our farmers. One of the biggest connectors was the FAO of the UN (Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN). Now, take into consideration that not only are the farmers getting the indoctrination, the students in schools are. Most especially that going vegan will cut down climate change.

How can you go vegan when you’re eating ice cream made from cow’s milk?! How will States like NC, agriculture based, have a thriving economy or all those jobs, if you wipe out dairy and livestock?

What do you do with the cows? Tax the farmers on the cow’s methane like CA?! In 2016, Gov. Jerry Brown certainly sold the ‘global warming’ via tooting cows. In late 2018, the regulations took place state-wide.
Sadly, this is a grab to mandate what farmers feed their cows. How about this, just good ole plain grass. It’s how God made them have the capability to produce milk.

No telling how long it will be before idiotic legislation like this comes to NC, after all, there are plenty of cows here, too!
Also, think about it, since taxing folks with gassy bovines has begun, what about those who eat dairy products and produce similar results?

I can tell you that NC has a methane recapture program going to help create renewable energy. 

The Cherry On Top For NC:

Warriors, why would a seemingly silly bill about declaring ice cream as the official NC frozen treat lead us down so many twists and turns? Because, as we’ve learned time and time again, the CCSS  Machine will take the simplest joys in education and dumb them down, while gushing how ‘sweet it is’.

So, what’s the real ‘cherry on top’ for NC via HB 30? It’s not the endorsement of good times or summer fun, it’s helping set up a dairy assembly line of worker drones for NC jobs and the NC/national economy.

Look at what NC’s got in its Career Clusters for CTE (Career Tech Education):


Warriors, if you’ve not seen the 2018 Career Clusters Guide, look at NC’s. It’s broken down over 120 pages and has a one-track-so-you-can-learn-to-earn system.

**Look at the ‘school choices’ involved in Career Clusters! This is further proof ‘choice’ is a fallacy of what’s learned in schools. It’s all the same for the same results!**

So, why did Rep. Torbett sponsor such a frivolous bill as HB 30? I’ve no proof of ‘why’, but I can show you why I believe he did:



Warriors, there you have it, one sour dish of alignment. When will our legislators skip the ‘sweet’ deceptions of globalism and bring America back? As you can see it is absolutely fruitless to say it’s all one major political party’s mess.

So, now we can all see why little ole HB 30 was in an educational email.
How many of us want to bet the only connection most folks make between ice cream and education is that the school cafeteria may serve it for dessert.

(Read left to right, “The worst Educratic Trick of all: Rebranding “Common Core” into “College and Career Readiness”. Thereby forcing States to create a locked in two-track workforce prep assembly line for all.”)


Eager Beavers

Recently, an Anti Fed Ed Warrior from out West asked me for several resources concerning a CCSS Machine group which is ramping up alignment in her State. During our exchange, I was asked if I knew “AVID”, or had any research on the group. I did not, but I do now. 

Interestingly enough, another Warrior in another State out West, shared some news she had discovered about AVID, too. Her pointed out these objections: The cost is too much, agenda is woven throughout, and, the CCSS Machine makes a profit. 

AVID is short for Advancement Via Individual Determination”

, you’ll find the picture you see in the embedded link ‘some news’ above.

So Why A Beaver?

If you look at the AVID website, you’ll see how much hype is placed on being eager to get somewhere in life. Hence, the eager beaver. How anyone can be excited to a 3 inch thick binder filled with agenda, I don’t understand.

Looking Into AVID:

AVID’s approach in education sounds like a CCSS Machine dream: open classrooms, collaboration, closing opportunity gaps (aka: closing the skills gap), and turning teachers into classroom facilitators. ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act) has these exact mandates, Warriors!


To access the AP/IB links with AVID, go here. (*Note: this is where you’ll also find College Board.)
To see the STEM/STEAM information, look here. (*Note: like IB Schools, STEM/STEAM is UN, United Nations, based.)
If you’d like to see the SEL proof, find that here. (*Note: you’ll see CASEL’s 5 competencies are aligned to AVID. CASEL is short for Collaborative for Academic Social Emotional Learning. “Competency” is also part of the ESSA mandates, as is, CBE, competency based education.)
To learn about AVID’s partnership with GEAR UP, that’s here. (*Note: You’ll find GEAR UP in WIOA, Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, the HEA (Higher Education Act), and any other law for education and labor.)

Warriors, as you know, I’ve exposed how every one of these programs and partnerships tie back the CCSS Machine! However, if you’ve missed any of the connections, use the search bar on my blog.

AVID’s Leader:

AVID’s founder was featured by her alma mater (Univ. of California: Davis). You’ll find the 2010 information there. The current information is from AVID’s history page on their website. Be sure to note that in 2003, College Board joined forces with AVID.
(*Note: meet the other leaders of AVID.)

AVID From A High School Viewpoint:



Warriors, according to the MO school’s website, students are recruited for AVID. Here’s a video where you’ll hear current AVID students share what the coordinator is using to entice new students. You’ll hear “AVID Rocks…We Want YOU!”

From TX, Channelview ISD’s Avid Recruitment document lays out the year long schedule teachers are to use to add new students to the program as well as lay out what the students must do, once an AVID member.


From another TX school, this You Tube video (about 5 minutes) details more about AVID in real time. A couple of interesting notes, the teacher featured in the video is a TX Teacher of the Year as well as married to an AVID employee. 


The other interesting thing? All AVID students MUST use the Cornell University Notes system.
Warriors, back in 2015, I showed you how the Gates Foundation, Cornell University, and many others were uniting to bring about Career Passports.

Think about this, my fellow Anti Fed Ed Warriors, ESSA streamlines the way kids learn and the way teachers teach to ONE way, so, in essence, taking notes in only ONE way makes sense. However, it totally overlooks the fact NOT everyone learns that way OR takes notes that way!
For example, if someone were to look through my notes (and I am a copious note taker), they’d see scribbles, drawings, words, lines, arrows, and circles. What I’ve seen from my children proves, a cookie cutter system would of been harmful!  One color coded everything in word form only; one drew or wrote in languages from Lord of the Rings, Klingon, etc.; my last child only wrote down key words, the rest of her information? She listened!

Warriors, time and time again, in looking at AVID material the readiness for college is evident. Do a quick search on note taking and you’ll see several colleges have resources of effective note taking that are NOT Cornell University derived.


AVID From The School Choice Viewpoint:

One Anti Fed Ed Warrior stance is ESSA gives school choice back to the States and parents. Reading ESSA proves this stance is incorrect. ESSA is clear that it will NOT matter which school location your child uses, ALL education will be the same. AVID plays right into this. Just look at the evidence!

Included in ‘school choice’ are the home educated. Will AVID impact those learners? What about private schools, so far the only evidence I have found has been from public schools. I have found a private Catholic high school in WI where AVID is used.


Notice, the website states this is the only high school (private) where AVID is fully implemented. Does this mean other private schools are beginning the AVID process?

AVID is also in post-secondary education which includes private education. As we know, those who homeschool usually see their kids go into post-secondary schools.

Be sure to access AVID’s research and data information. You’ll see so much subjective material. Warriors, click the ‘learn more’ buttons every chance you get. You’ll see lots.


Warriors, sure, we’d love to see kids eager about learning. Given a choice, though, I really believe we’d rather see ESSA thrown out, the CCSS Machine shut down, teachers able to do what they love, and parents assured the education system isn’t out to conform their kids into some former shadow of themselves.

Paul Raymond

Great Fallacies Abound

Anti Fed Ed Warriors, what would you do if your State began an ‘ad’ campaign designed around ‘in-your-face’ fallacies? What if those fallacies centered on education?
Would you tell someone?

If you’re like me, you’ll do your best to share what you saw to help others know what to look for as well. The fallacies I’m about to share are SO deep, I’m even going to dust off my “Fib-o-Meter”!!
*For those new and fairly new to my blog, my “Fib-o-Meter” was a weekly Friday feature when I first began blogging. It was in those articles I would take what was being passed off as ‘truth’ and expose the fibs and fallacies.


Warriors, we’ve reached another phase of the CCSS Machine’s education reform BS, that separating truth from hype is definitely needed again.

First Up, NC’s Education “Facts”:

Warriors, look below at the ‘suggested page’ Facebook offered me to ‘like’.


Warriors, look at the ‘in-your-face’ fallacies! In less than 30 words, this simple picture and it’s teaser spell out 2 fallacies.

Second, Enter “Fib-o-Meter”:

For this one small ‘ad’, the “Fib-o-Meter” rates its use of  ‘facts’ as the first ‘Total Fallacy”.

The ‘facts’ are all subjective in content! How do I know? First, no State, especially NC has ditched Common Core. No State, including NC has said “Not on my watch!” to all that is connected to Common Core! No State, including NC has escaped (nor will it) the federal overreaches into our schools of ALL choices thanks to ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act). NC has done what every other State has done, re-branded Common Core.

The next Fib-o-Meter” rating goes to ‘cradle to career’. This overused and meaningless phrase has been used as “Total Truth” by the anti CCSS (now Fed Ed) Warriors for years. “Cradle to career” is also part of the tag line for Strive Together (a big CCSS Machine member). Strive Together encompasses entire communities with the ‘cradle to career’ agenda. In NC, Forsyth County is one such center of alignment.

An aligned collective community?!

Where Warriors have used the ‘cradle to career’ phrase to expose the ‘one-way-to-learn’ for OBE/CBE (outcome based education/competency based education) workforce trained students; the CCSS Machine uses it as a selling point.

Third, ‘Hype NC’:

Warriors, North Carolina (NC) has some great folks and great places. The State level government has also spent many taxpayer dollars coming up with all kinds of ‘feel good’ slogans to entice people and businesses to move here. For example, if you want really good, locally grown food, look for the “Goodness Grows in NC” label. Another label you can find for locally made consumer goods is “It’s Got To Be NC”. I’ll admit, the name “BEST NC” ranks right up there with something which sounds great. We’ll look into what is behind the catchy slogan in a few minutes.

However catchy (or not) a slogan or name is, look at NC’s State level education entities. Between the NC DPI (Dept. of Public Instruction) and the NC SBE (State Board of Education) you’ll not find slogans so much as you will CCSS reform agenda-driven vision statements. You’ve seen these in your States, too. The ones which sound ‘super’, but are ‘in-your-face’ with an ugly reality lurking behind the words.


For example, here’s the NC SBE’s vision for education:
“Every public school student will graduate ready for post secondary  education and work, prepared to be a globally engaged and productive citizen.” Warriors, look at the picture directly above. That is the SBE’s vision in reality being carried out in the NC DPI.

Since the CCSS Machine impacts all other school choices in addition to public schools, you won’t have to look to hard to spot how ‘hidden’ the alignment is. For example, the Dept. of Non-Public Education (housed in the NC Dept. of Administration) is set aside for home education as well as private education. However, visit the home education information and there sits the NC Public School graduation requirements should your student wish to attend a NC public college.

What’s more is that the website directs you to the NC SBE if you have more questions. This is followed by a note to parents that states your local school boards usually require additional graduation parameters. Warriors, the reason parents choose home education is to be FREE of the public system!

Fourth, “BEST NC”:

Warriors, “BEST” stands for ‘Business for Educational Success and Transformation’.
No need to ponder their agenda, is there? Look below and see how ‘in-your-face’ their design for education in NC is:

Warriors, below is BEST NC’s ‘Core Values’ page. Added emphasis is mine.


Thanks to ESSA’s mandates for MORE P3s (public-private partnerships) in education, we’ll see groups like BEST NC increase their choke-hold in our educational systems.

Remember, Warriors, part of the CCSS Machine corporate plan is to squeeze out parents and teachers altogether. 

If you’d like to  see how the priorities from BEST NC will be carried out, visit their page.

If you wish to view the BEST NC hype video for leading the nation in great education, it’s below. Listen for the buzzwords of the CCSS Machine, like ‘personalized learning’.

If you wish to read the BEST NC 75 page “Facts and Figures” Report, you can find it here. You’ll find CTE (Career Tech Education, the adult version of Common Core), STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and, Math), ACT assessments, WorkKeys (pigeonholing assessment for career tracks), and so much more CCSS Machine evidence to support one goal:

                                    “the future of our state’s economy is inseparable
                                     from the quality of our education.”


In my next article, I’ll be highlighting an upcoming NC conference dedicated to professional development for teachers and tons of CCSS Machine agenda for communities across the State. While many of you do not live in NC, you can use what I’ve found as evidence it can be found in your State. Maybe by a different name, but the agenda is all the same across America.





RMT: New Education?

When did 'reinventing education' become code for Common Core?
When did ‘reinventing education’ become code for Common Core?

I don’t know about you, but being the researcher on Common Core Standards that I’ve become, I get quite a bit of email. So, imagine my surprise when I received the following excerpt, “Join us for this two-day opportunity to connect and collaborate with colleagues from the school, library, museum, and home learning worlds–and anyone interested in reinventing how we think about and facilitate learning.” After this there was the usual kind of details one expects when you get an invitation. Of course, at the bottom of the email are the links to learn more about those who are presenting and have provided resources before hand. One of those links will serve as our Riddle on this “Riddle Me This” Sunday. Will it lead us to Common Core? Let’s find out!

“What IF?…”

The riddle above (at least for the conference I was receiving this invitation to) was completed by the phrase “360 Learning” So the entire ‘riddle’ would read “What IF…? 360 Learning”. The main goal of the conference..ahh, my anti CCSS friends, why according to this invitation, it’s ‘reinventing education’!

“What If…360?”:

Website: http://www.whatif360.com/

The main feeling of the organization appears to be major change makers. Now, in certain situations, changes are fine, BUT with all the current ‘reinventing of education’ going on, I’m not sold that this organization’s any different. So, let’s continue dig into them, shall we?

Their philosophy in the classrooms for K-12: “Effective education relies on student-centered approaches and blurring the lines between learner and educator.”

Their philosophy in the classrooms for post-secondary: “encouraging people to take a more liberal arts approach to life into a movement empowering a global community to share their ideas, create networks of communication, and collaborate in designing actions.”

Pardon me, but does any of this sound the least bit familiar to CCSS?

Staffers and their ties to Common Core?

According to 360’s website 3 smiling faces comprise the staff. Here’s what I was able to find on them. (to see the staff’s 360 stuff: http://www.whatif360.com/about/ (scroll to the bottom)

The leaders of 360, reformers for education..especially CCSS style.
The leaders of 360, reformers for education..especially CCSS style.

Felicia Rateliff is 360’s ‘woman behind the curtain’. Her Common Core past, thanks to Linkedin features her work in MO for pushing for CTE (Career Tech Education) via Perkins Funding. She also spent 7 years writing CTE Curriculum (I’ve published several posts about CTE and the Common Core post secondary ties). (to see Ms. Rateliff’s CC past, https://www.linkedin.com/in/feliciarateliff)

Matthew Murrie is 360’s ‘leader of doers’. His CC present includes ‘edupreneurship’. If you’d like to see all the others interested in ‘edupreneurship’, head to Twitter and search for the term. You’ll be ‘pleased’ to know that Common Core Ed Tech is a big follower. (see: https://twitter.com/hashtag/Edupreneurship?src=hash) You can also see Mr. Murrie’s Huffington Post “What If?” entry: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/matt-murrie/what-if-we-embraced-edupr_b_3342677.html *Note his shout out to the global initiatives and education.

Audrey Bellis is 360’s ‘program developer’. Her CC involvement includes advocating for STEM to STEaM reform. (see: http://community.good.is/steam) *Note: if you’ve not heard about the STEM to STEaM education reform, stay tuned.  I can tell you the ties between CCSS, STEM and STEaM are no accident. If you didn’t know  STEM is the main point and CCSS is the vehicle, with STEaM as an add-on, then be sure to see the post I wrote back in late 2014 called “PCAST, STEM and Common Core”. 

Their promo video: 

As you watch this short clip, consider asking ‘what if’? NOW knowing how supportive their work is towards CCSS.

Others Involved:

The 360 group isn’t the only one who will be at the conference I was invited to. There are at least 2 others. One is titled “Reinventing Learning”, the other “The Learning Revolution”.

Links: http://learningrevolution.com/  (hosts on-line/in-person education events) *Note: between the partners and sponsors, plenty of CC backers, funders, and profit makers.

http://www.reinventing.education/   (companion site for all the conferences with the ‘reinvent ed’ theme)


Well, I think the answer to our riddle today has been fairly easy to discover, do you?
Here’s a riddle I’d like to pose to all those who are so bent on re-imagining education via CCSS…What say we go away from illegally crafted, developmentally inappropriate education and get serious about the people involved instead of the nebulous cloud of global good?

Sic’ ‘Em Saturday: CCSS in Christian Schools, Even More!

In Yesterday’s Fib-o-Meter Friday post, there was quite a reaction to the revelation about CCSS in more ways than we’re being told about showing up in Christian private schools. After the mountain of responses I received, there was one from a mid west state (OK) who asked if I could help her get her family’s struggle out to others.

A fed up Mom from OK has a CCSS story to share, do you?
A fed up Mom from OK has a CCSS story to share, do you?

The Mom:

(names have been changed for privacy’s sake) Bobbie has an ” 8 year old” student who attends a private Christian school in a large city within Oklahoma. Here are Bobbie’s words about the teachers views in regards to WHAT they teach:

Insist they don’t use common core and told me it is their duty to teach my 8 year old about “difficult social subjects like drinking, drunk parents, drugs, and curse words!” This was after I found my 8 year old with an assigned book that had an alcoholic mother who abandoned her child, curse words, descriptions of several types of alcohol, and name calling.” 

Bobbie’s Fight So Far:

Here’s what Bobbie asked I share with others wanting to fight CCSS in Christian private schools, “I raised heck….It has been so frustrating.” Bobbie has also seen books assigned to her 8 year old about alternative lifestyles. Like many parents, the alternative lifestyles aren’t so much the issue as to WHEN they are taught, HOW they are taught, and by WHOM they are taught!! Parents, like Bobbie, who’ve shared similar experiences have echoed this many times over! Why are the school leaders NOT listening? Another part of Bobbie’s fight you need to know, “I specifically told them that they did not have my permission to enlighten my daughter about sex, drugs, etc and can not believe what I’m reading!” Here’s what else Bobbie noted about teachers, ” they let the 3rd graders have a free for all with the 7th grade books apparently. I know 2 inappropriate books went out the door at least and I know from experience that I am the only 1 of 19 parents that even pay attention to what comes home.”
One of the books Bobbie shared with me her 8 year old had to read is Judy Blume’s “Just As Long as We’re Together”. Here’s a screen shot Bobbie sent me.

According to my OK friend, Bobbie, this is from page 228. Plenty more references to making out, being called a 'slut', and other inappropriate things for an 8 year old.
According to my OK friend, Bobbie, this is from page 228. Plenty more references to making out, being called a ‘slut’, and other inappropriate things for an 8 year old.

Oklahoma’s Private School Stance:

Believe it or not, I have a 2009 U.S. Dept. of Education pdf file that details  each of the 50 states private school regulations. Here’s an excerpt from the Introduction, “State Regulation of Private Schools provides a brief description for each state of state legal requirements that apply to K–12 private schools in the United States. This document is intended to serve as a reference for public and nonpublic school officials, state policymakers, researchers, and others. This report is an update of the 2000 publication by the Office of Non-Public Education (ONPE), State Regulation of Private Schools, which in turn was an update of the 1993 publication by the (then) Office of Private Education, The Regulation of Private Schools in America: A State by State Analysis.” 

According to the Report, here are the topics each state has legal jurisdiction over: “Accreditation/Registration/Licensing/Approval, Teacher Certification, Length of School Year/Days, Curriculum, Recordkeeping/Reports, Health and Safety Requirements, Transportation, Textbooks, Testing, Special Education, Nursing and Health, Technology, Professional Development, Reimbursement for Performing State/Local Functions, Tax Exemption, Public Aid for Private Education, Homeschooling, and Information Resources.”

 Now, for Bobbie’s sake, and parents who are like her in OK, you will need to access the document and turn to page 226 to begin OK’s policy. Here’s what the Report says for Accreditation, “For accreditation, private and parochial schools must comply with the standards prescribed for public schools and members of the faculty must hold state certificates as required of teachers in public schools. Okla. Stat. Title 70, §3- 104.” Now, since it’s 6 years later, I wanted to see if the State Statute has been updated since this Report. Here’s what the latest one I could find says about private schools in OK, “Private and parochial schools may be accredited and classified in like manner as public schools or, if an accrediting association is approved by the State Board of Education, by procedures established by the  State Board of Education to accept accreditation by such accrediting  association, if application is made to the State Board of Education  for such accrediting;” (to see the entire OK Education General Statute, http://oklegal.onenet.net/oklegal-cgi/get_statute?99/Title.70/70-3-104.html)

So, this leads us to wonder just which organizations accredit private schools there. So, let’s see if we can find out. (If you haven’t read Friday’s post, I share with you how to get to those organizations which hold our private schools, especially the Christian ones, accountable.)

Before we answer THAT question, however, let’s FINISH up what the U.S. Dept. of Ed’s 2009 Report stated about the REST of accrediting schools. “No requirements for registration, licensing, or approval.” Further down, any private school teacher must be certified for private schools which are accredited. There’s more under the Length of the School Day..like this, “A school day shall consist of not less than six hours devoted to school activities, except that a school day for nursery, early childhood education, kindergarten, extended day program, and alternative education programs shall be as otherwise defined by law or as defined by the State Board of Education.” 

Bobbie, I wish that were all, but look at this about those internet based programs your 8 year old is more than likely using, “Each district board of education shall adopt policies and procedures that conform to rules for Internet-based courses as adopted by the State Board. Such policies shall include criteria for approval of the course, the appropriateness of the course for a particular student, authorization for full-time students to enroll in Internet-based courses, and establishing fees or charges. No district shall be liable for payment of any fees or charges for any Internet-based course for a student who has not complied with the district‘s policies and procedures. Districts shall require students enrolled in Internet-based courses to participate in the Oklahoma School Testing Program Act. Students participating in Internet-based courses from a remote site will be responsible for providing their own equipment and Internet access, unless the district chooses to provide the equipment. Credit may not be granted for such courses except upon approval of the State Board of Education and the district board of education.” 

Here’s where it gets interesting..Curriculum! According to this Report from 2009, “The Oklahoma Heritage Association coordinates annual observance of “Oklahoma Heritage Week” and includes parochial schools in its efforts….Proprietors of private and parochial schools have a duty to display the flag of the United States of America… As a condition of receiving accreditation from the State Board of Education, all students in grades nine through twelve shall enroll in a minimum of six periods, or the equivalent in block scheduling, of rigorous academic or rigorous vocational courses each day, which may include arts, vocal and instrumental music, speech classes, and physical education classes.”

To see the entire 2009 Report for all the States, http://www2.ed.gov/admins/comm/choice/regprivschl/regprivschl.pdf

Now, back to the question we’ve yet to answer: Which organizations hold the accreditation reins in OK??

NAIS (National Association of Independent Schools):

http://www.nais.org/Articles/Pages/Commission-on-Accreditation.aspx, once on this page, be sure to click on the “Model Core Standards” highlighted words. Here’s an excerpt of what you’ll get, “Model Core Standards are those which define the culture of independent schools and relate directly to the first of the Criteria for Effective Accreditation. While they do not serve as a template, these standards reflect the core elements of our schools and their operation and should be represented in some form in a regional or state association’s accreditation instrument. ” Okay, sounds ‘innocent’, but let’s look a bit deeper, shall we?

If you type in the general search bar “CCSS” you’ll get over 4 pages of information the NAIS has on the Standards, from assessments to resources, and more. (see:  http://www.nais.org/Search/Pages/Results.aspx?k=common%20core%20state%20standards) Here’s a screen shot for you, Bobbie (it’s from the NAIS 2014 published Annual Report for fiscal year ending 2013).


To see the entire Annual Report, NAIS_AR2012-13_4web

OPSAC: (Oklahoma Private School Accreditation Association Consortium)

Website: http://opsac.org/

This Consortium assists the OK State Board of Education. Here’s an excerpt about HOW they assist, “Any private school that is accredited by an OPSAC-recognized accrediting association is recognized by the State Department of Education as an accredited school. This acknowledgment of accreditation ensures that students are able to transfer between public and private schools and that the service of state certified teachers in accredited private schools is recognized by the state. The intent is that all privileges extended to state accredited private schools be also extended to private schools accredited by OPSAC-recognized accrediting agencies.” Now, the website does say the schools aren’t expected to give up what makes them unique. (see: http://opsac.org/about-opsac)  Since the OK State Board of Education is the one group which began the OPSAC (1995), it won’t have an annual statement that I could find. It won’t necessarily have corporate partners either. BUT as an entity of the State Board of Education, it should have reports to the OK state legislative body. FIND those, Bobbie! See if you can connect the dots from there to those who support the Common Core. I can tell you by looking at the main web page for the State Board, the one ‘smoking gun’ is SREB (South Regional Education Board). Here are 2 articles I’ve written exposing all the CCSS alignment from SREB.
See: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/10/10/fridays-post-breaking-news-you-need-to-know/  AND

Lastly, just by having College Board as one of the government funded CCSS supporters involved, would be a HUGE indication that those private school in OK would have more entrenchment than you can shake a stick to, Bobbie. Where did I find that? On the Independent Schools Association’s website, http://www.isasw.org/about-isas/affiliations/index.aspx

Closing/ Action Steps:

To step up the fight in OK, or any other state you’re suspecting the private schools have aligned more so than they are admitting to OR to have them respect your rights as a parent, try these steps.
1) Request Freedom of Information Act Requests and be diligent in pursuing receiving them! It’s ‘strange’ how many FOIAs get ‘lost’.

2) IF there are corporate sponsors, know which ones, where they are tied in to education (these are called P3, public, private partnerships). Are they members of the Business Round Table or the State’s Chamber of Commerce Common Core Coalition?

3) IF the group you’re researching is part of the State level government, there should be accessible documents to the citizens. Search the archives for the General Assembly (or whatever your State Senators and House of Representatives call themselves).


FTF Tuesday: Clarity for Sale! Aligned to Common Core for ‘free’!

For “From the Files” Tuesday, we’re going to look at an educational management company called “Clarion Council”. The entire name is “Clarion Council for Education Greatness, Inc.” according to its website(http://www.clarioncouncil.com/) . So, where’s the Common Core? Keep reading, my friends.

Just what is “Clarion Council”?:

From the name, it does sound impressive. I mean, who doesn’t desire clarity in today’s education mess? I found words like this on the website, ‘bold action’, ‘improve education outcome’, clear’, ‘compelling’. If I’m searching for some ray of hope in today’s education market, this sounds interesting, right? Hold on to that thought.

Before we look up much closer at Clarion (for short), let’s look at what they are. Clarion Council  is what is known as an EMO (Educational Management Organization). So what exactly is an EMO? Here’s a definition (according to DegreeDirectory.org) “Educational management professionals can also be found working in governmental agencies, private companies, and not-for-profit organizations. Those working in educational management might act as policy-makers, researchers, or consultants to help evaluate and develop ways to enrich and enhance the educational system at all levels. Most educational management professionals have earned at least a master’s degree and many are licensed teachers or principals.”

So, my charter school has to use an EMO? No! For example, where I live (NC) the following excerpt is about EMOs:

“A charter school board may choose to contract with a vendor or company, such as an educational
management organization (EMO), to perform certain services in connection with the operation of the
charter school.” (from a NC DPI (Dept. of Public Instruction) letter dated 8/2014 concerning charter schools compliance with public records)
Now that we know this, we can better answer who Clarion is. When you visit the website, you’ll get some information, but not a tremendous amount. I can tell you from looking as closely as I can at the website, you can expect Common Core aligned character education, teacher incentives (the better the student score is to how well you are paid) and school leadership opportunities that are nebulous in description, yet you are to feel assured whatever leadership it is, it will be great. I can tell you that when I tried to find the on-line leadership training, I was blocked because I didn’t have an account. I did see “iLearn” as their on-line choice for instruction. (see more about iLearn: http://www.ilearn.com/web/about.html)

Repeatedly, on almost every page of the website,  you’ll see, that research has been conducted. However, I only found one reference to a University of FL study done back in 2006. For as many issues as there are in education AND the fact Clarion is a business, I would truly hope all their management isn’t based on one study. I’m sure the folks who work there are great, but it would make more business sense to know who these people are, what level of education they have, and all those other ‘pesky’ details we discerning educational consumers have a right to know.

My overall sense of the website is there is much more that needs to be shared, that frankly isn’t. For example, ‘educator resources’ is all about ‘STRIVE’, well, if I don’t know what “STRIVE” is how will that help me?  The website does give you a somewhat interesting view of what they PLAN to do, but not what they’ve already done. For instance, when I read there was a ‘curriculum map’, I thought it would be visible, then I read the sentence again and saw the curriculum map ‘will be developed AND aligned to state standards so that character education becomes an integral part of an academically rigorous curriculum.’ Continuing on in looking at the website, if I want to meet the board of directors, good luck..they aren’t even mentioned. Yet, Clarion isn’t shy about asking for lots of money. Sorry, if you want my donation, I need TONS of information first and upfront. However, interestingly enough, if you do choose to support the corporation with a financial gift, your request/donation is ‘directed’ to Charter Schools USA’s email (another education management company).

"Strive 65" is a character education curriculum offered by Clarion. Character education aligned to CCSS.
“Strive 65” is a character education curriculum offered by Clarion. Character education aligned to CCSS.

Charter Schools USA:

Like Clarion, Charter Schools USA (CSUSA) is based in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. It is also an EMO. After repeated references in various blogs, and an ardent internet search, I was able to finally find some evidence that Clarion/CSUSA are, indeed connected. How? A ‘YouTube’ video from  2009 showing a kids band playing at the Clarion Council / Charter Schools USA Corporate Picnic. Hugh Taylor Birch State Park in Ft. Lauderdale, FL is what helped me out the most.

Then, I was able to find this from a 2009 newspaper article, the Vice President of CSUSA, Richard Page said, “Our school would be focused on core academics, there would be a unique foreign language program, which would begin in kindergarten and continue through all grades, and a character-education program developed by Charter Schools USA in cooperation with the Clarion Council.” (source: http://www.ledgernews.com/news/top_stories/charter-schools-usa-resubmits-petition/article_44dcb1a3-8526-5727-916f-928329be0061.html?mode=jqm).

I am not suggesting CSUSA only has schools in FL, they have them in many other states, too. If you access the Indiana Charter Schools Prospectus, you can find out quite a bit about CSUSA and Clarion Council. ICN.Academy.Prospectus The report is well over 200 pages, however, the reason I include it today is that not only will you see CCSS, CSUSA, Clarion Council, you’ll see other education doctrines, methods and resources. Then, consider how many school students will be taught this in these ways.

AdvancED & Clarion, CSUSA:

From a 2010 AdvancED Executive Summary, Duval Charter School at Arlington had this to say about the joint effort, ‘Two years ago, Charter School USA, our management company, partnered with the Clarion Council to bring character education into our schools. The program, called STRIVE, is another area that we are proud of as it allows us to recognize and reward students who
are doing the right thing.” When reporting challenges, this statement was at the top of the list,  “One of the greatest challenges has been indoctrinating teachers into the CSUSA culture.“When stating Duval’s support of CSUSA, these are some of the excerpts written, “Duval Charter School promotes Charter Schools USA’s Non-Negotiable Goals… The CSUSA goals are divided into achievement and instructional goals….addition to the CSUSA goals, each school in our network sets its FCAT goals. ….Teachers at Duval Charter School go through training at the beginning of each school year that emphasizes the importance of both formative and summative assessments to determine students’ learning.” (to see all of the report: 7281) Another FL school, Six Mile Charter’s AdvancED report, publised in 2010 (7276) had this to say, “Two years ago, Charter School USA, our management company, partnered with the Clarion Council to bring character education into our schools. This program, STRIVE, is another area that we are proud of as it allows us to recognize and reward students who are doing the right thing. At the beginning of this school year, all faculty members were trained in the Positive Behavior Support Program, which has resulted in a consistent school-wide behavior system.” They, too, as a CSUSA member, have non-negotiable goals; formative and summative assessments. As AvancED customers, both schools have been through the ASSIST alignment to help produce better student outcomes.

AdvancED (http://www.advanc-ed.org/):

Who they say they are, “We are a non-profit, non-partisan organization that conducts rigorous, on-site external reviews of PreK-12 schools and school systems to ensure that all learners realize their full potential.” The website goes on to state, “AdvancED was created through a 2006 merger of the PreK-12 divisions of the North Central Association (NCA) and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS)—and expanded through the 2011 acquisition of the Northwest Accreditation Commission (NWAC).”
You can find much out about the group by visiting their website. Type in “Common Core State Standards” in the search bar & you’ll get plenty of response! Then, consider HOW many schools, this non profit has under its ‘care’..While not specifically mentioned in the 2012 video below, listen to the rhetoric.

Other EMOs:

In America, there are many other EMOs (education managment organizations). Academica is the largest such in the nation; Imagine Schools is the 3rd. Charter Schools USA is #2 of the three. Academica, CSUSA both were 2013 Excellence in Education contributors. Who’s “Excellence in Education”? Another CCSS supportive organization tied to Innovate Educate (which targets older students, especially workforce related). Imagine Schools has a for profit arm, as well as non-profit (not unusual at all). What’s noteworthy is their for profit is “Schoolhouse Finance”. Oh, IS (Imagine Schools, CCSS is part of the curriculum.) You can find it buried in this file: http://www.imagineschools.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/Academic_Framework_FINAL.pdf

One last item:

Qualitycharters.org (National Assoc. of Charter School Authorizers) just received a hefty $800,000.00 grant from the Gates Foundation for the express purpose of  ‘support the final wave of district-charter compact cities in advancing college ready strategies through cross-sector collaboration.’ (source: http://www.gatesfoundation.org/How-We-Work/Quick-Links/Grants-Database/Grants/2014/09/OPP1115953) 

THIS is 'quality'?!
THIS is ‘quality’?!

In closing:

I think, while we’ve learned much, we haven’t learned enough about who is managing education in America. I know there will be more to discover. If you have any leads, hints or resources you’d like to add or share, please, leave a comment! As you can see, by looking at one organization, at least through the context of Common Core, you will find many others connected. Who knew looking at Clarion would take us to so many other groups.