Tag Archives: Raleigh News and Observer

Update: CCSS, CTE, STEM, and Connect NC Bond

I previously wrote about the NC Connect Bond on Jan. 11, 2016. If you read that post, you saw how evidence was presented to tie the Bond to the CCSS Machine. If not, here are the main points from that post.

From the original article.
From the original article.

Previous Points:

1) With the recent passage of the ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act), more CCSS (Common Core State Standards), CTE (Career Tech Education), and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) will be present, not only in NC, but nation wide.
All these are FULL of CBE (Competency Based Education). Why? Plainly stated: Workforce Necessary Skills!

2) ESSA has WIOA (Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act), HEA (Higher Education Act) embedded!

3) WIOA is federal law, NC is a proud supporter of WIOA, as is every other state! (*Note: WIOA replaced WIA, Workforce Investment Act in 2014. Career Pathways (CP), a part of CCSS and CTE is embedded in WIOA 21 separate times.)

3) The original article will show you how the plans for the big bucks will be used in some NC higher educational institutions. You will see the way the Raleigh News and Observer spun the Bond to lead us to believe the Bond is a great thing. You will see the way the Resolution by the NC State Board of Education supports the Governor’s desire for MORE CTE, Workforce Based Education. The Bond easily plays into all of this!

So why should we vote ‘no’ to the NC Connect Bond? Here is my original thought.
In my opinion, it will have a  great impact. However, knowing that the workforce based education movement involves not only education, but labor and commerce, we need to know what those projects will be as well. And since we, across America, have seen how non-transparent a lot of the projects are, we must be ever watchful!”
To access the original article: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2016/01/11/winter-2016-a-look-ahead-nc-and-the-usa/

Even if you are NOT an NC resident, you can use this type of slick moves as examples of where to look in your state. With the federal overreach in education, NC is hardly alone in this type of activity.

Before I continue it is vital I point out the leader of the NC Against the Bond movement is Nicole Revels. She has stood by my side fighting Common Core for quite a while. The least I can do is stand by her side as we fight the Bond. I never expected to find the CCSS Machine in the Bond, but nothing escapes the Machine in our modern times. My goal is to compliment her work, as the work of others opposing this Bond as well. I hope no matter where you live, that when you find evidence like this, you work as a team with others.

More Ties to the CCSS Machine:

Since this original post, I have found MORE evidence of how the ‘innocent Bond’ is even more tied to the CCSS Machine than I first thought!

In this LiveStream video I made 3/8/16, I give you plenty of the new evidence, so I will not repeat it here. I will say up front that the video is raw footage shot in my home. It may not be professional shot or be a fancy set, but the time for polish is past us. We don’t have time for fluff. We do, however, need the knowledge. Knowledge is power we can use to fight the CCSS Machine, the Bond, or whatever else we face in the ‘War Against the Core’. I will point out that the figures I share in the video are from the Fiscal Year 2014-15. However, I also share the NC Governor’s Recommended Budget for 2015-17 ties.
Access the video:
 http://livestream.com/accounts/16731436/events/4893641/videos/114902173

The documents mentioned in the video are available to whomever requests them.

The documents which tie NC to Workforce Based Education follow:

The NC WIOA Unified Master Plan Draft (which means changes could be made):
NorthCarolina_WIOA_UnifiedStatePlan_Master_01_11_16
(How this ties to the Bond: Since Community Colleges are breeding grounds for Workforce Training, as are the NCWorks (one stop job centers), our public universities are breeding grounds for STEM forces. The Bond provides for plans for all of these post-secondary institutions to build facilities to support all this training and alignment! All under our noses as ‘investment’.)

The 1999 SCANS (Secretary’s Committee on Acquiring Necessary Skills) from the U. S. Dept. of Labor where the evidence shows the roots of Workforce Based Education, now called CBE (Competency Based Education)SCANSreport

Since each of the 58 Community Colleges in NC are CCSS/CTE aligned, they also contain Small Business Centers. Meaning MORE P3s(Public Private Partnerships) in education reform. Something ALSO embedded in the ESSA quite a bit.

NCSTEM

The STEM Affinity Network, will tie you to RttT (Race to the Top, where oddly enough we got CCSS and College/Career Readiness). See one of the Network’s Reports:
http://cerenc.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/ES-RttT-STEM_Y3-Report_FINAL_12-05-201.pdf
The NC STEM website: https://www.ncstemcenter.org/
The PCAST Report from 2010 where STEM’s real purposes is revealed:  pcast-stemed-report
The NC STEM Communities:
https://www.ncstemcenter.org/blog/five-communities-selected-for-innovatenc-initiative/

To see the National Career Stop Centers where STEM, CCSS, CP, CTE are all included:
a) http://www.careeronestop.org/
b) http://us.jobs/
The Federal STEM budget: https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/microsites/ostp/fy_2015_stem_ed.pdf
The Research paper on the Wagner-Peyser Act (which works side by side with WIOA) for workforce based education:
http://research.upjohn.org/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1032&context=reports
(*Note: be sure to read all the programs where you can find aligned education for all the nation.)

It is important to note that the Federal STEM budget (which NC gets a portion of) already covers updating facilities! So why burden NC with a Bond to cover the buildings? Closely needing an answer is the question that NC already receives Federal funding for CCSS/CTE and College/Career Readiness, so why are we being asked to support a $2 billion dollar Bond for post-secondary education institutions to expand their CTE courses? Of note, not one word has been mentioned about the proprietary NC schools in all this Bond topic, but do know every one of them is sold out to CCSS/CTE and STEM.
In my research the only apparent reason would be simply this: crony led education for a workforce profit.

One final reminder: The NC State Board of Ed contains members from every educational level: Pre-K to Grad Schools. The Board SUPPORTS Workforce based education. Any guesses as to why we are being asked to vote ‘yes’?

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Monday Musings: Make That Call!

Call, NOW! Congress needs to hear your voice.
Call, NOW! Congress needs to hear your voice.

Anti CCSS Warriors, I simply want to encourage you to contact Congress today. Those helping us fight this War Against the Core have been quick to alert us that the changes to the re-authorization of the ESEA (Elementary and Secondary Education Act) are BAD NEWS! I am not about to repeat those warnings. Why? You can easily find them on you own. However, a great place to start would be the Truth in American Education’s website: http://truthinamericaneducation.com/

That stated,  I DO want to pass on that you MUST call! Do not just stop by reaching out to your specific state, contact those key Congressional members responsible for this debacle, too! Not sure what phone number to use? Start with the main switchboard for Congress, 202-224-3121. Want a specific list?  Use the Citizen’s Guide to Congress: http://www.contactingthecongress.org/

Don’t forget that the CCSS Machine is working overtime to pump out as much negative press as possible right now to make those of us against Common Core (and the rest of the ‘quality education’ connected to it from “cradle to grave”) look at daffy and misguided as ever!
For example, the Raleigh News and Observer published today this awful piece.
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/local/education/article44804307.html


Be sure to leave a comment, I certainly did! I will share with you what I wrote:


“Good grief! Once again the N & O has a reporter promoting one side of this issue moreso than the other! If you want to know the real story of oppostion AND how long the ‘real’ sides have been at it, you would need to do more research. If so, you would find the roots of Common Core in NC are much older than what you report. You would find those who are opposed, as am I, to this illegally based education reform, that WE the People did NOT get to weigh in on, you would know we have uncovered evidence that this paper would never consider to report!
The NCCTM has been helping align math standards for years! But, you’d know that, if you have dug into this important issue. You would also know that laws have been broken as well as created to cover the snafus created by all that Common Core encompasses. You would also find the Common Core ISN’T simply math and english; you would discover it is in EVERY subject! You would find the alignment begins in Preschool and extends to graduate schools AS well as the NC job markets! NC sold out its citizens years ago for money over education. We are just beginning to see the damages. It will only get worse IF the state doesn’t wise up and DUMP Common Core, Career Tech Education!”

Please keep in mind, anti CCSS Warriors, the CCSS Machine will NOT stop at high school..it is (and will to) continue on through post-secondary education. This means the re-authorization of the HEA (Higher Education Act) will follow soon. I have given you plenty of evidence on this subject. Do NOT delay, halt Common Core NOW!

Weekend News: CCSS Rumors Abound, at Least in NC

The CCSS Machine certainly has made the most out of the media frenzy to help its cause.
The CCSS Machine certainly has made the most out of the media frenzy to help its cause.

Warriors Against the Core, maybe you saw it this past week, and maybe you didn’t. What am I referring to? The news that NC had given Common Core the boot. I saw it surface on several anti CC Facebook pages where folks were expressing jealousy over the fact they wished their state would be so bold; others giving the citizens of NC a big ‘well done’.

Sadly though, it is a rumor. Well timed, but a alas, not true. See below:

Is there more to this story? Sure there is!
Is there more to this story? Sure there is!

What the truth is, is that a bill was signed by the Governor, but instead of ‘repeal’ or ‘replace’ CCSS in NC, we got stuck with a REVIEW of it. I’ll spare you the Keystone Cop routine of how the Committee has been treated by not only the Governor, but the legislature, the State Board of Education, etc.
Here is an excerpt from my Oct. 2014 “Monday Musings” about the whole mess, “But..as the media will tell us a committee was, indeed formed. How it was formed is an embarrassment to the taxpayers and an affront to our legal system.”
If you would like to read the rest of that article: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/10/20/monday-musings-if-i-were-on-a-repeal-common-core-committee/
Why is it important to clarify the truth NOW? Because, the Review Committee is about 2 months away from its final report. That’s right, in Dec. 2015, the NC Academic Standards Review Committee  (NC ASRC) will hand over their findings and suggestions for what NC SHOULD do with CCSS. We may, in fact, get to see a total repeal of CCSS. That is what the vast majority of citizens is pulling for. We might see  a tweaked CCSS, or we might get the shaft via a rebrand. Who knows?! In the meantime, however, here is what else is going on to feed the rumor mill…..

 

“The Nosy Observer” aka the Raleigh News and Observer:

 

Gone of the journalist days where objectivity was reported! Media selling out the CCSS Machine isn't new or exclusive to the 'big' sources.
Gone of the journalist days where objectivity was reported! Media selling out the CCSS Machine isn’t new or exclusive to the ‘big’ sources.

Read part of the defensive article,When students don’t measure up, some Wake County school board members rightly note, that isn’t the fault of Common Core. It may be teachers, it may be parents who aren’t helping their students at home, it make be students wrestling with tougher courses than they’ve had in the lower grades.” (read the rest, if you think you can stomach it,
http://www.newsobserver.com/opinion/editorials/article41241507.html)
I would encourage you, as an anti CCSS Warrior to respond to the editorial, even if you are outside NC! I hope you’ll look for my response, it is a zinger!

 

Other Not SO Great News about NC’s Education via the CCSS Machine:

These next two events are true. Some of what is stated, however, is fallacy based.
Regardless, each of these moves are bad news for NC…and the nation.

Jeb Bush’s Foundation for Excellence in Education’s Denver Conference.

I learned of this event from one of the elected legislators of NC this past week. His name? Rep. Craig Horn. He was gloating about the great work NC has done to push digital education in NC and that he’d been a part of it!
Here are his comments, via screen shots:
The first one announced his arrival.
horn1
The second one shares his joy at being there.
horn2
The third shows you his involvement in NC education.
horn3
Comments made beneath the picture showed support of his work from his friends.
horn4
Rep. Hugh Blackwell of NC was also in attendance at this event. To see the entire agenda, the people speaking, and the topics, see:
http://excelined.org/national-summit/2015-agenda/
To read the 2014 NC State Board of Education newsletter where the digital push in education is highlighted, see: http://stateboard.ncpublicschools.gov/sbe-newsletter/2014-newsletter/03newsletter.pdf (*Note: notice that the NC Lt. Governor (who has said he is against CCSS, is included in this digital push. I guess the ‘college and career readiness’ of CCSS doesn’t phase him.)
If you’d like to see all the digital education pieces there are for NC, see:
Ab3cb1hux6m4&cof=FORID%3A11&ie=UTF-8&q=digital+education&x=0&y=0&siteurl=www.dpi.state.nc.us%2F&ref=www.google.com%2F&ss=5923j3041399j23

Former U.S. Dept. of Education’s Margaret Spellings as the President of UNC.

I first wrote about Ms. Spellings’ report back in June 2015. It was included as a ‘related resource’ in my article about Higher Education, Sen. Lamar Alexander, and the “Next America”. Read it, you need to. As an anti CCSS Warrior what is shared there is vital.
https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/06/11/tech-thursday-more-alexander-hea-and-the-next-america/
Here’s a quote from the Raleigh News and Observer, “As UNC president, she’ll oversee the state’s public university system with 17 campuses and 222,000 students, succeeding Tom Ross, 65, who will step down early next year at the board’s request. The board gave Spellings a 5-year contract with a base salary of $775,000, plus deferred compensation of $77,500 annually and potential performance bonuses.” (the entire story:  http://www.newsobserver.com/news/local/education/article41183490.html)
Here’s a quote from the Huffington Post about the news, “In her initial comments after Friday’s vote, Spellings talked about the importance of ensuring quality education for all, especially poor and minority students. “We must close the achievement gap at all levels,” she said.” (Read their entire article: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/margaret-spellings-unc-president_562a622fe4b0ec0a38944016)
My fellow anti CCSS Warrior, Nancy Bailey made some great comments about Spellings on Facebook. See the screen shot below.

Nancy also reminded us how Spellings described NCLB, 'like Ivory Soap, 99% pure.'
Nancy also reminded us how Spellings described NCLB, ‘like Ivory Soap, 99% pure.’

Why would I point out this as a problem for the nation? University of NC graduates go all over the nation, and the world, for that matter. Think UNC isn’t involved in the CCSS Machine? Think again. I’ve written several articles of their known and documented involvement! As President of UNC, Spellings will oversee the following:

*Data tracking for life via CCSS/CTE(career tech education):
https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/08/27/ccss-follow-up-system-more-than-money-will-follow-your-students/
* Citizen Solider Program is CCSS tied:
 https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/07/07/ftf-this-just-in-military-bases-economy-and-ccss/
*
Job Development Grants/Economic Growth(CCSS/CTE tied):
https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/03/25/wybi-job-development-grants-and-ccss/
*
Educational Research (which ties in CCSS, STEM, CTE, and RttT):
https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/12/02/wybi-wednesday-rttt-stem-ed-waivers-and-more/
*
Center for International Understanding (global education; teacher graduates ; ties CCSS, CTE and more):
https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/02/04/wybi-the-gtn-of-north-carolina/

With all this CCSS Machine effort going in NC, adding a former creator is NOT a smart move for NC or the nation! Warriors, we MUST use these events, this information to help STOP Common Core in ALL its forms!

Other Related Resources:
To see the entire ABC 11 article: http://abc11.com/192299/
To read some truth about the NC ASRChttp://ladyliberty1885.com/?s=ASRC
(she has several pages of reports from the monthly meetings)
To read my take on the NC ASRC:
https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/12/16/breaking-news-ncs-asrc-committee-on-review/
To read some truth about the NC Chamber of Commerce‘s CCSS ‘dog and pony show’ for the ASRC:
https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/06/17/wybi-nc-businesses-and-common-core/
When the ASRC met with the Drs. Stotsky and Milgram:
https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/03/18/wybi-the-elephant-in-the-ccss-room/
To see how NC, as a member state, is involved with GEAR Up (which directly involves our colleges and universities):
https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/11/18/ftf-tuesday-ccrec-college-and-career-readiness-evaluation-consortium/

FTF: This Just In: Military Bases, Economy, and, CCSS

A new pro CCSS report filled with the pro CCSS side’s version of truth is now available for we, the warriors, against CCSS.

The book was announced on Twitter by the CCSSO (Council of Chief State School Officers), Dr. June Atkinson, on July 6th, 2015. See below:
drjune

I’ll be sure to post the link so you can access the latest ‘news’, but first, I want to share another report about military families and CCSS. My fellow anti CC Warrior, LadyLiberty1885, pointed out this report from Pioneer Institute. Here’s the lead in sentence: “Study finds college and career readiness focus of Common Core a disconnect with students from Military Families since majority are under seven years old.”  If you’d like to access more about the not surprising statement OR read the rest of the Pioneer findings, visit: http://pioneerinstitute.org/education/new-report-the-successes-and-challenges-of-educating-military-connected-children/

It’s amazing to me how the CCSS Machine and its operators will try to spin everything possible towards keeping the Common Core. Dr. Atkinson, especially. So why is she offering up the latest information about CCSS and the economy? Timing, my fellow warriors. With all the hub-bub in D.C., it makes sense to have one high profile, well known CCSS supporter suddenly ‘reveal’ a little known benefit to keeping CCSS.. boosting the economy of military bases..which indirectly boosts America’s economy. Alas, my warriors against CCSS, what have we discovered time and time again in this war? Economics is one of the major goals for the CCSS Machine, not an academic education!

The Military Base Economy Author:

This report is written by Matthew Leatherman, of NC. He’s a non resident fellow of the Stimson Center (more about them in a bit) as well as “Matthew also is active on national defense issues at the state level in North Carolina. He has been a special correspondent for the Raleigh News and Observer’s opinion page for four years. Matthew also is an independent adviser to the US Global Leadership Coalition’s North Carolina project, the University of North Carolina’s Citizen Soldier Support Program, and the Chamber of Commerce in Fayetteville, Fort Bragg’s host community.” To see his entire ‘expert’ biography,
http://www.stimson.org/experts/matthew-leatherman/

Every one of this groups is either tied to the CCSS Machine, helped form it, or, makes it their business to ‘sell it’ to the USA as a ‘good thing’. So, not only do you have one of the chiefs of the CCSS Machine revealing new information, you have a well connected CCSS supporter writing the information up. Excuse me, haven’t we had enough subjectivity about CCSS? Objectivity is something the CCSS Machine can’t handle, folks! The CCSS Machine’s tactic is eerily like Jack Nicholson’s character stated in “A Few Good Men” :

“You Can’t Handle the Truth!”

Warriors, take heart. We, as opposed to the CCSS Machine have been quite successful at not only handling the truth, but exposing it on a daily basis!! As long as the CCSS Machine continues to dis-serve our nation with their lies spun as truth, we WILL handle it. Why? Because we possess some things the CCSS Machine left in the dust years ago….
  Honesty, Integrity, and Justice

The New Report:

Titled, “The Army Goes to School: The Connection Between K-12 Education Standards and the Military Base Economy”, June 2015. Stimson (the group Leatherman wrote this for) is offering a free download of the report. Get yours, http://www.stimson.org/images/uploads/research-pdfs/ArmyGoesToSchool.pdf

Here’s who helped fund this report, “A grant from the New Venture Fund made this project possible. Stimson was fortunate to partner with the Collaborative for Student Success, a “non-profit organization consisting of a diverse group of regional and national education foundations committed to improving public education.” 

Great, more subjectivity for the CCSS Machine. What do I mean? Here’s a brief look at Stimson, New Venture, and the Collaborative for Student Success.

Stimson: Founded in 1989, the Stimson Center is a nonprofit, nonpartisan institution devoted to enhancing international peace and security through a unique combination of rigorous analysis and outreach. The Centerʼs approach is pragmatic — geared toward providing policy alternatives, solving problems, and overcoming obstacles to a more peaceful and secure world.” Funding for Stimson? A mix of public and private organizations which include pro CCSS supporters the Carnegie Foundation and the United Nations. You’ll need to see what other groups are funding to believe it. See: http://www.stimson.org/images/uploads/Stimson_Funding_Report_2014.pdf

New Venture Fund: “The New Venture Fund (NVF) works to achieve a healthier, more equitable world. Our work spans a range of issue areas to realize social and environmental change.”  Here’s more, “The New Venture Fund, a 501(c)(3) public charity, supports innovative and effective public interest projects. NVF was established in 2006 in response to demand from leading philanthropists for an efficient, cost-effective, and time-saving platform to launch and operate charitable projects.”
Funding for NVF? A major long term funding organization is the Gates Foundation. When I searched the grant data based provided on the GF website, I got 62 different grants tied to the NVF. That’s just one pro CCSS backer (and not to mention one of the biggest backers). See: http://www.gatesfoundation.org/How-We-Work/Quick-Links/Grants-Database#q/k=New%20Venture%20Fund

Collaboration for Student Success: “The Collaborative for Student Success is a grant-making initiative created with the pooled resources of a diverse group of regional and national education foundations deeply committed to improving public education. The members of the Collaborative share the belief that the successful implementation of the Common Core State Standards is an important next step in ensuring that all students are prepared to succeed at college level work. The mission of the Collaborative is to support the state-led efforts of State Education Agencies and local education organizations responsible for educating and informing all stakeholders — parents, students, teachers and community leaders — about the new state standards and assessments.” 

Members? Among them are the NEA, the AFT, Gates Foundation, and the Carnegie Foundation. To see all the members, http://forstudentsuccess.org/about/
It’s rather obvious how the Collaborative is funded, however, to be thorough, http://forstudentsuccess.org/resources/faqs/ (*Note: scroll down to the appropriate question/answer)

Other CCSS Nuggets From Leatherman’s Report:

1) “Communities that host Army bases should take heed of this powerful message from General Odierno, which otherwise might sound like an ordinary endorsement of good schools. Many of these communities have a deep economic dependency on military wages. Losing soldiers and their wages for any reason, including because of shortcomings in their schools, would push the economies of host communities sharply downward. In this sense, the Army’s impact is similar to other major employers, and the potential for transfers within its future workforce of 420,000– 450,000 men and women could reshape the economic landscape of cities and regions.”

2) “The Army has completed the evaluation of local schools General Odierno promised in the family forum 18 months ago. This review — known as the WestEd study — will recognize those communities that meet the Army’s baseline education standards and identify those that do not.”
Related: The “Military Times” article about the WestEd Study shared the results of military kids on CCSS were ‘average’. See: http://www.militarytimes.com/story/military/benefits/2015/07/01/study-shows-mixed-results-quality-of-schools-military-children-attend/29566721/
WestEd is ‘all in’ with the CCSS Machine. Here’s their website, http://www.wested.org/ (*Note: see how quickly you can identify all the ways in which WestEd loves CCSS)

3) “The only comparable nationwide academic standards today are the Common Core State Standards, which cover mathematics and language arts. The Pentagon decided in June 2012 to use Common Core standards in the schools it runs on military bases.  Meanwhile, a majority of states overall have adopted Common Core, but states that host the Army’s bases have varied in the decision whether to adopt these standards. Missouri and North Carolina, for example, have adopted Common Core, though both state governments have taken action to reconsider this decision. Texas, which hosts nearly 80,000 soldiers at bases like Fort Hood and Fort Bliss, has never adopted common standards,neither has Virginia nor Alaska which boast major installations such as Fort Lee and Fort Wainright, respectively. Oklahoma, home of Fort Sill, initially signed up for Common Core, but then reversed the adoption of the standards.” (*Note: did you spot all the pro CCSS truths, which are the anti CCSS warriors examples of their web of lies?)

Some Anti CCSS Military Truth They Can’t Handle:

Lastly, the CCSS Machine can’t handle that many of us warriors against CCSS, have uncovered, researched, and reported the real truths about the military and Common Core. I offer you, my previously published article:
https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/04/16/tech-thursday-common-core-military-special/ (includes more on the Collaborative for Student Success and U.S. State Dept. documents)
An excerpt from my 3/20/15 article about elected officials and CCSS which is suitable for today’s context,

“The entire debacle is un- Constitutional! It’s a domestic enemy! Every time you continue to allow Career Tech Education, rebrands of CCSS, Career Pathways, Workforce Education, high stakes assessments, textbooks that are rewritten to teach America is a hostile nation, YOU are the domestic enemy! Instead of keeping your oath to do all you can to protect, you’ve replaced it with a pledge to the CCSS Machine (all those fund, create, and continue to purport CCSS) The fact that federal funding has been accepted to help further align has happened of each of your ‘watches’ in office! How is that protecting the people OR defending the Constitution?!

Here’s, my version, of the pledge you’ve sacrificed us all for:

“I pledge my allegiance to the Core and to the deterioration for which it exists.
I have pledged my support to the degrading of my people which CCSS ensues.
That being one way to learn, for all, indivisible and rigor for all.”

Monday Musings: Two Wrongs, No Right

dumb
Don’t look now, but NC’s gone CCSS dumber!

Okay, so it’s not new news about the love affair NC has with Common Core. However, the latest move to allow both K12, Inc. AND Pearson into the virtual educational airwaves of the state remind me of the “Dumb and Dumber” guys.

The Backstory:

While I’ll not give you the entire past account of NC’s Virtual Public School saga, I’ll tell you this, it’s CCSS aligned. It’s been offered as an option for home education students. It’s a crock! Tax payer funding AND student disservice..what two wrongs we have. So, has your state made a similar move?

The Legislation:

Giving the state CCSS via Virtual School, the NC General Assembly passed the following:
From 2011, the Funding formula legislation (meaning the fees charged to enroll in the virtual schools paid by homeschoolers, etc.)  HOUSE DRH70171-LE-129A

From a special report on NC’s Virtual Charter Schools, this excerpt, “Virtual education is not new to North Carolina. Created in 2007, the state-led North Carolina Virtual Public School (NCVPS) offers supplemental high school courses to public, private, and homeschooled students across the state. NCVPS is the country’s second largest virtual school and it continues to expand.” Not too long after this, is this bit of fact, “Digital, online, and virtual learning are no longer endeavors of the future. They are here. North Carolina education is becoming more technologically enabled daily. Entire local education agencies (LEAs) are utilizing 1:1 device initiatives, and the General Assembly has mandated that the State transition to digital materials by 2017. The education-technology world is ever evolving, and no one knows yet how expansive it might become. As the State embraces new methods of education delivery and technological advancements, it is important to remember that each is only one piece of a very large puzzle.”

More About the NCVPS from the report on virtual charters:
“The North Carolina Virtual Public School opened in 2007, serving over 195,000 students since that first year. It is the nation’s second largest state-led virtual school with over 50,000 enrollments in 2013-14 from all 115 LEAs and many charter schools. NCVPS offers over 150 different courses as a supplement to local high school course catalogues and includes Advanced Placement, Occupational Course of Study, electives, traditional, honors, and credit recovery courses. All courses are taught by teachers licensed in North Carolina and provide strategies for active student engagement through a variety of technology tools. Teachers are required to make personal contact with students and parents regularly to maximize the student-teacher relationship. Courses are free to students who enroll through their local North Carolina high school. NCVPS is available to home school and private school students for a fee. The law states that the director of NCVPS shall ensure: 1. Course quality standards are established and met. 2. All e-learning opportunities other than virtual charter schools offered by State-funded entities to public school students are consolidated under the NCVPS program, eliminating course duplication. 3. All courses offered through NCVPS are aligned to the NC Standard Course of Study. NCVPS is a supplemental program and is not a credit-granting or degree-granting institution. As such, the student’s face-to-face school awards all credit. Students typically enroll in one or two courses each term with the remainder of their courses taken at their face-to-face school. However, a small number of homebound students take their full course load through NCVPS, yet they are still officially enrolled in their local high school and are granted credit through that school. Currently, all courses offered by NCVPS are high school level courses, although many middle school students who need high school level opportunities enroll with NCVPS. Development of middle school level courses has begun and will be piloted in 2014-15. NCVPS is not the only supplemental option in North Carolina for virtual education. Recently, some LEAs have experimented with similar programs on a local level that offer courses to students in single districts. Because they do not offer courses beyond their borders, they do not fall under the purview of NCVPS.” If you wish to have the entire report, visit: http://www.ncleg.net/documentsites/committees/JLEOC/Reports%20Received/2014%20Reports%20Received/Study%20Virtual%20Charter%20Schools%20Report/Virtual%20Charter%20Schools%20Report.pdf

Was it 2005 or 2007?: 

In the above report’s excerpt, we saw the year 2007 was given as to when virtual public school began in NC. However, a NCVPS financial audit from 2014, says this, The North Carolina Virtual Public School was established in 2005 to provide students with free, online classes that are not offered at their local schools. The Virtual School began offering online courses to high school students in 2007 and later expanded its course offerings to middle school students. During the 2011-2012 academic year, student enrollment reached 49,189, up from 6,984 in the 2006-2007 academic year. The school offers more than 100 courses and serves all 115 school districts and 36 charter schools. Total expenditures during FY 2012 were about $19.7 million.” Did you see the portion about middle school students? One report says expansion to them was 2014-15, this financial audit doesn’t give a specific date, but has lumped it close enough to 2007, you might assume it was about the same time. You’ll want to access the audit. It gives a very interesting finding. Enrollment numbers inflated and teacher pay based upon enrollment. Virtual public schoolaudit

According to the NC General Assembly’s archives, HB2417 and Senate Bill 1616 from the 2005 legislation session gave $5 million dollars to the NC DPI (Dept. of Public Instruction) begin the virtual school. State Statute 116C-5 was modified to reflect the new type of school. See the Senate’s bill: http://www.ncleg.net/sessions/2005/bills/senate/pdf/s1616v1.pdf  House of Representative’s bill: http://www.ncleg.net/sessions/2005/bills/house/pdf/h2417v2.pdf

Related:
Interestingly enough in 2005, the Senate had a bill that’s been tabled for quite awhile, but COULD be playing into today’s educational snafu. The title of the bill was “Education Improvement Act of 2005” (SB 965). Part 4 of the Bill was subtitled, “21st Century High Schools”. You really should see this section. 

http://www.ncleg.net/sessions/2005/bills/senate/pdf/s965v1.pdf (*Note: you’ll notice in this bill it discussed the Governor’s plan for education. To see the General Statute it refers to: 

http://www.ncga.state.nc.us/EnactedLegislation/Statutes/HTML/BySection/Chapter_116C/GS_116C-4.html )

To see the NC DPI’s financial information for the Virtual Public School: http://www.ncpublicschools.org/fbs/finance/ncvps/

To access the official Virtual School website: http://www.ncvps.org/ (*Note: be sure to look at the RttT and STEM page in the “About Us” portion. Look at the partners under the “Our Partnerships”. Leading the partners, SAS Inc. with the CCSS algebra portion.)

The RttT Funding:

Thanks to the Race to the Top funding, NC Virtual Public School got help.
Thanks to the Race to the Top funding, NC Virtual Public School got help.

From the 21-3-14 Race to the Top update, Virtual Schools were #8 on the priority list. Pages 18 and 19 of the report give all kinds of information about what’s been going on. Full report: Statewide Education Initiatives in RttT

The Latest Part of the Story:

This is where Pearson and K12, Inc. enter the story. From the Raleigh’s News and Observer edition (2/5/15), the CCSS supporters will gain access to our students via virtual charter schools. (Be sure to read the virtual charter study. Ask yourselves, what accountability does a charter school which is virtual have? Where’s the funding, etc.) To see the N and O’s story, http://www.newsobserver.com/2015/02/05/4533524_two-online-charter-schools-approved.html?rh=1

Buzzfeed have a similar story on 2/5/15, however their’s was a bit more revealing. It shared that because of a ‘rider’ in the state budget, that’s how the 2 pro CCSS companies gained a victory in having access to students. See: http://www.buzzfeed.com/mollyhensleyclancy/online-charter-schools-winning#.fg2VPO4AM1

Related articles:
Huffington Post has an entire page of articles on the poor performance of K12, Inc. See: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/news/k12-inc/

From 2012, “Getting Smart” shared how NC blocked the K12, Inc. from operating in the state. See: http://gettingsmart.com/2012/06/north-carolina-blocks-online-public-charter/

From 2014, “NC Policy Watch” shared how NC blocked K12, Inc. via the State Board. See: http://pulse.ncpolicywatch.org/tag/k12-inc/

From the John Locke’s Lockeroom, NC’s track record with Pearson. See: http://lockerroom.johnlocke.org/2015/02/11/politico-nc-dpi-gives-no-bid-contracts-to-no-good-pearson/

From NC’s DPI, just one of the many contracts they’ve awarded Pearson (you can use this link to access the one and then search for the others). See: http://www.dpi.state.nc.us/publicnotices/notices/2013-14/20140515-01

An announcement from 2013, June Atkinson writes  about Pearson’s presence. See: Pearson-IIS_Announcement

From LadyLiberty1885, in 2014, the contract Pearson got with NC Community Colleges (which are also CCSS aligned). See: http://ladyliberty1885.com/2014/10/12/pearson-equella-contract-for-nc-community-colleges-35284419/

The back door for Non Public Students to CCSS is the NCVPS. See the below screen shot to see how.

nchscc

So, what about your state? Is it providing for its students in the ways NC is? Have you looked at every corner of your state’s budget, state’s education legislation? Have you contacted any home school group or private school group to see if they are aware of the back doors? Don’t let your state get dumber when it comes to CCSS!