Tag Archives: reform

Weekend News for the Anti CCSS Warriors

Like cookies shaped in a certain way, we are seeing our nation similarly shaped to CCSS's mold.
Like cookies shaped in a certain way, we are seeing our nation similarly shaped to CCSS’s mold.

Greetings, Warriors. As we all have seen by now, the media has put its spin on the recently signed new law known as ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act). We have seen legislators released statements claiming victory, too.

Warriors, we have led the charge across the nation to point to the language of the new law, as well as other aspects of this CCSS based education reform. We, more than likely, have even had some of our family, friends, neighbors, and nay-sayers buy into the false claims being so rampantly spread since the rushed hack job in D.C. occurred.

My fellow Warriors, we CANNOT give up, I’ve stated this in previous posts. Other anti CCSS Warriors, as well as others who have been fighting, have also repeated this truth. It is only since the ESSA was signed that I have been contacted with folks who have not been aware up until now, that they, too, want to know what is in the law’s language which will point them to the ‘untold’ items embedded that will further the CCSS Machine’s alignment of American education.

As in other previously published posts, I have shared with you the WIOA (Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act) embedded ties, the CTE (Career Tech Education, which is an adult version of the CCSS) embedded ties. I haven’t stopped digging through this new law’s language.

Why would I do this? Isn’t it a moot point now? NO!! As I have shared with you in the past, the more we know what is embedded, and will be enacted in each of our states, the more we can raise awareness to the CCSS aligned efforts! The more we can have the proof to show others that all is NOT what has been ‘sold’ to them via all those pro CCSS spins we have seen in the past few days. It is STILL very important to know that what is taking those of us still combing through the language (which our legislators should of done BEFORE voting on it) many hours to complete, we will discover the truth and share it. However, when we share the truth, we must be careful HOW we share it. It would be a great idea to have the portions of the mammoth document with what you are sharing highlighted. It would be even more helpful when you share those highlighted sections, that you have any other documents which support your points of concern. It certainly will help when pointing out a law that is violated, or a state statute which is being violated. Remember, if we are to continue to fight, we must fight well; with the right information given at the correct time. Otherwise, our very valid points will miss their mark.

All this being said, what do I have to share with you this weekend which will help? Read on, my Warriors!

 

The ESSA Document:

If you have not been able to access the final confirmation report which the Senate and House voted on to advance the ESSA to the President’s desk, here it is:
ESSA FINAL CONFRPT_112915

If you have not ever searched through a massive amount of information in a pdf file, like this, here are 2 pointers:
a) Look at the top of the pdf and see if you can locate the magnifying glass emblem. If so, click on that to enter a word or phrase you are seeking. (For example, when I wrote the first article featuring each page number you could find “Workforce” used in the ESSA, this was a tool that made wading through over 1,000 pages quicker. I simply got each page number, then went back to read the context the term was used in).

b) If you cannot find the magnifying glass, use your ‘control’ key and the “F” key at the same time. You should be able to see a search box appear. The ‘previous’ and ‘next’ tabs will help you jump forward or backward to where the term you are searching for appears. Again, once you have the page numbers, go back and read the context.

 

The White House’s Official ESSA Report:

In very rapid response to the ESSA being signed into law, the White House has released an official report. The report is slam full of all the (by now) well publicized pro CCSS points. Why? We must remember, all the CCSS alignment fits right into the White House’s education reform. By using a pro CCSS document (as I have done many times), you can easily locate the fallacies, as well as see how slick the agenda to reform American education is being packaged.
To access the WH(White House)  ReportESSA_Progress_Report
For example, when you read this report, you will find ‘new incentives’ for each of our states. Specifically, page 9, second bullet point states “Develop, refine, and replicate innovative and ambitious reforms to close the achievement gap in America’s schools, similar to the Administration’s existing i3 program.” From this statement, look at the language closely. Almost immediately, you will see ‘reform’; ‘achievement gap’; but, the biggest phrase which should jump out at you, is the ‘Administration’s existing i3 program‘. What is the ‘i3 program’? I am so glad you asked!! The i3 ‘program’ has roots in the RttT (Race to the Top) and is short for “Investing in Innovation”. This ‘i3’ is only one portion of the “Reform for the Future” agenda the White House is pushing. To see the website where you can learn all about the Reform:
https://www.whitehouse.gov/issues/education/reform
(*Note: when you access this website, be sure to click on the highlighted blue words, there you will find reports, initiatives, and more. Note how you see STEM, Promise Neighborhoods, etc…these, too, are all part of the pro CCSS alignment in American education)
Before I leave this Report, did you notice the presence of RttT? Didn’t we hear speeches passionately given when ESSA became law that RttT waivers were a thing of the past? Yet here, we see the RttT is still in play in a new way! That should be a big piece of evidence to use from a state level point of view.

 

A New Search Term for ESSA:

Knowing I had already used ‘Workforce’ and similar terms, I wanted to see what the search of the ESSA’s confirmation language would bring me with the term ‘alignment’.
Here is what I found:
Page 48: aligning challenging state academic standards (CSAS) to meet post secondary credit bearing parameters (we’ll need to see how the HEA (Higher Education Act‘s re-authorized language spells this out, but from my research, CCSS/CTE has its firm grasp on post-secondary education already)
Page 65: alignment of ELA (English Language Arts)
Page 207: twice ‘alignment’ is used in relation to assessments and CSAS
Page 216: also twice used concerning LEAs (local education agencies) and state grants for assessments
Page 502: OBE (outcome based education) used to evaluate and align academics
Page 508: alignment used in relation to assessments and data mining for CSAS
Pages 759-766: several uses of alignment and/or realignment in regards to LEAs and military bases
Page 970: what groups are limited in alignment activities in education
Page 1034: improving states alignment of their assessments

Closing:

What you can expect from me in the very near future posts is this: more documents which you can use to see how, now more than ever, we need the information of the roots planted BEFORE ESSA was enacted as the educational law of the land. Why? If you listened closely to both the celebratory speeches of Senators Alexander and Murray, they revealed the ESSA was not a few months in the making, but 5 years! Many of the documents the White House Report (see above) are anywhere from 2010 to today.  However, many are featured by the WH, you can bet there are plenty more NOT featured. Have no fear, Warriors, I have quite a few we can glean from.

WYBI: Sen. Alexander, the HEA, and Next America

One of the featured speakers at yesterday's conference (sponsored by Lumina and the Gates) was Sen. Alexander.
One of the featured speakers at yesterday’s conference (sponsored by Lumina and the Gates) was Sen. Alexander.

Sen. Alexander has been a huge supporter of aligning education for quite some time, especially where CCSS?CTE are concerned. He’s presently rewriting both the HR5 AND the HEA legislation which will impact (and align) everyone from K-College. Mr. Mitchell, with the U.S. Dept. of Ed has also been at work (quietly) on 5 agenda driven initiatives concerning education. What’s ironic is that while Alexander’s been getting a lot of press, Mitchell has been continuing on in helping the CCSS Machine roll on. Today’s post is Mr. Mitchell’s turn to be featured. (*Note: we’ll look at Sen. Alexander’s portion of this conference in Thursday’s ‘Tech Thursday’ post) So, let’s find out just what Mr. Mitchell shared with the “Next America” folks

I’ve included the host group’s history for you, as it also needs some anti CCSS warrior attention.

 

National Journal Media, the Group Hosts for “Next America”:


First, a bit of history.  If you don’t know what publication the “NJ” is, the website for the National Journal, states the following: National Journal is regarded as the most influential publication in Washington, providing more than 3 million influentials in public policy and business with the insights they need to make government work.  Fiercely honest and scrupulously non-partisan, National Journal has a four-decade history of serving leaders in Washington—and around the country—with trustworthy, in-depth analysis on legislation, politics, and the structural trends shaping America.
(website address: http://www.nationaljournal.com/nj/about-us-20131001)

If you’re curious as to who owns the National Journal, it’s the Atlantic Media Group. AMG also owns the “Atlantic” magazine (and others). The leadership of the “Atlantic” has proven very friendly toward CCSS. (*Note: here’s an excerpt from my Sept. 2014 article about the Technocratic grasp for education. “The Atlantic Media owner is a favorite featured guest of the Aspen Institute (which has invested over $3 million in Common Core). Aspen, another group pushing Common Core. Aspen also is a big pusher for technology in the classroom. Just this past week, 9/16/14, the U.S. Dept. of Ed’s Deputy Secretary, Jim Shelton,  was the featured speaker. (See, http://www.aspeninstitute.org/about/blog/impact-of-technology-in-the-classroom-q-and-a-with-jim-shelton”  To access the entire article, https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/09/21/rmt-sunday-technocratic-education-design/)

As far as the event held on the 9th of June, NJ proudly announced it was underwriting the conference. (To see more about all the NJ hosted events, be sure to read the bottom left corner of the link to access the conference video.

 

Ted Mitchell and a Panel of Speakers:

 

NApanel

On the website page with this picture you can get a brief biography and all the contact information you could want. I urge you to look at each one’s biography.
From Mitchell’s bio:
 “To spur education, economic growth, and social prosperity, Mitchell is charged with planning and policy responsibilities to implement President Obama’s goal for the U.S. to have “the best educated, most competitive workforce in the world” as measured by the proportion of college graduates by the year 2020. Mitchell and his team are keenly focused on implementing President Obama’s American Graduation Initiative to improve college access, affordability, quality, and completion.  Mitchell is the former CEO of the NewSchools Venture Fund and served as the president of the California State Board of Education.

Can you see the potential for Common Core and Career Technical Education here? I can!
To see all the biographies and how they are fitting with the alignment of our education/nation to fit the CCSS Machine’s plan, visit: http://www.nationaljournal.com/events/the-next-america-taking-stock-50-years-of-the-higher-education-act-20150609

The Conference video:

In its entirety, the Conference is 2 hours and 34 minutes. Subtract from that the first 23, almost 24 minutes of introductory music, you have plenty of time to hear the modern education reform battle cry from more than one person. Leading the charge is Mr. Mitchell, the undersecretary for the U.S. Dept. of Education. The actual dialogue begins at about 26:51. (between the first 24 minutes and now, you’re encouraged to follow the Conference on social music with #NJNextAmerica; see: https://twitter.com/search?q=%23NJNextAmerica&src=tyah)

Ted Mitchell’s Speech highlights:

During Mr. Mitchell’s time, he extols the virtues of the ESEA and the HEA; how they are forever joined and how each is a ‘moral imperative’ (see the 27:40 mark). From this point until the 28:50 mark, you’ll hear about the national credentials in education. Following this are the buzzwords ‘pipeline’, ‘equity’, ‘opportunity’. Then at the 29: 04 mark, you’ll hear the buzzword ‘rigorous’ immediately followed by ‘college and career ready’. What could be better, you ask? How about ‘modernizing education via standards and assessments’?Then by the 29:25 time mark, Mr. Mitchell has successfully told the audience that all his previous claims can be ‘deepened by the HEA’.

From this point on you’ll hear some of the following catch phrases or programs. I urge you to take the time to listen to Mitchell’s speech. It’s followed by a one-on-one interview that is also filled with rhetoric for education reform we’ve become used to.
‘Civil right; civic duty’ patriotic message.  America is experiencing ‘islands of excellence’ and creating a template for the future with universal access for all from down to Pre-K and up to college.’ Not content to end there, Mitchell continues on with ‘early college’ and ‘dual enrollment’; a seamless transition for students from 2 year to 4 year schools and (33:50) reaching the President’s North Star. (*Note: to find out just what the “North Star” is, see:
https://www.whitehouse.gov/photos-and-video/video/2014/02/11/reaching-north-star-2020
)
Near the 34:00 mark, listen for the federal role in technology; 36:00 mark, how Congress is needed to back up the U.S. Dept. of Ed’s efforts completed thus far; ’21st Century Learners’; how much better America is since the Feds took over student loans; how Congress needs to empower the U.S. Dept. of Ed even more; making college as a ‘universal learning’ opportunity just like high schools have become; ‘student outcomes’ or ‘outcome based schools’; ‘evidence based interventions’ and finally ‘skills vs. developmental learning’.

Mr. Mitchell will also bring up one more program he’s pushing for the President. It’s called “First in the World” (it’s near the 40:27 mark). What’s FITW? From the U.S. Dept. of Ed’s website page for the brand new program, The FITW program is designed to support the development, replication, and dissemination of innovative solutions and evidence for what works in addressing persistent and widespread challenges in postsecondary education for students who are at risk for not persisting in and completing postsecondary programs, including, but not limited to, adult learners, working students, part-time students, students from low-income backgrounds, students of color, students with disabilities, and first-generation students.”  To learn more about FITW, see:
 http://www2.ed.gov/programs/fitw/index.html

(*NOTE: at the 50 minutes mark, Mitchell refers to the ‘blueprint’ for re-authorizing the Higher Education Act. If you’ve not seen that ‘blueprint’, let me know. I shared news about the document on last week’s Women on the Wall conference call. I’ll be happy to share it again.)


 

 

Closing:

Tomorrow, we get to know what CCSS/CTE plans Sen. Alexander shared during this all important conference. Oh, as by the way the Lumina and Gates Foundation not only helped host this event, they weighed in on WHY the HEA needs to be re-authorized as well. Gates’ guy spoke at the 1 hour, 8 minute mark; Lumina’s president spoke at the 1 hour, 14 minute mark.