Tag Archives: rigorous

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.

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RMT: Have You Heard of the CCCII?

cathcomm

Happy Sunday, anti CCSS Warriors! Today’s “Riddle Me This” topic is one an avid reader of my blog asked me to look into. This mom is an active person in her child’s school. Her child was reading their faith formation guide when they stumbled across the words ‘rigourous’, ‘rigor’, and ‘assessments’. As she stated, ‘all clues’ to what she hoped wouldn’t be true. That CCSS had been inserted.
She sent me the link where I was able to get the screen shot you see above. Be sure to enlarge the shot. In the event you aren’t able to, I’ll share below what is so vital to see.

The emblem you see belongs to the National Catholic Educational Association (http://www.ncea.org/my-interests) “NCEA is the largest private professional education organization in the world.” 

The NCEA:
“NCEA guides Catholic schools on the path to educational excellence through ongoing initiatives such as the Common Core Catholic Identity Initiative (CCCII), and the New Directions Initiative. Our research efforts consistently highlight the strengths and benefits of Catholic education and emphasize the importance of strong Catholic identity.” 
NCEA also offers professional development for teachers in the Catholic schools.
Below is the NCEA’s promotional video. Watch careful and you’ll see the Pearson Publishing booth at an NCEA Convention.

Here’s the screen shot of the NCEA Partners. The website address to see the entire list is included.
nceapartners

Here’s an excerpt from their position paper on Common Core, “Catholic schools have a long-standing commitment to academic excellence that is rooted in the faith based mission of Catholic education. The Common Core State Standards in no way compromise the Catholic identity or educational program of a Catholic school. The Common Core State Standards initiative, begun in 2007, is a state-led, bipartisan effort that is not a requirement for participation in the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB) or any other federallyfunded program, and there are no mandates for any Catholic school to follow any federal rules if they adopt the Common Core. Adoption of the Common Core is voluntary; individual states, Catholic dioceses and other private schools make their own decisions about whether to adopt the standards. The Common Core State Standards are a set of high-quality academic expectations that all students should master by the end of each grade level. The standards establish consistent learning goals for all students that focus on preparing them to succeed in college and careers in a globally competitive workplace. The standards define and clearly communicate grade-specific goals and inform parents about learning outcomes, making it easier for parents to collaborate with teachers in helping their children achieve success.” If you’d like to read the entire position paper, http://www.ncea.org/sites/default/files/documents/ncea_commoncorestatestandards_053113.pdf

The CCCII (http://cici-online.org/):

cccii

As stated above, CCCII stands for ‘Common Core Catholic Identity Initiative’. *NOTE: As part of the NCEA’s accountability aspect, assessments that are standardized, both state and nationally, are used. All kinds of data is collected for use not only for NCEA, but federally, too. Among the data, students who are considered Title One. As we know, the re-authorization of ESEA (the current Student Success Act, HR5) would greatly impact any school receiving Title One funding. To access the data page on the NCEA website, http://www.ncea.org/data-information/catholic-school-data I found their statement concerning HR5 on their ‘public policy’ page. See: http://www.ncea.org/data-information/public-policy


So what does the CCCII look like? Here’s the promo video:

Did you hear that?! Wow, if you are like my reader who asked me to look into this, I hope you will respond with truth about CCSS to the NCEA!

From the ‘white paper’ about CCCII’s success with CCSS, The Reality of Implementing the Standards: As part of the conference, one diocese explained its experience with the Common Core outlining the process from curriculum alignment and professional development to the assessment and results based on the Common Core Standards. The journey was three years in the making.
In year one, emphasis was placed on instructional shifts, preserving Catholic identity, and building the capacity of instructional leaders and the understanding of teachers. This included professional development for principals and teachers through various modalities. The other component for its first year was the creation of English-Language Arts and Mathematics unit plans. In year two, instructional specialists were engaged to provide a multitude of resources and to help capture the work of the Common Core Catholic Identity Initiative. The two challenges were getting teachers to shift from using the textbook as a curriculum to using the textbook as a resource and aligning four Mathematics textbooks as a resource to the unit plans and standards.
In its third year, there was a new form of assessment that used different types of questions to assess student academic progress. In preparing for the new assessments, interim assessments that were aligned to the Common Core were implemented, as well as an increase in the instructional time for Mathematics. Based on its experience, it was recognized that the Common Core challenges included:
• deconstructing the standards
• reviewing all materials for Catholic appropriateness
• funding and time for quality professional development
• differentiating professional development for schools and teachers that are now at different places along the transition continuum
• meaningful use of the assessment results to improve teaching and learning.” To read the entire 4 page report, http://cici-online.org/resources/articles-research/130-common-core-and-diocesan-catholic-school-leadership-white-paper

Related resources:

The ELA Rubric: cici-unit-review-rubric-form-rev-08-20-2014 When you access this document, read the fine print at the bottom of the page. “EngageNY” is the CCSS laden NY state level board of education.

A Summative Assessment “Mini Lesson”http://cici-online.org/images/Resources/Section-1-Mini-Lessons/CCCII-Mini-Lesson-Assessment.pdfThe letter to settle a CCCII disturbance: http://www.ncea.org/sites/default/files/documents/cccii_superintendent_letter_15oct13.pdf


A pep talk about implementing the Standards so your Catholic school can be a Blue Ribbon School (U.S. Dept. of Ed ‘honor’): http://www.ncea.org/department-news/implementing-your-strategic-plan

The precursor to today’s article was last Saturday’s expose about CAPE, of which NCEA is a member ofhttps://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/04/18/sic-em-saturday-grab-a-cape-ccss-warriors/

One last thing:
That New Directions Initiative mentioned above in the paragraph describing NCEA? Oh, that’s all about blended learning! Here’s just one of the workshops NCEA has on it: http://www.ncea.org/events/2015-ncea-new-directions-blended-learning-symposium