Tag Archives: Salman Khan

Summit Masters, Unite

“Climb every mountain, Search high and low; Follow every byway, Every path you know;
“Climb every mountain, Ford every stream; Follow every rainbow, ‘Till you find your dream.”

Those lyrics, my Warriors, are from the epic musical “The Sound of Music”. They were written by Oscar Hammerstein II. While most of us may remember watching this movie, some of us may not have a clue about the plot of the musical. If you are among those Warriors, who don’t know, please, look up the movie, it’s message is one we can apply to our War vs the Core.

No, my fellow Citizen Warriors, I’ve not lost my mind. My article DOES have an education point to it. I just wanted to set an image in your mind, first.

Excellent Summit:

While most of the conversation is still honed in on the 2016 Elections, the Foundation for Excellence in Education, FEE (as in Jeb Bush’s organization), is all about their upcoming National Summit for Educators. It’s to be held late November 2016 to early December 2016.

You’ll love the title for the Summit (aka: conference), “Transforming Lives Through Education”. Almost sounds like one of those medical TV specials, doesn’t it?

However, it’s HOW the Foundation is transforming student’s lives that we need to know.
CBE (Competency Based Education), as in the ESSA/WIOA blend of workforce based, skills for 21st Century jobs for a 21st Century economy!! (ESSA: Every Student Succeeds Act/WIOA: Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act). Also connected is the HEA (Higher Education Act). How so? ESSA states ALL students MUST be post-secondary (after high school) ready by graduation. WIOA has HEA embedded through the lifelong career aspect.

Before I move on, please let me state that as a former candidate for the U.S. Presidency, Mr. Bush seemingly disappeared after he bowed out of the 2016 campaigning. We should not, for one minute, think that any of the other former candidates (including Mrs. Clinton) will just ‘disappear’. Oh, no, my Warrior friends, these pro CCSS Machine members and their groups will find a way to resurface in education and/or policy and legislation. We’ve seen it time and time again since the CCSS Machine first cranked up its motor to chug up that summit of reforming education.

hotfeetopic

What you see above is a screen shot of the ‘hottest education topics’, according to FEE. Note the CCSS Machine agenda is hiding in plain sight. Right down to the most recent Congressional propaganda moves to shove us up the CTE mountain of ‘success’ for America.

What I left out of the screen shot are the CCSS Machine groups helping FEE pull these efforts. You’ll see some very familiar names when you access the entire press release:
http://us12.campaign-archive2.com/?u=09d4da7e5bba844967f502861&id=bc41f0e0f7


Summit ‘Experts’:

The featured speakers on these ‘hot 3 topics’? Jeb Bush, David Coleman, Salman Khan, and Angela Duckworth (her 2013 TED Talk on ‘Grit’ is sure to be an attention getter). See:
https://www.ted.com/talks/angela_lee_duckworth_grit_the_power_of_passion_and_perseverance?language=en

What are the other topics? Look below:

2016fee

If you’ve not see the FEE 2016 Reform Agenda: http://www.excelined.org/about-us/reform-agenda/

If you’ve not seen the College/Career Pathways Initiatives, The CCRS (College and Career Readiness and Success Center (housed at AIR, Inc., another CCSS Machine member organization), has a general overview. If you wonder where your State is in the CCR Paths Initiative, just do a general internet search. I found several States already well on their way to 100% workforce based, CBE, alignment. AIR’shttp://www.ccrscenter.org/sites/default/files/AskCCRS_CareerPathways.pdf

Maybe your State already has employed FEE to help guide you through the ESSA mandates/updates/regulations, etc. Yes, all that help so you can be more aligned and climbing that mountain to someone else’s profit, can be yours for a price. Check out the PDF sales pitch: http://www.ecs.org/ec-content/uploads/Implementing-ESSA-Claire-Voorhees-ExcelinEd.pdf

NC, where I live took FEE up on their offer to help align our students to ‘learn to earn’ via ‘education’.
Here is Voorhees’ presentation from the NC General Assembly’s filesfeeinnc
This isn’t the first time the FL based organization and NC have joined together. Back when “College and Career Readiness” was still called Common Core State Standards, the roads between north and south were heavily traveled.

Lastly, Warriors, if you noticed, I used quotation marks for the word education. If you are wondering, it’s because I believe the CCSS Machine’s push up ‘Alignment Summit’ (or ‘Alignment Mountain’, if you like) has completely transformed a classical based, academic education and replaced it with something far less desirable. The last, little push the CCSS Machine needs is when the HEA (Higher Education Act) gets its very own re-authorization as a federal law.

Closing:

If you’ve ever wondered how education would feel about this shift, if it were a living being, please read my open letter:
http://www.patriotinstitute.org/education/columnists/lmt/education-2/ (
As you can guess, no student; no teacher would dare to dream climbing a mountain of ‘dreams’ like this.)

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FTF Tuesday: The “Core” is “Ready”, Are You?

This is the cover of a series of books by Pam Allyan available through Pearson, Amazon, and Barnes/Noble.
This is the cover of a series of books by Pam Allyan available through Pearson, Amazon, and Barnes/Noble.

Like we need a reminder about Common Core and the ridiculous question, “Are you ready for the Core”?! Notice how whimsical the above picture is made to look. Almost like a storybook. From what we’ve all learned about the inappropriateness of the Standards for students, it ought to be a horror tale. However, where our files will be pulled from today isn’t in a storybook setting.

“Core Ready Schools”, http://corereadyschools.org/:

From their overview, “The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) articulate inspiring, ambitious goals for student learning. The CCSS elevate what educators have always known to be good instruction, including development of critical thinking, collaboration, and communication skills. But in most schools, translating these goals into results for students will require significant shifts in instruction, professional learning, and school leadership.” Before we get too far into more about CRS, you need to know that this is a project of the Aspen Institute. A HUGE CCSS supportive group. (more about Aspen in a bit)

According to the CRS (Core Ready Schools) the purpose is quite simple, have all schools ready not just for the “Core” but for College/Career Readiness. Published back in 2013, the Implementation Guide to help schools become CRS stated this:
“The Aspen Institute Education and Society Program, along with Education First, Insight Education Group, Student Achievement Partners, and Targeted Leadership Consulting, have developed clear advice, planning tools, and metrics to help schools accomplish this significant transition.” 

Built into the implementation “high-impact actions, measures, and tools”. Are we sure we’re talking about schools where students are taught OR a military strategic maneuver? Of course to be totally successful at being CRS: time and money..lots of both. ‘Highly skilled instructional coaches’ are the ones to make sure your student’s school is “Core Ready”. Now, you’ll love this next part. Only a team very knowledgeable about the Common  Core Standards can determine the plan of action for the school desiring to become CRS. Are you beginning to sense the theme here? I hope so!

Other “Core Ready” moves: ‘Ensure the alignment of instructional resources used by teachers and students with the goals and expectations of the CCSS.’  Then there’s the showing-teachers-how-to-use-data taken from assessments to align everything following to CCSS. You’ll ‘love’ the added bonuses of making parents and other ‘stakeholders understand how CCSS is success for your student.

According to the publication, a further bit down,  the leadership team accomplishing all this. This is where, we as citizens, need to be looking. Who are the leaders? How did they obtain that leadership? Is it transparent to you, the citizen/parent? At which turns will all the measuring, high impact plans, and tools be used–will they be many or few? How in-depth? What recourse as a parent do you have? The file I’m providing has many links embedded to direct you to just what those knowledgeable CCSS leaders must do, what data is used, how the measuring is to occur, and other key things you need to use as information. (remember, every bit of this will be from the ‘pro’ side of the CCSS). See: corereadydoc

An update to the CRS from November 2014:

You, as anti CCSS warrior, you HAVE to watch this over 1 and a half hour You Tube video that details for you much about not only the “Core Ready Schools”, but information about the in-depth goings-on of Aspen Institution as well as their partners.

Notes:

1) ‘Curmudgucation’ also has written about CRS.  You may know that, you may not. Here’s a link to that article: http://curmudgucation.blogspot.com/2014/11/core-ready-schools-aspen-and-achieve.html

2) The You Tube video above refers to the ‘corereadydoc’, also located  above.

3) Of interest to my fellow NC anti-CCSS fans, the Aspen Institute and Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (back in March of 2012 when Peter Gorman was still the School Superintendent) worked together. Also working with Aspen: Ann Clark (who currently is serving on the NC Academic Standards Review Commission). Here’s the excerpt, “Thank you to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Public Schools teachers, principals and central officestaff who participated in this study. Special thanks to Pete Gorman, Ann Clark,Andy Baxter, Vanessa Benton, Mary Martin, Susan Norwood, Sam Sipes and Tom Tomberlin. Thank you also to Ross Wiener, Erin Hammond and Ariel Jacobs of the Aspen Institute Education & Society Program for guiding the development and production of this case study.” {for those outside of NC, Char-Meck is the largest school district in the state.} Why is this note worthy? Great question! Here’s a bit more directly from the published study, “CMS is developing a system that will measure teacher performance and linking compensation to
it by 2014. The district began to develop its own value-added formula in 2009, with the goal of ultimately being able to provide a value-added score for every teacher. In 2010, CMS adopted the new state teacher evaluation standards, augmenting them with indicators aligned to the district’s priorities and beginning to use it to assess teachers’
classroom practice. The system tackled the issue of developing value-added scores for teachers whose classes are not included in the state assessments by piloting summative assessments in non-tested grades and subjects in the spring of 2011. This work on summative assessment will be expanded in 2012, working in collaboration with the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction and its Race to the Top plan. The district is also exploring other metrics it will use in measuring teacher effectiveness, such as student surveys, leveraging what it is learning through implementation of its Teacher Incentive Fund grant and as a partner district in the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Measuring Effective Teaching (MET) study.” 

4) I wrote about the MetLife connection to Common Core on the website “Prevent Common Core” a few months ago. You can access that article with all kinds of information about CCSS, http://preventcommoncore.com/?p=1154 

5)Even if you don’t live in NC, you’ll benefit from having this publication because it is laying the ground work for how not only teachers, but principals are to be measured with high stakes assessing. Which we all know now is a vital part of CCSS. For my warriors in NC, it’s great because it details Superintent Gorman’s plans and how the NC DPI overrode them. (see: aspennccharmeck) You might be interested to know that Mr. Gorman now works for “Amplify”, a company knee deep in not only CCSS curricula materials, but assessments. Its partners are well connected to CCSS as well. (to see Amplify’s leaders, Mr. Gorman’s one of them: http://www.amplify.com/leadership) Oh, before I forget, Ms. Clark is the acting CMS Superintendent due to the hasty resignation of Mr. Gorman’s replacement, Dr. Heath Morrison.

6) Aspen’s ties to Common Core? That’s easy. The Washington Post reported the Gates Foundation ‘investment’ into CCSS with Aspen among those groups which benefited. See http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2013/05/12/gates-gives-150-million-in-grants-for-common-core-standards/) Among the Board members of Aspen Institute? David Koch (of THE Koch Brothers); Condolezza Rice; a United Nations expert who specializes in humanitarian advocacy; Salman Khan (of Khan Academy, another Gates Foundation CCSS recipient), and others who are connected in some way to CCSS. (see the Board of P3 members (public, private partnerships): http://www.aspeninstitute.org/about/leadership

So, folks, ready or not..the ‘Core’ is coming for your students. Question is, what will we do to kick the “Core” to the door?