Tag Archives: Sas

Education Used Against Us

Fellow Anti Fed Ed Warriors, I realize the title of this blog article is an ‘elephant in the room’ observation. We all have known for a while, now, how education has been used against our nation’s citizens. As the days in the ESSA Era (*Every Student Succeeds Act Era) continue to grind on, we’ve seen many new Warriors come to this observation.

Sadly, very few political and/or policy leaders have seen how the CCSS Machine  vastly weakened academics. Because of this, it is becoming easier to see (on a daily basis) that education has become almost like a weapon used against us.

Think about it, Warriors.
When a person is being charged with a crime or is being taken into police custody, they are read their “Miranda rights”. Contained in those rights are these words, “Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law.”

Now, in the context of education, it is becoming clear ‘Anything done in education is being held against us.’ Keep that thought as you read on.

essagoal

One of the biggest ways education is being used against our teachers and students is in the guise of ‘accountability’.

ESSA’s language was especially ‘generous’ with the word. ESSA was also written to be very deceptive. Our schools are suffering even more now, than before ESSA’s passage into the law books.

accountlie.jpg

So, just WHAT were/are the ‘accountability’ mandates in ESSA?
1) Data measured any way and every way possible.
2) To get the federal funds, States must fulfill certain obligations.
3) Control and power of education in the hands of the unqualified.
4) Global workforce agenda driven.

Warriors, of course this is a boiled down list. There are many, many other mandates woven into each of these four.
However, for the sake of those new Warriors, I’ve condensed the list.
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Back in August of this year, I shared with you how the U.S. Dept. of Ed’s misuse of ‘accountability’ was harming our States. Here we are, months later and the misuse not only continues, it’s growing.
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Warriors, take, for example, the announcement below. What has your State done to align and misguide you where ‘accountability’ can be found? In Superintendent Johnson’s announcement, ‘accountability’ is NOT used, but ‘transparency’ is.

ncaccount

Warriors, that brings up another ESSA fact. “Accountability” and ‘transparency’ are being used interchangeably!

transparentlie

Enter, NC’s “New” Report Cards:

Warriors, thanks to ESSA’s mandates for ALL education being aligned to workforce based industry standards, we know that means that all schools must have data which can be accessed and used. We know it means the ‘grading’ of entire schools across your States will increase in rewards and punishments. Of course, all this grading is the direct results of how well students are learning, how well teachers are leading, and how well principals are keeping everyone in line.

From Superintendent Johnson’s email, the fine print tells you there are 3 different websites for you to access the Report Cards. The first two are for researchers. The last one is for all those with questions. Now, Warriors, if we’re being so transparent and accountable, why 3 different sites? Why not use one?

Johnson unveiled the updated Report Card site (was brand new back in 2001) in his former school district, Winston-Salem Schools. To see the official announcement, visit here. A CCSS Machine member group, FEE (Foundation for Excellence in Education), has also published an article on their ExcelinEd blog about the updates. It’s based off THEIR principles for education!!

As far as the ‘new’ report cards, what’s attention grabbing about using the first of the two sites for researchers is you see a blue screen with SAS in the middle. (This quickly fades as the NC Dept. of Public Instruction page appears.) I’ve added emphasis, below:

SASreport

Typically, when you access any NC DPI website page, there’s no such process. So, is SAS spying on me when I access the ‘research’ page? It’s more of a probability than a possibility. Even if you aren’t a researcher, you need to see the data sets and definitions.

If you wish to see the NC Report Card website on its own, go here. Once there, select any of the 100 counties. Then, click on a school. You’ll see all kinds of colors, numbers, and information. However, skip the glamour and go for the ‘downloadable’ District Reports. You’ll get a better understanding of what’s being reported on, as well as how it aligns to CCR (College and Career Readiness). CCR is a re-brand of Common Core for every State. For those States which received Race to the Tops funds, CCR will even show up in the applications and award letters. CCR is also used in ESSA.

ncmooresvilleschool

I did check the NC Report Card for one of my county’s CTE (Career Tech Education) specific schools. What I found was awful. Not one textbook is in use. No academic growth, whatsoever. Knowing more and more States are shifting to this type of ‘education’ for requirements in graduating, we need to act quickly, Warriors! This cannot be acceptable!

ncctereport

Related and Relevant:
1) How Title One funds in ESSA’s Era are being used against us.
2) How ESSA’s embedded WIOA (Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act) ties are being used against your students.
3) How the massive data mining (thanks to ESSA and many related legislative moves) is harming our families.
4) One of the biggest ESSA traps for ‘accountability’ and ‘transparency’ is for our teachers and their ‘performance’.
5) SAS has had a contract with the NC DPI since the days of the ARRA funds (American Recovery and Re-investment Act). SAS is a global data miner/contractor. If you wish to see where else I found the company has government contracts for NC (so you can see what is similar in your State). Warriors, remember, ESSA was full of all kinds of technology updates. SAS will play right into these.
6) SAS has supported a shift in education from academics to workforce not only in NC, but all the way to D.C..
7) Winston-Salem is part of the Strive Together national network of aligned communities for cradle to workforce collectivism.
8) ESSA’s educational use against us will also be felt in all school choices via ‘accreditation’.
9) ESSA will use school leaders against us, as well.

Closing:

Warriors, education is definitely becoming a weapon for conformity, not freedom. We have the power to stop our leaders! How? As my fellow Warrior, Karen Bracken, has stated, ‘Starve the Beast’! Don’t keep your kids hooked into the data mining school system. Remove them now! If you cannot remove them, be that persistent parent who is always visible at school. We cannot allow education to used against our children in this way.

 

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CCSS Follow Up System: More than Money Will Follow Your Students

While it's yet to be determined if money follows your students, CCSS certainly is already following your students.
While it’s yet to be determined if money follows your students, CCSS certainly is already following your students.

In fighting the War Against the Core, we’ve all met those warriors who are great at sending tips to areas of the “Common Core” overreach into our lives. From an educational standpoint, we’ve seen the CCSS Machine usurp our schools; from a privacy standpoint, we seen the CCSS Machine ruin it. The damage is far from new NOR is it over.

Here in NC, the “Common Follow Up System” has been in place since 1992! How is this part of the agenda that comes with “Common Core”? Keep reading, my followers and anti CCSS Warriors..

What is a “CFS”?

The purpose of a “Common Follow Up System” is: “The purpose of the Common Follow-up System (CFS) is to provide information on the educational and employment outcomes of participants in publicly supported educational, employment and training programs for use in planning, policy-making, program evaluation, resource allocation and career planning.”

Do you see the CCSS/CTE footprints? I do. If you don’t, look at the emphasized words. Publicly supported education means schools or programs connected to them. That’s the CCSS portion. The employment and training is the Career Technical Education (CTE). The two are one in the same in that the CTE portion of the Common Core begins well before high school graduation.

Let’s dig deeper, shall we? The CFS (Common Follow Up System) was designed to be a unified effort to collect massive amounts of data. The data was supposedly to help all the agencies involved to plan better as well as to have better resource management capabilities. Yes, that’s right. Those are the supposed reasons. However, consider the original agencies involved:
University of North Carolina, General Administration (UNC)
  North Carolina Community College System (NCCCS)
 North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (DPI), Workforce Development Education
 Employment Security Commission (ESC) of North Carolina 
  Division of Employment and Training (DET)
  North Carolina Department of Human Resources, Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services (DVR)
 North Carolina Department of Labor (DOL)

Overseeing this CFS? Is the North Carolina State Occupational Information Coordinating Committee (NCSOICC).

In the earliest years of the CFS, a longitudinal data base system was formed. The system tracked each person’s progression through the state’s workforce; to study their paths of progress to see what education or other factors were involved. In 1995, the NC General Assembly helped the data collection efforts. (See Chapter 96 of the NC General Statutes). Since 1996, interest in all this data collection has increased quite a bit. Here’s an excerpt,Several groups turned to the CFS as a valuable source of quality outcome information for education, employment and training programs. The increased interest was due to initiatives at both the state and national levels regarding the collection, calculation and reporting of performance information throughout the education, employment and training system. These initiatives included the development of reports for the Commission on Workforce Development(and others).

My Files:

Now, as I’ve uncovered in the past, the CCSS Machine grinds on via the Career Pathways, Career Clusters, the Career Technical Education. I’ve shown you how each is a ‘marriage’ of education and workforce. So have others who’ve been fighting this War for our students. We’ve shown how the dots connect FROM education TO the Workforce AS WELL AS how legislation (state and federal) have PROTECTED this union. “The Workforce Quality Data Initiative” is a program I’ve reported on that has the main purpose of data mining our post secondary students from the labor aspect of their lives. Embedded in this program is language which plainly states it will join the data mining efforts from the Student Longitudinal Data System from the education aspect of the K-12 students. (see my article: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/10/23/tech-thursday-blast-from-our-workforce-past/) You’ll find that back in June 2015 I shared this article with you: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/06/07/rmt-halting-a-ccsscte-aligned-workforce/

Back to the CFS:

In 2012, the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction was awarded a grant from the U.S. Department of Education to build a State Longitudinal Data System (SLDS). While NCDPI is the lead on the SLDS grant, the project is a collaborative effort of several entities including: the NCDPI, the North Carolina Community College System (NCCCS), the University of North Carolina General Administration (UNC GA), the North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities (NCICU), and the North Carolina Department of Commerce (NCDOC).”  This direct quote is from the May 2015 Report I’ve been sharing excerpts from thus far. It’s the tip my fellow warrior shared.

Added to the grant given by the U.S. Dept. of Ed, the NC General Assembly boosted the data mining once again. State law 2012-131 gave the NC Dept. of Commerce the green light to ramp up data collection AND storage projects. See this, “As part of its efforts to improve the CFS, the Department of Commerce applied for a competitive grant with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration through their Workforce Data Quality Initiative (WDQI). The Department received notification in June of 2013 that North Carolina had been awarded a WDQI grant. The grant covers a three year period ending in June 2016. Grant funds are being utilized to further strengthen and enhance the CFS.”

*Note: In my June 2015 “Halting CCSS/CTE Aligned Workforce” I shared that NC had been awarded big bucks. Now I know where those big bucks specifically went. Thus, the last remaining dots of the agenda are exposed. Boom!

One of the programs the WQDI money gave NC is known as the “NC Tower”. The “Tower” stands for “Tool for Online Workforce and Education Reporting”.  Every one of the 16 University of North Carolina’s campuses, the 58 statewide Community Colleges has your post-secondary students data (and lots of it)! To see just which groups GET that data, see page 7 of the report. Page 8 of the report will tell you how the NGA (National Governors Association) is NOW involved. Here’s a small ‘tip’ for you to consider, “In July 2014, North Carolina submitted an application to the National Governor’s Association (NGA) Policy Academy for Aligning the Education and Training Pipeline to the Needs of the Economy. The state received notification in August 2014 that its application was successful. This initiative is a collaboration of the Office of the Governor, the Department of Commerce, the North Carolina Community College System, the Department of Public Instruction and the NCWorks Commission. This effort will assist the state in aligning its education and workforce resources, strengthening its services to citizens and businesses, connecting talent to jobs and growing North Carolina’s economy.”
Also involved is a group identified in the report as “Lead Staff”. “Lead” stands for “Labor and Economic Analysis Division”. See below for just how many NC students have been data mined since the CFS’s inception.

ncaligndata

Page 13 of the Report shows how many NC organizations are NOW part of the CFS. To access the entire report:
CFS-Operational Report-May 2015
To access the NC Tower, so you can see just how much of the NC grant money from the WQDI  was used, visit:
http://nctower.com/
To see a related article about the data mining in NC concerning the NC General Assembly, see my fellow warrior, Lady Liberty 1885’s article: http://ladyliberty1885.com/2015/04/20/parents-are-you-watching-data-collection-expansion-bills-hb401-and-hb767/
To see what the ‘education-to-work’ plans for those who are considered ‘at risk’ looks like, how the money will flow, the data mined, and more, see: Made in Durham PRINT 11 13 12-FINAL_0 (*Note: the CTE, Career Technical Education, shows up on page 16. Durham County, NC is also where SAS, IBM, and others like them in the CCSS Machine call home office. SAS, IBM, and the others are all in the same business: computers and data. Why did I include this report? Look at the amount of ‘national research’ involved for education/workforce.

Closing:

The title of today’s “Tech Thursday” article is about money following our students. This is in reference not only to the current proposals of legislation about federal and state dollars being used as student savings accounts which would follow our students from education to workforce, it’s also in reference to the vast amounts of money which have already created a system that tracks our students. The difference is what may be yet to come will most definitely continue the CCSS Machine’s agenda via more initiatives to align, while what has happened, paved the way for the CCSS Machine’s agenda to succeed so far.

So, does your state have a CFS? If they have a state wide Dept of Commerce, have received federal grants for data, education, and/or workforce, have applied to the NGA for grants, AND had a cooperative state level Congress, it’s more than likely already well entrenched.
Here’s a report from 2013 out of Utah titled “Report of Select State Practices for Aligning Educational Supply with Occupational Demand”asa_2013-05-23_alignment_report (page 7 shows all the states contacted as resources)
One of the nationally based initiatives cited in the 2013 Utah document is the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s “Leaders and Laggards”. See their website: http://www.uschamberfoundation.org/reportcard/


*Note, my coverage of the “Leaders/Laggards” is in the Jan. 2015 article: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/01/15/tech-thursday-update/

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!