Tag Archives: SBAC assessments

Skill Building the CCSS Way

Recently, anti CCSS/ESSA Warriors, the CCSS Machine organization known as Act, Inc. (think high stakes assessments, data mining, and workforce based alignment) published a  paper about the ‘soft skills’ education alignment MUST include if we are to have employable students. It is the 2016 National Curriculum Survey (more about this later).

Many researchers, like myself, have been sharing with you over the years how the CBE (Competency Based Education) is a huge component of the illegally based education reformation we are witnessing. The evidence is plentiful, so I will not waste our time rehashing CBE’s roots.

I would like to point out to you this recent publication so we can see just how MUCH more propaganda the CCSS Machine has spun in regards to ‘soft skills’ and how ONLY the Common Core/ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act)/HEA (Higher Education Act)/WIOA (Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act) can do it all!

 

The Acts That Keep on ‘Killing’:

From the Act, Inc. 4 page document promoting how great a national workforce based credentialed system is and WHY everyone should be involved, is in the screen shot below.
Note how the data base of skills is ONLY available at Act, Inc.

What does this have to do with ‘killing’? When we stop educating people to do what they desire and rely on skewed tests which align us to learn what the CCSS Machine demands, we KILL the love of learning.

This 4 page document is geared for the students and refers to them as ‘Career Seekers’.

actskill
To access the rest of the 4 page document, https://www.act.org/content/dam/act/unsecured/documents/NCRC-CareerSeekersBrochure.pdf


Act, Inc. has also published another 4 page document for educators and how THEY can make sure students are CERTIFIED for workforce based national tracking!

actcertify

This document informs us that there are 3 nationally based assessments students must take; that their scores to be workforce ready must be certain numbers which also translate into platinum, gold, silver, and bronze levels.

As educators, we are ‘killing’ our students spirit with alignment like this. Think about it, our students (of ALL ages) will not be as recognized for WHO they are, but WHAT level of certification they have!

To access this document (which harps on how all the certification is key to success for post-secondary readiness),
https://www.act.org/content/dam/act/unsecured/documents/NCRC-EducatorsBrochure.pdf

 

 


Engaging Us All for a Workforce Agenda:

Warriors, Act, Inc. also has a document explaining how they have studied all this workforce based/competency based education. They wax on about the case studies, the need for alignment, the ease of it all via data mining.  As part of the alignment, Act, Inc. has a self assessment we can take called, Act ‘Engage’.

When I take this self assessment and COMBINE it with the other Act, Inc. workforce based assessments, I become part of a global workforce skills based company’s database called Envision. See for yourselves, below. Notice how early this alignment is starting, notice the personalized learning component, and yes, the data mining.

actengage
To access this 21st Century Job Readiness document,
http://www.act.org/content/dam/act/unsecured/documents/ACT_Engage_Case_Study_Envision.pdf
(*Note: There will be a separate article on Envision in the coming days.)

 

For the First Time:

Look below at this screen shot. Notice how Act, Inc. is stating that for the first time workforce stakeholders were included in the National Curriculum Survey!!

actwork
This almost 90 page document is full of CBE information! It is full of all kinds of ways education is being made over with workforce as the ultimate goal!  Act, Inc. also states, in this report, that the College and Career Readiness Standards are theirs. Throughout the ESSA, you will find the phrase ‘college/career readiness’.

It has been reported by other anti CCSS/ESSA Warriors that the ACT test is also being considered as one of the 2 national assessments that would replace the SBAC and PARCC. Think this is all a coincidence? It certainly doesn’t seem that way to me.

actvalidate
Page 3 of this Survey will connect ACT, Inc. to the Common Core State Standards, as well as continue the ties to workforce based education. To access this information,
NCS_Report_Web

If  you would like to see the Act, Inc. National Campaign for College/Career Readiness (it began in 2013), be sure to watch the video embedded here:
http://www.act.org/content/act/en/policy-and-advocacy/college-and-career-readiness-campaign.html

Notice that the Campaign includes policy and government relations. That means Act, Inc. has a front row seat in Washington, D.C.! Notice the States and leaders from those States tout how great Act, Inc.’s College/Career Ready efforts are.

Lastly, from Act, Inc.’s website, you can find a recent report for the purposed use of dual enrollment which also blends in quite easily with the education agenda for workforce readiness. Dual enrollment is a favored option for home educated students. So, when the CCSS Machine set out to align ALL educational choices, they meant it. You can find this 2015 Report at the bottom of the website page: https://www.act.org/

dualact

Closing:

Warriors, find out how far down the Act, Inc. alignment path your State is. What legislation does your State have for Workforce Development? Is your State aware of the ties to the CCSS Machine with the College/Career Readiness?

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States Get Graded CCR, Style!

CCRMenuLogo
How does your State stack up on CCR?

Hot on the heels of Dr. King’s confirmation as the Secretary of Education, Achieve, Inc. has released its report of grading each of the States on College/Career Readiness (CCR), a form of CCSS (Common Core State Standards). CCR is embedded in the ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act) several times.

Since Sen. Alexander felt it important enough to ball up his fists and bang them on the podium in expressing the need to ‘implement ESSA just as it was written’, we know CCR will be part of the process.

The Report from Achieve, Inc.:

First, the link to the website: http://www.achieve.org/state-profiles

Secondly, an excerpt of interest. For more than a decade, Achieve has issued an annual 50-state report on each state’s adoption of college- and career-ready (CCR) policies as reflected in state standards, graduation requirements, assessments, and accountability systems.”

A reflecting question:
Hmmm…wait a minute, CCSS is NOT a decade old, is it? IF CCSS is that old and CCR is a part of it (as I have previously proven and shared with you), why are we just seeing CCR instead of CCSS, especially in the ESSA?
The answer: As we know, CCSS is a toxic phrase, by switching the language to a not-so-well-known-name-of-the-same-thing, you impress folks that all is well. However, those fools didn’t count on savvy anti CCSS Warriors who KNOW no matter WHAT name is slapped on a piece of paper, when it comes to CCSS, it is ALL the same!

What the Report says:
“These individual state profiles, as well as a K–12 summary report, represent the first time that indicators of college and career readiness, from publicly available sources, have been compiled to paint a picture of college and career readiness in every state in this way. The report and accompanying state profiles illustrate that too few high school graduates are prepared to succeed in post-secondary education, the military, and careers.” 
My guess? Achieve, Inc. is painting a subjectively based picture. Why? How many times have we seen ‘research’ that is from one CCSS Machine member based on other CCSS Machine members findings? PLENTY!

achieveessa

The Report gives you charts, percentages of CCR success based on SBAC, PARCC, SAT, AP, and ACT testing. It will give you a map of the USA color coded by degree of the following:
1) no current CCR standards or coursework in use
2) has current CCR standards/coursework, but will not publicly share that information
3) has current CCR standards/coursework and does publicly share the information.

Thanks to the language of the ESSA, all States will have CCR Standards, or Challenging State Academic Standards which must meet the assessments used.

The Report also gives you the name of each State’s diploma name. Be sure to read how many have some form of CCR in them! (One important note: while the introduction says all 50 States, all 50 State’s information is not included! Why? That pesky category #2 from above, not all the States publicly share CCR information. By the way, since you know I live in NC, I can share NC doesn’t publicly share its CCR information. Fortunately however, I have!)

Further in the Report you will find the CCR measurements of dual enrollment students, early college students, Tech School, and IB (International Baccalaureate) students. Since many homeschool students use AP, some IB, early college, Tech Schools, and dual enrollment (and since this will only increase in the ESSA) options for education, you can see how even these students do NOT escape CCR!

Access the Report: CCRHSGradsMarch2016

The Report’s Research and Methods? NCES (National Center for Education Statistics), College Board, ACT, Inc., and the Education Trust. ALL CCSS Machine members! Talk about subjectivity! Talk about massive data mining/sharing!

Part of the research and methodology included race, income, STEM, formative assessment scores, and military or post-secondary enrollment. To access the methodology: Achieve-Methodology-CCR_HS_Grads

If you live in a State which does not publicly share CCR information, Achieve, Inc. has you covered there. Use the link at the very top (will say ‘state profiles’). Scroll down to the portion of the website you see each State’s name. You can click there and access the findings Achieve, Inc. has been able to use to paint their picture. You can print off or download each of the State Reports if you choose.

Oh, and one last note: Achieve, Inc. believes in CCSS/CCR SO much they even provide you with a video on how to understand the Report at the bottom of the page. They seriously need a new set of paints and paintbrushes!

If you need more proof of the Achieve, Inc.’s agenda for aligned education, be sure to see their page: http://www.achieve.org/our-agenda
Don’t miss their proud work on their initiatives of Next Generation Science Standards, Competency Based Career Paths, and using CCSS to its fullest! See: http://www.achieve.org/our-initiatives

Weekend News: College, Career Readiness Updates

What every US citizen said they always wanted... NOT!
What every US citizen said they always wanted, CCSS aligned college, career ready students and teachers… NOT!

Warriors Against all things connected to Common Core, this weekend’s news will give you an update on CCR, ‘college and career readiness’. We know there are ‘CCR Standards’. What else can we learn?

What defines ‘college, career readiness’?

If we look at the pro CCSS parameters, CCR (college, career readiness) is:
1) “With the growing complexity of the world and the increasing demands of the 21st-century workforce, there is little question that all students should graduate from high school fully prepared for college AND careers. From an academic perspective, college and career readiness means that a high school graduate has the knowledge and skills in English and mathematics necessary to qualify for and succeed in entry-level, credit-bearing post-secondary coursework without the need for remediation.
(*Note: this is from Achieve,Inc. To see the rest of their CCR views, http://www.achieve.org/college-and-career-readiness)

2) From the U.S. Dept. of Ed, the push to re-authorize the old Elementary and Secondary Education Act via HR5(Student Success Act) or S1177(Every Child Achieves Act) will most assuredly give us CCR.
“Rigorous College- and Career-Ready Standards. Following the lead of the nation’s governors and state education leaders, the administration is calling on all states to adopt state developed standards in English language arts and mathematics that build toward college and career readiness by the time students graduate from high school, and high-quality statewide assessments aligned with these standards. States may choose to: either upgrade their existing standards, working with their four-year public university system to certify that mastery of the standards ensures that a student will not need to take remedial coursework upon admission to a postsecondary institution in the system; or work with other states to create state-developed common standards that build toward college and career readiness.” To read the rest of the document promoting CCSS: college-career
(*Note: the real strings that will bind us to the CCSS Machine’s planned agenda will be in the sections detailing support, accountability, and assessing.)

3) The College and Career Readiness Center (which is part of AIR, Inc. and funded by the U.S. Dept. of Ed), is 100% devoted to not only CCR, but Career Tech Ed, outcome based education, and competency based education for not only preK to grad school, but teachers and leaders, too. Here is their document made for all  those SEAs (State Education Agents (which means any group, organization, or individual your state has authorized to be involved in education) has access to. Why would they need this guide? It helps them plan alignment to the ‘standards and assessments!! Measurement Practice Guide Chapter 1_0 To see more about the CCR Center, https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/02/11/wybi-jhuy/

These are helpful, but is there even more we can learn about the CCR Standards?!

The  Education Delivery Institute:

Website, https://www.deliveryinstitute.org/delivery-resources/college-career-readiness-standards
eddeliver

Included in this non-profit institute are the P-20 data mining, the usual main financial backers of Common Core, the SBAC and PARCC assessments, and more. (see: https://www.deliveryinstitute.org/our-partners) Sitting on the Board of Directors is Sir Michael Barber of Pearson Publishing. He is also the founder of the Ed Delivery Institute (see the origins, https://www.deliveryinstitute.org/origins-delivery)!!

Knowing who has funded CCSS, is a member of this Institute, AND is guiding states toward THEIR agenda, is it any wonder our states seem to be deaf to our citizens?!

Watch this one from Ed Delivery and you will hear that STEM jobs being filled is the goal.

Why is the fact STEM is the goal of college, career readiness so relevant? One of my very first published blog articles shared with you the 2010 Presidential Report, “Prepare & Inspire K-12 Education in STEM for America’s Future”.  Who wrote this report? PCAST, President’s Council of Advisors for Science and Technology “The goal of the PDF[report} was a then, new strategy for improving K-12 education. Notice in the introduction of the report these key items: the 2 prongs and 5 overarching priorities therein to transforming education (we must prepare students & inspire those motivated to the point of STEM for life) via a) federal leadership in education must be improved; b) federal government supportive of a common baseline via the new state led initiative; c) recruit more STEM teachers; d) STEM outside schools; e) federal government support the states and schools as they transform. Here’s the closing statement the co-chairs of the PCAST made, “We are confident that the report provides a workable, evidence-based roadmap for achieving the vision you have so boldly articulated for STEM education in America,” There is much more about PCAST and this report, https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/09/02/from-the-files-pcast-stem-and-common-core/

If you’d like more information on how CCR your state is, check out my previously published college, career readiness consortium:
https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/11/18/ftf-tuesday-ccrec-college-and-career-readiness-evaluation-consortium/

When I first wrote about the CCR Center, https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/11/13/tech-thursday-collegecareer-readiness-success-and-common-core/

Sic’ ‘Em Saturday: Open Letter to CCSS Assessments

Imagine, those who make the assessments, That the child you see is YOURS.
Imagine, those who make the assessments, that the child you see is YOURS.

A special edition of my “Sic’ ‘Em Saturday. My thanks to whomever created the graphic you see above. What you’ll find my anti CCSS warriors, is a letter I’d love to see written to any of those CCSS assessment writers.

To my Mom or Dad,

I HATE the TESTS you write! If you think I get an exemption from the assessments, I don’t! I AM included in the masses of test takers and/or assessments you’ve created. I know you’ve done your best to raise me to be my own person. There are many things I tell you, but there are many things I don’t. I can’t possibly talk to you about this, so I’m writing it all down.

Mom, Dad, I do not understand why or how you can be proud of what you’ve done to my friends and I.

You’ve told me Common Core State Standards weren’t that bad; that they’d help me become a better student. You told me the work would ‘toughen me up’, that I needed to stop complaining or crying so much. I HAVE tried. I still feel stupid. Especially when those tests I saw you writing come up. You tell me you love me, yet I’m to answer questions I don’t know? When I told you why my scores were so low because I hadn’t been taught about the test subject yet, did you listen? My friends thought because you are my parent, I’d know the answers. They don’t understand how you could be so mean. I don’t get it either.

I’m to care about the environment. I’m to care about others. That’s what you’ve taught me at home. Yet, I see how what you do is harming others every day. How do you sleep at night? I know I’m very sad that you are being so unfair to me when you make assessments so hard no one passes them. How does that make me tough? I try my best, but it’s not good enough. I wish I hadn’t been born sometimes. Sometimes I even wish you weren’t my parent.

I’ve got some kids at school I know who are telling all of us about those who’ve discovered how my privacy is being invaded. How, all those things I don’t want others to know about me are being shared around the world. Is this true?! Mom, Dad, you KNOW I hate that. Why are you allowing this to happen to me?! I don’t go around sharing your secrets (at least not to the entire world), so WHY are you writing programs that share MY stuff?! You tell me to respect you, but how can I? You aren’t respecting me..or anyone, when you violate my privacy.

Another thing:  all these tests, programs you write, and assessment stuff you help create; you’re always gone or on the phone with someone else. You don’t know I hear you talk, but I do. Who is Pearson?  Why do you like him more than me? Who is he? Why do you go to his house so much? I wish you want to spend time with me. I miss our days where we could just see each other. If you’re not on the phone, computer, or gone, you’re too tired to hang out. If this is being an adult, I’m not sure I want to be one. You taught me I’m not supposed to cheat, but I see you do it everyday. I see you cheating all of us with your work. If this is what productive, successful work is like, I don’t think I will do it. I don’t like what I see at all in my future. Especially when I don’t see the justice you keep telling me I’m to strive for.

Mom, Dad: give us justice in our education; not just tests. Let us see the justice of your love and care, not the injustice of tests mattering more than we do.

*This letter is especially dedicated to all those students who didn’t ask for school to be like this, but must suffer it on a daily basis. 

Monday Musings: Purposed Embedding for the Core

Oh, the things I find in my email.
Oh, the things I find in my email.

Going through my email a couple of days ago, I opened this ‘lovely gem’. It’s all about how I can learn to purposefully embed formative assessments in my classroom.  While many anti CCSS warriors AND pro CCSS supporters have tackled formative assessments, we still are seeing new resources everyday geared to help us shine in the CCSS spotlight. What a crock. My hard earned money to pay for a book to teach me how to align my students. Let’s see what else we can find out. Join me as I ponder over assessments.

One Co-Author:

Pictured above is Dr. Dylan William. If you don’t know his name in education. That’s okay. I didn’t really either. I can tell you he’s got a great British accent. I can tell you he’s been in education for over 30 years. You can ‘google’ him and find out all kinds of CCSS related things he’s done. For example, “Education Week” writer Mr. Hess had an article back in 2014 about the 5 non signers of the CCSS validation committee. Dr. William was one of the five. However, his love for CCSS is ever present. See this excerpt, “In any event, one of the more interesting responses I received was from my friend Dylan William, emeritus professor of educational assessment at the Institute of Education, University of London; former senior research director at ETS; and author of Embedded Formative Assessment. Dylan was one of the 29 members of the Common Core Validation Committee and one of the five who refused to sign off on the standards. I asked if I could share his note, and Dylan gave his okay. It’s worth noting that Dylan remains bullish on the Common Core. He writes, “To re-iterate, I think the Common Core State Standards are our best shot at creating an education system that meets the challenges of the 21st century. I am frankly appalled at the level of much of the debate, so if you think this can help, by all means share it.” ” To see the rest of the article,

http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/rick_hess_straight_up/2014/09/common_core_validation_committee_non-signer_dylan_wiliam_shares_thoughts.html (*Note: ETS stands for Educational Testing Service. I’ve written about ETS as recently as yesterday. See: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/03/01/rmt-why-is-the-deck-still-being-stacked-to-serve-ccss/)

From back in his days at ETS, I did find a speech he gave to during the Salzburg Global Seminar back in 2011. Conference Theme? “Optimizing Talent: Closing Educational and Social Mobility Gaps Worldwide”. Dr. William’s full speech? “How Do We Prepare Students for a World We Can’t Imagine?” I found the document in Dropbox form, but I encourage you to access it for yourselves. It’s important you read and discern for yourselves what was shared. I’ll give you a hint however, his abstract paragraph opens with words to the effect of educational achievement is any given country’s economic detriment.  I urge you to access the 2011 version, then compare it to the 2014 version. Optimizing-Talent-20140829

If you’d like ETS’s short version of the 2011 speech, see their 2012 publication: optimizeded

NWEA:
A little more snooping on the internet and I found Dr. William on the NWEA‘s website (Northwest Evaluation Association). Based off the 5 ways William states that formative assessing should be embedded, is a blog article that you’ll need to read to believe. Especially the embedded video. The narrator of the video shares a huge nugget of information for us as CCSS warriors. He states that IF the kids score higher, get better jobs, the taxes generated off this successful students would pay the entire K-12 public school system’s needs for the next 30 years! See the blog AND definitely watch the video: https://www.nwea.org/blog/2013/using-formative-assessment-to-build-school-and-teacher-leadership/ 

(*Note: If you’re a bit curious about NWEA, be sure to check out their website: http://www.nwea.org  Maybe you’ve heard of their best product “MAP” (Measures of Academic Progress), which is used is both PARCC and SBAC. See: https://www.nwea.org/?s=MAP

You might also be interested in this 2011 article about NWEA which shared how NWEA is funded. See: http://www.oregonbusiness.com/articles/99-may-2011/5177-educational-nonprofit-makes-software-for-schools?start=1 )

Hawker Brownlow Education:

This company is a privately owned one in Australia and featured Dr. William back in 2013 where he extolled the virtues of formative assessing. Now, don’t get me wrong. When taken away from CCSS alignment, I believe formative assessing CAN help our education. But herein lies the “Catch 22”, no one in the assessing business seems capable of NOT aligning to CCSS, or to College/Career Readiness Standards, Next Gen Standards, and on and on. So, does HBE have ties to CCSS? Let’s see…

From Down Under, more CCSS alignment.
From Down Under, more CCSS alignment.

To see their video featuring Dr. William:

HBE also partners with  the Marzano Institute. If you’ve not heard of them, you will know about this group in a few minutes.

Marzano Institute:

Based in America, but with global outreach capacities. Also head of the RISC (Re-inventing Schools Coalition). Before we get to RISC, however, my Texan friends will most likely tie Marzano to CSCOPE. Their not “CCSS” but yes, it really is CCSS nightmare. Here’s an excerpt I found on The Blaze’s website, “But while the groups to which CSCOPE appears relatively beholden may sound alarms for critics, the actual researchers CSCOPE credits with providing the basis for its curriculum seem to be formidable industry veterans by and large. Those educators include Robert Marzano, Fenwick English, John Crain, Heidi Hayes Jacobs, Grant Wiggins, Jay McTighe, H. Lynn Erickson, and James Barufaldi.” (see the entire article: http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2013/03/07/cscope-exposing-the-nations-most-controversial-public-school-curriculum-system/) You’ll probably want to read the 2013 article Freedom Outpost/Charlotte Iserbyt’s published article  as to how they described Dr. Marzano’s take on education. See: http://freedomoutpost.com/2013/06/school-choicecharters-will-kill-private-education/

To read Dr. Marzano’s own words, see his article on the (Gates Foundation funded) ASCD website: http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/dec93/vol51/num04/When-Two-Worldviews-Collide.aspx

To see Marzano’s CC publications,

More Core for sale!
More Core for sale!

RISC (Re-Inventing Schools Coalition):

Their website: http://www.reinventingschools.org/

Right off the bat, at this website, I was greeted with the “Acheive, Inc.” logo. This won’t take long to find the CCSS tie, now will it? You’ll want to see all the groups who are partnering in the RISC project. Access the information:

 http://www.reinventingschools.org/about/affiliates/

In their own words, a chart to continue the outcome based type of education that doesn’t honor our students as much as it rates them on performance.

Nothing says OBE quite like 'perform, perform, perform!'
Nothing says OBE quite like ‘perform, perform, perform!’

In case you didn’t blow up the screen shot above, the web address to see more about how our schools are being re-invented: http://www.reinventingschools.org/about/the-risc-approach-to-schooling/ 

If you hurry, you can learn about the upcoming RISC/CCSS alignment package! It’s set to be in our faces by 2016. See: http://www.reinventingschools.org/services/common-core-proficiency-scalesassessment-package-2/

Closing:
SO much purposed embedding! Have you noticed a theme among the different people, groups, and organizations? I sure did. Economy, taxes, performance. UGH! What happened to real education?! As long as powerful people like this with very global agendas that are frankly un-American, we will need to sharpen our efforts to remain a land of free thinkers.

 

FTF: Creating Common Core Minions

The Common Core Machine loves to create minions to do its bidding.
The Common Core Machine loves to create minions to do its bidding.

“Create” (Consortium for Research on Educational Assessment and Teacher Effectiveness). Common Core is all over this Consortium. Here are their own words about their vision, “The vision of the Consortium for Research on Educational Assessment and Teaching Effectiveness (CREATE) is improved student learning, development, and achievement in PK-12 schools, institutes of higher education, and other educational settings.”

Heading up CREATE is a lady from the College of William and Mary. Sounds innocent, but looking into W & M, Common Core Standards are supported by them. How? Through their Gifted Education program. See the screen shot below:

wmgiftedcc

While I was looking into William and Mary, I found that other educational interests of school entwine the global movement. See this screen shot below. One of the professors there had this document in his resume. If you’d like the document I found this in: 

http://www.trincoll.edu/UrbanGlobal/CUGS/students/Documents/Chen%20article%20in%20IIE%20Networker%20Spring%202014.pdf

Other William/Mary education interests include globalizing U S citizens.
Other William/Mary education interests include globalizing US citizens.

Other Ties to CC Which CREATE Has:

1) Western KY University, where another board member is from has huge CCSS ties! They had a writing project which helped create the Standards. see: http://www.nwp.org/cs/public/print/resource/3669

Here’s an excerpt from 2011: “The NWP’s Common Core Initiative will help develop and test lesson plans to meet the literacy goal of the new common core standards Kentucky adopted last year.”

2) Rutgers University is also represented on the board of CREATE. Their CC tie is training librarians to align with the Standards. See: http://comminfo.rutgers.edu/library-and-information-science-features/rutgers-takes-the-lead-on-training-future-librarians-for-the-common-core.html

3) SREB (Southern Regional Education Board) is also represented on the Board for CREATE. If you haven’t already seen my articles about how much into CC the SREB is, see: from 10/14: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/10/10/fridays-post-breaking-news-you-need-to-know/ then, https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/01/07/wybi-wednesday-icaps-common-core-and-more/

4) To see the rest of the Board and who’s who OR so you can continue taking a deeper look into how each are connected (if they are) to CC, see: http://www.createconference.org/officers—directors.html

CREATE Can Link You To:

“Leaning Foward”http://learningforward.org/, read their 2012 award Gates Foundation gave them for CCSS work: http://learningforward.org/publications/blog-landing/press-releases/2012/01/23/learning-forward-receives-$1-million-grant-to-develop-professional-learning-tools-for-common-core-state-standards#.VN__PvnF-hQ

*Note: Be sure to look at their “Innovation Configurations” to see the work LF is doing to reach out to the community to embrace the Standards, private schools, and more.

“AERA” (American Educational Research Association)http://www.aera.net/, you’ll want to see their growing research file on all things CCSS. Visit, http://www.aera.net/Newsroom/TrendingResearchTopics/TrendingTopicResearchFileCommonCoreStateStandards/tabid/15329/Default.aspx

You’ll want to see the AERA video below to see how they were (at the time) so excited about CC/Research.

“JCSEE”, (Joint Committee on Standards for Educational Evaluation) :

Their website: http://www.jcsee.org/, I introduced you to JCSEE a few months ago, but let’s assume you don’t know JCSEE. From their ‘about’ website page, “Created in 1975, the Joint Committee is a coalition of major professional associations concerned with the quality of evaluation. The Joint Committee is housed at the Center for Evaluation and Assessment, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA.” It’s a 501(c) 3 public charity. Two of its many sponsors are the NEA (National Educators Association) and the CCSS (Council of Chief State School Officers), both are huge fans of CCSS. Here’s the link to my original article I wrote. Notice between that one and this, the differences in a few months. https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/12/02/ftf-create-they-know-your-school-do-you-know-them/

Back to CREATE:

Presently, the folks at CREATE are busy readying themselves for the 2015 CREATE Conference. It’s to be held in Charleston, SC sometime in the fall. If you look at the conference from last year (since nothing for this one is viable on the website yet) you can see they love to talk about assessments. From the 2013 Conference there was plenty to be heard on CTE (Career Tech Education), as well. See the Conference  program: CREATE13. (*Note: if you click on the link for 2014’s Conference, you are taken to 2013’s automatically. See the other years and their information: http://www.createconference.org/past-conferences.html )

Related to CREATE:

The National Council of Measurement in Education, http://ncme.org/index.cfm , their upcoming conference is in April 2015. Since all these folks do is assessment related, you’ll want to see their tie to the high stakes assessing CC has going on. Pearson Publishing and College Board both have seats around the Board of Directors. Two of the 3 officers belong to ACT, Inc. and CTB MacGraw-Hill Publishing. My warrior friends, did you catch that? Four positions belong to known and identified CCSS profit makers. When you visit any of the above links, note how they are all somehow related. Note the NCME’s assessment dictionary. You’ll want to see how they define high stakes assessments. They certainly plan to have some jesting about assessments during the upcoming conference in April. Click the screen shot below and enlarge it.

Aren't you thrilled to know that the NCME has time to joke about assessments?!
Aren’t you thrilled to know that the NCME has time to joke about assessments?!

According to the NCME’s Conference website, you’ll be able to get the lowdown on PARCC, SBAC, and more. See the program: 2015_NCME_Preliminary_Program_H You’ll be happy to see one of the keynote speakers is NY’s John King. As an added bonus for today, I was able to find a 2010 NCME newsletter discussing their involvement with the development of PARCC and SBAC high stakes assessments. Get the download: NCME2010. Finally, you might find the 2014 December newsletter eye opening in regards to PARCC and SBAC. Get it: NCME_Newsletter_December_2014 (*Note, be sure to look for SBAC, Act, Inc., AIR, and more)

WYBI Wednesday: National Center for Post Secondary Research and CCSS

It’s “Would You Believe It Wednesday” and I cannot think of a better follow up for this week’s “From the File Tuesday” about SHEEO, the CCSSO, and CCSS than today’s eye-opener of a research paper by the NCPSR (National Center for Post Secondary Research) describing in detail the purposed implementation of CCSS!!

Yet another bullet of truth today. Share!!
Yet another bullet of truth today. Share!!

In our above photo we see a young lady, possibly a college age student. Today’s post is for you, sweetie, and the millions just like you. Desiring to move ahead on life’s path, with Common Core standing in your way.

National Center for Post Secondary Research:

In February 2013, a paper was published by the Center about the need for Common Core in post secondary schools. However, let me share just which groups make up the Center before we get into the bullets of truth for today.

1) The Center is comprised of the following schools, organizations: Gates Foundation, Hewlett Foundation, Harvard University, The Community College Research Center, Teachers College, Columbia University, MDRC (formerly known as the Manpower Demonstration Research Council; it’s a education policy group), and the University of Virginia.

2) The Center was founded by funding provided by the U.S. Dept. of Education’s Institute of Educational Sciences.

3) The 2013 “Working Paper” for today’s ‘Would you believe it?’ is titled ‘Common Core State Standards: Implications for Community Colleges and Student Preparedness for College’ 

The Paper:

Here’s an excerpt from the opening pages, “Based on a review of literature and on interviews with individuals involved in the CCSS nationally and in Washington, Florida, and Kentucky, this paper outlines the development of the CCSS and the CCSS-aligned assessments, the involvement of higher education representatives in their design and implementation, and how the CCSS and the aligned assessments can be used to support the mission of community colleges.” 

The introduction goes on to state the 2 national assessments will be used, later in the paper, they will be announced, but I think you can guess, right? PARCC and SBAC. The paper will go on to state that standards haven’t been consistent and that has posed a problem. If you’ll remember I wrote my very first “Tech Thursday” post about the “Adult CCSS” and how the Common Core was intentionally chosen. (see 9/4/14’s “Common Core After High School, a Reality Check”)

Pages 3  and 4 highlight some “College and Career Readiness” Partnerships, but not to the extent yesterday’s post did.

You’ll find the research questions used in this study on page 9, and below:

1. “What role has higher education played in the development and
implementation of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and aligned
assessment systems?
2. How is the implementation of the CCSS and their aligned assessment
systems unfolding in three selected states? What has been the role of higher
education in these states?
3. What are the policy and practice implications for community colleges of the
CCSS and their aligned assessment systems, particularly in light of recent
research by CCRC and others?”

The three data sources for the results of the above questions?? The 3 groups we learned about yesterday!! The CCSSO (Chief Council of State School Officers), the SHEEO (States Higher Education Executive Officers), and the AASCU (American Association of State Colleges and Universities).

Note: the 3 selected states are FL, WA, and KY, see their side by side comparison of implementation, complete with details notes, on page 20. I’ve included a few highlights from the 3 states below:

1) Florida’s role in the CCSS implementation process for higher ed, “Both the Florida College System, which consists of 28 community and state (four-year) colleges, and the 12 public universities that make up the Florida State University system have been involved from the beginning with alignment  discussions related to the PARCC assessments. “ Followed by, “A Florida state statute maintains that high schools must administer a college readiness
assessment in 11th grade to students that score within a certain range on the state assessment exam, the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT 2.0). School districts may use any Florida State Board of Education–approved assessment, and many districts have chosen the Postsecondary Education Readiness Test (PERT) for this purpose. If a student does not attain the college-ready cutoff score on the PERT, she is required to take college postsecondary preparatory instruction, called College Success and College Readiness courses. This set of courses is comprised of college developmental education courses offered at the high school level and is aligned to the CCSS and to college-level competencies.”

2) KY’s role in the CCSS implementation process for higher ed, “The appearance of the CCSS was timely for Kentucky. In 2009, legislators enacted a new state law, Senate Bill 1 (SB1), which required the state to revamp both its standards and assessments by spring 2012. SB1 included a mandate that the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education (CPE), the Kentucky Board of Education (KBE), and the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) collaborate to create a unified college and career readiness plan that would lead to a reduction in remediation rates and an increase in college graduation rates (Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education, 2013)” Following that, “…. implications of the CCSS for universities and two-year colleges, such as how these new standards would impact the teaching of introductory-level general education courses. Among the three states profiled for this study, Kentucky was the only state where those interviewed reported that the higher education sector had played a substantial role in reviewing and providing feedback on the drafts of the CCSS.” Then, “The higher education sector was also involved in developing a statewide definition of college and career readiness, also required by SB1.”

3) Washington’s role in the CCSS implementation process for higher ed, “According to a state higher education official, the higher education sector played no formal role in the early stages of the adoption process for the standards and, outside of connections to teacher education programs, there had been minimal outreach to higher education representatives to participate. However, they have become more involved with the
CCSS implementation process in recent months.  Washington, like Florida, partners with Core to College to encourage K–12 and high education alignment activities.” 

Key to the 3 states are funding, legislation, and timing in the successes or setbacks in implementing CCSS in higher education. Beginning on page 33 is how the other states will be impacted, if they haven’t been already. This encompasses ‘dual enrollment’ programs (in NC, it’s called “Career and College Promise”), on-line classes, and more! On page 36, see how the community colleges curriculum will change, if it hasn’t already. Here in NC, all the community colleges are already aligned to CCSS, textbooks, assessments, and lesson plans all reflect it. **Note, if you have a student in a community college, ask to see the textbooks, the on-line portions of their course work OR have them understand what to look for in regards to CCSS aligned materials! I have a community college student, I’ve seen the textbooks..they are NOT better, in spite of what we’ve been told. Professors HATE teaching the CCSS at this particular school, but must or they have no job!

On page 38, the CCSS alignment between high schools and community colleges via partnerships begins. From the Appendices (you’ll really want to look there), is this lovely note, “Only seven states (Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York,
North Carolina, and West Virginia) have completed plans in all three areas
(Porter et al., 2012).” This is in reference to where are the other states in the process of implementing and aligning to CCSS in higher education. Link to the entire study: http://www.postsecondaryresearch.org/i/a/document/25958_common-core-state-standards_2.pdf

The MDRC:

I’m highlighting this organization because while it’s a partner in all this, it’s one we know very little about. Not anymore!

The formerly named “Manpower Demonstration Research Council” was created back in 1974 by the Ford Foundation and a select group of federal agencies. In 2003, the group trademarked a new name, “MDRC”. It’s non partisan, non profit. MDRC address education and social issues especially when impacting the low-income population. You’ll want to see the rest of their history and where they’ve worked (hint: more than the USA). See: http://www.mdrc.org/about/about-mdrc-history

Among its Board members are representatives from pro Common Core schools or organizations such as the Brookings Institute and Harvard. (there are others, too).

Among the funders are the following Federal agencies,

  • U.S. Department of Agriculture
  • U.S. Department of Defense
  • U.S. Department of Education
  • U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
  • U.S. Department of Labor
  • U.S. Social Security Administration
  • National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development

 

Known and identified pro Common Core supporters:

The National Governors Association, The Joyce Foundation, Carnegie Corporation, Knowledge Works, The Gates Foundation, AIR (American Institutes for Research) HOWEVER, there is an incredible amount of support via many other organizations, public and private! See the entire list of shame, http://www.mdrc.org/about/funders-mdrcs-projects

Their report, published in 2011, focused on ‘career focused learning community’. Also in conjunction with the NCPR.  Helping fund the paper among our known supporters, was the MDRC Endowment.

“Contributors to the MDRC Endowment include Alcoa Foundation, The Ambrose Monell
Foundation, Anheuser-Busch Foundation, Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation, Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, Ford Foundation, The George Gund Foundation, The Grable Foundation, The Lizabeth and Frank Newman Charitable Foundation, The New York Times Company Foundation, Jan Nicholson, Paul H. O’Neill Charitable Foundation, John S. Reed, Sandler Foundation, and The Stupski Family Fund, as well as other individual contributors.”

Why this study bears investigating: 21st Learning Communities are a very real threat to our American way of life. I’ve written about them, so have others. It’s a portion of the Agenda 21, global mindset where a school becomes more than a learning institution, but the community center where every service is offered. With “Knowledge Works” involved (see above) I’ve seen their ideal of the “Strive Together” communities, 90 strong already in working order across the US. “Cradle to Career for EVERY Student” is their mindset.

Link to the MDRC’s study: http://www.mdrc.org/sites/default/files/Breaking%20New%20Ground%20ES.pdf

A division of Knowledge Works, which is an arm of the CCSSO.
A division of Knowledge Works, which is an arm of the CCSSO.

In Closing:

If you didn’t find your state community colleges listed, don’t relax for a minute! Remember the Career Pathways are ALSO in our community colleges and high schools. As you have learned 4 year high education institutions ARE not EXEMPT from Common Core!

 

WYBI Wednesday: Assess, Obsess, then Assess Again

Yesterday,  I had the ‘pleasure’ of listening to 2 assessment experts extol the virtues of not only Common Core, but SBAC (Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium) and PARCC (Partnership for the Assessment of Readiness in College and Careers) as well. Much has been written about the SBAC, PARCC. Before we get too far into the experts and their views, here’s a bit of background on the financial costs of assessments.

Just what is an 'assessment'? Documentation of knowledge, skills, attitude, and beliefs.
Just what is an ‘assessment’? Documentation of knowledge, skills, attitude, and beliefs.

2013 Report:

According to the 2013 NCES, The National Center for Educational Statistics (an arm of the U.S. Dept. of Education) Report,  “Condition of Education 2013”, (see: http://nces.ed.gov/pubs2013/2013037.pdf),

‘The single largest component of current expenditures was instruction, amounting to about 61 percent of the total, or $6,852 per student in 2009–10. These expenditures include salaries and benefits of teachers and teaching assistants, as well as costs for instructional materials and instructional services provided under contract. Between 1999–2000 and 2009–10, expenditures for instruction per student increased by 19 percent. Expenditures for some major school activities increased more rapidly than this. For example, expenditures for student support services, such as for guidance and health personnel, increased by 35 percent, from $460 to $622. Expenditures per student for instructional staff services, including curriculum development, staff training, libraries, and media and computer centers, increased by 28 percent, reaching $536 in 2009–10. Also, transportation costs per student increased by 25 percent during this period, reaching $465 per student. In contrast, some categories of expenditure increased at a slower rate than instruction. School and general administrative costs per student and food services expenditures per student both increased
by 15 percent, reaching $830 and $425, respectively, in 2009–10. Expenditures per student for operation and
maintenance of schools increased by the same percentage as instruction costs (19 percent) and reached $1,063 per
student in 2009–10.’   Do you see ‘assessments’ anywhere in the above descriptions? I don’t!

The above excerpt is from Chapter 3, aptly named ‘Finance’. Assessments are in Chapter 4 and will give you gobs of information EXCEPT how much the assessments cost.

However….

As has been well reported, written, and spoken about was the U.S. Dept. of Ed’s 2010 move to ensure MORE assessments could be taken. This is from the National Conference of State Legislators, “States will need new assessments to measure student progress against the Standards. In 2010, in recognition of this need, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) awarded two assessment consortia $330 million in Race to the Top competitive grants to develop assessments aligned to the Standards:

  • $186 million to Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC)
  • $176 million to Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC). “

FYI or ICYMI:

To ensure we’re an educationally assessed nation, the National Assessment of Educational Progress was created via a mandate from Congress. According to their website, the first assessing was 1969-70 school year. Somewhere between 2003-2007, each of our United States got NAEP state level coordinators. Their jobs are to be a liasion between the State Departments of Education and the NAEP. They get to analyze collected data before sharing in further across or up the chain of offices, authorities. Over the years, many contracts and/or grants have been awarded to various companies, all in the name of educational assessment. There are subcontractors as well. AIR(American Institutes of Research), NCS (National Computer Systems), NCS Pearson (an arm of Pearson Publishing), and Aspen Systems Corporation were among the subcontractors anywhere from 1996 to 2003.  So while I’ve listed the biggest companies according to their length of service, know there were, at times, others involved as well:

ETS (Educational Testing Services, non profit organization established in 1947) has been awarded assessment contracts/grants since 1983.

Westat, an employee owned research firm, formed in 1963 has served NAEP since 1983 as well.

AIR (American Institutes for Research), moved from subcontractor to alliance member sometime in 2003-07. It handled  development for national-only subjects, as well as the scoring rubrics, assisting in scoring and the training of scorers; to conduct small-scale pilot tests of the items and rubrics; and to participate in reviews of items. ETS got to handle math, science, reading, writing’s design, analyzing, and reporting during this time period. Pearson Publishing was in charge of preparing the assessments, delivering them, and scoring them. Joining them in 2006, Government Micro Resources, Inc., known as Fulcrum IT Services Company as of 2006, to acquire, develop, implement, and support Internet-related applications and services for NAEP and the NAEP contractors. (this was about the time the NAEP state coordinators were put in place)

From 2008-2012, you’ll find AIR(see above) , CCSSO (Council of Chief State School Officers, half owner of the CCSS copyright),CRP, Inc. (works with several government agencies), ETS (see above), Fulcrum IT (see above), Pearson Publishing. Along with the other companies, you’ll find SEAs (State Education Agencies)  involved. Every aspect (including marketing at trade shows, conferences) of assessments you can imagine is covered.

Currently, the Big 12:

To date, the NAEP has 12 contractors handling our students assessments! Now, I’ve no idea the size of the contracts/grants. Frankly, I don’t care how much money they’ve received. That’s the ‘blood on their hands’, not mine.  The order in which each contract is listed,  is alphabetically.

AIR, BI (Business Intelligence, Inc. a US Veteran owned company working with NAEP since 2008), CCSSO, CRP, Inc., ETS, Fulcrum IT, Hager Sharp, HumRRO (Human Resources Research Organization. Established in 1951 as a non profit which works with P3s (public private partnerships), Kauffman and Associates (an SBA certified 8 company serving the native Americans), Optimal Solutions, LLC (begun in 2000, a public policy research group), Pearson, SEAs, and Westat. If you are interested to see the exact history, http://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/contracts/history.aspx#partners69

So how do the NAEP, PARCC, and SBAC intersect?

From their white paper report “Future of the NAEP”, here are their words as to how all these tie together. “As we look to the future, NAEP will be called upon to do all that it has historically done and more. We see at least four major trends to which NAEP must respond. First, NAEP must provide value as a nationally representative assessment when it is
likely that other assessments will also provide information about student achievement that may be aggregated and compared across districts, states, and even at the national level. Forty-six states and the District of Columbia have adopted
the new Common Core State Standards (CCSS) in English language arts (ELA) and mathematics. Two federally funded state consortia are developing assessments aligned with the CCSS for general education students in grades 3-8 and high school—
the SMARTER Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) and the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC).” (all the italicized sections below are also directly from the report)

In the works:

“Two more state consortia are developing ELA and mathematics assessments linked to the CCSS for students with severe cognitive disabilities – the Dynamic Learning Maps Assessment Consortium (DLM) and the National Center and State
Collaborative Assessment Consortium (NCSC).Yet another, the World-Class Instructional Design and Assessment (WIDA) consortium, is developing English language proficiency assessments.”

Even the NAEP can’t predict the future of assessments, it just knows we have to have high stakes ones!

“It is not entirely clear how NAEP’s role may change with the advent of these new assessments. However, we can
anticipate that many of these consortium tests will become “high-stakes” as they are used for accountability purposes. In response, educators will shift their focus toward preparation for these new accountability tests. If NAEP remains a low-stakes assessment program aligned to frameworks that reach beyond the confines of the CCSS, then it will be well positioned to provide uniquely valuable information about the extent to which other learning is maintained or declines as curriculum and instruction evolve toward the CCSS. History suggests that even for ELA and mathematics content included in the CCSS, achievement trends shown on NAEP will likely differ from those seen on the high-stakes tests themselves.”

Among their other purposes, measuring MORE outcomes! Data tracking, mining, and leading the way in innovating the assessments! With all this change, the NAEP even asserts that it will be more important than ever. We’ll need to continue to keep an eye on this agency. **NOTE: I’ll be writing more in-depth about some of the newer consortia in the coming days, so stay tuned.

About the experts:

As I shared with you in the beginning, I was listening to two assessment experts yesterday during a webinar funded by Joyce Foundation(gives grants of all sizes to all kinds of educational efforts, according to their 2013 grant list, money was given to research more ways to have K-12 human capital policy making and research. Another grant was given to continue to help implement CCSS) and hosted by “Education Weekly”.

The experts were Randy Bennett of  ETS via assessment innovation with a specialty in cognitive based learning; Dr. Daniel Hickey of Indiana University as a research scientist. Dr. Hickey was even very instrumental in creating the digital educational badges you may be seeing more and more of. Both are very well versed in their areas. Both are convinced CCSS holds much promise-if handled correctly. They did not quite agree on a few things during the presentation, but were very respectful of each other. Both are sold out via sponsors, beliefs that high stakes assessments are here to stay, in fact will become moreso. They like the SBAC/PARCC. Each had a favorite and it was ‘debated’ which one will survive the scrutiny presently in the news.

Here, in bullet point style are the biggest takeaways about the educational obsession with assessments:

  • Standard of importance is the assessments must be tied to common measures.
  • At least one of the presenters used an image of Tea Party symbolism and anti Common Core symbol as part of the problem.
  • It is being perceived the biggest push-back against SBAC/PARCC is due to the length of the tests.
  • High stakes assessments are vital to close the achievement gap; to improve US education in order to global compete.
  • Consequential testing needs to be transformed into ‘real world, best practices, learning challenges’ and calibrated to have common exercises everyone can complete, especially projects.
  • Whatever assessments used, embed them; award certificates for tasks like problem solving.
  • Use HSA (high stakes assessments) to drive schools.
  • Education needs to be more open to all and on-line.
  • Formative/summative assessments should be combined, aligned, synergized.
  • Don’t blame the assessments, blame how they are used incorrectly.
  • CCSS is an important step in all of this.
The real cost of high stakes assessments?? Self worth, esteem, thinking skills, learning skills. NO amount of money is worth killing a mind.
The real cost of high stakes assessments??
Self worth, esteem, thinking skills, learning skills.
NO amount of money is worth killing a mind.

Sic ‘Em Saturday: Google’s Common Core Classroom

Recently, I ‘attended’ yet another webinar connected to Common Core and classrooms. It’s amazing to me just how many on-line meetings have taken place over the past few months with new ways to ‘sell’ the Standards, make them ‘easier’ or how you just can’t live without their greatness..Please, give me a break!

Here are the takeaways I got from the ‘Google Classroom‘, which by the way, is all CCSS aligned!

All the ‘Google Classroom’ programs are FREE!

Paperless & virtual so no one can see your (the student’s) mistakes!

Teacher and students are in the same domain so engaging, eagerness, pride, and confidence can be experienced with richer, deeper meaning and content!

‘Google Classroom‘ is so tech savvy and filled with all the skills needed to prepare for the SBAC assessments (Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium)!

Collaboration with other students is suddenly easier and better than ever!

Kids/students can conduct their own research and become better motivated in their free time!

Google Classroom‘ will help the students/kids to NOT focus on a few things they can do really well, it will have them focus on lots of things for seamless assignments and workflow while enabling communication (ditches the traditional homework, classroom work)!

Dell Overview, Twitter, Netflix, and others are all involved as well since 2010!

Can take to college with you, too! As long as you have a Google Education account, your learning never ends!

Teachers can access student data and share it with many others!

Along the same lines:

As I’ve stated before in other posts, in personal conversations, on social media, all you have to do to access FREE aligned games, apps, and toys such as ‘Google Classroom‘ is offering, is to do a simple search on your smartphone. On my android, I can have over 250 apps within seconds. All aligned, designed for and targeting Common Core as ‘fun’, ‘engaging’,  and ‘cute’. However, what about some of the old companies who want in on the CCSS money machine? Like “Leap Frog”, “Think Fun” and many others?

They align as well! “Think Fun” went as far as to change their name, to become more attractive (my opinion) to the CCSS parent or/and student. New name: “Binary Arts”. “Games building 21st Century thinking skills via play.” “Change the world by translating mathematicians, engineers and inventors crazy dreams into simple toys which make STEM more organically possible.” So ‘forward thinking in curricula’ STEaM will be wonderful! (In my PCAST, STEM and CC post, I exposed how STEM is the ultimate agenda riding into our lives via CC ,all, at the current administration’s bidding; STEaM is a newer way to expand that agenda, but that’s a future post)

On “Binary Arts” blog, back in June of 2014, the owner made this statement, “Thinking Sigmund Freud meets Apple Pie.” He also expresses much support for Mr. Gates & the efforts to bring CCSS to us Americans. See blog entry:

(http://www.thinkfun.com/smartplayblog/?p=3751)

Teacher turned toy maker:

(http://www.thinkfun.com/smartplayblog/), former teacher, Tanya Thompson, expresses the importance of changing the world through play. However, listen for the portion of her talk centering around coding being a wheelhouse for education. Look into the SNAP Math Fairs (big supporter is connected to the Canadian Government’s Ministry of Education). While I’ve not researched this to see if this is CCSS north of our border, I do include the link so you can read how the website is using similar language to what we, here in America, are seeing so much of in relation to Common Core(https://curriculum.gov.bc.ca/)& HATCH Conferences (http://hatchexperience.org/project/what-is-hatch/). Watch the video, if you like, click on  ‘about HATCH’ and look for the ‘creativity is the common thread’ visual. Then, listen to how many times you can hear ‘change the world’. Intel, Inc. is a big underwriter of HATCH. Intel, Inc. is an ardent defender of CCSS (see: http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/marketplacek12/2013/09/business_execs_fight_for_common_core_before_its_too_late.html)

While I couldn't find a direct link to WHAT education HATCH is promoting, I did find this graphic. Makes you think, doesn't it?
While I couldn’t find a direct link to WHAT education HATCH is promoting, I did find this graphic. Makes you think, doesn’t it?

A couple of loose ends:

Before we part company for the day, I wanted to tie up a few loose ends about Binary Arts. If you watched the short video featuring the teacher/inventor, did you catch her reference to “Robot Turtles”? Did you hear “Adventure Quest”? Both these games partner with Code.org (a non profit group tied to Bill Gates, Zuckerburg with Facebook, and Kopp of Teach for America) The agenda (besides CCSS) is coding as a ‘social issue’. Holding the creative communications license to the games? Khan Academy (another group which has ‘sold out’ to CCSS). Khan is hoping to impact the proposed AP (advance placement) courses as well.

So, in “Sic ‘Em Saturday” fashion, LOOK into the games, the apps, the toys your students/kids are using. Want to stay Common Core, global agenda free during play time? Get offline! Go out and play, read together, have a family game night (use a classic game or one created before 2008, which is my time marker for before CCSS and after CCSS).