Tag Archives: SBAC

Assessment Quest, Parts 1 and 2

Part One

We, anti CCSS Warriors know how crafty the CCSS Machine is in playing word games with us. So, consider the names used (or variations) of names used in some of the CCSS Machine products, legislation, assessments, and anything else connected to it. For example, the ESSA, Every Student Succeeds Act is named as it is to SUGGEST positive results. However, we Warriors know, the Law actually means “Every Student Confined”. There are plenty more examples out there, but I want to look at the assessments in particular. Why? Again, the names the CCSS Machine has given each, points to success, but leads to alignment of epic proportions!

In previous researched articles, I have revealed for you how SpringBoard (which offers another service called Learning Walks to partner with schools for CCSS/Competency Based Education alignment) Plan, Aspire, WorkKeys, MAP, Skills Navigator,ProMetric, Certica, and TestWhiz all sound like great and positive assessments for your students, but are really purposed tools to force an aligned, globally competent worker. I know there are others, but you get the idea.

Other assessments with not so positive sounding names (but with the same purposed agenda tool results) are Iowa Assessments, Standford 10 , ETS, ERB, SBAC, PARCC, SAT, ACT, CLEP, College Board, and ASVAB.

One with a former not so positive sounding assessment is the GED, it has been rewritten and renamed to HiSET (High School Equivalency Test). Pearson Publishing has copyrighted the GED and aligned it with CCSS. See:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/answer-sheet/wp/2015/07/09/the-big-problems-with-pearsons-new-ged-high-school-equivalency-test/

More recently I exposed the partnership between Act, Inc. and Envision. Act., Inc. provides the assessments for workforce based education paths (also known as competency based education) and Envision collects the data for global purposes. Envision has been successful in this alignment, I believe, because they have named the program involved with one that suggests positive, but hides the agenda. In case you missed this article about assessments and global data mining:
https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2016/06/24/envisioning-you/

One State Goes on a Quest:

Recently, one of my dearest friends and among the most dedicated anti CCSS/Fed Ed Warriors I know, contacted me. Karen lives in TN. She asked me if I had ever researched the Questar assessment.  Karen has researched some about Questar on her own. She knows the assessment is tied to IMS Global.  What I have found is below and follows up what Karen found. Knowing the ‘quest’ in the title suggests something positive, I found quite the opposite.


Questar:

Website: http://www.questarai.com/

questaracct

According the ‘About Us’ page on the Questar website, the company is at least 40 years old. Their slogan, “Bridging the Gap” seems to fit right in with the CCSS Machine agenda. This assessment provider (K-12 grades) is based in MN.
Among the leaders of Questar, is the President and CEO, Jamie Post Candee. Candee got her start in banking before shifting to education related jobs. If you look at her biography, you see she was formerly employed by PLATO Learning. PLATO Learning also has a former name, EDmentum. Included in her bio is this quote, “Jamie is the driving force behind Questar’s commitment to creating meaningful assessments that give educators the insights they need to fully prepare students for college or career.”

platoedI previously wrote about Edmendtum and a host of other assessment aligners in 2015.
See: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/09/01/ftf-ascending-and-aligning/

Edmentum is tied to Providence Equity Partners, LLC. Please, read the above archived article. It has many twists and turns (much like a journey’s trail) but you need to see just how multi-strung these private groups are when it comes to education!

Back to Questar’s Leaders, the Chief Assessments Advisor? The Former U.S. Dept. of Education’s Standards and Assessments Director, Dr. Timothy VanSickle. (*Interesting note: in 2011, he was named as a CCSSO (Council of Chief State School Officers) Partner.) Also a Chief Assessments Advisor for Questar is Dr. Katie McClarty. McClarty was previously employed by none other than Pearson Publishing! Here’s how, “Before joining Questar, Katie served as the director for the Center for College & Career Success in Pearson’s Research & Innovation Network. Her signature work for the Center included the co-creation of a holistic college-readiness index for middle school students and the co-design and facilitation of standard-setting meetings and research projects for the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC). Prior to directing the Center, she was the chief research scientist for the state of Texas general education assessment programs.”

Other leaders tied to the CCSS Machine are present as well. CCSS Machine organizations represented include eInstruction, ConnectEdU, AIR, Inc. (AIR stands for American Institutes for Research and are tied to SBAC assessments.), Advanced Systems in Measurement and Evaluation (now Measured Progress) and Data Recognition Corporation (Jim McMann). McMann was responsible for several States assessment contracts when he was with Data Recognition Corp.

Board members for Questar also have plenty of ties to the CCSS Machine. One huge one is
New Market Ventures Group. New Market has a portfolio where other educational companies are included. Here is a screen shot:

newmarket
To see the entire list of portfolio companies, http://newmarketsvp.com/portfolio-companies/
You also may be interested in New Market Venture’s recent news release about Graduation Alliance and ACT, Inc. partnering together for new career readiness certificates. (Also assessment based) See:
http://newmarketsvp.com/2016/04/18/graduation-alliances-diploma-program-expands-to-include-career-readiness-certification-through-collaboration-with-act/

You can see all the Questar leaders and Board Members information: 
Board: http://www.questarai.com/about-us/board-of-directors/
Leaders: http://www.questarai.com/about-us/leadership/

To see Questar Large Scale Assessments (where they take in entire States, school districts, etc.), click on their “Large Scale Assessment” tab.
(*Note: in Large Scale Assessments, there are 5 Steps. Be sure to look at each one. Every symbol more information about it when you click the symbol. For example, I clicked on the light bulb in Stage 2 (Assessment Design) and found all kinds of information on psychometric assessment.)
To see Questar Literacy Assessment (for Students), then click on their “District Literacy” tab.(*Note: This assessment is backed by the CCSSO. Remember, CCSSO owns half the CCSS Copyrights.)
You will want to access the research behind all these assessments. Questar’s White Papers on Assessments (includes Next Generation Assessments). That is in the “White Papers” tab (second row of tabs in blue font).

Part Two:
So Where is IMS Global?

Warriors, so far we have plenty of evidence for CCSS Machine allegiance from Questar. We have seen how these people are coming from one part of the agenda to other part. But how does this tie to Questar? How does this tie back to the ESSA? Let’s find out.

IMS Global is a Consortium for Digital Learning. Here is a screen shot illustrating their reach in education. A small bit of their history, “In 1995, IMS came into existence as a project (the Instructional Management System project) within the National Learning Infrastructure Initiative of EDUCAUSE. In 1999 IMS Global spun out of EDUCAUSE to become an independent non-profit organization.” (*Note: the ‘IMS’ stands for ‘Instructional Management System’)

imsglobal

From the 2015 Annual Report, IMS Global gloated about its integral part in Race to the Top Assessments. That’s just in the USA.
Other similar assessments are in other countries. (Page 10).
Also from Page 10, this excerpt which ties Questar directly to IMS Global,
“To further accelerate progress of the IMS e-Assessment Initiative, IMS formed the Executive Board on Assessment (EBA) to help remove the barriers to broader adoption of QTI and APIP. The EBA serves as an extension of the IMS Board of Directors and is open to all IMS Contributing Members, but requires an executive pledge to provide the leadership and resources needed to lead the market in charting the next phase of QTI and APIP standards to build strong end-to-end interoperability and accelerate standards compliance. Charter members included ACT, CITO, College voor Toetsen en Examens, ETS, Florida Virtual School, Houston ISD, McGraw-Hill Education, Measured Progress, Minnesota Department of Education, National Center and State Collaborative (NCSC), NWEA, Open Assessment Technologies, Pacific Metrics, PARCC, Questar Assessment, Smarter Balanced, and WIDA.”

To access the IMS Global Annual Report (2015)https://www.imsglobal.org/sites/default/files/2015annualReport.pdf
(*Note: Page 13 names all the assessments involved in digital education, names all the people involved, and names the Executive Board responsible for the EBA.)

I was able to find a 2002 research paper from IMS Global on defining these on-line credentials for global competency our education reform in pushing so hard to convert to. Known as a ‘RDCEO’ (Reuseable Definition of Competency or Educational Objective), these objectives are usually open-ended, loosely defined so that anywhere across the globe they can be user-friendly. They can be used over and over again, anywhere, by anyone.
You, as a Warrior Against the Core, simply must read the rest of this paper!
Access it: https://www.imsglobal.org/competencies/rdceov1p0/imsrdceo_infov1p0.html

You will also need to access and read the IMS Global 2015 Learning Impact Report. It is also key in the War Against the Core! Get it: 
https://www.imsglobal.org/sites/default/files/2015LearningImpactReport.pdf

If you want to see IMS Global’s K-20 Digital Badge program, Getting Smart (very CCSS Machine Supportive, in my opinion) published this write up:
http://gettingsmart.com/2015/04/mozilla-ims-team-up-for-badging/
(*Note: helping fund this K-20 Badge project is the MacArthur Foundation, a well known CCSS Machine member.)
All the other funders, backers are named. But the biggest take away is that this CBE (competency based education) shift will promote IMS Global as one of the biggest leaders in it in the world!

We still don’t see how IMS Global ties to ESSA. Below is a screen shot. It is from our dear Warriors, the “What Is Common Core?” Blog. Here is the link to their entire article. Note the highlighted portion of the picture.
 https://whatiscommoncore.wordpress.com/2015/12/02/this-is-the-moment-congress-we-are-watching-you-vote-and-we-know-whats-in-this-bill/

whatims
Among IMS Global Members: Pearson Publishing, Questar, PARCC, the Gates Foundation, and many more.

Related: EdUCause is tied to the CCSS Machine and really loves higher education. Here is my article about them from early 2015:
https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/01/29/tech-thursday-educauses-higher-education-project/

Since IMS Global is helping set the bar for digital standards, I thought you might like to see how ESSA has provided for each State to be digitally made over. See:
https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2016/02/04/essa-and-digital-overload/

Closing:

Warriors, this is a tremendous journey, I know. Please break it down as you need to. There is much here. For my friend Karen, I hope it is enough to help TN. While it appears IMS Global is set to be among those mastering digital education, at least we know the members of not only the CCSS Machine, but now the IMS Global contain many of the same groups/people. That makes our job of knowing where to look that much easier!

 

FTF: Loose Ends are Still Strings

ballofyarn

For today’s ‘From the Files’ article, we, those opposed to the overreach in education, will see if we can pick up any loose ends of strings the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) Machine has left around the nation.

Could we make a ball of yarn with it? No doubt. Those backing the illegally based (now codified into law) education reform point to ‘no strings attached’, we need to not accept this fallacy quite so quickly. Why? Loose strings are not as loose as they appear. Somewhere connected to that loose string is a ball of yarn. What else is in the ball of yarn? Hidden programs, resources, funding, and MORE.

Loose End #1:

ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act)  will return control to the States. This has been publicly proclaimed by Congress members, the mainstream media, and anyone willing to follow this loose end. However, many of those researching the ESSA, including myself have pointed out what pro CCSS/ESSA organization has the ball of yarn connected to this loose end. The U.S. Dept. of Education!! Pages of the ESSA Final Conference Report  (as well as the Final Law version) reveal the ball of yarn as well as the loose ends. “Pages 7, 85, 450, and 905 to see how the States will be under the Sec. of Ed’s thumb, for not only approval of State Ed plans, but getting the bucks to do so.”

To access my “ESSA National Control” Open Office Document (3 pages of where more loose ends of string will tie back to the big ball of yarn): ESSAnationalcontrol

If you would like the entire article this document was first featured in:
https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2016/02/29/warriors-guide-to-essa/

Related: States have begun, in earnest, to realign education (which also ties into the loose end of workforce) to fit ESSA. If you want to see what pro CCSS/ESSA groups have lined up to help extend the loose strings to make the ball of yarn bigger:
https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2016/03/22/essa-aligners/
As an example of how States are picking up those loose ends and extending them across our Nation, here is the press release the NC Dept. of Public Instruction about implementing ESSA. Below is the screen shot. In the caption is the link address.

http://www.ncpublicschools.org/newsroom/news/2015-16/20160406-01
http://www.ncpublicschools.org/newsroom/news/2015-16/20160406-01

Loose End #2:

An invitation to participate. If you haven’t expanded the screen shot above, you may not of seen the invitation so graciously extended to the ‘stakeholders’. This educratic buzzword is a favorite of those in the CCSS/ESSA mix who want to extend what appears to be a ‘string of cooperation’. However, the string is another loose end of the big ball of yarn. In this instance, the ESSA language itself. Because the Law is now the rule of the land and all the parameters/mandates embedded MUST be carried out, the cooperation from stakeholders is pretty much a posturing move. It is a move designed to have us think we can have a say in how education is run, but we really won’t. I am planning on attending one of these meetings to see if and how Delphi Method is used. If you are not sure what the Delphi Method is, here is an excerpt of how is was originally supposed to used, “The Delphi technique is a widely used and accepted method for gathering data from respondents within their domain of expertise. The technique is designed as a group communication process which aims to achieve a convergence of opinion on a specific real-world issue. The Delphi process has been used in various fields of study such as program planning, needs assessment, policy determination, and resource utilization to develop a full range of alternatives, explore or expose underlying assumptions, as well as correlate judgments on a topic spanning a wide range of disciplines.”

The CCSS/ESSA Machine likes to use this Method on parents..a lot. Just ask some anti CCSS Warriors who have publicly shared the meetings they attended under the guise of ‘we want your input to help us plan’. Oh, and here is a fun fact about  the Delphi Method, Rand Corporation is given credit for creating it. Rand Corp. is a big CCSS Machine member organization. See the rest of the Delphi Method Study:
http://pareonline.net/pdf/v12n10.pdf

Loose End #3:

Data and Refusing the Assessments. This is a rather big loose end for the CCSS/ESSA Machine to be dangling about, but shamelessly, it is. While I do support those parents who are choosing to protect their children by refusing the high stakes formative, summative, data tracking/mining assessments, we need to know that the ESSA will have MORE assessments, not LESS. We need to realize that almost $850 million dollars in earmarked in the ESSA for digital/technology based updates. This is where the assessments will be hidden! Huge ball of nasty yarn! What do I mean? One of my dear anti CCSS Warrior friends from Alaska granted me permission to share their loose strings and where the ball of yarn ended up. See: http://refusetheamp.blogspot.com/2016/04/the-rise-of-new-answers-while-amp-was.html
We Warriors must opt out of not only the assessments, but ANYTHING digital. This loose string portion of ESSA is a ball of yarn which will be used to knit a web of educational crimes against humanity.

Related:
My article detailing the digital yarns of ESSA:
https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2016/02/04/essa-and-digital-overload/

The 2015 article where I exposed the data yarn trails of SBAC, PARCC, and the Federal Learning Registry: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/01/12/monday-musings-assessments-data-mining/

The U.S. Dept. of Labor’s loose ends/balls of yarn are woven into the ESSA and the HEA (Higher Education Act). These are probably some of the most deceptive loose ends in the nation! See: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/12/05/weekend-news-essas-untold-ties-to-hea/

Closing:

Yarn can be used to make many beautiful items. ESSA is not one of them. The CCSS Machine is using all its yarn to bind us up. Let’s be savvy. Let’s fight this. Let’s knot up the yarns as much as we can.

Tech Thursday: Lifelong Skills or Lifelong Sentence?

Think this is alignment? Wait until you read the fine print in their publications.

Anti CCSS Warriors, the above picture is one I featured in a previous article, but serves my topic for today very well.

Since the ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act) is now law,  CCSS (Common Core State Standards) will NOT be a phrase you see. BUT it will be there all the same. The name has changed, but the agenda is STILL the SAME!

We know the new law uses ‘college and career readiness’, “challenging state academic standards”, STEM, and “Career Tech Education”.

Since the CCSS Machine (which includes all the OTHER names of CCSS, as well as the government involvement and the private businesses in bed with them) is so great at the ‘confuse them with a name change’ tactic, it will not surprise me to see even more new phrases being used as code for Common Core State Standards!

One example that you may, or may not, of seen/heard:   “Lifelong Learning Skills”

Before we move into where I found this ‘new’ phrase, look at a dictionary’s entry for the word “lifelong”:  lasting or remaining in a particular state throughout a person’s life

Anti CCSS Warriors, did you catch that? “Remaining in a PARTICULAR state “. When applying this definition to ‘learning’, I do not think it means what the CCSS Machine wishes you to believe it says!

Think about it, if we are to be educated and truly learning something, it will be impossible to remain in the same state of learning throughout one’s life.  As we grow and mature, so does our learning capacity, as intended. However, we have seen enough evidence which is credible to know ANYTHING connected to the CCSS Machine’s educational reform of America will NOT give our students the foundation necessary for natural brain development or learning which will help them mature naturally.

So just where did I find this “Lifelong Learning Skills” used in relation to the ‘Common Core State Standards’ alter personality “College and Career Readiness”? The College and Career Readiness and Success Center (CCCRS) housed in AIR (American Institutes of Research)!

In preparing for one of my latest radio interviews, I found this 2015 Report from the College and Career Readiness driven entity.  AIR is funded by many pro CCSS/CCR/CTE groups. At the top: the U.S. Dept. of Education!

You might like to know that the CCRS also has an overview guide for each of the states which had defined what ‘college and career readiness’ meant back in 2014. We know CCSS is NOT preparing our students for colleges and it is creating paths etched in confinement for careers.

Much like anything else the CCSS Machine has ground out in propaganda, the phrase ‘college and career readiness’ is hot air. So, how dumb does the CCSS Machine think Americans are? Dumb enough to think a name change will be enough to pacify us!

To see the College and Career Readiness and Success Overview Guide (2014) of what college and career readiness is defined by state by state:
CCRS Defintions Brief_REV_1

What you will find in this Report are the 6 reoccurring themes which include MORE exaggerated language. You find ‘grit and perseverance’ among the six themes.
It is important to note that there are many other themes, but this 6 are repeated state-by-state more than the others. Where have we heard the ‘grit’ phrase before? It was included in the U.S. Government Report titled “Promoting Grit, Tenacity, and Perseverance: Critical Factors for Success in the 21st Century”.

Also of note, not every state had a college and career readiness definition in this Overview. For example, the state I live in, NC, was not included. So I searched for what the definition is and found that it is almost  the same as another state not included in the 2014 Overview either! To see the almost word for word copies, I give you the two states I compared, NC and FL.

Here is FL’s definition from their State Dept. of Education, Students are considered college and career ready when they have the knowledge, skills, and academic preparation*  needed to enroll and succeed in introductory college credit-bearing courses within an associate or baccalaureate degree program without the need for remediation. These same attributes and levels of achievement are needed for entry into and success in post-secondary workforce education or directly into a job that offers gainful employment and career advancement.” (the star denotes that you will need to follow another link to see what parameters ‘knowledge, skills, and academic preparation’ are to the FL DofEd) See the rest:
http://www.fldoe.org/schools/higher-ed/fl-college-system/college-career-readiness.stml

Here in NC’s definition as featured on the Hunt Institute’s website. Set in motion since 2014, “In North Carolina, students are considered career and college ready when they have the knowledge and academic preparation needed to enroll and succeed, without the need for remediation, in introductory college credit-bearing courses in English language arts and mathematics within an associate or baccalaureate degree program. These same attributes and levels of achievement are needed for entry into and success in post-secondary workforce education, the military, or directly into a job that offers gainful employment and career advancement.” To see what else the Hunt Institute supplies you as far as the way NC game to this definition, see:
http://www.hunt-institute.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/Did_You_Know_CareerCollegeReadinessDefinition_20150430.pdf

Anti CCSS Warriors, consider this:
If the states are using canned versions of the definition, how easy do you think it will be for each state to truly have a choice when it comes to NOT having Common Core (which hides behind the name ‘College and Career Ready Standards’)??

So when do the ‘Lifelong Skills’ come into play? Read on!

LLSbyAIR

From the introduction of the Lifelong Skills Report, this excerpt,Lifelong Learning Skills (LLS) provide the foundation for learning and working. They broadly support student thinking, self-management, and social interaction, enabling the pursuit of education and career goals. Collectively, LLS are the means by which students master academic content and translate knowledge into action. There is a growing consensus among researchers that LLS are discretely identifiable and actionable levers of support for meeting college and career readiness(CCR) objectives. Below you will see just one  of the evidence based research tables which are offered up as ‘credible sources’ for LLS and CCR.
LLSCCR
This is just the first table (critical thinking)! There are 2 more, one for self-regulation (image a pre-K,  K, or a special needs student being 100% successful at this expected behavior) Following this  is the SEL (social and emotional learning) table. Remember, anti CCSS Warriors, plenty of behavior intervention is planned for America, which will most definitely include social and emotional manipulation!

What follows these tables of How LLS will be interwoven into CCR, are the ASSESSMENTS!
See below:
assessLLS
Directly preceding the above graphic in the official report will be a note about an annotated bibliography. The Bibliography has this in the description, “…what lifelong learning skills are, how they impact and relate to college and career readiness and success outcomes, and how they can be taught and measured in the classroom, across the pre-kindergarten to workforce (PK-20W) spectrum.”

To get the AIR ‘Lifelong Learning Skills Report’ (2015): CCRS Lifelong Learning Skills Policy Considerations_0

To get the Bibliography (2014); The assessments to be used in measuring college/career readiness or have been used as reference will begin on page 26 and include The SBAC, PARCC, and many others, yet the top of the page tells you few very assessments can truly be used or trusted: CCRS LifelongLearning Bibligraphy
(If you are new to fighting against the Common Core, College and Career Readiness, the SBAC and PARCC are the high stakes assessments the U.S. Dept. of Education gave millions  to create. See:
http://www2.ed.gov/programs/racetothetop-assessment/awards.html
 
Those awarded the millions were all pro CCSS, and guess, what, they are pro CCR, too!)

Closing:

In the title of this article, I asked a question. Do we have an answer yet? I believe we do. While those within the CCSS Machine would like us to believe the Lifelong Skills will enforce College and Career Readiness on a path to success, the evidence (from before the passage of the ESSA was passed  to now) points to a lifelong sentence of going nowhere; of staying stuck; of failing to become what those students wish to become, but becoming exactly what the CCSS Machine determines them to become! Remember, the goal is pre-Kindergarten to career, which means the upcoming HEA re-authorization will be slam full of MORE Lifelong Learning Skills, social and emotional learning, and much more for EVERYONE in post-secondary education!

To see my previous article on the AIR CCRS Center:
https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/11/13/tech-thursday-collegecareer-readiness-success-and-common-core/

Weekend News: Training for Assessments, Pearson Style

We've seen it thousands of times in CCSS, CTE, CCR...assessment-mania!
We’ve seen it thousands of times in CCSS, CTE, CCR…assessment-mania!

Yes, anti CCSS Warriors, we know how toxic the CCSS aligned assessments are. We also know how life altering those CTE/CCR assessments are when it comes to laying out a career track our students our students are locked into. We also know how much Pearson Publishing is making off these assessments, which by the way are all the way from PreK to graduate school!

BUT, did you know there’s a training facility, led by Pearson, to groom educational leaders in all the latest FORMATIVE assessment moves? That, my fellow warriors, is the focus of the news for this weekend. The previously published articles I’ve written about the formative and summative assessments will be included (for background or review) at the end of this article.

The Assessment Training Institute:

As I’ve shared with you before, I get all kinds of invitations for educational webinars, conferences, and other related events. So, finding out about this upcoming formative assessment on-line leadership meeting (is to happen 11/17/15), is an example. I don’t buy into the hype, but what I look for is the group or groups hosting such pro CCSS rhetoric. So, when I searched the internet for the Assessment Training Institute, I wasn’t surprised to see “Pearson”, but would there be any other surprises I’d find? Let’s see….

The website: http://ati.pearson.com/
The target audience: teachers and school districts
The products/systems ‘chatted up’? MAP and Skills Navigator
The host expert: Richard J. Stiggins

How long has the Assessment Training Institute been around? Since 1992, according to the website. It was founded by Stiggins. The goal? “to help classroom teachers develop skills needed to gather accurate information about student achievement and to use the assessment process and its results effectively to improve achievement.”  They also spread their assessment knowledge…ATI consultants are practitioners with extensive experience implementing the principles of high-quality classroom assessment at the classroom, school, district, and university levels.”
If you’d like to learn the whom the other experts are and the goals related to student assessments ATI has, visit: http://ati.pearson.com/about-ati/

Before we move on to the assessments themselves, you will definitely want the posters ATI offers teachers and others who are using assessments on our students. The first one contains the 7 reasons using assessments for students is a good thing: ATI_poster_7SAL  The second one is all about the qualities of formative assessments: ATI_poster_KeysQCA

Be sure you look at the ATI’s professional papers, especially this one which ties the assessments to the CASL (Classroom Assessment for Student Learning) to the JCSEE (Joint Committee on Standards for Educational Evalutation). Why would I point you to this particular paper? I’ve shared with you previously just how toxically aligned JCSEE is to the CCSS Machine! (see: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/12/02/ftf-create-they-know-your-school-do-you-know-them/)
To access the CASL/JCSEE paper: JCSEE Student Eval Practices Symp Paper 2009


So, What’s a MAP? What’s the Skills Navigator?

MAP stands for ‘Measure of Academic Progress’. I found a great FAQ MAP pdf from a school district in Maryland which spells out what MAPs do, what students receive the assessment, and more. See: mapfaq

This school district didn’t create the MAP, nor did ATI, just what group did? The NWEA. The NWEA stands for “North West Evaluation Association”. What’s interesting is that the intended purpose of using MAP was to REDUCE the amount of assessments. I was able to track down a pdf from a Connecticut school district where they revealed MAPs have been used for a number of years. Here’s an excerpt from that pdf: “A main motivation in adopting MAP is actually to reduce the amount of testing. There is no reason to gather the same student performance information from multiple sources—we don’t need three or four reading comprehension measures if one provides enough actionable and reliable information.” You might be interested in what else this CT school district’s document shares. See: CTMAP

So, on to NWEA, we go! Their website: https://www.nwea.org/
Here’s a screen shot you need to see:

Creators of not only, MAP, but Skills Navigator and CPAA (Children's Progress Academic Assessment)
Creators of not only, MAP, but Skills Navigator and CPAA (Children’s Progress Academic Assessment).

You should check out their business partners: https://www.nwea.org/business-alliances/
NWEA is a global, not for profit organization. From the NWEA’s “About Us” page, you can see USA school leaders extol the virtues of the MAP. Visit: https://www.nwea.org/about/, then scroll down until you see the embedded video (it is 2:50 minutes). To see the group’s history and learn who the founders are: https://www.nwea.org/about/history/
If you are like me, you may want to know who funds the NWEA. I was able to find the Gates Foundation’s recent grant to NWEA for the Next Generation System Initiative.
To see the grant: http://www.gatesfoundation.org/How-We-Work/Quick-Links/Grants-Database/Grants/2015/09/OPP1135897
To see what the Next Generation System Initiative is, first see the screen shot below, then access the entire press release by using the website address provided:

http://www.gatesfoundation.org/Media-Center/Press-Releases/2011/01/Next-Generation-Learning-Challenges-Seeks-Promising-Tools-That-Can-Help-Students-Get-Ready-For-College
http://www.gatesfoundation.org/Media-Center/Press-Releases/2011/01/Next-Generation-Learning-Challenges-Seeks-Promising-Tools-That-Can-Help-Students-Get-Ready-For-College

To see NWEA’s information on the Skills Navigatorhttps://www.nwea.org/assessments/skills-navigator/
To see NWEA’s alignment to the CCSS and other ‘state led’ standards: https://www.nwea.org/assessments/standards-alignment/

Did you know the NWEA has a Growth Research Database? Yes, according to a 2009 NWEA press release celebrating the state of South Carolina’s alignment of MAP to state standards, NWEA does indeed have one. Here is an excerpt:NWEA delivers computerized assessment services to more than 3,400 education agencies and approximately 4 million students. Additionally, its Growth Research Database, the most extensive collection of student growth data in the country, provides a rich source for the study of academic achievement.’ Below is a Growth Data infograph chart. In my research, and from other’s against CCSS, we know this infograph is misleading, and on purpose!

https://www.nwea.org/resources/growth-assessment-data-infographic/
https://www.nwea.org/resources/growth-assessment-data-infographic/

While the NWEA has recently updated their website and the Growth Research Database isn’t as easy to find as it once was, I did find a 2006 NWEA report geared toward the use of the GRD to show the skills and achievement gaps in education. Here’s a quote you might find revealing,Northwest Evaluation Association’s (NWEA) Growth Research Database (GRD) one of the most expansive repositories of longitudinal data on student growth in the country. The database comprises data of interest to education researchers, including assessment data gathered from NWEA member districts. These data provide a detailed look at academic growth, and aggregated proficiency levels. In addition, the tests from which the data are derived are more sensitive for low-and high-performing students, giving a more accurate picture of achievement.’ To see the entire report: https://www.nwea.org/content/uploads/2009/08/409_AchivGapStudyFinallowres_111006a.pdf

To see the other NWEA research (which details many subjects about CCSS) resources: https://www.nwea.org/resource/type/research-report/
(*Note: if you look all over the NWEA site, you can find the MAP ties to SBAC and PARCC!)

Now, knowing  all this, combine it with the data mining Pearson has going on not only our students, but our teachers as well. It doesn’t take much to see how Pearson’s ATI and NWEA are working together. However, is there proof? Let’s see.

On page 10 of the NWEA’s 2015 publication, Assessment Integrity E-book, you can find  Pearson’s ATI, not by name, but by the founder’s name (Stiggins) of ATI and other ATI associates!  This E-book is slam full of all kinds of CCSS aligned programs, measurements, and ‘supportive research’. You will want to pour over this document with a fine tooth comb. Get it: NWEA-Assessment-Integrity-eBook

Another place you can find both Pearson and NWEA working together: The CCSSO (Council of Chief State School Officers)

Related articles:

https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/02/03/ftf-tuesday-comprehending-assessments/

https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/11/15/sic-em-saturday-when-your-faith-based-school-uses-ccss-assessments/

https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/03/02/monday-musings-purposed-embedding-for-the-core/

https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/10/22/wybi-wednesday-assess-obsess-then-assess-again/

Tech Thursday: The Tough, the Dedicated, the CCSS Warriors

We are living statues of liberty and freedom. Our torch? The U.S. Constitution
We are living statues of liberty and freedom. Our torch? The U.S. Constitution

Though you may be a weary anti CC Warrior today, you are STILL a warrior! We’ve miles to go, no matter what our day may hold in our Common Core aligned state of being. Yes, we’ve had some defeats, we’ve also had VICTORIES! Today’s post is dedicated to help you stand firm, stand strong, and stand for our children.

Interspersed between ‘need to know’ news and encouragement, will be JPEGS you can use to text, email, or fax to your Congress members, if you like OR share them on your other anti CCSS social media outlets.

Remember, while HR5, Student Success Act, has been passed—it has only cleared the House of Representatives. It still has a long way to go. While we wait to see what the fate of S1177 will be, we know that, like HR5’s passage, IF Every Child Achieves (S1177) is passed. It will have only passed the Senate. It will have a long way to go.

Both the HR5 AND the HEA re-authorizations are being fast tracked!
Both the HR5 AND the HEA re-authorizations are being fast tracked!

Our strategy of making a lot of noise in a short amount of time is working! That’s a victory. Consider that S1177 was supposed to be under everyone’s radar. We foiled that (a victory, warriors)! The bill was also supposed to be a ‘sure thing’ and voted on by the this time last week. Guess what? We foiled that, too! That victory allowed us a fabulous 4 day back-to-back daily assault. The daily assault has been not only a blessing, but a brilliant tool. None of us could have pulled this effort off if it had not been for Patriot Journal Network. I pause to say a deep ‘thank you’ to the team at PJNet.

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.

The valuable opt-opt amendment sponsored by Sen. Lee of Utah was defeated, while the more restrictive version by Sen. Isaken of Georgia was passed and will be inserted into Every Child Achieves. If you’re concerned about opting out of high stakes assessments, you now know who’s amendment to be researching.

Also passed was Sen. Tester’s (MT) amendment concerning shifting from assessments like PARCC and SBAC, and go to grade span assessments BUT keep the SBAC/PARCC policies and procedures! If assessments cause your anti CCSS warriors heart to heat up, turn that heat to Congress!!

Sen. Hatch’s (UT) Student Data Privacy Committee was given permission. If you’re concerned about student data and its privacy, you need to know, several pro CCSS groups helped create the amendment Mr. Hatch sponsored. He named them on 7/13/15 during the Senate’s daily business. You can access video archive footage on CSpan2. http://www.c-span.org/networks/?channel=c-span-2 (cable or satellite users) or http://www.senate.gov/floor/ (antenna users)

Of the many Career Cluster maps, here's the U.S. Dept. of Ed's
Of the many Career Cluster maps, here’s the U.S. Dept. of Ed’s

If you’re a CCSS Warrior concerned with the Career Tracks, Career Clusters, Career Pathways, or the Career and Technical Education portion of the CCSS Machine, you need to know that a purposed intent to leave Workforce based language in BOTH HR5 and S1177 was taken. One Senator extremely on this education/workforce to save children’s lives bandwagon, is Sen. Sanders (as in Bernie). During his speech on the afternoon of the 15th, he sounded exactly like, and his plan mimicked, one I’d researched and seen before. In fact, I’ve published an article with this very video in it months ago. While, I feel that article may be helpful, I’m not linking it today, as I know our time for discussion, can happen anytime. Our time to influence our Congress, is of the utmost importance NOW.

Amendments that haven’t been voted on (as of the writing of this article):
Early PreK Learning (Sen. Murray) This bill is a horrible overreach into not only our children’s lives with CCSS alignment, but the dreaded ‘learn to earn’ phrase has been used in several instances to describe this amendment. Along with this bill is the mindset that college begins at birth!

This is carried out via the Strong Start for America’s Children (this one’s been sitting dormant for about 2 years). This involved the birth through 3 year olds. (remember, before the storm of activity in D.C., I published an article about the “Pint Sized” Common Core. This particular bill would infringe your 4th amendment rights, as well as the usual laws CCSS breaks. Included are home visits (currently going on in some states). If this is an anti CCSS concern, you know where to make some noise!

My mother's heart goes out to all the young mothers who will not know that the earliest years are not designed for these 4 skill areas.
My mother’s heart goes out to all the young mothers who will not know that the earliest years are not designed for these 4 skill areas.

While not a complete list, you get the idea. Know that all the other areas of education NOT listed above will be slammed with the CCSS Machine filled HR5/S1177. Know that these 2 bills are only 2 pieces of a very big puzzle that will grind away from birth to post graduate schools. The next set of bills connected to the re-writing of ESEA, are the HEA (Higher Education Act) and the CPA (College Promise Act).

FIGHT ON, my fellow warriors against the Core!

FTF: CCSS Frying Pan into the Fire

A recent round of supposedly good news for us anti CCSS Warriors, deserves a closer look. As we’ve seen in the past, what’s reported as victories for defeating the CCSS Machine, we’ve learned the news is always bittersweet. It’s like 2 steps forward, one step back; or jumping from the frying pan into the fire.

A look at the news behind the latest CCSS headlines.
A look at the news behind the latest CCSS headlines.

TX and AR’s “Ditched Assessments”:

In recent news both TX and AR have ‘ditched’ their high stakes assessments contracts.
At least those are the headlines. There’s even been some celebrating. However, when you take a closer look at these types of stories, you’ll find that while it’s apparently those well known high stakes assessments are on their way out, what is replacing them is ALSO just as toxic.

1) Texas announced in May of this year that it was ending its contract with the high-stakes assessment company, Pearson Publishing. (See: http://www.centerdigitaled.com/k-12/Pearson-Loses-Bulk-of-Texas-Student-Testing-Contract.html)

While those of us who are familiar with how Pearson is involved in the USA’s national assessments ‘game’, it appeared at first to be quite a blow in favor of  those opposed to CCSS..until you look at what entity is to replace Pearson.

That is ETS (Educational Testing Service). I’ve written about ETS at least two other times. The man behind the helm of ETS is also the head of the Marzano Institute.  Marzano Institute which is heavy into the social emotional end of CCSS. I have a ‘tell all’ article about the whole convoluted jumble which connects “MI” to many other groups…all intent on amassing as much information on our students as possible. See: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/03/02/monday-musings-purposed-embedding-for-the-core/
For my other article on ETS (which will detail how ETS is tied to an international competency based group), see: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/03/01/rmt-why-is-the-deck-still-being-stacked-to-serve-ccss/

2) Announced just yesterday, AR was another one which supposedly struck a blow to the CCSS Machine by ending its’ ties with PARCC.(See: http://governor.arkansas.gov/press-releases/detail/governors-council-on-common-core-review-makes-testing-recommendation)..only to replace it with the ACT Aspire (See: http://www.arkansasbusiness.com/article/105408/arkansas-to-pull-out-of-parcc-use-act-for-standard-tests).

ACT Aspire is used in the Career Pathways, Career Clusters, Career and Technical Education alignment to set a path for students. Again, when you peel back the surface, you’ll see just as much data mining and CCSS as with PARCC. See my fellow anti CCSS Warrior’s article about Aspire: http://ladyliberty1885.com/2014/07/02/common-core-aligned-act-replacing-tests-with-aspire/
I also wrote about ACT and their Career alignment. See: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/01/27/ftf-tuesday-iassc-universal-certification/

If you’d like to learn more about the “ACT Aspire” straight from their website, here’s the link:
http://www.discoveractaspire.org/ Just know where “Aspire” is, ACT will be and where ACT will be, so will the CCSS Machine waiting to unleash the “WorkKeys” assessment, where even more CTE and data mining wait. (I’ve got an entire set of Workkeys articles, as do some other anti CCSS Warriors. You can access mine:
https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/?s=WorkKeys+
)

Special Needs and a ‘New’ U.S. Dept. of Ed Official:

Also happening in the past day or two was Arne Duncan swore in a ‘new’ member of the U.S. Dept. of Ed team. While this may not be such epic news, we need to look beyond the headlines to see who was sworn in and what he will be responsible for. Here’s the link to the Flicker account where you’ll see Arne Duncan and Michael Yudin. (https://www.flickr.com/photos/departmentofed/sets/72157654245709205 )

So, who is he? Let’s find out. The Washington Post (on June 5th, 2015) reported Mr. Yudin had been cleared by the Senate to serve as Asst. Sec. for Special Education and Rehab Services. But, he’s been at this position since 2012. (See: http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/personnel-changes-at-us-department-of-education/2015/06/05/50c91182-0b8d-11e5-a7ad-b430fc1d3f5c_story.html ) *NOTE: look for the last paragraph of the article.

So, just who is he? The Post article said almost nothing.  I did find, however, that according the the U.S. Government’s bio of Yudkin, if it has to do with Special Education, he’s involved. If you read the entire biography you’ll notice his involvement with all kinds of education activities which we know (now) are impacted by CCSS. Also consider this, he’s been given a rubber stamp to carry on. See the entire bio: http://www.allgov.com/news/appointments-and-resignations/acting-assistant-secretary-of-education-for-special-education-and-rehabilitative-services-who-is-michael-yudin-121020?news=845999

Why or how does this tie to CCSS? Think about the ways in which the funding for the students with special needs are factored into state education budgets; how scores of parents have shared how awful anything CCSS is for their children. Then consider the following. From my article about CCSS and alignment, I was able to find this document from the NCLD (National Center for Learning Disabilities), National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD): Their website, http://www.ld.org/ , has a tab ‘Advocacy’. You’ll want to access that to see the 4 pages of policy statements the organization has on their stance in education for those with special needs. Among them?Workforce, Career Tech Readiness and Higher Education;  Competency Based Outcomes. (see: http://www.ncld.org/action-center/where-we-stand/?page=3)” (If you’d like to see the entire article:
https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/01/06/ftf-more-evidence-for-aligned-ccss-higher-education/

 

Data Mining and Teacher Assessments (by Way of AK):

I love the warriors in Alaska who fight CCSS. They are so far in distance from those of us in the lower 48, yet every bit of CCSS evidence I’ve seen from them has been tremendous.
Case in point: from their Facebook page, just yesterday, was a stark revelation about how the teachers are held under the ‘effectiveness’ microscope. We’ve seen teachers almost everywhere take a bad rap, thanks to CCSS and the CCSS Machine. The report that was shared by the AK Warriors shows the 3 levels of data mining happening to teachers.

AK assess

The image is from the Alaska Comprehensive Center website: http://alaskacc.org/node/882

Also on this site is a recent study about how the 3 levels of data is collected and used. The CCSS tie? WestEd, Linda Darling-Hammond, the Gates Foundation, the AACTE (American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education), the New Teacher Project, and others.
Get the report: aacc_teacher_quality_report

If you’d like to read my published article about the AACTE and CCSS, see:
https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/03/24/ftf-tuesday-aacte-and-common-core/

 

Closing:
Well, there you have it. Lots of news about CCSS from around the nation. I hope you’ve been able to find out something informative AND useful for your state.

Related resources:

See my article exposing even more high stakes assessment consortia across the USA. If your state backs out of SBAC or PARCC (or they were never in them) , there are others ion charge or waiting to step in. NO matter which consortia or service it is: if it’s tied to CCSS, it’ll be the same old business, just a different company.
https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/12/17/wybi-wednesday-summative-testing-task-force/

For an article I’ve published about the IEPs special students need and how CCSS is rewriting them, see: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/03/10/rmt-ccsss-present-to-special-needs/

For an article about WestEd and its ties to CCSS:
https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/03/18/wybi-the-elephant-in-the-ccss-room/

FOM: SBAC and PARCC Revisited

It's Friday, you know what that means! Time to measure what's truth, what's fallacy/fib or what's in between.
It’s Friday, you know what that means! Time to measure what’s truth, what’s fallacy/fib or what’s in between.

“Fib-o-Meter” Friday!! Today’s article will take another look at the SBAC and PARCC CCSS aligned assessments.

The original article:

Back in January of this year (2015) I shared with you all kinds of information on the 2 assessment consortia. All kinds of “Total Truths” were shared..even the technical bulletins detailing what flow the data collected follows. Here’s one of those “Total Truths”,
“Jan. 31, 2012 – “The SMARTER Balanced Assessment Consortium and the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) today announced they have awarded a contract to Pearson to develop a new Technology Readiness Tool to support states as they transition to next-generation assessments. This new open source tool, with the assistance of the State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA), will support state education agencies as they work with local education agencies to evaluate and determine needed technology and infrastructure upgrades for the new online assessments to be launched by the two consortia in the 2014-15 school year.” Then a bit further down, “SMARTER Balanced and PARCC both received grants from the federal Race to the Top Assessment Program to work with states to create next-generation, comprehensive assessment systems. The development of the Technology Readiness Tool is one component of their initiatives to establish infrastructure and content for common online assessments.

To access the entire original article, see: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/01/12/monday-musings-assessments-data-mining/

SETDA, State Educational Technical Directors Association:

Website: http://www.setda.org/ (below is a screen shot of SETDA’s partners; be sure to enlarge the picture): 

More "Total Truth": look at these partners SETDA uses.
More “Total Truth”: look at these partners SETDA uses.

As far as how the non-profit is funded, it appears to be a combination of P3s (Public, private partnerships). See:
http://www.setda.org/about/

Here’s more “Total Truth” about the non-profit SEDTA: (click to enlarge)

States in leadership: ME, KS, VT, UT, NC, OH, AZ, NJ, TX, WA, IL, WI, KY, AL, MI, PA, and OR
States in leadership:
ME, KS, VT, UT, NC, OH, AZ, NJ, TX, WA, IL, WI, KY, AL, MI, PA, and OR

See the SETDA’s Strategic Plan (set to take us through 2016): SETDAStrategicPlan2012
In it, you’ll find such “Total Truths” as increasing the states digital presence; how technology is an imperative (therefore supporting new acts, bills, and laws which put more in place); how the non-profit seeks to increase its influence to impact federal, state, and local education policies. There are other “Total Truths” as well.

Back on  SETDA’s website, you can find out how supportive of ConnectEd they are. If you’re not familiar with ConnectEd and how it’s also mixed in with CCSS, please refer to my earlier article, https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/02/28/sic-em-saturday-no-laurels-to-rest-on-yet/

If you want to find out where your state is as far as the technology infrastructure, you’ll want to use the following pdf as a tool to help point you in WHERE it’s hiding in your state. I’ve included one screen shot from the pdf so you can see 2 connecting dots of truth…CCSS and Jeb Bush. brief-2-alignment Yes, this pdf is a bit dated, but when  we know WHERE to look, time can be saved and actions can be made sooner!
SEDTAinfra

For much, much more on SEDTA’s Common Core/SBAC/PARCC/Next Generation Standards alignment: http://www.setda.org/priorities/interoperability/gim-css/

For the “Total Truth” about this alignment and just whom SEDTA thanks? I give you this excerpt from the bottom of the page for the link directly preceding this sentence,
“While many state and national experts provided their valuable input into the development of GIM-CCSS technical products, SETDA retains sole responsibility for their contents. They are made available to interested parties ‘as is’ and with no representations, express or implied. SETDA would like to thank the generosity of multiple funders, including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Carnegie Corporation of New York, and the William & Flora Hewlett Foundation, for the support to conduct and release this important work.”

The “Total Fallacies”?:

Earlier this week, I saw on Twitter, 2 posts about SBAC and PARCC that qualify for the “Fib-o-Meter’s “Total Fallacy” side.
Here’s the screen shot for the SBAC’s boasting:
sbacfallacyHere’s PARCC’s from the same day:
parccfallacy
Why both are in the “Total Fallacy” category? Refer to the bold statement I found on SEDTA’s site, THEY took sole responsibility for content!

Links to both full articles: SBAC’s, http://www.smarterbalanced.org/news/close-200-colleges-universities-use-smarter-balanced-scores-part-placement/
PARCC’s, http://blogs.denverpost.com/coloradoclassroom/2015/05/11/parcc-adviser-opt-out-propaganda-mischaracterizes-comments/5007/
(*Note: take the Denver Post article with a grain of salt..Gates is tied to the paper)
Among all the sources out there, I was able to find a petition on Change.org where it gives links to access information. Among that information is the Gates Foundation’s “Media Group” (Denver Post is part of that group). See: https://www.change.org/p/the-colorado-legislature-repeal-senate-bill-191-linking-standardized-test-scores-to-teacher-pay-and-performance/u/9985771

FOM: Duncan Extols Upcoming ESEA Renewal

How one might say we feel about the quality of education CCSS is delivering.
How one might say we feel about the quality of education CCSS is delivering.

Happy Friday, Anti CCSS Warriors! The “Fib-o-Meter” for today is chock full of one of the biggest fibbers in modern education. So, without further delay..I present a short video featuring Secretary Arne Duncan and Urban Leguage’s Marc Morial. The clip is about the ‘virtues’ of ESEA.

The Video:

As we’ve seen with most things concerning D.C., little transparency; the only description this video clip gives is that is was after a ‘recent event in Washington’.

The Rhetoric:

Did you notice almost immediately the emphasis the Urban League’s spokesman put on the word ‘strong’? I did. What about the statement at 17 seconds describing ESEA’s reason for being? “Accountability”, you’ve got to be joking me! Followed by ‘equity’. Educratic speak, folks!

What IS equity? We’ve been over this before, but, since it’s relevant, let’s look at ‘equity’ again. Webster’s Dictionary says it could be as many as three different definitions. The first is ‘fairness or justice in the way people are treated’. Fib-o-Meter’s got ’em on this one. “Total Fallacy”. There’s NOTING fair or just about CCSS/CTE/CCR/ESEA/NCLB! (Common Core State Standards, Career Tech Education, College/Career Readiness, Elementary and Secondary Education Act, No Child Left Behind)

However, if you look at the next definition of ‘equity’ (which is basically the value of something of worth once it’s been paid off and debts settled), Fib-o-Meter can still nail them with a “Total Fallacy”! How? Think about it. The massive debt financially is one thing when it comes to federal overreach in education, BUT, add in the P3 (public private partnership) aspect of the CCSS Machine and you’ve got an emotional debt that will NEVER be satisfied!

“This blueprint” was talked about about 28 seconds into the clip above. Yes, look at the architect! Sen. Lamar Alexander. If you’re not sure who he is, here’s some “Total Truth” about him. A former chairman of the National Govenor’s Association (as in 1/2 owner of the copyright to CCSS), former U.S. Secretary of Education (as in the head of the department which gave us SBAC and PARCC), and former chairman of the committee for Health, Education,Labor, and Pensions(as in a part of the aligned workforce agenda). For more “Total Truth”, visit this Congressional page, http://bioguide.congress.gov/scripts/biodisplay.pl?index=a000360

It's Friday, you know what that means! Time to measure what's truth, what's fallacy/fib or what's in between.
It’s Friday, you know what that means! Time to measure what’s truth, what’s fallacy/fib or what’s in between.

The Rhetoric Continues With….

At the 30 second mark, listen for the affirmation from the Urban League gentleman. Buzzword to listen for? “Aligned”. We’ve known how Sec. Duncan embraces aligning folks, but it sure was a bit of a surprise to hear  the UL feels the same way. Why am I not totally surprised? Maybe it’s just too much research. I’ve come to learn anytime any group or person entertains the U.S. Dept. of Ed, it usually means trouble.

Listen to Sec. Duncan at the 39 second mark for what he thinks the ESEA needs. (hint: fixing in a bipartisan way). That’s a huge “Total Fallacy”!! What the proposed HR5 needs is a stick of dynamite! What the politicians need is a dose of anti CCSS warrior education solution: ENDING the federal overreach of government! That’s a huge “Total Truth”!

Next, you’ll hear the same old song of ‘more early childhood ed’, ‘more resources for the poor’..blah, blah, blah. No, again, what we need is an END to federal overreach of the federal government. By the way, who’s the ‘we’, it certainly can’t be the U.S. Dept. of Ed, most of the tax money thrown their way has done nothing to improve education for decades! Boom! “Total Truth”! (*Note: a related resource and totally worth snagging is the Cato Institute’s “Handbook to Congress” where in reveals just how abysmal the Dept. of Ed truly is. Access it at the following website: http://object.cato.org/sites/cato.org/files/serials/files/cato-handbook-policymakers/2003/9/hb108-28.pdf )

Ahh…Sec. Duncan can’t go one day with the use of the phrase ‘high standards’ or the word ‘assessment’, can he? Listen to him near the 50 second mark. Notice he shares that assessments are so THEY can know if what they are doing is right. Where I come from, if you need to be reassured you’re doing right by THAT many people (meaning those impacted by all the assessments), you most definitely shouldn’t be up to whatever it is in the first place.

Also listen for the following:


How interested in early childhood education the UL is. Having things down ‘pat’ at 3, 4, or 5 years of age..what a “Total Fallacy” that thinking is. At 3 through 5 years of age, kids are nowhere near ready for ‘pat’. They are ready for exploring, discovering, and for mercy’s sake..playing! Isn’t it interesting that neither of these gentlemen are licensed early childhood experts? Yet, they are forecasting what’s best for them? UGH!

Be sure you catch all the creative ways the different groups of citizens are described in. Wow! Talk about political correctness. UGH!

For any of us to remember when we were in school and still recall what we learned is a far cry from today’s educational drama. The “Total Truth” is modern outcome based education doesn’t work! If you’re a ‘seasoned adult’ as both the speakers appear to be, you know your teachers taught you for learning’s sake NOT some agenda’s bidding! UGH!

The combination of civil rights, opportunity, and excellence. You’ll ‘love’ how they are to be factored in education. At 2:58, the ‘be all, end all’ of the entire educational upheaval: competing in the global economy. “Total Truth”! CCSS/CTE/CCR are not about educating students; they are for grooming workers. UGH!

“Education HAS to be the great equalizer.” “Total Fallacy”!! No, it doesn’t HAVE to be, it CAN be, but it is NOT mandatory! It certainly shouldn’t even be discussed by anyone benefiting from the CCSS Machine. (about the 3:07 mark) Be sure you hear what follows, ‘increased social mobility’. Somehow, Sec. Duncan, I believe we’ve got the social mobility part of life down without the U.S. Dept. of Ed’s help, but then, I’m not the one stirring the pot of leverage either.

By 3:28 the guilt factor comes into play during this clip. It’s the ‘do it or die’ fallacy, folks. “IF we DON’T act now, we’ll be “losers” kind of attitude. UGH!

“Total Fallacy” that ‘nothing ideological’ is involved in the modern education mess of CCSS/CCR/CTE or any other crap connected to the CCSS Machine.

“We’re fighting for our kids”. Okay, Sec. Duncan, if we are to truly believe you are fighting for them, why are so many others fighting to SAVE them?! Another “Total Fallacy”!

What’s almost as bad is the statement immediately following by Mr. Morial’s mention of ‘that partnership’. We’d need an illustrated encyclopedia to review how ‘successful’ all those partners in education have been. Let’s remember it was a P3 partnership that saddled us with the CCSS Machine!

Oh, and let’s not forget all this is everyone’s responsibility. “Total Fallacy”! NO, our children are NOT everyone’s responsibility. No, education is not the government’s responsibility. Education is a privilege to be cherished and nurtured. A child is the parent or guardian’s responsibility. It is the state’s responsibility to protect the citizens AND it’s the federal government’s responsibility to see that things run smoothly.

Closing:

If you’d like to learn more about the Urban League’s view of education, see:

http://nulwb.iamempowered.com/policies/education
http://nulwb.iamempowered.com/policies/education

As far as Sec. Duncan’s view of education, I think we’ve seen enough.

FOM: Achieving CC Aligned Competencies

It's Friday, you know what that means! Time to measure what's truth, what's fallacy/fib or what's in between.
It’s Friday, you know what that means! Time to measure what’s truth, what’s fallacy/fib or what’s in between.

Every Friday, since I began blogging, you’ve been treated to the “Fib-o-Meter” and how it measures various Common Core documents, groups, and other related parts of the CCSS Machine. Today, you’re in for a treat…we will be tackling Achieve, Inc’s. “Post-Secondary” foray into education.

A Tiny Bit of History for Achieve, Inc.:

This pro CCSS group has been in America since 1996 when it was begun by various governors and business leaders. P3s (public private partnerships), in other words, crafted this group. If you’ve been fighting CCSS long, you are familiar with how toxic the P3 effect has been in education.

Achieve, Inc. has been involved in CCSS related activities for some time, now. Guess what? They show no signs of slowing down any time soon. To see all their checkered past, http://www.achieve.org/history-achieve

The Post-Secondary Efforts:

Before I share with you how Fib-o-Meter rates the efforts, I wanted you to see the Achieve logo, if you’ve not seen it before.

“All students should graduate from high school ready for college, careers and citizenship.”

In 2014, Achieve, Inc. published a paper detailing a 2013 meeting which involved ME, VT, RI, CT, and NH. This is a “Total Truth”.

Since 2013, other states have joined these 5 listed above.

It was in another meeting in 2014 that a newer purpose was shared. That purpose? (also, a “Total Truth”) Here’s what Achieve, Inc. shared,

“create a national movement for post-secondary leaders to signal their support for proficiency-based and competency-based high school diplomas and transcripts.” 

Also shared during this 2014 meeting is that it’s the ‘first of its kind’. It will also involve more ‘stakeholders’ than you can shake a stick out. “Stakeholders” typically means more P3 involvement as well.

The Document:

Yes, Achieve, Inc. has a policy brief about this all important, ‘first-of-its-kind’ meeting. Fib-o-Meter will take us through the main points and reveal “Total Truth”, “Total Fallacy”, or “Neutral”. As always, you’ll be privy to the document for your own researching.

Titled “PostSecondary Support for High School Competency-Based Transcripts: Lessons from the Compentency-Based PostSecondary Transcripts Convening” (screen shot below reveals more than Achieve’s participation)

Fib-o-Meter's taking on the folks at the above groups to sniff out CCSS.
Fib-o-Meter’s taking on the folks at the above groups to sniff out CCSS.

Page one reveals that the need for competency-based transcripts is due to parental concern about their children not being able to get into colleges.

Fib-o-Meter is purposefully waiting to rate this statement until the parents in the 5 states are able to share with me if this is, indeed true, or if this is another way to push a P3 agenda through and pass it off as a ‘do good’ move. So, my anti CCSS warriors in VT, RI, CT, ME, and NH: Fib-o-Meter’s waiting for your input! Please, share what you can about this!! 

Page one also shared that the NESSC (New England Secondary Schools Consortium) helped answer this need in participating in the creation of competency-based transcripts. (Here’s an excerpt,  “New England states, among the pioneers in promoting competency- or proficiency-based approaches to learning, have been working together through the New England Secondary Schools Consortium (NESSC) to address this concern and provide evidence to parents that their children will not be disadvantaged when they transition to college”)

NESSC’s View:

We have Achieve’s side, so let’s see if NESSC’s reveals anything useful.

NESSC’s website: http://newenglandssc.org/

Well, the CCSS wasn’t too hard to find, or so the Fib-o-Meter found it to be!

On NESSC’s ‘about’ page, the educratic buzzwords were a clue enough. but it is the partnership capacity that nails this “Total Truth” to the wall! Nellie Mae Foundation, Great Schools..UGH! (to see how Nellie Mae is a CCSS ‘hussy’: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/12/19/fom-friday-ed-reform-sans-common-core/) As far as Great Schools? Maybe the screen shot below will give you an idea of their allegiance to the Core:

See the entire PDF: http://www.greatschoolspartnership.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Final_March-5-Webinar_for_web_reduced.pdf
See the entire PDF:
http://www.greatschoolspartnership.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Final_March-5-Webinar_for_web_reduced.pdf

Another partner for NESSC? The Gates Foundation! (see below)

nesscgf

The Other States:

Achieve’s brief shares that other states outside of New England have jumped into the competency based diploma pool. CO, DE, KY, MI, OH, and OR. Another “Total Truth”?! Let’s see what Fib-o-Meter can find.

What Achieve didn’t mention in the announcement of the brief (link is below in “Related”) was the fact that even more states are in the CBD pool! “Total Truth” (at least from Achieve’s view) The other states not mentioned before now? IL and OK. See: http://www.achieve.org/CBP

The Theme Grows:

If you were able to access the page immediately above, you should notice the theme of all of the competency- basing graduation is to level the college entrance field, ensure a readiness for college and career, continuing the rhetoric about career pathways, more rigor, AND continue to tie us to the high stakes assessments of PARCC and SBAC.

Now, if you are saving the link until later, Fib-o-Meter just gave you some more “Total Truths” to use in your fight against CCSS.

The Competent Leaders?:

The leaders of the 2014 meeting are seen below. Note how many foundations or groups you know to be CCSS supportive. Then, consider who is checking their competency levels to secure that we, the citizens, should trust their leadership in education? Most of the supportive groups in CCSS, are P3s, and have absolutely no formal educational classroom experience. However, Fib-o-Meter will remain “Neutral” on these people until such evidence can be found to support a ‘truth’ or ‘fallacy’.

competentmaster

One More Thing:

Something that struck me in researching all this is that throughout the Achieve, Inc. brief the phrase ‘disadvantaged students’ kept popping up. If you’ve been following the HR5 saga, you might begin to wonder if the dots are connected.

What do I mean? Several writers have pointed out the tremendous number of students who would become Title One classified IF HR5 is passed as it is right now. Title One funding is reserved for schools with a certain number of ‘disadvantaged students’. Think about it! If the schools can get an increased amount of Title One funding because it has an over abundance of ‘disadvantaged students’, then that means more control from beyond your local level!

Other Related Resources about Competency:

If you’d like to see Achieve’s other post-secondary documents: http://www.achieve.org/publications/postsecondary-support-cbp-transcripts-brief (you’ll need to look on the right hand side to access them)

To see how the Great Schools Partnership is already working on getting Next Generation Science Standards into the mix with CCSS and Project Based Learning alignment, see: http://www.greatschoolspartnership.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/PBLS_Standards_Language_Crosswalk.pdf

To see the other NESSC partners: http://newenglandssc.org/about/partners 

For a guide on a  clear picture of what competency based learning is from the post-secondary viewpoint (*Note: it’s all about affordability of college and not so much knowledge seeking..meaning it’s more economically driven in movement than it is educationally based) See: http://www.collegeaffordabilityguide.org/blog/competency-based-education-why-moocs-and-independent-learning-are-tomorrows-course-credits/ *Note, in this blog entry, you’ll notice Western Governors University, it’s CCSS supportive in the fact of the foundations and corporations funding it. Usually where pro CCSS money goes, so goes the CCSS education. You’ll also see “SmarterThinking”, an on-line tutoring company. It’s 100% Pearson Publishing! To learn your own “Total Truth” or “Total Fallacy” about the other groups mentioned, be sure to look at the ‘about us’ pages, the funding information, or just search for ‘common core standards’ in the search bars.

For a guide to the competency based degrees in America, http://www.cael.org/pdfs/2012_competencybasedprograms

Fib-o-Meter was also able to locate a website, not related to Achieve, Inc., detailing IA’s competency based alignment, see: https://www.educateiowa.gov/pk-12/standards-and-curriculum/competency-based-pathways/iowa-cbe-collaborative) So, check your state’s department of education. They, like IA could have their own CBD thing going on.

To see Western Governors University funding groups: http://www.wgu.edu/about_WGU/governors_industry

To see SmarterThinking’s website: http://www.smarthinking.com/