Ahh…summer is quickly approaching, anti Fed Ed Warriors. In some States, EOGs/EOCs have all been taken; graduations completed. In others, this season is upon them. Social media’s been flooded with proud parents and teachers showing off Johnny and Suzy’s rites of passage.
Pardon me, if I’m a bit melancholy. You see, I’d LIKE to feel great for these young people about to set foot into the next chapter of their lives. I’d LIKE to know they would be able to be free enough to be who they WANT to be. Maybe it’s the research, maybe it’s the evidence. I’m not sure. Somewhere in all that I’ve uncovered about the CCSS Machine’s grasp on our nation, I am finding my mom’s heart is troubled for yet another graduating class. I’m a bit angry, a bit sad.
Why? Warriors, thanks to the modern education reform, what you see below IS their future!
Education in America was never supposed to be about streamlining our students for adherence to one way to learn/think/act or believe. It was never supposed to be about chucking academics out the door and replacing learning with skill based, workforce ready competencies. It’s purpose was not supposed to dishonor all the different choices of HOW to educate, either. But, again, thanks to the modern education reform via ESSA’s (Every Student Succeeds Act) mandates, EVERY education choice will face the bridge you see above.
No, education was supposed to gift our students with how to think, NOT what to think. Education is a NOT a business to be micromanaged! Being educated is a privilege. Being a teacher is a gift. Neither should be governmentally over-regulated….EVER!
Think about it Warriors, every single time the government (and, yes, include the P3s, public private partnerships) has taken natural privileges and gifts away and replaced them with man-made rights and programs with strings to give you something.
What happens? Is the results BETTER than before? Absolutely not! Every single time, what the government takes away and ‘re-gifts’ Americans is sub-par. Where there was a natural flow before, now there’s a dam.
History is a clear marker of the assault on many citizens in this regard. Voltaire’s quote below pretty much illustrates the shift in education, thanks to the modern educational reform from the CCSS Machine.
So, Warriors, how shall we move on? How shall we continue to fight against all that is seeking to rob our students? How may we rise against the national changes we are seeing?
1) We need to remember some ‘leaders’ have not led us well. They have led us astray. While some ‘leaders’ have clearly sold out to the CCSS Machine, not all have. We must work with those leaders who are like-minded. Our ‘leaders’ are merely representing us in their positions of power. They are not mega-lords or demi-gods. Stop treating them as such. Holding their ‘feet to the fire’ is not mean, it’s necessary. Respect doesn’t mean bowing down, it means being firm and standing up.
2) Remember for whom we fight to protect. This War isn’t for our glory and fame; it’s for preserving freedom for the next generations.
3) Use the summer to catch up on what’s going on in your environment. This is not the time to be an ostrich, Warriors! We know, come the fall of 2017, more over-reach and over-regulations will hit us all. We also know that the CCSS Machine doesn’t slow down just because of summer vacations. We also know that the reform is NOT just for one type of educational choice or grade level. It is a purposed intention to impact ALL choices and EVERY grade level.
Resources to use to sharpen your Warrior mindsets:
1) The 4 part video series by FPE Media. Suitable for all educational choices, but mainly for those outside the public system. Make no mistake, there is MUCH for public education Warriors within the content. Use them in small group settings, watch; discuss; formulate what actions your group wishes to put in place.
Part Oneaddresses the purposed shift as illustrated by the bridge graphic above. The remaining 3 portions will fit underneath the water line in the iceberg graphic above.
Part Two reveals what you may know or may need to know aboutdata miningas the‘cash cow’ by which ‘education’ has become. Part Three addresses the purposed fallacybehind ‘school choice’ as being played out in real time in DC. Part Four exposes the exclusion of parentparticipationand how ‘local control’ of education is far from locally decided. (*Note: a follow up to the FPE Media series is in the works.)
2) Re-examine your position in the War Vs the Core. Maybe it’s time to step beyond where you are right now. Is there more you can do? Is there an area you need to release? Are there others you’ve been working with who will take what you release? Are you seeking others to work with? Is it time to step from attending the school board meetings and speak at them? Are you thinking of serving on the school board or a State level education related position? This War cannot be won from the outside-in, exclusively. We need to consider infiltration. Why not?! The CCSS Machine hasn’t hesitated to infiltrate our school boards and State level offices!
Warriors, our road ahead is long. We all need to be sharply focused and ‘at the ready’ for what’s before us. Rest a bit, regroup; but do not give up. Do not give in. We are the only ones our children will be able to trust.
‘Tech Thursday’ is the day I usually focus on the overreach in education to the post-secondary level. Today is no exception. If you have followed me for a while, you know I have consistently laid out the evidence and resources so you can follow the CCSS Machine’s march from high school and beyond.
So what can I share with you today? A look inside the transcripts-turned-credentials for our students under the guise of quality education.
Parchment Transcript Services (PTS):
I first heard of PTS, from a dedicated anti CCSS Warrior who is doing much work to protect student data. We know how much is collected, shared, sold, and used against our students, so naturally finding a school (or State) which uses PTS is worth knowing more about.
The website: http://www.parchment.com/ The advertised mission: “Parchment’s mission is to turn credentials into opportunities. We help learners, educators, associations and employers securely send and receive education credentials online, in simple and insightful ways.” The zippy 2 minute sales pitch:
Did you notice how hidden in plain sight the data mining is? Did you see who shares it, has access to it? Did you notice the use of the fallacy tactic known as ‘Bandwagon’? (bandwagon is where you are enticing to do what everyone else is doing so you don’t miss out) Something tells me there is much more to find out about!
The Folks in Charge: CEO, Dr. Matthew Pittinsky is certainly connected to the CCSS Machine. How can I know this before we even go any further? Two clues: Blackboard and ASU (AZ State University) I have written before about both. To see what else he is doing connected to the transformation of post-secondary education: http://www.parchment.com/matthew-pittinsky/ (*Note: his short video reveals how he feels about data mining.)
Other Leading members include former members of other CCSS Machine member organizations, like Learn.com; there are other former Blackboard personnel; non-profit education advocacy; former military; Honeywell; ISU (Iowa State University); and global education IT (information technology.)
To find out more: http://www.parchment.com/leadership/(*Note: be sure to check out the Board of Directors. You will find even more ties to the CCSS Machine.)
Since Parchment deals with student data, we need to know who they work with in the sharing. Two of the biggest CCSS Machine members which jumped of the page? Herff Jones and Pearson Power School! There are others, as well. See all the partners: http://www.parchment.com/partners-and-associations/
While Pearson’s membership in the CCSS Machine is known extensively, I will share with you how Herff Jones is also a member.
From the Herff Jones yearbook information, this excerpt, “It’s easy to see how yearbook aligns with the Common Core’s emphasis on research, reflection and revision, and the four C’s touted by the Partnership for 21st Century Skills (critical thinking, collaboration, communication and creativity) are naturally a part of the yearbook process. Talk about cross-disciplinary learning!” To see the rest: https://www.herffjones.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/WhyYearbook_2015.pdf
How the Service Works on a Local Level:
From the parent of a Senior (Class of 2016), this personal account. “Seniors are required to state what college or university they will attend. All final transcripts will be sent electronically through Parchment. You must sign up via their website before graduation. After graduation, you will be charged $8.50 per transcript. My student must contact their Career Center Counselor/Office for more information.” This parent goes on to share that the Parchment presence in school is a school district promoted decision. Supposedly the only data collected isn’t too personal, but we Warriorsknow ANY data about our students is up for grabs! Parchment’s service also has you answer on-line questions for specific schools you might want to attend to see IF you can become a qualified applicant.
What I found out about the transcripts is that each is given a unique code (DID or Document Identity Number). For students to access or verify if their information has been transmitted or received, they must use that DID. Hmm.. think UID (Unique Identifier Number) currently used for all those assessments your students think. We have evidence how ‘secure’ those are! If you would like to know, Parchment stands by the FERPA policies (again, we know how FERPA was weakened to allow MORE data mining!) Check out all their related topics: http://support.parchment.com/link/portal/30029/30032/ArticleFolder/171/FERPA-security-privacy
Parchment’s latest Press Release shares more about the data collection/sharing. This particular Release details the State of Georgia’s partnership: “Parchment, a leading academic credential management service, works with more than 65 high schools and 72 college admissions offices across Georgia to create a robust network that helps to simplify the college application process for Georgia learners. By delivering and processing electronic credentials with Parchment, member schools are breaking down barriers in the college access process. For more than a decade, Parchment has worked with high schools and colleges across the United States to aid in the application process, making academic credentials, like high school transcripts, digital, often resulting in more timely admissions decisions. Schools in Georgia have already begun to improve efficiencies, provide transparency to learners and reduce overall costs by partnering with Parchment, following the success many other states have long used to their advantage. In 2015, Georgia high schools relied on Parchment to exchange more than 41,000 digital credentials, an increase of 48 percent over the previous year. “Parchment has enabled our students and parents to expedite the college application process by sending transcripts electronically to almost any school across the nation,” said Tessa Barbazon, Coordinator, Office of School Counseling with Fulton County School District. “In addition, the tracking tools available to students through Parchment fill a gap in communication that can exist when less advanced services are utilized.” The Fulton County School District is comprised of 18 high schools with 94,000 students.” (see the entire Press Release: http://www.parchment.com/press-releases/parchment-provides-georgia-students-with-improved-college-access/)
2) Data is shared with ANY partner or group designated as an Academic Institution. While this may look like it means schools, remember the ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act) and the current version of the HEA (Higher Education Act) include the academic institutions in a much broader context. (*Note: the current HEA even embeds the use of Digital Promise as the data collection method on all students. Also, the ESSA has Digital Promise funding INCREASED embedded in the language.) 3) Note the Asset Transfer clause. Even your parents information about finances is up for all to see (or at least whomever Parchment deems worthy of knowing.)
I thank the parent who shared their story. Our anti CCSS War Against the Core, is made so much stronger when these brave men and women speak up. I hope this information has caused you to question much when it comes to the transformed high school to post-secondary school state we find ourselves in. While we must champion our students data (and ours as well). we must investigate every company we can. Since it appears the school districts are promoting and choosing this, make sure you let your district know your concerns!
Other Previously Exposed High School Credentialing/Transforming Articles:
From 11/15, a compendium of information on the subject: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/11/12/tech-thursday-update-on-ccsscte-for-adults/
Welcome to Part Two of my series devoted to those running for elections, especially the school board positions across America. Like this Weekend’s article, it is lengthy, but you MUST know this information! Your schools depend on it.
Of all the grade groups Common Core Standards have impacted, the K-12th group has been the most talked about, the most publicized. If you have followed my blog long enough OR heard any of my speeches, chats, or interviews, you know that I have purposed to expose the CCSS Machine in all the other areas and educational choices. However, I have plenty to share with you concerning the K-12th grade group, too. For example, if you are seeking office, did you know there was an initiative which set CCSS into motion? (and which the ESSA will continue?!) For starters, see the picture below of the track Pre-K-12th graders are experiencing thanks to Common Core State Standards Initiative!
The CCSSI (Common Core State Standards Initiative):
What do I mean by the CCSS Initiative? Simply put it refers to the entire scope of not only the CCS Standards, but the agenda which accompanies it; the resources (including curriculum and assessments); and ANYTHING else connected to the Common Core.
As many anti CCSS Warriors have stated since the ESSA’s passage, we have been lied to about this! As a candidate of any race where education will be impacted, this is probably the single MOST important information you can glean from this series!! Do not simply take the mass media or Congress’s word for it, we ARE NOT free from the Common Core State Standards Initiative!
The only references I have found to the CCSSI (Common Core State Standards Initiative) in the ESSA Final Conference Report (that over 1,000 page bill no one in Congress appears to have bothered to read) were located on page 130 (pertaining to standards and assessments), page 825 (pertaining to educational waivers), page 843 (pertaining to financial support from the federal government and how its officials/representatives are limited), page 859 (‘‘(a) IN GENERAL.—Nothing in this Act shall be construed to prohibit a State from withdrawing from the Common Core State Standards or from otherwise revising their standards.”)
Now, if you only stop there, as both the U.S. Congress and the mass media did, you can say this language means exactly what it says, that the States were no longer tied to the Common Core!
Candidates, think of it this way, “Whatever happens in Las Vegas stays in Las Vegas.” Educational federal law plays the same game, whatever started in the ESEA was carried over each time to some degree or another until the ESSA. ESSA, however, makes the previous versions look like a powder puff.
Alphabet Soup, D.C. Style:
Before we ‘dig in’ to the ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015) to learn how it will continue the Initiative behind Common Core:
1) Know that the ESEA (Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965) got replaced with ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act) in between these two? NCLB (No Child Left Behind) followed by the RttT Initiative (Race to the Top).
2) Know that STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math), STEM to STEAM (same as STEM with the Arts added in), WIOA (Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014), CTE (Career Tech Education), CP (Career Pathways) are also woven into the ESSA Law. (*Note: If you did not know that STEM is part of the Presidential agenda for education, I urge you to read one of my very first blog articles where the Report detailing HOW STEM was the among the ultimate goals of aligning America via the CCSS! See: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/09/02/from-the-files-pcast-stem-and-common-core/)
Why you, as a candidate, need to know this? STEM is a huge selling point among the States for not only education, but for a workforce. STEM is also woven into the WIOA of 2014!
As a candidate, knowing which alphabet soup acronym stands for which one is important.
One more game D.C. has played with us about all this? The ESSA’s Final Conference Report has been reduced to a mere 391 page law! You will find all of the same points from the Report embedded in the Law, just not as wordy. We need the entire context so we can know how we are being duped into the lie that CCSS will no longer be a player in American Education! You can access both documents in Part One of this series.
From the ESSA Language Itself:
One thing you can count on is this, the shift in name fromCommon Core State StandardstoCollege and Career Readiness as well as Challenging State Academic Standards, is about the only shifting there will be, as far as names.
You have to look harder at the Law. As evidence look on Pages 5 & 6. Here the tricky language begins. It’s context is about what programs will continue to receive multi-year funding and which won’t
(As a candidate, you need to know which programs in your school districts receive multi year funding and were provided for under the old ESEA (Elementary and Secondary Act of 1965), NCLB, RttT, you need to read this passage so you can understand how the ESSA will continue select programs.)
Why this is important: it is to cover the TRANSITION from one law to another!
Speaking of transitions, look at Page 7 where you will see what the Secretary of the U.S. Dept. of Education is in charge of in regards to the States! “ORDERLY TRANSITION.—Subject to subsection (a)(1)(A)(i), the Secretary shall take such steps as are necessary to provide for the orderly transition to, and implementation of, programs authorized under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 6301 et. seq.), as amended by this Act, from programs authorized under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 6301 et seq.), as in effect on the day before the date of enactment of this Act.”
Pages which follow this excerpt lay out the dates for the transitioning to begin. As early as July 1, 2016, folks!
Other Pages and Sections, You as the Candidate MUST Research:
Section 6, embeds all of the old ESEA into the new Law.
Section 1002, gives a grand total of the federal money to be awarded among the 50 States for the next few fiscal years. You, as the candidate, need to see the amounts, as well as the strings attached (ie: assessments).
Section 1003 details the strings attached to Section 1002.
Section 1004 details all the ‘Direct Student Services’.As part of the ‘Services’, this is where you can see the WIOA and CTE begin to appear for elementary and secondary students.It is here you will see the AP(Advanced Placement) Courses and IB (International Baccalaureate) students encompassed. How will this make a difference in your candidacy? The amount of funding your State receives and the hoops the LEAs (local education agencies) are to use the funding. Not only that, but jobs mean money for your States. The economic health of America has been a huge selling point from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce (courtesy of Bill Gates Foundation) and has been passed on to each State via the Chambers of Commerce. You will also see that in this Section, parents and higher education are also included in the alignment mix.
Section 4107 details for you what is meant by “Activities To Support a Well-Rounded Student”. As a candidate, you need to know this is where the P3s (public private partnerships) will have an increased presence in the classroom, where communities are expected to align and help educate all students, and more! As part of the ‘Activities’, this is where you will see STEM really focused on.
Section 4108 details all the ‘Activities to Support Safe and Healthy Students’ your state must have (includes sex ed, behavior management, assessments, mental services, and so much more) As a candidate, read page 447 very carefully, as well as the immediate pages around it.
Section 4109 goes into all the digital and technology strings for education. This is a huge point of every school district and state budget. Read it, candidates!
Section 8005 State funding for elementary/secondary administration consolidation plans. (Remember, candidates, follow the money trail from the top down) Section 8201 goes into more detail about money States receive from the federal government.
Page 489 begins the 21st Century Community Learning Centers. As a candidate, you need to know this is going to totally transform not only your local schools, but your communities. This Initiative is a huge part of the CCSS Machine! It has roots in not only the White House, but a entity called the Partnership for 21st Century Skills. If you do not know about this, PLEASE contact me, I will be happy to provide the information you really need to know!
Page 905 states what the U.S. Dept. of Education’s Secretary will oversee in each of the 50 States concerning the homeless students.
Page 910 gives you the requirements each State must meet per the U.S. Dept. of Education Secretary for every grant and sub-grant the States receive.
Page 911 details the assurances States must provide the U.S. Dept. of Education Secretary with each year.
Page 919 introduces the phrase “Ed Flex Partnership State” and will be given to every State meeting the U.S. Dept. of Education Secretary’s conditions. As a candidate, you need to read what those parameters mean.I urge you to read from page 919 to 941 so you can see how private schools are included. Of special note to you will be page 937 where the general public is to be informed of any State educational application for waivers (means money for your State and local districts). Also, page 938 points to a bridge (if you will) between elementary and secondary education to post-secondary education via Perkins funding.
Candidates, is there more that will impact your K-12th graders? ABSOLUTELY! Will it be only the public schools hit by this? NO! Run your race with integrity, with truth, and with everything you can to kill the CCSSI! Part Three will address the post-secondary alignment of education according to the CCSS Machine.