Tag Archives: Skandera

Franchised Education

Anti Fed Ed Warriors, just a few days ago, I posted an article where I told you I’d be going more in depth about charter schools. That article revealed how charter schools are being used as tools to indoctrinate our students with CTE (Career Tech Education) and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math).


However, before I get to the more in-depth information about charters, I want to plant this thought in your minds. Let this thought stick with you for the rest of the traditional summer break. Let it ruminate in your heart and then act upon whatever conclusion you come to.

         Why are our schools becoming the fastest growing franchise in America?!


   If you were to compare fast food franchise growth to how quickly our schools are becoming franchises, you would realize we’ve been lied to. You would be angry. You’d want to take your children back home.

Have I Lost My Fries?!

Warriors, before you think I’m a few fries short of a full order, I really hope you can understand my contrast. If you’ve been to one fast food restaurant, you know that no matter where you go, the food will be the same, the layout will more than likely be the same, the prices will be very similar, too. You also know the food has a taste which is the same, so this means the same suppliers and preparation of the food will be the same everywhere else. The only, and I do mean ONLY difference is the location of each fast food restaurant.

Now, flip this to education, especially in the ‘ESSA Era’ or the Every Student Succeeds Act Era. You’ve heard me state it hear and on every radio interview and social media post I can, that due to ESSA’s mandate for ALL education to be aligned to the same standards (post-secondary readiness as laid out by WIOA, Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act), that no school choice is safe.

Every State is a franchise location of the ESSA law. With ESSA law comes ESSA mandates. These mandates include charter schools, both public and private.


The Charter School “Hearing”:

Warriors, as I told you in my previous article, the recent (June 13th) Education and Workforce Committee (U.S. House of Representatives) was all about how powerful charter schools in the US are.
Once again, here’s the link to the archived ‘hearing’. Now, why do I have hearing in quotes. Well, if you listen to the entire archive you’ll hear the meeting called a ‘hearing’, a ‘conversation’, and other descriptions. (*Note: the Ed/Workforce Press Release called the meeting a ‘discussion’.) 

Much like the previous article featuring this archive, I’m not going to tell you every blow by blow comment. BUT you do need to see the notes I took and am sharing below.

As you know, Rep. Virginia Foxx heads up the Ed/Workforce Committee. She has stated several times that ‘ALL education is Career Tech Education’, so to see her heading up a hearing on charter schools was interesting, to say the least.

From Foxx’s Opening Statement, she pointed to the overplayed ‘zip code’ and how it needs to suggest more ‘school choice’. She pointed out how ESSA was/is to maintain and EXPAND charter schools of all kinds. Also mentioned were the ‘student outcomes’ and how charters are a type of savior or lifeline for our students. How? Their ‘lifelong love of learning’ will be more secure.

Strange, all this sentiment coming from the Congress member who has proclaimed ALL education is CTE and that because of that, it’s all workforce development!

However, weigh into this that almost every Congress member supportive of ESSA has said they were holding out for ESSA to be implemented EXACTLY as written. Maybe NOW we can see why they’d hold that ‘opinion’. One thing’s for certain, by being SO supportive of all the CCSS Machine alignment in education, the Congress members are revealing their true allegiance is not to America or to her citizens. It’s more toward globalization.

From Co-Chair Rep. Scott (VA) and his opening comments: charters will ‘fix’ dismal public education. There needs to be an increase in federal funding across the nation (in every community)  for more charters (that’s already an ESSA mandate). About the 39:29 minute mark, you’ll hear Scott be the first (among many others at the hearing) who told us their job isn’t representing the citizens (their voters) but ‘policy-making’.

No Congress members job is to establish or make policy, their jobs are to create legislation to become law as per the will of the people.


You’ll also hear Rep. Scott mis-peak about America’s role. (40:31). He’s the first of many to make this same error. Warriors, we are NOT a democracy, we ARE a Constitutional republic!  (I guess the fact Congress members cannot distinguish between democracy and republic should alarm us all). What should concern us as well, is that Rep. Scott (and others) believe that public schools, including public charters are the ‘bedrock of our democracy’. Scott goes on to thank Sec. of Education DeVos for giving us a ‘good glimpse at the free market public education system’.

Near the 44:55 time mark, ESSA will strengthen all charters regulations and accountability. Shortly after this, Scott told us all that ‘we now have more choices than ever before’, then added that America’s looking at choice from around the world. (No, America should be looking to the parents, the students, the teachers, the taxpayers.)

Rep. Scott did state that ‘the more flexible the school system, the more strength is needed for policy’. Any ‘choice devoid of strong policy will not work’.

Enter the “Witnesses”:

Rees is with the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools (my previous article details how the NAPCS is tied to the CCSS Machine).

Richmond is with the National Association of Charter School Authorizers. Among the NACSA Board members, you’ll find NM’s former State Superintendent Skandera (A huge CCSS/CTE disciple). Among the Advisory Board? Nina Rees and representatives from the Gates Foundation, the Walton Family Foundation and others. From their IRS 990 form, I found what appears to be a tie to the U.S. Dept. of Ed’s National Charter School Resource Center (also featured in the previous article as a funder for the NAPCS.) You’ll also find an NC based organization called “Public Impact, LLC” among the NACSA’s 5 top most compensated contractors. (*Note: Public Impact, LLC cites an AIR-Brookings study, so we know they are a CCSS Machine member group, too.)

Warriors, you’ll find the Gates Foundation gave a $2 million grant to the NACSA in 2017. 


(*Note: the U.S. Dept. of Ed’s National Charter School Resource Center is funneled through another group called Safal Partners. Safal is a TX based education management consulting firm. If you’d like to see their Charter School Closure guide, find it here. Be sure to look at those presenting information and what States they are from.)


Dr. West is with Harvard University as well as the editor-in-chief for “Education Next”.
(*Note: I have scores of articles on Harvard’s alignment to the CCSS Machine, especially in the global and student data raping topics.)
To see Finn’s ties to Fordham, look for bullet point #1.

Warriors, go back and listen/watch the hearing. You’ll hear plenty of CCSS Machine rhetoric. However, the final and BIGGEST revelation spoken during this dog and pony show (aka ‘hearing’) came from Mr. Richmond. You’ll find it near the 1:14:17 time mark.

Rep. Guthrie (KY) was asking him a question about the charter school process. Richmond’s response was ‘every charter is a public school in every State’. He went on to say there are federal charter school grant programs which State apply for help.

Richmond purposefully made no effort to distinguish between public and private charter schools. Why? Because, per ESSA, ALL education is to be the same (aka a ‘franchise’).

I repeat, ‘every charter is a public school in every State’.


Warriors, I urge you, listen, watch, then act to remove your children from ANY of the taxpayer funded schools and programs. With the looming news of the U.S. Depts of Ed and Labor to possibly merge, it’s dire to act NOW!

We already know that ESSA’s mandate for education isn’t academic prowess, it’s workforce training. This merger will complete that..for charters, traditional schools, private schools, homeschools, and, at every age level. So higher education and trade schools will be no better.

If you’re wondering why I chose the word ‘franchise’ for this article, the word is a synonym for ‘charter’. Go back to my original thought I wanted you to ponder over.
Do you see?!

You may feel hopeless, but don’t, there are more citizens than politicians, so let’s work together to protect our students.



Fib-o-Meter Friday: More CC aligned Superintendents?!

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.

Last week, I put 3 state superintendents through the “Fib-o-Meter” to see where they landed with Common Core Standards. I had at least 4 requests for other state supers to be ‘put to the test’. So, here they are in alphabetical order per state: CA, NV, NJ, and NM.

California’s State Superintendent, Tom Torlakson: 

Mr. Torlakson didn’t have many written statements that I could find, BUT, he does like the video channel YouTube. Here’s a meeting he was featured in, from 07/14, “Reports from the Field”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DQFsWiCxs1w      Mr. Torlakson even acknowledges a member of the audience in helping champion this message.

“Bottom-up, not top-down”   Well, let’s see how bottom up translates on the “FoM”. ‘Neutral leaning toward Total Fallacy’ for this statement, why?! The RttT California application clearly lays out the state level commitment and support BUT it is conditional! See this excerpt from the Pioneer Institute which looked at CA’s application, “The study(Accountability Works) uses California, whose current (at that time, 2012)academic standards are among the nation’s best but has adopted Common Core, as an example. AccountabilityWorks estimates the Golden State will incur additional costs of over $1 billion for technology and support, $606 million for professional development and $374 million for textbooks and materials over seven years. The additional costs would exacerbate California’s recent budget woes, which have been even worse than what most other states have endured. (source: http://pioneerinstitute.org/education/study-estimates-cost-of-transition-to-national-education-standards-at-16-billion/, dated 02/12) Here’s what the CA RttT application stated:  “California will strengthen its already high standards by adopting a set of common core standards and by working with one or more consortium of states to develop aligned assessments in mathematics and reading/language arts. This work will result in better data on annual student growth, including subgroup student achievement data, which will allow national comparisons, and will facilitate the identification and sharing of successful practices across the nation. The State has a well-established system for the development of curriculum frameworks and the adoption of aligned instructional materials, and will support the transition to new standards by accelerating the refinement of those frameworks and instructional material. The State will also invest in aligned interim assessments as a part of its instructional materials adoption process, to develop an item bank for formative assessments upon which LEAs can draw, and to support related professional development to help build the capacity to use data at the classroom and school levels. ” Further on, there’s this: “To date 804 LEAs representing 56 percent of the State’s schools and 3.6 million students (61 percent of whom are living in poverty) have signed MOUs committing to action in all parts of each of the reform areas …. and performance measures should we succeed in receiving a RTTT grant.” Link to the CA Race/Top Application: ( http://www2.ed.gov/programs/racetothetop/phase1-applications/california.pdf) Before we move on, STEM is another kingpin to adhering to CCSS & California committed to that back in 2008 via CA’s STEM Collaborative Action Plan. Don’t get how STEM and CCSS are connected? Read my post “PCAST, STEM and Common Core”. This also will make the ‘bottom-up, not top-down’, ‘Total Fallacy’.

Another comment Mr. Torlakson made, “We have marketing to do.” Yes, as far as promoting the  Common Core, I say he’s truthful on that one. (‘Total Truth’ is answer) HOWEVER, that, again is where the truth ends. Between his remarks and a ‘nifty’ video produced by pro CC supporters in CA, here some of the fallacies passed off as ‘truth’.

“Computers are what will improve education.” (Mr. Torlakson)

‘No child left offline’. (Mr. Torlakson)

“We don’t know what the future holds, but we’ll be ready.” (Pro groups)

‘Critical thinkers solve problems on their own, they can work in teams.’ (Pro groups)

“Life is not a multiple choice test.” (Mr. Torlakson)

‘Common Core is a practical, step by step timely process.’ (Mr. Torlakson)

Sources: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8fgHAvO9AGI (the Pro groups’ production) and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g5cYubdeh8U (Mr. Torlakson in 2013)

Nevada’s Dale A. R. Erquiaga:

This top officer was appointed back in 2013 after a legal provision was made to allow the Governor to appoint someone (2011). Mr. Erquiaga’s background is quite varied in education. His involvement with the “Get Consensus”educational consulting firm is what got my interest the most. However, since his appointment came AFTER the fact that NV ‘adopted’ the CCSS, let’s see the others involved in saddling NV with Common Core, back in October of 2010. (Standards became known as “Nevada Academic Content Standards for English Language Arts and Mathematics”) Keith Rheault 2004-12, then there was James Guthrie from 2012 to 2013, followed by Rorie Fitzpatrick. Mrs. Fitzpatrick was only in office from March to August. (interestingly enough she now heads a CCSS policy research group). From a newspaper article about Mr. Rheault stated ‘he got the state as far as the door, then left.’ ( http://www.reviewjournal.com/news/education/retiring-leader-state-schools-hopeful-about-futureI did find this interesting article about Nevada & the Common Core where is seems someone did tell some tall tales! (seehttp://truthinamericaneducation.com/common-core-state-standards/common-core-state-standards-not-nevadas-creation/)

Getting back to Mr. Erquiaga, I found some things to lead me to believe his support for CCSS is big.  Digital Learning Now!(which according to their 2013 report card, all content is Common Core aligned)He really is big on data. He helps promote the Nevada Ready! (see: http://coretaskproject.com/category/nevada-ready/) Then, fro the radio interview: http://www.knpr.org/son/archive/detail2.cfm?SegmentID=11106), here are his ‘Total Fallacies” 

“This is a proxy (political) fight.”

“Assessments are the only way we’ll know CCSS is successful.”

The obligatory, ‘more rigorous, much deeper’, comments we know.

Next up, New Jersey!

Oddly enough, this was the only Northeastern state I was asked to look into. Well, being a diligent researcher, here’s what I found. Mr. David C. Hespe is the Acting Commissioner of Education for NJ. He was appointed earlier this year, but it is his 4th time as the head of public education in the state. He returned to the office to help students and to oversee the REST of CCSS. Now, what makes NJ a bit different in this is the words used to describe their Standards. Huh?! Back in 1996, the State Board of Education adopted “Core Curriculum Content Standards”. Not to be confused with Common Core State Standards. However, it can indeed get a bit confusing, especially considering some states are using CCSS, but also using different names to identify it. Now, all this is to say, that in August of 2014, the NJ BofE began a 5 year review of the Tech Life/21st Century Career Curriculum Standards. (more confusion, if you aren’t careful). From the website:

(http://www.state.nj.us/education/modelcurriculum/) Model Common Core Curriculum is for every 5 weeks of lessons, you get 2 weeks assessment/enrichment. UGH! Since Mr. Hespe was so up front about his support of the Standards, I thought you’d have ‘fun’ putting parents, teachers and others through the ‘Fib-o-Meter’ when you watch this video (frankly, there are so many ‘Total Fallacies’ it might break the FoM if it were a real scale) Link: http://www.state.nj.us/education/sca/video/ So many fallacies, I actually gave up trying to count them! (listen out for the comment that one mom makes about CC being so good she may not have to pay for college remediation classes)

Lastly, New Mexico’s Hanna Skandera:

In office since 2011, Ms. Skandera is the most controversial of the Superintendents featured today. Why? She’s been serving NM since 2011, but has yet to be 100% confirmed by the state level legislative body. The Governor of NM did appoint this position, but the Senate of NM must confirm the appointment. To date, that has yet to happen from what I could find. (see this You Tube clip where she’ll tell you she ‘committed’ 7 seven times in under 3 minutes:


Heartland Institute has a great article about Common Core, PARCC(NV was featured in the article:(http://news.heartland.org/newspaper-article/2014/01/27/feds-spend-millions-promote-common-core)

One of the statements Ms. Skandera made in an interview featured here:   (http://watchdog.org/21316/nm-core-beliefs-nm-education-chief-defends-common-core/)  said, ““We’re not delivering on the promise of, ‘are you ready?’ We know half of our kids are not on grade level. So (Common Core) is an important step to say, let’s make sure we have high standards.” On the “Fib-o-Meter”, this comment, while some bit of truth is present, would be “Total Fallacy” because  if you already know your state is not making it, why not use the money for shaping up what you’ve got instead of ‘buying’ new?!

In this August 2011 TV interview, Ms. Skandera rates “Total Fallacy” on several statements. Before I get to those, however, notice when she is speaking, how many times she repeats key points, and the body language she displays. Link to TV interview: (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OYaOJiqFL4g)

“Standards established by NM for NM, we own them.”

“Tests developed by NM then go elsewhere.”

“Money attracts teachers, we can use to even attract those who aren’t teachers.”

“Actually, teaching is the only profession where effectiveness is not acknowledged.”

Now, I really have to admit that in the state of NM, Ms. Skandera is not alone in her devotion to the CC. The City of Albuquerque has received Gates Foundation money in relation to Common Core State Standards (see: http://honestpracticum.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/How-Bill-Gates-Bought-the-Common-Core-image1.jpg). If you look hard enough, you can find out how Albuquerque has been used as a model for the ACT WorkKeys Assessment(but that’s another post for another time) Lastly, Ms. Skandera was the keynote speaker at the following meeting where undying support for CCSS was freely shared: http://lulac.org/news/pr/lulac-and-new-mexico-governor-susana-martinez-work-together-to-promote-common-core-state-standards/

So, if YOU have a state superintendent you’d like to see how their statements, activities fare on the “Fib-o-Meter”, be sure to leave me a comment. If you have any links, articles, etc. that would help in my research, I’d love that! Thanks!