Tag Archives: soft skills

Bridges and Ladders

My Fellow Anti Fed Ed Warriors,

In the above picture you see a classic example of a brilliant mind. Leonardo da Vinci’s “Revolving Bridge”.  He created this, and other bridges for military purposes. The bridges were light weight (easy to carry, travels well), they were sturdy (conveyed strength), and they lasted long periods of time.

I use this as an example, not to give you a history lesson, but to use it as an analogy for the webinar devoted to higher education.

During the CCSS Machine sponsored webinar, education bridges, ladders, and pathways were discussed. Much like Leonardo da Vinci’s “Revolving Bridge”, higher education is set to become transportable (easy to carry, travels well/stackable, chunkable certifications), sturdy with more ‘rigor’ (conveying strength), and lock in lifelong learning (lasts a long time).

The Webinar:

Hosted by Atlantic Live! (an arm of the publication, The Atlantic Magazine) Atlantic Magazine also has another arm, a project called “Next America”. If memory serves me correctly, the last time I wrote about “Next America”, Sen. Lamar Alexander was a featured speaker. If I’m thinking correctly it was the time period leading up to HR5 (Student Success Act) and S1177 (Every Child Achieves Act) were in the making. Of course, as history shows, HR5 and S1177 ‘married’ and gave us ESSA, Every Student Succeeds Act.

Why do I bring this up? IF history is about to repeat itself, then Atlantic’s Next America having Rep. John Kline and other sold out CCSS Machine members gather to ‘discuss’ where higher education should go, we need to pay attention! Especially when your conversation guides are hand picked to feed the agenda of streamlining education to create a birth to grave education ladder or bridge.
hebridge

The image you see above is NOT from one of the CCSS Machine member organizations present at the webinar. But, it does give you a great idea how the webinar’s conversation was geared.

Lumina Foundation, the Gates Foundation, Next America, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and key members from SIGs (special interest groups) in higher education either had representative speak or they helped fund the production. Adding Rep. John Kline as the only federal Congress member was not a fluke. It was a strategic move. Kline admitted during the webinar that he had just come from breakfast with Sen. Lamar Alexander. You see, the two are partners in education demise.

Here’s the link to the webinar’s introduction page: http://www.theatlantic.com/live/events/the-changing-face-of-higher-education/2016/
(*Note: Archive version should be available soon. You can check out the Twitter account for more information, too. Use #NextAmerica)

The Biggest Warnings for Us:

1) The changes are coming, no doubt at all. The CCSS Machine has already begun turning the screws for higher education/post-secondary education. As I’ve shared with you many times, this is how EVERY citizen from ALL educational backgrounds will be funneled through the CCSS Machine. One of the choice terms for citizens during the webinar? “Human Capital”. The very first comment spoken by the Lumina Foundation’s education ‘expert’: “Post-secondary education MUST change.”

2) The CBE (competency based education), Career Pathways, MOOCs, digital learning, soft skills development, and more are the front runners for all the changes. New patterns, systems, and alignment are either in the works, or yet to be created. BUT, they will be added.
3) Purposed placement of school counselors in our K-12 systems are already identifying students who are ‘achievers’, tracks them, pulling them into a pathway to a baccalaureate degree in college (sometimes early college) via community colleges(which by the way, are Common Core, Career Tech aligned). Then, these graduates are funneled through to a 4 year institution. Look for “Pathways Colleges”. The example program given was “Pathway to Baccalaureate”. See: https://www.nvcc.edu/pathway/ (*Note: look for the ‘extraordinary pipeline to college’. Running this program? Former NC Community College President, Scott Randall. He was key in helping align all 58 NC Community Colleges to the CCSS Machine.)

The rest of the students? They get tracked too. Their path will be directly to community college, get a skill, get a job. Return to community college, get another skill, return to job. Repeat this cycle until you have all the credentials you need to enter your career field. The ‘new’ higher education?! Imagine it for 100% of the population. I’m not kidding. Some form of higher education (aka: post-secondary institution) is what can help America.

4) Rep. Kline’s comments contained these ‘gems’.
a) The key higher education moves in the U.S. House’s “Better Way” plan. It was revealed that the Paul Ryan pushed Plan is based largely on Kline’s earlier work in politics. Education is SO important that it’s embedded in the ‘economy’ plan under item #4.
See: http://abetterway.speaker.gov/?page=economy (*Note: KIine was quick to repeatedly use ‘bipartisan’ and ‘bicameral’ when it came to education. However, for all the bi-partisanship in the House, he didn’t mention the House Democrats view for higher education. If you want to see what CCSS friendly programs they  would like to keep or expand: http://democrats-edworkforce.house.gov/issues/education/higher-education. Examples of CCSS aligned programs: TRIO and GEAR UP.) Kline was asked how the Senators view higher education. He said that was ‘unfair’.)
b) The U.S. Congress only has a few days left before closing before the 2016 Election, so much has to be done quickly. Means rushed legislation moves. Bad news for everyone.
c) “More Access, More Success” via lower costs in higher education. His solutions?! CBE and digital education. America MUST promote innovation! This will keep the government out of the way. Oh really?! I guess the ConnectEd, the Computer Science for All, Digital Promise, etc. are all ways to keep government of education. Especially when each of these i is embedded ALREADY in ESSA and WIOA (Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act) or their related legislation. By the way, Kline said there have been 5 related bills already passed by the entire Congress to continue support for America’s College Promise (Obama’s plan for ‘free’ community college. “Free” is costing taxpayers at least $60 billion.) Way to keep government out of education, huh?!
d) Kline favors more digital, that’s obvious, but he also stated that families and students need things simple..as in a digital dashboard. The biggest impediment right now in higher education? Seat time because it’s taking away from CBE time and hinders credit hours. More P3s (used the Clemson/car manufacturing joint program as an example.) are the best way for America to go.

clemsoncar
5) Add to your list of global programs, like “Education for All” and “Universal PreK for All”. The new one brought up in the webinar? “Universal Free Public Higher Education”.
I found the EduCause’s older version of “universal higher education for all” (circa 2000).
See: https://net.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/ffpfp044.pdf

unihigh
Link to this article that would make the United Nations SO proud:
https://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/university-venus/universal-free-higher-education-good-global-citizenship

Speaking of The Global Citizen:

There was plenty more in the webinar which can be used to alert us to the ‘global citizen’ mindset that the CCSS Machine is shoving at us.
a) pay as you go/learn to earn models
b) systems where higher education tracks your work hours while tracking your education hours so that you can have 2 transcripts to show you are a skilled citizen
c) eliminating extra curricular activities to divert space for the common community’s good (example: Paul Quinn College shut down their football team (said it was a drain on finances) and converted the football stadium into an organic community accessible farm.) The President of Paul Quinn College has been glorified by the Atlantic Magazine. He’s also been groomed for educational ‘success’ in part by the Aspen Institute. (Article about the Presidenthttp://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2016/09/bringing-a-college-back-from-the-brink/500375/)

weme
I am not singling out this college, but rather, using it as an example. The reason we have extra curricular activities like football, arts, music, etc. is to expand our minds, exercise our bodies. Seeing these vital parts of Americana vanish is sad. Seeing them aligned to the CCSS Machine, outright tragic.

Seeing so many leaders in America moving us away from independence and freedom is not only un-American, it’s criminal!

Competency Pathway Update

double_tro_m2173526
Competent AND Career Ready, a CCSS/CTE/CCR disaster for education.

An updated look at the co-joined movement to unite Career Tech Education, CTE, the adult arm of ‘Common Core State Standards’ (CCSS) to CCR (College and Career Readiness) via the Competency Pathways (CP). If you haven’t heard of the CPs, you will know it after reading this.

 

First, A Look Back:

I first shared the news about CPs back in August 2015. A (then) just released study by Achieve, Inc (a very prominent CCSS Machine member) and their partner for the study, NASDCTEc (National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium). The subject of the study? ‘progress between Career and Technical Education and Competency Based Pathways’. To see the original article: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/08/06/tech-thursday-career-pathways-meet-competency-based-pathways/


Second, Why Now?

Why update this now? Because each of the 50 states has both a CTE program AND a CBP (Competency Based Pathway) program! With the recent passage of the ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act) and the extension of the HEA (Higher Education Act), funding for CTE is definitely included. Competency based education is certainly included as well. As, we, those opposed to the CCSS Machine’s overreach into education, know where the legislation is, so the funding will be close behind.

So, where are we, as a nation, now with CPs? Great question! Let’s see what is new. We will also see where in the ESSA we can find this career competency pathway laid out.

 

The Competency Models Clearinghousehttp://www.careeronestop.org/competencymodel/
This website is 100% devoted to ANYTHING competency education based. From their website, What is the Competency Model Clearinghouse? The Competency Model Clearinghouse (CMC) is a Web site sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (ETA). The goal of the clearinghouse is to inform the public workforce system about the value, development, and uses of competency models.” 

competentcareer

Notice in the above screen shot, I highlighted the hidden in plain sight, American Job Center. Why would I say ‘hidden’?

Consider the following excerpt, “Notice that both the ‘What’s My Next Move?’ and the O*Net are partners with the American Job Center Network. Who runs the AJCN (American Job Center Network)? The U.S. Dept. of Labor!  “The American Job Center Network is a unifying name and brand that identifies online and in-person workforce development services as part of a single network.” This quote is from the AJC’s website.
When you visit it to see for yourselves what else is there, be sure to notice the section of the website which points you from the federal level to the state level for Workforce Development. An example from NC (as of 2010) is featured below for Workforce Development. This particular image is what funding NC received from the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.” (See the entire article: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2016/01/07/the-great-education-experiment/ )

Notice, the screen shot below. Industry driven education NOT academic based. Back in November 2015, I found the same image (from the same site) where the States could build models for their aligned education. To get a better grasp on how extensive the CCSS Machine’s overreach is for careers aligned for workforce needs:
https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/11/12/tech-thursday-update-on-ccsscte-for-adults/

compchunk

So, what IS the pro CCSS/CTE/CCR definition of ‘competency’? According to the CP Clearinghouse:

“What is a competency model?
A competency model is a collection of multiple competencies that together define successful performance in a defined work setting. A model provides a clear description of what a person needs to know and be able to do – the knowledge, skills, and abilities – to perform well in a specific job, occupation, or industry.”

What is a dictionary definition for ‘competency’? See below.

mwcomp

Did you notice the supply? Tangible items! How we learn is NOT tangible! The CP Clearinghouse has a FAQ page where they describe ‘learning’ as a ‘soft skill’. What is one of the soft skills? ‘Personal effectiveness’! (see Question 13). Access the page: http://www.careeronestop.org/CompetencyModel/faq.aspx#q3

You will also need to note that Career Clusters are also in the competency modeling. So are Job Development grants, Workforce Development, All these are state run with federal funds! To see how NC has honed this for our workers/learners:
https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/03/25/wybi-job-development-grants-and-ccss/


What if you don’t live in NC? You can use the U.S. Dept of Labor’s links to find how involved your state is.

How does Common Core tie to Career Clusters?  See page 7 of the 2016 CAPS Vision document. caps_visioning_for_web_site

How do Career Pathways tie back to the WIOA (Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act)? See: http://preventcommoncore.com/?p=1187

How does WIOA tie back the ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act)? From my article titled “ESSA Ties to WIOA 2014”, the screen shot below. To access the entire article,
https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2016/01/05/essa-ties-to-wioa-2014-and-new-citizens/
WIOAESSA
How does the ESSA tie to the Extended HEA (Higher Education Act)? An excerpt from my recently published article detailing the extension. “For quite sometime I have been helping raise awareness about the HEA and have given you plenty of evidence which easily connects the HEA to the CCSS Machine (Common Core State Standards Machine). The main connection?! Career Tech Education (CTE)! How this connect to the picture you see above? Perkins Funding!”
To access the complete article (where you can learn much more: 
https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2016/02/02/ftf-an-extension-for-higher-ed-act/
)

Are Perkins Funds for CTE mentioned in the ESSA? Yes, 8 times in appearance in the ESSA’s Final Conference Report. Pages 38, 123, 132, 516, 677, 939, 993, and 1026.
Is ‘higher education’ embedded in ESSA? Yes, 64 times!
‘Careers’? Yes, 63 times.
‘Workforce’? Yes, 33 times. WIOA will be found on Page 33.

Closing: 

As you can see, quite a large amount of effort has gone into the interconnecting all the education alignment via the CCSS Machine, legislation, and funding. The more we continue to expose this wrong direction for our nation, the more we can stand together and fight it! Our students, no matter what age, are NOT chunkable/stackable/ pieces of industry based models to be molded; they ARE people who deserve a TRUE education of excellence NOT workforce needs.