Tag Archives: SREB

“Friend” Of The Family

Greetings fellow Anti Fed Ed Warriors! September 2017 is upon us. 

Look below. What you see is actual evidence from a concerned Mom from the Raleigh, NC area.  She’s been with me, fighting the CCSS Machine in NC, for quite a while now.

This is the front page of the letter received by the concerned parent.


Warriors, take note of the fine print, Harvard University Research is to receive this personal information. Harvard’s located in MA, not NC! Why is an NC school district farming personal information and data to an Ivy League School?

Next, is the middle page of the letter that was sent home.


This form, as you can see is in the event you have more than one child in the same school system.

Below, is the back page of the letter received.


Warriors, from the appearance of this part of the letter, all the data issues seem to be ‘not a big deal’, but as we know, all is never as it seems when it comes to our child’s personal information OR their school data.

To complete the guise of ‘friendly’ research data gathering, the folks behind the Wake County School System and the Harvard team, even give you a postage-paid envelope to mail the letter in!


Foe #1:

Warriors, I’ve repeatedly shown you have up to its neck in CCSS Machine business Harvard University has been over the course of my published blog.

From their partnership with Pearson Publishing to create the “Pathways to Prosperity” which in turn spur on the “Career Pathways” of the CCSS (Common Core State Standards), STEM (Science, Technology,Engineering, and, Math) and the CTE (Career Tech Education) alignment, as well as create a hotbed for social justice alignment. Then, there’s the micro-management of school counselors with the co-operation of former President and First Lady Obama, which will impact students in K-12th and/or college, where the Harvard grab for adult learners  goes into hyper-drive.

We can’t leave Harvard’s activity in the CCSS Machine there, Warriors. The University has played a big part in the Career Pathways transformation to CBE (Competency Based Education), right along with InACOL, the Gates Foundation, and others.

Oh, and if you didn’t know it, 3rd grade students (and older) can thank Harvard for their undermining reading and writing for job skill training!
The final blow to Harvard’s ‘respected’ reputation, at least as far as an anti Fed Ed Warrior’s perspective goes, will be the global education push that Harvard pitches us into as part of the GECN (Global Education Conference Network).

Now they want us to TRUST them with sensitive school details?!


Foe #2:

“My Student’s Team” by the Harvard Research Team.

When you visit the website (embedded in ‘team’ above), you will see almost nothing. There’s  very little wording. As far as the school districts using “My Student’s Team”? Three. One is Manchester Public Schools, another is Winsdor Public Schools. Wake is the only school system which is a county-wide one using the ‘friendly’ student support team.

Since I have no clue where Manchester and Windsor are located, I will use what information I do have. I hope wherever the Manchester and Winsdor parents are, the following information will be useful.

What does the Team do for the student?  As it appears on the first page of the letter my fellow Warrior received, it looks like a non-family member contact for your student. But notice the wording. I’m going to give you full access to my student I’m interested in knowing more about permission to access his/her behavior records?!

I understand, Warriors, this is a research project with a rubber stamp, but rubber won’t keep data safe.

The letter states a team member should be one who’s interested in knowing more about a student who’s a) not a parent, b) not normally in contact with the school, and c) by the legal guardian! Warriors, do you see what I see?

We (meaning those who consent) are to readily and willingly hand over sensitive information to a nameless, faceless ‘team’ via the post office!
By allowing these people I don’t know very well/don’t know at all because they live so far away, what am I really signing up for? Who will background check my choice of ‘support person’ for my student? Who is going to be looking into MY records? For what purpose?

From Raleigh, NC to Harvard, MA is over 700 miles. It also passes through several States, thereby crossing state lines. Is this safe? Is the submission of consent by this ‘non-parent’ giving FULL disclosure? Do those signing this paper realize that given consent means whoever or whatever group Harvard shares this information with will be deemed as ‘okay’ by you, under the current FERPA regulations?

Warriors, because FERPA was changed and large loopholes exist NOW, no agreement seeking your permission should be trusted as ‘safe’!

How do I know? Child Abuse in the Classroom has an entire section on the real truth about how unsafe FERPA is when it comes to private information. Because of the loopholes, you have NO clue who or where Harvard will share this data.  Access the Child Abuse in the Classroom’s FERPA link, here.

(*Note: if you are ready to keep your student’s data safe, or, to see FERPA restored so that your child’s information IS safe, please join the grassroots national campaign called “Child Abuse in the Classroom” today!)


Harvard University, Wake County Schools, and SREE:

Warriors, how DID Wake County Schools get the attention of Harvard University to become an experimental research subject? 

One connection I found was a 2016 Conference listed on Harvard University’s website where an official from the Wake Co. system was featured as a speaker. The Conference was one for SREE (Society for Research on Education Effectiveness). You’ll be interested to know that the CCSS Machine member organization, AIR was a main sponsor. (AIR is short from American Institutes for Research)
Two of the SREE Board of Directors are Harvard University employees. AIR is also represented on the Board of Directors.

According to the Gates Foundation Grants website, SREE has received 2 grants. Both were in 2013.

I’ve provided the full 29 page program from that Conference.  Another huge CCSS Machine member group in attendance: WestEd.

Foe #3:

However, it’s  Matthew Lenard (green arrows) which is the name connecting the Wake County Schools to Harvard. 

His resume is steeped in the CCSS Machine’s rhetoric.
He’s held a position with SREB (Southern Regional Education Board) which has received funds from the Gates Foundation as well as other  big name groups shoving the modern education reform down our throats.
In fact, SREB is one of the main groups using CCSS Machine money and resources to push the agenda onto school leaders, especially the counselors! (*Note: the highlighted phrase will give you access to every one of my SREB researched articles)

According to his LinkedIn Profile, Lenard is with the Wake County Public School System as a data and accountability officer. Here’s a quote, ” I joined WCPSS through the Strategic Data Project (SDP), a initiative housed at the Center for Education Policy Research at Harvard University. SDP partners with districts, school networks, and state agencies across the U.S. to transform the use of data in education.”

Lenard is tapped for the SREE 2018 Conference, where a featured speaker from WestEd will lead the attendees down the data strewn path of student information.

Foe #4:

Below, is a screen shot for the SDP (Strategic Data Project). Wake County’s been a partner since 2011. Gates Foundation grants to SDP: two, 1 in 2017 to the State of KY’s Dept. of Education for the data mining and one in 2012 directly to Harvard. Source

To see the SDP Partner List, visit here. To see the Harvard created College-going Diagnostic Tool for Wake County, visit here.

This 2010 You Tube video features a woman from the IES speaking to an SREE audience about ‘practice guides’. Listen about the 1:14 minute mark when you’ll hear how behavior modification was almost casually mentioned. While the direct link in the comments to the video no longer exist, I did find some IES Practice Guides which may very well be the type of behavior modification the woman was referring to. In the modification plans? Multi-tier support and Response to Intervention. Both of these are ESSA mandates for our children.


From Harvard’s Center for Education Policy Research, this screen shot from a 2016 Survey Report.

Since we’re in the latter part of 2017, and this Report is still awaiting student data, where has the data been since collected? Warriors, do not only look at what we’re being told, but also ask about all the other details being left out on purpose! (*Note: by clicking on ‘Research’, you’ll be able to access the Harvard Center for Education Policy publications.)

HarvardMQIWarriors, since we know ESSA’s mandates include assessments. Research like this will continue the assessment alignment cycle going.

Numerous Foes:

Who funds the Harvard Center for Education Policy?




Warriors, we know the data mining is intrusive. We know it violates our civil rights.
My most recent NC interview where we talked about data in the classroom. (Sept. 3, 2017)
I thank the CCTA (Coast Carolina Taxpayers Assoc.) for inviting me. (*Note: I mistakenly used the amount of $89 million in reference to the ESSA funds set aside for digital and technology. It should be $849 million.)


Affording CCSS Higher Ed Reform

For this Weekend News article, I want to help shine the light on the CCSS Machine in higher education..specifically in the name of college/post-secondary affordability. Who is involved? How does this connect to the CCSS Machine?

Above, you see a screen shot of the NC Senate Bill 873. Its short title is the ‘Access to Affordable College Ed Act’. Since you, my fellow  anti CCSS Warriors may NOT live in NC, what will your State have in the works for higher education reform where saving money is a selling point?

If you have heard any of my more recent interviews, you may recall I have shared that one of the ways in which we, the citizens of the USA, will be taken in by the CCSS Machine’s higher education grasp is through the affordable cost of post-secondary education. Look closely at the above screen shot and you will see the easily identifiable Common Core Machine ties. But trust me, there are MANY more not in black and white print.

However, before we get to a State level look, let’s review what the federal level of the CCSS Machine’s education overreach in the name of savings for post-secondary education.

The Feds in Post-Secondary Education:

In Feb. 2016, I shared with you the intent Dr. John King (U.S. Dept. of Ed’s Secretary) and the OPE (Office of Post-Secondary Education) in regards to CCSS/CTE/CCR (Common Core State Standards/Career Tech Education/College and Career Readiness). Here is a quote,
‘Once you are in the OPE website pages, you can find this declaration OPE works to strengthen the capacity of colleges and universities to promote reform, innovation and improvement in post-secondary education, promote and expand access to post-secondary education and increase college completion rates for America’s students, and broaden global competencies that drive the economic success and competitiveness of our Nation.” ‘

To see the rest of the article and how FASFA (the paperwork for federal student aid to go to post-secondary education) plays into all the education reform:

Also in Feb. 2016, I dug into the 2017 Fed Ed Budget Requests and found how college and other post-secondary education is to seem more affordable. Early College programs; where funding for HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) and MSIs (Minority Serving Institutions) were to be impacted as well.

Right slam in the midst of all this is the connection to the SREB (Southern Regional Education Board). How? In the name of ‘research’! If you go back and look at the NC legislation in the works, see how SREB’s research is being relied upon as well as written into the Bill.
(*Note: If you have followed my blog long, you know how deep into the pockets of the CCSS Machine, SREB is. More about SREB will be below.)

In the article I also gave you how the funding will impact TRIO programs, Job Development Grants, and more. The article also shows you how each one of these ties back to the ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act), WIOA (Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act), as well as HEA (Higher Education Act). 
See: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2016/02/13/big-bucks-for-post-secondary-ed/

SREB, NC, and the Nation:

Past research has connected SREB to the CCSS Machine’s intent to use community colleges (post-secondary education) as a breeding grounds for CTE (Career Tech Education, the adult portion of CCSS) and more educational alignment to workforce based education. See below for what CCSS Machine organizations fund SREB:

SREBfund To find out more about how and what SREB is doing to education and those who are in education, as well as find out about the other regionally based education boards and their involvement, see: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/04/25/sic-em-saturday-using-community-colleges-for-more-core/

So, the burning question is, why is NC using a known CCSS Machine organization like SREB to create legislation? Take a look at this 2014 screen shot. I believe we can glean from it WHY NC relies on CCSS Machine backed research:

Others NOT included in the screen shot include Dr. June Atkinson (head of the NC Dept. of Public Instruction, as well as the President of the CCSSO, Council of Chief State School Officers, which own half the copyright to CC Standards!) and Dr. Scott Ralls, the (at that time) head of NC Community Colleges. Ralls has moved on to become President of a Community College in VA since this report.

Now, I know some of my NC anti CCSS Warriors may be shocked to see some of the names they see. My concern is how many of these people have we heard publicly state they were/are against CCSS, but are participating in embedding it in various ways into the State Laws? Do they KNOW the connections already and just turn a blind eye, or has the truth been kept from them?!

For those of you NOT in NC, look at your regional boards to see who is in state government AND serves on these types of boards!

The Clearinghouse Featured in the NC Legislation:

If you refer back to the top of the article and see the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, you may not know that this Center is ALSO a CCSS Machine member, but it is!! Furthermore, it is being used as MORE research and evidence to create legislation!

From the Clearinghouse’s ‘About Us’ portion of their website you can learn they have been data collecting/sharing since 1993, that they adhere to FERPA (remember it got overhauled to not be as protective as it once was?), and how they abide by the HEA (Higher Education Act). See:

For an even more in-depth look at the Student Clearinghouse, see this article by Douglas Shapiro (Research Exec for the Student Clearinghouse)

The ties to the CCSS Machine the Clearinghouse has:

See below for what CCSS Machine member is helping fund the Clearinghouse:

To access the Gates Foundation page: http://www.gatesfoundation.org/How-We-Work/Quick-Links/Grants-Database#q/k=National%20Student%20Clearinghouse

If you would like to see the Clearinghouse’s 2015 Data ReportClearinghouse2015data
(*Note that the Report is about the Clearinghouse from another post-secondary group, IHEP, Institute for Higher Education Policy. As of this writing, I will look into IHEP in the future.)

So, How Does All of the Above Impact NC Legislation?

1) It further embeds the CCSS Machine, the federally led, privately funded education overreach into the State. Remember, since ALL the States are impacted by the U.S. Dept. of Education, WIOA, ESSA, and HEA, there is NO reason to think NC stands alone in this.

2) Another short answer is it is embedding education reform in the name of student debt reduction. Who will bear the brunt of the debt load? The taxpayers! Here in NC, a recent state-wide Bond was passed in the name of educational updates that will burden our taxpayers for at least 2 generations! (If you like, you can search my blog for the ‘NC Connect’ and learn how the CCSS Machine is involved.)

3) By overhauling how colleges, universities, and all other post-secondary educational institutions are to be held accountable and accredited, you will see a continued chipping away at local control and MORE federal overreach increase. (I have written about this issue as well and how the CCSS Machine is behind it. If you would like that research, let me know.)

4) In the body of the NC SB873 (Access to Affordable College Ed Act), you will see how by taking 4 year state-led colleges and turning them into community colleges it plays right into the hands of the SREB intent/CCSS Machine agenda to use community colleges as not so much educational facilities, but worker prep facilities.
See the NC Legislative Bill:

A Couple of Loose Ends Worth Noting:

In the NC Legislative Bill screen shot, you may notice I underlined the name of David Kirp.
Who is he? ‘Senior Fellow in Residence, is the James D. Marver Professor of Public Policy at the Goldman School of Public Policy, University of California at Berkeley.’

I found this excerpt about him on the Learning Policy Institute’s website (that is where the Sr. Fellowship comes in). The Learning Policy Institute is funded by some pretty big CCSS Machine members (Ford Foundation, the Hewlett Foundation, etc.). The President and CEO of the Learning Policy Institute is none other than  Linda Darling-Hammond (a notoriously known CCSS Machine disciple)!
To access the Learning Policy Institute’s website: https://learningpolicyinstitute.org/people/

AIR was also underlined in the screenshot. American Institutes  of Research are also notoriously tied to the CCSS Machine. Many anti CCSS Warriors have shared the ties, the deceptive moves for data mining carried out in the name of ‘research’. One anti CCSS Warrior in particular has mountains of documented evidence on AIR. Her name is Deb Herbage (FL).  She has recently begun her own blog, DezignzbyDeb (it is on WordPress, like mine). Contact her for any thing AIR related.


As twisted as the CCSS paved road is in each of our States, I trust you can see why legislation, either State created or federally, is being used to continue the vicious cycle of grinding down our nation education-wise.
Please, look into your State’s governing bodies.
NC residents: PLEASE contact the leaders and DEMAND accountability while you share the truth.
Warriors, many of these leaders are seeking to be re-elected. Will we continue to put them in office?


Weekend News: HEA (Higher Ed Act) and the ‘Common Core’

States are ensnared in the alignment of education and workforce.
States are ensnared in the alignment of education and workforce.

Greetings, Warriors! What’s the latest on the re-authorization efforts concerning the Higher Education Act, but HOW is the “Common Core” involved? The quick answer is “Career Technical Education”. (what I’ve proven to be the ‘adult version of the K-12 “Common Core Standards”). Another short answer is the ” Initiative behind the entire alignment of education.”

What is Congress up to concerning the education/workforce? We’ve seen what they’ve highlighted so far in the “Student Success Act” and the “Every Child Achieves Act”.  The HEA hasn’t been talked about much lately, that’s true. However, the CCSS Machine (my reference to the entity that involves and surrounds the “Common Core State Standards”), has plenty of plans.

The above image is from Oregon. Does your state have a similar ‘track’ for the aligned “K to Career”? Here’s one from California that is specifically for higher education.

From Indiana:


From the U.S. House of Representatives:

NC Representative, Virginia Foxx said this back in March, ” In recent years, as the postsecondary student population has changed, many institutions have developed new approaches to delivering higher education, including competency-based curriculums and online classes. The federal government should make every effort to support these innovations, as they have enabled more Americans to earn a degree or certificate faster, with less cost, and without additional disruption to their daily lives.” She then states the following a bit later on, “these pillars will translate into meaningful federal reforms that reflect the evolving needs of students and the workforce.”
To see her entire statement, visit: http://edworkforce.house.gov/newsroom/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=398559

From the entire U.S. House of Representative’s Education and Workforce Committee’s March 2014 Budget and Fiscal Views for 2015, “In critical areas such as early learning, workforce development, and higher education, the Obama administration’s latest budget proposal aims to make an existing maze of programs even more costly and confusing. Spending more money on broken programs will not provide the support our most vulnerable children, workers, and families desperately need. Education and workforce policies are vital to the success of our country and the future prosperity of our citizens. We all want to ensure students receive a quality education and workers acquire the skills necessary to compete in today’s workforce. To achieve these goals, we must abandon the status quo and enact meaningful reforms that lay the groundwork for a stronger, more prosperous nation – without piling more debt on future generations. Throughout the first session of the 113th Congress, the House Education and the Workforce Committee successfully advanced responsible proposals to revamp the nation’s job training system, raise the bar on K-12 education, promote workplace flexibility, and strengthen higher education.

What follows in the rest of the Budget for Fiscal Year 2015, is simply astounding in its support for the “Student Success Act”. As we witnessed, much evidence has been produced to show just HOW embedded the HR5 (Student Success Act) is with the ‘workforce’ agenda which BEGINS in the K-12 portion AND extends to Higher Education! Read the document for yourselves, Edworkforcebudget

From July 2015, a  press release from the Education and the Workforce Committee, headed up by Rep. John Kline, shared the following,  From Rep. Kline, “There is a lot of work to do in the coming months, and I am confident we will be able to craft a bicameral education bill that reduces the federal role, restores local control, and empowers parents and education leaders.” From Sen. Lamar Alexander, “Fifty million children and 3.5 million teachers deserve to get a result, and we should be able to achieve that this fall.” Also speaking up, were Sen. Patty Murray and Rep. Bobby Scott. Murray’s comments included this, “As we head toward conference, I look forward to continuing to improve the final bill to make sure all students have access to a good education.” Scott shared this, ” I stand committed to producing a bipartisan bill that eliminates resource inequities and effectively addresses achievement gaps.” To see the rest of the press release gloating about the greatness of BOTH the HR5 and the S1177, http://edworkforce.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=399220

From the U. S. Senate’s HELP Committee:

HELP is short for “Health, Education, Labor, and, Pensions. This is the committee that’s comparable to the House’s Education/Workforce one. Here’s an excerpt from their homepage on the website, “The HELP Committee is ensuring our country’s workforce is prepared to meet the challenges of the 21st Century through a lifetime of learning for our citizens. We have jurisdiction over various issues related to education and workforce development, including Head Start, the No Child Left Behind Act, Higher Education, the Arts and Humanities, Student Financial Assistance, Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), Job and Vocational Training and the Workforce Investment Act.”

At a July 2015 hearing concerning re-authorizing the HEA, members of the HELP heard from the Lumina Foundation, The Higher Learning Commission, and others.
To see the entire archived hearing, visit: http://www.help.senate.gov/hearings/reauthorizing-the-higher-education-act-exploring-barriers-and-opportunities-within-innovation

Tied to HELP:

Lumina is KNEE DEEP in the CCSS Machine! Here’s the link to my June 2015 article where I exposed Sen. Alexander’s views on the upcoming re-authorization of HEA in a conference featuring Lumina, Gates Foundation, and the National Journal‘s sponsorship. https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/06/11/tech-thursday-more-alexander-hea-and-the-next-america/
Wait, there’s more proof! Here’s my article where I shared how the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) is producing research in support of MORE CCSS alignment between K-12 and post-secondary institutions. Lumina Foundation is among the pro CCSS groups FUNDING the SREB. This article will also give you the other regional education boards as well as other groups helping fund a continued bridge from one educational system to another. See: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/04/25/sic-em-saturday-using-community-colleges-for-more-core/
Lumina also has ‘profiled’ higher education degrees. See: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/04/22/wybi-ccss-supporter-profiling-higher-ed-degrees/ Embedded in this article is the Lumina Foundation statement for alignment of K-12 to Higher Education.

Why so much information on Lumina? During the Senate’s HELP hearing, the president of the Foundation spoke about the 3 most important things to be included in the re-authorization of the HEA. The #1 priority? Building (or redesigning) clear pathways to careers! It’s also important because the president also uses Western Governors University as the most consistent example of higher education CBE (Competency Based Education). I shared with you back in March 2015, how WGU (Western Governors University) is part of the CCSS Machine. See: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/03/13/fom-achieving-cc-aligned-competencies/ The Lumina Foundation’s president also shared this fact, “In fact, more than 30 institutions have formed a nationwide network – the Competency-Based Education Network, or C-BEN – to keep the momentum going. These models are meeting students where they are, recognizing the learning that they’ve already obtained – whether in classrooms, on the job, in the military or through life experience.” You’ll need to see the other things this leader testified about. He includes Starbucks and Arizona State University. Both are pro Common Core/Career Tech Education. See: http://www.help.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/Merisotis.pdf

As far as the Higher Learning Commission, (HLC) and it’s devotion to Common Core/Career Technical Education? We’ll get there in a minute or so. First, though, the HLC is one of 6 regional accreditation organizations spread throughout the USA. Nineteen states are served by the HLC. To see which ones, https://www.hlcommission.org/About-the-Commission/about-hlc.html

Here’s a document where the HLC has an Illinois post-secondary school’s Career Tech Education alignment. The document is one of the HLC’s action projects. See: HLC CTE project
HLC is also the group accrediting a U.S. Army school where Common Core is taught. See:
http://usacac.army.mil/organizations/cace/cgsc/achievement (one of the explanations given for this? “Natural career progression”. (In case you missed it, the U.S. Army has issued a fully supportive CCSS statement. See: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/04/16/tech-thursday-common-core-military-special/)

Related to the HLC is CHEA (Council for Higher Education Accreditation). I exposed how tied to the CCSS/CTE they were back in April 2015. See: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/04/14/ftf-chea-cte-ccss-and-america/


Access to their website: http://www.cbenetwork.org/
is a supporting member of this network. Public Agenda is, too. Public Agenda is known for all kinds of policy reform. Here’s an excerpt about them. “Since 1975, Public Agenda has helped foster progress on K-12 and higher education reform, health care, federal and local budgets, energy and immigration.”

From C-BEN’s resource library, a study by WICHE (Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education). WICHE‘s been awarded a slew of grants for CCSS/CTE work from the Gates Foundation. See: http://www.gatesfoundation.org/How-We-Work/Quick-Links/Grants-Database#q/k=WICHE
New America Foundation
is also among those in the Resources section of C-BEN. How is New America tied to Congress and/or the CCSS Machine? See my two part article set:
AND https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/06/11/tech-thursday-more-alexander-hea-and-the-next-america/

To access the C-BEN’s resources for supporting outcome based education: http://www.cbenetwork.org/resource-library/

One resource you’ll definitely be interested in is the Lumina Foundation/Gallup, Inc. It’s all about the redesigning of higher education WITH competency based education as THE only way to learn. See: http://www.cbenetwork.org/sites/457/uploaded/files/Americas_Call_for_Higher_Education_Redesign.pdf


Expect more Competency based education in higher education and the re-authorizing of the Act. Expect MORE CCSS Machine rhetoric for Career Technical versions of the Standards. Expect to see Sen. Lamar Alexander speak in favor of MORE alignment. Lastly, expect this: WE, the opposed to the CCSSI (Common Core State Standards Initiative), WILL NOT STOP FIGHTING!

Tech Thursday: Hunting for CCSS/CTE

Hunt Institute has a long history of being Common Core supportive.

Hunt Institute has a long history of being Common Core supportive.

While it appears all anti CCSS eyes are on the HR5 (the re-authorization of the NCLB), it’s been proven via documents that the HEA re-authorization is just as CCSS tied! Both have been re-authorized in almost the same time periods since their original passing in 1965. Time and time again, Sen. Lamar Alexander has been tied to the re-writing of BOTH bills. The intent? Simply put: what gets started in HR5 for CCSS, CTE, data mining, control,assessments, and educational abuse is CONTINUED into the HEA.

So what does the Hunt Institute’s announcement of 6/16/15 have to do with this? The announcement HI released, details a report published by the SREB (Southern Regional Education Board), which gives us an overview of the BRIDGE between K-12 and post-secondary..This plays right into the hands of BOTH bills being up for re-authorization. We MUST act quickly in alerting our legislators to KILL BOTH bills!! This ‘bridge’ even has a name…and I’ve taken you in great detail into the creation of that bridge. It’s called “Career Pathways”.


The Hunt Institute Announcement:

Here’s an excerpt from the HI’s website about SREB, “Labor market economists project that by 2020, two-thirds or more of all jobs will require some post-secondary education — either a certificate, a credential or a degree at the associate level or higher. At present, however, the Southern Regional Education Board’s (SREB) analyses of educational attainment data suggest that millions of young Americans are being left behind in the transition from high school to college and well-paying jobs. Significant numbers will never graduate, and many who do go on to college will never complete a credential with value in the marketplace. Credentials for All: An Imperative for SREB States, the final report of SREB’s Commission on Career and Technical Education, offers a powerful solution to this problem: Provide more than one pathway to college and careers.”

A Hunt Institute ‘Bridge’ of Their Own:

While busy promoting the SREB’s last report in a series of them, HI has produced some of its own ‘bridge’ reports for connecting K-12, post-secondary education, and alignment to the CCSS/CTE way of educating our students (remember, all ages attend post-secondary schools).

While the report I’m about to share is ‘state specific’ it can be used as evidence to research what your state may have going on that is either the same or eerily similar. Remember, the Hunt Institute has been instrumental in promoting CCSS is every state; SREB is busy promoting CCSS/CTE across several states (other regional education boards complete the coverage across the nation). (*Note: I’ve written several articles on SREB and those other regional education boards, you can find them by searching my blog, just insert the acronym for the region you wish to find.)

Hunt Institute’s series, “CoNCepts”, from their latest issue: “This issue of coNCepts examines the ways North Carolina’s K-12 and higher education systems are working together to ensure college and career readiness for all students by aligning K-12 with post-secondary expectations, creating clearly defined pathways for career training and college preparation, and forming robust partnerships with industry.” Further down the page, you’ll see: “ As part of NC Ready for Success, NCDPI has partnered with ACT to administer a series of college readiness assessments: EXPLORE (8th grade); PLAN (10th grade); and ACT (11th grade). Beginning in 2011-2012, PLAN and ACT were administered to all 10th and 11th graders free of charge. These assessments inform students, parents, and educators about the student’s current academic trajectory, as well as where further interventions and support are required.” See the screen shot below of another page from the ‘CoNCept’ issue.

New Schools, Jobs for the Future have been traced to ties with the CCSS Machine; NCCCS (NC Community College System) has been aligned to include CTE/CCSS, as well.
New Schools, Jobs for the Future have been traced to ties with the CCSS Machine; NCCCS (NC Community College System) has been aligned to include CTE/CCSS, as well.

To read the rest of the HI’s CCSS/CTE education reform news: CoNCept-Issue5


SREB, Southern Regional Education Board:

One of the last times I researched and wrote about the SREB designs on post-secondary education was another report from the same series as Hunt Institute refers to above. That was back in  April 2015. That report’s name was ““Community Colleges in the South: Strengthening Readiness and Pathways”  The report HI is promoting is titled, “Credentials for All: An Imperative for SREB States”. The new report, like it’s predecessor, has 8 strategy points laid out. I’ll not repeat the former 8 points from the April 2015 article, but I am including the link so you can read it for yourselves. You’ll also be able to see how the Gates Foundation and others are backing the SREB (you can bet the other regional education boards are just as well taken care of by the CCSS Machine). See April’s SREB article:

The latest SREB bridge connector from K-12 to post-secondary titled “Credentials for All: An Imperative for SREB States” is more of the same we’ve seen from those seeking to misguide Americans into believing all this CCSS/CTE reform is the best we can do for our students. No, it’s the best the CCSS/CTE Machine can do to undermine our country!  “Credentials” includes a message to the SREB states (and those of us fighting CCSS/CTE) from the Governor of KY. Here’s an excerpt from his message, One of my goals as chair of SREB and its Commission on Career and Technical Education is to promote policies and practices to support strong career pathways that help more students earn industry and post-secondary credentials and obtain good jobs.”

The latest 8 action steps laid out in “Credentials” are as follows:

“1) Build bridges from high school to post-secondary education and the workplace by creating rigorous, relevant career pathways driven by labor market demand.”
2) Expect all students to graduate academically ready for both college and careers.
3)  Select assessments of technical and workplace readiness standards that offer long-term value to individual students, employers and the economy; carry college credits; and are directly linked to more advanced certifications and further study. 
4)  Provide all high school career pathway teachers, especially new teachers from industry, with the professional development and fast-track induction programs they need to meet high academic, technical and pedagogical standards and enhance students’ academic and technical readiness for college and careers.
5) Adopt a framework of strategies to restructure low-performing high schools around rigorous, relevant career pathways that accelerate learning and prepare students for post-secondary credentials and degrees. 
6) Offer early advanced credential programs in shared-time technology centers, aligning their curricula, instruction and technology with home high schools and community and technical colleges.
7)  Incentivize community and technical colleges and school districts to double the percentage of students who earn certificates, credentials and degrees by setting statewide readiness standards and aligning assessment and placement measures with those standards. Other strategies: Use the senior year of high school to reduce the number of students who need remediation, retool developmental education, adopt individualized support strategies for struggling students and improve affordability. 
8) Design accountability systems that recognize and reward districts, high schools, technology centers, and community and technical colleges that double the number of young adults who acquire post-secondary credentials and secure high-skill, high-wage jobs by age 25.”

How these action steps are taken in your states is something you MUST read for yourselves. It includes federal and state pressure via funding. Get the entire report by accessing it here: CredentialPlan

Remember, your state may not be an SREB one, but you can more than likely find the exact message from your regional education board or one extremely like this. Why? Because while all 50 states don’t have CCSS, every one of them, by law has Career Tech (aka Workforce). As I stated in the beginning of this article:

                                                                        What starts in HR5 ends in HEA!

Sic’ ‘Em Saturday: Using Community Colleges for More ‘Core’

It’s not new news that community colleges are Common Core aligned via either their ‘dual enrollment’ courses (which serve high school students) or the Career Pathways/Career Clusters tracks. However, I have found a new document that gives 21 ways to make the bonds of the CC even STRONGER.

SREB, Southern Regional Education Board:

“The Southern Regional Education Board works with 16 member states to improve public education at every level, from pre-K through Ph.D. A nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, SREB was created in 1948 by Southern governors and legislatures to advance education and improve the social and economic life of the region. Member states are Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia.”

I’ve written about SREB a few times before. so I know how supportive of CCSS they are. Recently, the entity has published a Community College Report. Titled “Community Colleges in the South: Strengthening Readiness and Pathways” The work going into this is the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

As I normally do, I’ll only give you the highlights from the document. You can access the entire document from here to research on your own. What if you live outside of the SREB’s domain? I’ll be sure to show you how to find the Regional Education entity in your area by the time we’re through.

Point #1:
Community colleges are essential to achieving state goals — increasing educational achievement of the population, increasing access and completion, eliminating achievement gaps, closing opportunity gaps, and addressing workforce and economic development objectives. These complex institutions are also flexible, adaptable, affordable, community-based, user friendly and proximate to the state’s population.”

Point #2:
“Community colleges serve students, employers and communities.” (think P3 involvement on hyper-drive)

Point #3:
“SREB’s Community College Commission met several times during 2013 and 2014 to recommend policies and practices to increase students’ college and career readiness through effective community college and K-12 pathways. Composed of community college system leaders, legislators, national experts and others.” Below, are the numbers the Report provided:

Point #4:
“In an effort to tighten the connection between state goals and funding, approximately half of the states in the nation are moving to outcomes-based funding. In states such as Ohio, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Mexico, Tennessee and Washington, state support — all or in part — is derived from a funding formula with metrics specifically designed for community colleges. Program designs in most states would reward institutions on a range of measures, including rewards for students who reach momentum points such as successful completion of a specified number of credits, transfers, success with underserved populations and at-risk students, completion of STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) programs, as well as completion of certificates and degrees. Programs with higher rates of completion receive incentive funding for contributing to a state’s educational attainment goal. Although now used widely, outcomes-based funding is still controversial…”

Point #5:
Addressing the admittance policies that could be changed, “The urgency to redesign both placement and developmental education is fueled recently by the impending, new college- and career-readiness standards and associated assessments being implemented by most states. These nationwide standards and assessments are more rigorous, especially with respect to reading and writing, and the more demanding assessments most likely will publicly reveal a much more severe readiness problem. To these points, the recent National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) 12th grade achievement-level results for literacy and math — which apply performance expectations empirically linked to college success and to the new common readiness standards — show that only 38 percent of students perform at or above the Proficient level in reading, and 26 percent perform at the Proficient level in math. Hence, these placement and remedial challenges must be addressed so that colleges and students come closer to meeting the postsecondary completion goals set by most states…” 

Point #6:
“….emphases in the emerging new common college readiness standards, there is a growing call to address the fundamental and logical importance of students being able to read with comprehension moderately complex texts across a variety of content areas.”

Point #7:

Regarding math readiness, “In fact, numerous examples in postsecondary education (public and independent) have resolved this issue by requiring math other than college algebra (or precalculus) as a free-standing degree requirement. For non-STEM majors, many institutions accept, for degree credit, math courses such as finite math, introductory statistics, contemporary math and quantitative reasoning. It is thought that the logical and critical reasoning and thinking skills required for a degree — for future careers and perhaps for successful study in other areas of the curriculum — can be nurtured through rigorous engagement in these courses. The four major math associations (American Mathematical Society, American Statistical Association, Mathematical Association of America, and Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics) will issue recommendations this year that college algebra no longer be a general education course requirement.” Not much further down the page the discussion of which math areas would be considered as alternatives, “The construction and implementation of these new approaches to developmental education centering on these courses is proceeding through the work of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching’s Quantway and Statway projects and the New Mathways Project from the Charles A. Dana Center at the University of Texas.”

Point #8:
“…placement and readiness evaluation tend to identify and assess literacy skills based on students’ abilities to read texts of moderate- to lower-level complexity, within a narrow range of academic disciplines. Too often, these evaluations do not challenge students’ abilities to read and understand academic or technical texts, or to analyze and explain their meaning in writing. This ability to read more complex text in many subjects is critical to students’ abilities to succeed in postsecondary education. For example, the most commonly used placement tests, Accuplacer and Compass, use relatively simple texts and writing prompts. The lack of challenging literacy readiness standards and assessments explain why math skills have been viewed as the area which most contributes to the readiness problem.” Not too far down the page, “Moreover, many state K-12 systems have adopted new literacy standards, such as the Common Core State Standards and others, that are based on the deep and effective reading of complex information texts across different disciplines and the ability to engage in expository writing that parallels the higher text complexity.”

Point #9:
“Public schools need the direct support of community colleges to meet the immense readiness challenge. Community colleges need to lead in making more students ready for postsecondary education, especially in supporting systematic high school efforts to raise achievement in literacy and math skills. Community colleges need to engage in the following activities jointly with local public schools:  *Send specific, concrete messages about the literacy and math readiness skills needed.  *Support the need for junior-year readiness assessments based on specific readiness skills and standards*Support the provision and required enrollment of students in 12th grade bridge or transition courses based on the literacy and math readiness skills. These courses should be taken by students assessed as not ready by the junior-year assessments and provide a way to move developmental education from the community colleges to K-12.  *Provide concrete, actual examples of first-year community college course work to high schools. SREB will use its convening and advocacy capacity to bring together groups of states to address these recommendations; in light of the controversial nature of the recommendations…”
Point #10:
“One of the most underutilized strategies to support student degree completion is the emphasis on a well-defined, rather narrow pathway that students should adhere to in order to complete an associate or bachelor’s degree in a timely manner.” Not long after you read this, you’ll read this, “A structured guided pathway is an academic program map where faculty have sequenced the courses and identified well-defined learning outcomes. Pathways imply structure and guidance toward timely completion and next steps along the path. Structure and guidance are both important and costly. They include adequate and appropriate advising that focuses on careers and programs, rather than courses, and keeps students on track, requiring them to have a plan and declare a major early. Pathways help students build credit toward a certificate or skill base, should they leave the institution before completing a certificate or degree. They provide the opportunity to take accelerated courses such as dual enrollment and Advanced Placement.” Wait, there’s this as well, “While the definition of a structured or guided pathway may vary somewhat, policy-makers, educators and business leaders agree that postsecondary programs of study that lead to certificates and associate degrees must be better aligned with local, regional, and state workforce needs. Additionally, the programs and courses should be regularly evaluated against workforce needs.”

There is SO much more you need to read in this report! Access it: CommCollegeCom_2015
Of interest: The SREB upcoming College/Career Readiness Conference! Set for July 2015 in Atlanta. (see: http://www.sreb.org/page/1615/CCSSConference.html)
Who funds SREB? Here’s the list of CCSS funders we’ve seen so many times before:
*Alfred P. Sloan Foundation
*Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
*Consolidated Management Resources
*Lamar Plunkett Family
*Lumina Foundation
*National Board of Professional Teaching Standards
*National Research Center for Career and Technical Education, University of Louisville
*National Institutes of Health
*National Science Foundation
*The Pearson Foundation
*U.S. Department of Education

Want to learn more about SREB’s preK-PhD work? http://www.sreb.org/page/1068/about_SREB.html

Other regional Education Boards:
WICHE, Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education: http://www.wiche.edu/
MSC, Multi-State Collaborative: http://www.sheeo.org/projects/msc-multi-state-collaborative-advance-learning-outcomes-assessment#What
NEBHE, New England Board of Higher Education: http://www.nebhe.org/
MHEC, Midwestern Higher Education Compact: http://www.mhec.org/
Consortium of State and Regional Education Research Associations: http://www.srera.org/
American Educational Research Association: http://www.aera.net/

WYBI: CCSS Supporter Profiling Higher Ed Degrees

Back in 2011, The CCS/CTE/CCR (Common Core Standards/Career Tech Ed/College, Career Readiness) and other higher education institutions got a ‘leg up’. Thanks to Lumina’s desire to be a part of the “Goals 2025”. What IS the ‘leg’? What is Goals 2025? How does Lumina play a part in this; better yet, what is Lumina? Come along my friends, fellow anti CCSS Warriors, and associates…We’ve got lots to go over.

Lumina Foundation:

For our more seasoned warriors against CC, we know what Lumina is. However, for those who are new to the war against the Core, Let’s see what kind of foundation Lumina is.
Their website: http://www.luminafoundation.org/ Lumina is private and independent (meaning it’s not for profit, non stockholder group) Their main reason for existence? Getting more Americans into higher education. Their budget to do this? Over $1 billion dollars. To access their fact sheet: http://www.luminafoundation.org/about
On the policy page of the website, here’s the first sentence you’ll read, “Any effort to make meaningful social change is notoriously difficult and inherently risky—and some aspects are too risky for anyone but foundations.” You’ll go on to read how they do not support legislation one way or the other; that they hold the public’s trust. Their leadership influences both federal AND state levels. What a pity all that power and money is devoted to aligning American students to the agenda behind Common Core. Lumina’s been around since 2000.

Profiling Your Degrees:
As stated above, this written report was published in 2011. Lumina enlisted the help of the Institute for Higher Education Policy (IHEP), Center for Higher Education Management Systems (NCHEMS), a professor and author from Kent State University, and Association of American Colleges & Universities (AAC&U).
From some of the pages, I was able to glean the following points. Quality outcome based education always lends itself to needed assessments; benchmarks for students for all 3 levels of higher learning institutions graduation requirements (meaning associates, bachelors, and masters); the profile will guide both students and instructions in regards to curriculum and lessons so that the students goals and understanding align with the institution they are attending; field specific training and competency based learning are also some of the main goals (I’m not quite sure how that’s higher quality..I mean I want my oldest daughter about to enter grad school to MASTER her field. After all, it is called a “Masters Degree” and not a “Competency Degree”!)
Here’s a visual of how this is to look (you’ll need to enlarge it):

The 5 areas? Applied Skills, Civic Skills, Broad/Integrative Knowledge,Specialized Knowledge, and Intellectual Skills
The 5 areas? Applied Skills, Civic Skills, Broad/Integrative Knowledge,Specialized Knowledge, and Intellectual Skills

Here’s the PDF. Please, research it. There is much more to be learned in this document. While it was published 5 years ago, it should give you a better understanding how and why higher learning institutions are becoming more and more common. They have to be, look at the CCSS Machine. It relies on total alignment from PreK to Career. The_Degree_Qualifications_Profile
Goals 2025:

This initiative relies on outcome based education. It operates on the premises that by the year 2025, America should have a 60% higher education graduation rate. While that doesn’t sound so bad, remember Lumina’s all about CCSS/CTE/CCR. Even their description of the Goals 2025 uses the phrase ‘obtain a high quality degree or credential’. This program began in 2009. If you looking for more of the same old rhetoric about global achievement and where we supposedly lag; how America MUST be globally competitive; how business need skill-based workers…then this is your jackpot! This Goals 2025 initiative also has all the redesigns for those 21st century learners, too. Gee, aren’t we lucky?! You see by having more graduates, we’ll have a better socially gifted country, we’ll have better economics, too. Of course, all this will have to be conducted in the ‘Even Steven’ fashion. God forbid we should let anyone NOT attain a high quality degree or credentials. By the way, just WHOM or what entity ensures these degrees and credentials are worth more than the paper they’re printed on? According to Lumina’s 2013-2016 Strategy Plan for Goals 2025, THEY WILL! Access the Strategy:

University Innovation Alliance:


This brainchild is funded by not only the Lumina Foundation, but the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation as well. Website: http://www.theuia.org/#home You won’t find the above fact on the website, in plain sight. No, access the Prospectus ( UIA-Vision-Prospectus ) This document will not only give you ‘facts’ and figures, but you’ll be able to see how, as this Alliance grows, more involvement with ‘subject experts’, technology, and other public, private partners will be a great thing. You’ll also see the memo sent to the U.S. Dept. of Ed for their input toward the re-authorization of the HEA (Higher Education Act).

Here’s the YouTube Video for the Alliance which I found on Lumina’s website:

Lastly, Lumina’s Common Core Devotion:

Connecting K-12 and Higher Ed via the CCSS:

Guiding schools and school districts toward successful implementation of the Standards:

Here’s the Heartland Institute’s report on the biggest foundations fund CCSS. Lumina is among them.

From the Stop Common Core NC website, this article on how Lumina helped fund a “NC Ready for Success” program.

From the SREB, Southern Regional Educational Board, their account of how they are working with Lumina. Note, you’ll see the Gates Foundation there, as well.

From Oregon’s “Core to College” website, how Lumina and the big members of the CCSS Machine, are involved in several states with this same program. (Note: 2011 is when all this began).

FYI: Most of Lumina’s money, if not all of it, comes from the sale of it’s original company to Sallie Mae. As in THE Sallie Mae and student loans. You see, Lumina began its life as USA Group. USA Group is what Sallie Mae acquired.
Here’s a press release: http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/sallie-mae-completes-usa-group-transaction-new-executives-and-board-members-named-72598737.html

NY Times stated this transaction took place in 2000. Their article states $770 million. So how Lumina’s been able to turn that into billions? I don’t think we need to guess too hard. http://www.nytimes.com/2000/06/16/business/company-news-sallie-mae-agrees-to-buy-usa-group-for-770-million.html

I’ll be looking more in depth at some of the other groups mentioned above which helped Lumina with the Degree overhaul. Stay tuned for the follow up!

FTF: Creating Common Core Minions

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

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

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


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


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

Other Ties to CC Which CREATE Has:

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

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

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

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

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

CREATE Can Link You To:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Back to CREATE:

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

Related to CREATE:

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

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

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

Sic’ ‘Em Saturday: CCSS in Christian Schools, Even More!

In Yesterday’s Fib-o-Meter Friday post, there was quite a reaction to the revelation about CCSS in more ways than we’re being told about showing up in Christian private schools. After the mountain of responses I received, there was one from a mid west state (OK) who asked if I could help her get her family’s struggle out to others.

A fed up Mom from OK has a CCSS story to share, do you?
A fed up Mom from OK has a CCSS story to share, do you?

The Mom:

(names have been changed for privacy’s sake) Bobbie has an ” 8 year old” student who attends a private Christian school in a large city within Oklahoma. Here are Bobbie’s words about the teachers views in regards to WHAT they teach:

Insist they don’t use common core and told me it is their duty to teach my 8 year old about “difficult social subjects like drinking, drunk parents, drugs, and curse words!” This was after I found my 8 year old with an assigned book that had an alcoholic mother who abandoned her child, curse words, descriptions of several types of alcohol, and name calling.” 

Bobbie’s Fight So Far:

Here’s what Bobbie asked I share with others wanting to fight CCSS in Christian private schools, “I raised heck….It has been so frustrating.” Bobbie has also seen books assigned to her 8 year old about alternative lifestyles. Like many parents, the alternative lifestyles aren’t so much the issue as to WHEN they are taught, HOW they are taught, and by WHOM they are taught!! Parents, like Bobbie, who’ve shared similar experiences have echoed this many times over! Why are the school leaders NOT listening? Another part of Bobbie’s fight you need to know, “I specifically told them that they did not have my permission to enlighten my daughter about sex, drugs, etc and can not believe what I’m reading!” Here’s what else Bobbie noted about teachers, ” they let the 3rd graders have a free for all with the 7th grade books apparently. I know 2 inappropriate books went out the door at least and I know from experience that I am the only 1 of 19 parents that even pay attention to what comes home.”
One of the books Bobbie shared with me her 8 year old had to read is Judy Blume’s “Just As Long as We’re Together”. Here’s a screen shot Bobbie sent me.

According to my OK friend, Bobbie, this is from page 228. Plenty more references to making out, being called a 'slut', and other inappropriate things for an 8 year old.
According to my OK friend, Bobbie, this is from page 228. Plenty more references to making out, being called a ‘slut’, and other inappropriate things for an 8 year old.

Oklahoma’s Private School Stance:

Believe it or not, I have a 2009 U.S. Dept. of Education pdf file that details  each of the 50 states private school regulations. Here’s an excerpt from the Introduction, “State Regulation of Private Schools provides a brief description for each state of state legal requirements that apply to K–12 private schools in the United States. This document is intended to serve as a reference for public and nonpublic school officials, state policymakers, researchers, and others. This report is an update of the 2000 publication by the Office of Non-Public Education (ONPE), State Regulation of Private Schools, which in turn was an update of the 1993 publication by the (then) Office of Private Education, The Regulation of Private Schools in America: A State by State Analysis.” 

According to the Report, here are the topics each state has legal jurisdiction over: “Accreditation/Registration/Licensing/Approval, Teacher Certification, Length of School Year/Days, Curriculum, Recordkeeping/Reports, Health and Safety Requirements, Transportation, Textbooks, Testing, Special Education, Nursing and Health, Technology, Professional Development, Reimbursement for Performing State/Local Functions, Tax Exemption, Public Aid for Private Education, Homeschooling, and Information Resources.”

 Now, for Bobbie’s sake, and parents who are like her in OK, you will need to access the document and turn to page 226 to begin OK’s policy. Here’s what the Report says for Accreditation, “For accreditation, private and parochial schools must comply with the standards prescribed for public schools and members of the faculty must hold state certificates as required of teachers in public schools. Okla. Stat. Title 70, §3- 104.” Now, since it’s 6 years later, I wanted to see if the State Statute has been updated since this Report. Here’s what the latest one I could find says about private schools in OK, “Private and parochial schools may be accredited and classified in like manner as public schools or, if an accrediting association is approved by the State Board of Education, by procedures established by the  State Board of Education to accept accreditation by such accrediting  association, if application is made to the State Board of Education  for such accrediting;” (to see the entire OK Education General Statute, http://oklegal.onenet.net/oklegal-cgi/get_statute?99/Title.70/70-3-104.html)

So, this leads us to wonder just which organizations accredit private schools there. So, let’s see if we can find out. (If you haven’t read Friday’s post, I share with you how to get to those organizations which hold our private schools, especially the Christian ones, accountable.)

Before we answer THAT question, however, let’s FINISH up what the U.S. Dept. of Ed’s 2009 Report stated about the REST of accrediting schools. “No requirements for registration, licensing, or approval.” Further down, any private school teacher must be certified for private schools which are accredited. There’s more under the Length of the School Day..like this, “A school day shall consist of not less than six hours devoted to school activities, except that a school day for nursery, early childhood education, kindergarten, extended day program, and alternative education programs shall be as otherwise defined by law or as defined by the State Board of Education.” 

Bobbie, I wish that were all, but look at this about those internet based programs your 8 year old is more than likely using, “Each district board of education shall adopt policies and procedures that conform to rules for Internet-based courses as adopted by the State Board. Such policies shall include criteria for approval of the course, the appropriateness of the course for a particular student, authorization for full-time students to enroll in Internet-based courses, and establishing fees or charges. No district shall be liable for payment of any fees or charges for any Internet-based course for a student who has not complied with the district‘s policies and procedures. Districts shall require students enrolled in Internet-based courses to participate in the Oklahoma School Testing Program Act. Students participating in Internet-based courses from a remote site will be responsible for providing their own equipment and Internet access, unless the district chooses to provide the equipment. Credit may not be granted for such courses except upon approval of the State Board of Education and the district board of education.” 

Here’s where it gets interesting..Curriculum! According to this Report from 2009, “The Oklahoma Heritage Association coordinates annual observance of “Oklahoma Heritage Week” and includes parochial schools in its efforts….Proprietors of private and parochial schools have a duty to display the flag of the United States of America… As a condition of receiving accreditation from the State Board of Education, all students in grades nine through twelve shall enroll in a minimum of six periods, or the equivalent in block scheduling, of rigorous academic or rigorous vocational courses each day, which may include arts, vocal and instrumental music, speech classes, and physical education classes.”

To see the entire 2009 Report for all the States, http://www2.ed.gov/admins/comm/choice/regprivschl/regprivschl.pdf

Now, back to the question we’ve yet to answer: Which organizations hold the accreditation reins in OK??

NAIS (National Association of Independent Schools):

http://www.nais.org/Articles/Pages/Commission-on-Accreditation.aspx, once on this page, be sure to click on the “Model Core Standards” highlighted words. Here’s an excerpt of what you’ll get, “Model Core Standards are those which define the culture of independent schools and relate directly to the first of the Criteria for Effective Accreditation. While they do not serve as a template, these standards reflect the core elements of our schools and their operation and should be represented in some form in a regional or state association’s accreditation instrument. ” Okay, sounds ‘innocent’, but let’s look a bit deeper, shall we?

If you type in the general search bar “CCSS” you’ll get over 4 pages of information the NAIS has on the Standards, from assessments to resources, and more. (see:  http://www.nais.org/Search/Pages/Results.aspx?k=common%20core%20state%20standards) Here’s a screen shot for you, Bobbie (it’s from the NAIS 2014 published Annual Report for fiscal year ending 2013).


To see the entire Annual Report, NAIS_AR2012-13_4web

OPSAC: (Oklahoma Private School Accreditation Association Consortium)

Website: http://opsac.org/

This Consortium assists the OK State Board of Education. Here’s an excerpt about HOW they assist, “Any private school that is accredited by an OPSAC-recognized accrediting association is recognized by the State Department of Education as an accredited school. This acknowledgment of accreditation ensures that students are able to transfer between public and private schools and that the service of state certified teachers in accredited private schools is recognized by the state. The intent is that all privileges extended to state accredited private schools be also extended to private schools accredited by OPSAC-recognized accrediting agencies.” Now, the website does say the schools aren’t expected to give up what makes them unique. (see: http://opsac.org/about-opsac)  Since the OK State Board of Education is the one group which began the OPSAC (1995), it won’t have an annual statement that I could find. It won’t necessarily have corporate partners either. BUT as an entity of the State Board of Education, it should have reports to the OK state legislative body. FIND those, Bobbie! See if you can connect the dots from there to those who support the Common Core. I can tell you by looking at the main web page for the State Board, the one ‘smoking gun’ is SREB (South Regional Education Board). Here are 2 articles I’ve written exposing all the CCSS alignment from SREB.
See: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/10/10/fridays-post-breaking-news-you-need-to-know/  AND

Lastly, just by having College Board as one of the government funded CCSS supporters involved, would be a HUGE indication that those private school in OK would have more entrenchment than you can shake a stick to, Bobbie. Where did I find that? On the Independent Schools Association’s website, http://www.isasw.org/about-isas/affiliations/index.aspx

Closing/ Action Steps:

To step up the fight in OK, or any other state you’re suspecting the private schools have aligned more so than they are admitting to OR to have them respect your rights as a parent, try these steps.
1) Request Freedom of Information Act Requests and be diligent in pursuing receiving them! It’s ‘strange’ how many FOIAs get ‘lost’.

2) IF there are corporate sponsors, know which ones, where they are tied in to education (these are called P3, public, private partnerships). Are they members of the Business Round Table or the State’s Chamber of Commerce Common Core Coalition?

3) IF the group you’re researching is part of the State level government, there should be accessible documents to the citizens. Search the archives for the General Assembly (or whatever your State Senators and House of Representatives call themselves).