Tag Archives: State Chambers of Commerce

Know Thy Local Board, Parts 1 and 2

Part One:

Warriors Against Common Core, how well do you know your local school board? Are you a school board member? If so, how well do you know the State laws for your important position in the community? If you are a school board member, read what I’ve found and ask yourself, ‘Am I okay with this?’
These questions and more await us in today’s in-depth article.

The Search Began:

I was recently contacted by a concerned NC citizen. She needed help in figuring out what is State law for school boards, does local policy adhere to State law, and, is there any policy which side-steps the State, and goes to a federal level of compliance. All excellent questions.

I shared with her I’d already found one NC county school board with a local policy which, from all appearances, seems to side-step the State of NC and pledge compliance to the federal level. (See below)

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Warriors, I profess that I am not a lawyer, but with a policy which reads like this, it certainly calls into question, why is a county school board appearing to go around the State law to pledge adherence at the federal level?

FYI: The ‘NC Standard Course of Study’, aka, ‘Essential Standards’ (Common Core rebrand) are written into State law. Look for NC General Statute 115C, Article 8.

While I didn’t find a similar policy for the county I was contacted about, what I found in our State law is worth sharing. It also gives us some BIG questions to have answered!

Part Two:

The School Board Laws In NC General Statute 115C, Article 5:

1) Access the Statute here. You’ll notice that the specific legislation is 22 pages. One of the most immediate concerns we should all be thinking ahead about: Will school boards across America change much under the ESSA mandates?

1’s Reality: Here in NC, our school boards are locally elected. However, not every State is the same. Elected or not, what does it mean locally? ESSA  increases power, both at federal and State levels.

2) In the paragraph marked 115C-36 (Page 1), Said boards of education shall have general control and supervision of all matters pertaining to the public schools in their respective administrative units and they shall enforce the school law in their respective units.”
The big questions: What is ‘school law’? Does the ‘enforcement’ mean ‘any and all measures’? What group holds the school board in check to ensure local citizens there’s no manipulation of the assigned power?

2’s Reality: Under ESSA, all education MUST be aligned to post-secondary readiness as defined by WIOA (Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act). WIOA is not a specific ‘school law’. It DOES encompass education, but it is, after all, a U.S. Dept. of Labor law. How will NC, or, for that matter, ANY State, fare locally with their school boards when a workforce based law dictates education?!

3) Near the bottom of Page 2 and continuing on Page 3, “The local board of education shall revise electoral district boundaries from time to time as provided by this subsection.”
Wait, What?! Yes, according to NC Law, local boards can adjust districts. BUT these are depedent on federal Census information. Supposedly, the benefit is financial, BUT, consider these realities, Warriors:

a) The Census is being used by the CCSS Machine to orchestrate neighborhoods, manhandle museums and libraries, and more. From right here, in the town I live in, an excerpt from this article about local control and federal overreach.
“* You will see lots of data (includes the U.S. Census) and graphs used to support the moves; you’ll see the increased push for social and economic equality;”

b) ESSA’s codification of Promise Neighborhoods, as well as the continued creation of 21st Century Community Learning Centers.

c) Does your State have ‘Prosperity Zones’? NC does. There’s even another State Statute in place to streamline jobs and their training. By now, we know that ESSA is the ‘missing link’ between jobs and training. While the article about the Zones is from 2015, you can see just how overreaching the federal government is and how State districts will directly play into the overreaches.

4) Page 4, under the paragraph 115C-40, this excerpt, “Local boards of education, subject to any paramount powers vested by law in the State Board of Education or any other authorized agency shall have general control and supervision of all matters pertaining to the public schools in their respective local school administrative units;”
Your big question here should be, does my State have similar language? If so, what other agencies in addition to the SBE, have control over my school board? What about heavy influence over the school board, is there a tie to the CCSS Machine?

5) Pages 9-21 spell out the 63 responsibilites and powers  local school boards in NC have, as well as are authorized to carry out. I won’t list all 63, but, I will point to the ones we should all be looking at, regardless of where you live. Each will be followed by a question to consider.
5’s Realities: a)  “To Provide the Opportunity to Receive a Sound Basic Education”, page 9.
Who decides the soundness of a basic education? ESSA says the States must have the Secretary of Education’s approval for what’s taught. Where’s the local control there?

b) “To Regulate Extracurricular Activities”. With ESSA’s 24/7/365 mandate for anytime, anywhere learning (you can’t have student achievement without being hooked to a computer device), this is going to be almost impossible for local school boards to carry out.
(Refer back to the embedded articles above about wrap around services in the community.)

c) “To Accept and Administer Federal or Private Funds”, page 10. Warriors, this is huge!
ESSA increases the amount of P3s in our schools. P3s are public-private partnerships. We have seen the damage of P3s in our educational systems across America. One of the biggest supporters for interferring business with education is Business RoundtableBR was big on Common Core; they are also behind CC’s other names: CCR (College and Career Ready) and CTE (Career Tech Education). Let’s not forget some other big names in creating P3 overload in our local schools: The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, your State Chambers, and Bill Gates. (*Note: Items 32, 32a, 34, and, 34a on Page 15 are directly related to MORE P3 education through Career Tech Education, Community Colleges, or School-to-Work.)

d) “To Sponsor or Conduct Educational Research”, bottom of Page 10. ESSA’s ‘educational research’ includes an in-home assessment for how well connected to the internet everyone is America is. See my article.Also, Warriors, any time you see ‘educational research’, think of what the underlying activity: data mining. Then, the big question: What group or groups did my local school board hire?

e) “To Adopt Rules and Policies Limiting the Noninstructional Duties of Teachers”, Page 13.
ESSA’s not kind to teachers at all. They are expected to teach to post-secondary readiness, regardless of age or grade, their pay will be factored by overall student success and engagement, AND, they will become quasi-doctors via the social emotional learning and behavior interventions. (*Notes: Look directly below the ‘teachers’ on Page 13 and you’ll see their training, as well as principals. Use all 3 embedded links directly above and apply. Then, refer to Page 18, Items 43 and 46) Our big question here: What pro CCSS/CCR/CTE/STEM groups is my school using at their discretion OR the State’s bidding which train, incentivize, or other wise reward for aligning teachers to ESSA?

f) Page 15, “To Appoint Advisory Councils”. This is legalized in yet another NC State General Statute. Appointing key positions is dangerous. No vote means no voice. This, in the long run, mutes the taxpayer’s and parent’s voices. Big question: Are these ‘advisors’ local or are they somehow connected to the educational reform?

Closing:

I noticed in searching some of the NC local school board policy pages, that more than 1 have not only our State Board of Ed to satisfy, but AdvancED, too. What is AdvancED? A  sold out CCSS Machine member organization. In my County, the exact words are:
“Maintain accreditation of its schools by AdvancED and/or the State Board of Education.”

We’ll pick this up in my next article, Warriors. We’ll also address how city school boards, private schools, home education, and, charters authorities will be treated in the ‘ESSA Era’

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School Board Special, Part Two

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Welcome to Part Two of my series devoted to those running for elections, especially the school board positions across America. Like this Weekend’s article, it is lengthy, but you MUST know this information! Your schools depend on it.

Running for school board jobs ARE so much MORE important than they get credit for. In case you didn’t get the Part One of this series, here is the link: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2016/01/23/the-school-board-special-part-one/ (*Note: In Part One, I have provided both the links to the ESSA Final Conference Report as well as the Final Law Version, as a candidate, you need both!)

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Kindergarten to 12th Grade:

Of all the grade groups Common Core Standards have impacted, the K-12th group has been the most talked about, the most publicized. If you have followed my blog long enough OR heard any of my speeches, chats, or interviews, you know that I have purposed to expose the CCSS Machine in all the other areas and educational choices. However, I have plenty to share with you concerning the K-12th grade group, too. For example, if you are seeking office, did you know there was an initiative which set CCSS into motion? (and which the ESSA will continue?!) For starters, see the picture below of the track  Pre-K-12th graders are experiencing thanks to Common Core State Standards Initiative!

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Here’s the CCSS pipeline. The NGA(National Governors Association) and the CCSSO (Council of Chief State School Officers) have ensured our students are put through this.

The CCSSI (Common Core State Standards Initiative):


What do I mean by the CCSS Initiative? Simply put it refers to the entire scope of not only the CCS Standards, but the agenda which accompanies it; the resources (including curriculum and assessments); and ANYTHING else connected to the Common Core.

As a candidate, you need to know that there is a real CCSSI, not just a set of educational Standards known simply as Common Core State Standards. If you would like to learn all you can about the CCSSI, please see Donna Gardner’s credible work. She was there in the U.S. Dept. of Education years ago, and has been witness to the CCSS Machine’s roots.
See: (Part One) 
http://cityonahill.squarespace.com/city-on-a-hill-blogs/2010/8/28/common-core-standards-parents-need-to-ask-why-is-there-no-de.html
Part Two:
 http://cityonahill.squarespace.com/city-on-a-hill-blogs/2010/9/4/nationalizing-or-federalizing-education-ccsi-the-inside-stor.html
(*Note: Part Three’s link was broken, as of this writing)

As many anti CCSS Warriors have stated since the ESSA’s passage, we have been lied to about this! As a candidate of any race where education will be impacted, this is probably the single MOST important information you can glean from this series!! Do not simply take the mass media or Congress’s word for it, we ARE NOT free from the Common Core State Standards Initiative!

The only references I have found to the CCSSI (Common Core State Standards Initiative) in the ESSA Final Conference Report (that over 1,000 page bill no one in Congress appears to have bothered to read) were located on page 130 (pertaining to standards and assessments), page 825 (pertaining to educational waivers), page 843 (pertaining to financial support from the federal government and how its officials/representatives are limited), page 859 (‘‘(a) IN GENERAL.—Nothing in this Act shall be construed to prohibit a State from withdrawing from the Common Core State Standards or from otherwise revising their standards.”)

Now, if you only stop there, as both the U.S. Congress and the mass media did, you can say this language means exactly what it says, that the States were no longer tied to the Common Core!

Candidates, think of it this way, “Whatever happens in Las Vegas stays in Las Vegas.” Educational federal law plays the same game, whatever started in the ESEA was carried over each time to some degree or another until the ESSA. ESSA, however, makes the previous versions look like a powder puff.

 

Alphabet Soup,  D.C. Style:

Before we ‘dig in’ to the ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015) to learn how it will continue the Initiative behind Common Core:
1) Know that the ESEA (Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965) got replaced with ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act) in between these two? NCLB (No Child Left Behind) followed by the RttT Initiative (Race to the Top).
2) Know that STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math), STEM to STEAM (same as STEM with the Arts added in), WIOA (Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014), CTE (Career Tech Education), CP (Career Pathways) are also woven into the ESSA Law. (*Note: If you did not know that STEM is part of the Presidential agenda for education, I urge you to read one of my very first blog articles where the Report detailing HOW STEM was the among the ultimate goals of aligning America via the CCSS! See:
https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/09/02/from-the-files-pcast-stem-and-common-core/)

Maybe you've heard of STEM, but have you heard about STEM to STEaM?

Why you, as a candidate, need to know this? STEM is a huge selling point among the States for not only education, but for a workforce. STEM is also woven into the WIOA of 2014!

As a candidate, knowing which alphabet soup acronym stands for which one is important.

 

One more game D.C. has played with us about all this? The ESSA’s Final Conference Report has been reduced to a mere 391 page law! You will find all of the same points from the Report embedded in the Law, just not as wordy. We need the entire context so we can know how we are being duped into the lie that CCSS will no longer be a player in American Education! You can access both documents in Part One of this series.

 

From the ESSA Language Itself:

One thing you can count on is this, the shift in name from Common Core State Standards to College and Career Readiness as well as Challenging State Academic Standards, is about the only shifting there will be, as far as names.

You have to look harder at the Law. As evidence look on Pages 5 & 6. Here the tricky language begins. It’s context is about what programs will continue to receive multi-year funding and which won’t

(As a candidate, you need to know which programs in your school districts receive multi year funding and were provided for under the old ESEA (Elementary and Secondary Act of 1965), NCLB, RttT, you need to read this passage so you can understand how the ESSA will continue select programs.)

Why this is important: it is to cover the TRANSITION from one law to another!

Speaking of transitions, look at Page 7 where you will see what the Secretary of the U.S. Dept. of Education is in charge of in regards to the States!
“ORDERLY TRANSITION.—Subject to subsection (a)(1)(A)(i), the Secretary shall take such steps as are necessary to provide for the orderly transition to, and implementation of, programs authorized under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 6301 et. seq.), as amended by this Act, from programs  authorized under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 6301 et seq.), as in effect on the day before the date of enactment of this Act.”

Pages which follow this excerpt lay out the dates for the transitioning to begin. As early as July 1, 2016, folks!


Other Pages and Sections, You as the Candidate MUST Research:

Section 6, embeds all of the old ESEA into the new Law.

Section 1002, gives a grand total of the federal money to be awarded among the 50 States for the next few fiscal years. You, as the candidate, need to see the amounts, as well as the strings attached (ie: assessments).

Section 1003 details the strings attached to Section 1002.

Section 1004 details all the ‘Direct Student Services’. As part of the ‘Services’, this is where you can see the WIOA and CTE begin to appear for elementary and secondary students.It is here you will see the AP(Advanced Placement) Courses and IB (International Baccalaureate) students encompassed.
How will this make a difference in your candidacy? The amount of funding your State receives and the hoops the LEAs (local education agencies) are to use the funding. Not only that, but jobs mean money for your States. The economic health of America has been a huge selling point from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce (courtesy of Bill Gates Foundation) and has been passed on to each State via the Chambers of Commerce. You will also see that in this Section, parents and higher education are also included in the alignment mix.

Section 4107 details for you what is meant by “Activities To Support a Well-Rounded Student”.  As a candidate, you need to know this is where the P3s (public private partnerships) will have an increased presence in the classroom, where communities are expected to align and help educate all students, and more! As part of the ‘Activities’, this is where you will see STEM really focused on.

Section 4108 details all the ‘Activities to Support Safe and Healthy Students’ your state must have (includes sex ed, behavior management, assessments, mental services, and so much more) As a candidate, read page 447 very carefully, as well as the immediate pages around it.

Section 4109 goes into all the digital and technology strings for education. This is a huge point of every school district and state budget. Read it, candidates!

Section 8005 State funding for elementary/secondary administration consolidation plans. (Remember, candidates, follow the money trail from the top down)
Section 8201 goes into more detail about money States receive from the federal government.

Page 489 begins the 21st Century Community Learning Centers. As a candidate, you need to know this is going to totally transform not only your local schools, but your communities. This Initiative is a huge part of the CCSS Machine! It has roots in not only the White House, but a entity called the Partnership for 21st Century Skills. If you do not know about this, PLEASE contact me, I will be happy to provide the information you really need to know!

Page 905 states what the U.S. Dept. of Education’s Secretary will oversee in each of the 50 States concerning the homeless students.

Page 910 gives you the requirements each State must meet per the U.S. Dept. of Education Secretary for every grant and sub-grant the States receive.

Page 911 details the assurances States must provide the U.S. Dept. of Education Secretary with each year.

Page 919 introduces the phrase “Ed Flex Partnership State” and will be given to every State meeting the U.S. Dept. of Education Secretary’s conditions. As a candidate, you need to read what those parameters mean.I urge you to read from page 919 to 941 so you can see how private schools are included. Of special note to you will be page 937 where the general public is to be informed of any State educational application for waivers (means money for your State and local districts). Also, page 938 points to a bridge (if you will) between elementary and secondary education to post-secondary education via Perkins funding.

Closing:

Candidates, is there more that will impact your K-12th graders? ABSOLUTELY! Will it be only the public schools hit by this? NO! Run your race with integrity, with truth, and with everything you can to kill the CCSSI!
Part Three will address the post-secondary alignment of education according to the CCSS Machine.
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