Tag Archives: STEM to STEaM

Weekend News: Worker Ed

Warriors in the War Vs the Core, we are approaching the one year ‘anniversary’ of the passage of the ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act) into federal law. While much remains status quo in the quest to transform American education into a skill based worker pipeline, much has already changed. As we approach a new calendar year, new administration, and new ESSA mandates in action, we must remember one thing:

     Protect the students, teachers, and citizens!

Just take a close look at the feature shot above. It was one of the simplest ways to illustrate how all the recent laws, initiatives, and programs tie altogether for one goal. What the   CCSS Machine often calls our students: ‘human capital’ or ‘talent pipeline supply’.

Those recent laws?
HEA (Higher Education Act of 2008) is said to be currently under its latest rewriting
WIOA (Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014),
STEM* (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) Act of 2015
 ESSA, 2015

*STEM actually appeared about the same time as Common Core State Standards according to a 2010 PCAST (Presidential Council of Advisors on Science and Technology) Report.

Each of these connect Career Tech Ed, Career Pathways or Clusters,  STEM to STEAM, American Apprenticeships, and all the associated programs to the shift from academics to workforce. ESSA refers to all of this as ‘college and career readiness’ or ‘challenging state academic standards. ESSA also collectively groups all the initiatives and programs into professional development/streamlined learning with one goal:

                        Post secondary readiness in competency based education

 

Workforce/Ed News With A Spin:

During the past week, the U.S. House’s Ed and Workforce Committee have been zipping out press releases ‘celebrating’ the important work of the past few years under Rep. Kline’s leadership. Somehow, we the Warriors and Citizens, need to be reminded of the pro CCSS/CTE side of education at the hands of these legislative educrats. They are desperate to have us believe all this reform will make our nation stronger.
However, this past week isn’t the only time the CCSS Machine has used Congress to churn out fodder. Since the last recess began, Ed/Workforce has zipped out many such press releases. I’ve dug through those and shown you the fallacies. I’ll include them in the Related Resource section below.

The ‘Success’ Emails:

A quadruple spun set of Ed/Workforce articles began showing up in my email on Nov. 30th. The subject title? “Leadership & Results: Empowering Americans to compete in the workforce”
The email was quick to point out that under Rep. Kline’s leadership, the Committee had worked hard on the behalf of all Americans. The track record of ‘success’ begins (in the email) in 2007. It also points out the Skills Act* of 2011 where Rep. Foxx was a key player. (Look for my Skills Act article below in Related Resources.) The email ends with the terrific news about WIOA becoming law. No where in the email does it state Rep. Foxx was set to become the new chair for Ed/Workforce.
*Skills Act (2013) stands for: “The Supporting Knowledge and Investing in Lifelong Skills Act”
It was also Rep. Foxx’s ‘baby’. (In Monday’s article, we’ll look closely at her education stance.)

The bottom line? American education had already begun its shift to becoming a workforce based education well before 2007, the Skills Act.

The next Ed/Workforce email was also dated 11/30/16. It’s subject line? “Leadership & Results Part 2: Helping every child receive an excellent education”
Right away, the red flag was the same introduction as the first. How hard Ed/Workforce had worked to represent the citizens of America. Another red flag? The ‘lifelong learning’ educratic phrase is code for ‘birth to grave’ streamlined education* (look for “Local Schools Open for WIOA in ‘Related Resources’). This email was all about how ‘local’ ESSA is going to make American education.

The bottom line? No American citizen truly desires ‘success’ at the price our government expects our education system to cough up.

Ed/Workforce’s third email (dated 12/1/16) focused on child safety via Neighborhood Development Block Grants. The subject line stated it this way, “Leadership & Results Part 3: Protecting the nation’s most vulnerable”This will most definitely continue to tie education to the U.S. Dept. of HHS (Health and Human Services). In ‘Related Resources’ look for  the “Sure Fire Disaster” article.

Lastly, the series of ‘success’ emails showed up on Dec. 2nd. It’s subject line, “Leadership & Results Part 4: Making it easier for students to pursue higher education”. This email touted the “Bipartisan Student Loan Certainty Act of 2013”. Warriors, while I have not studied this Law, I can tell you what I do know about higher education when it comes to the federal overreaches. Look in ‘Related Resources’ for them.

To find all 4 press releases: http://edworkforce.house.gov/news/documentquery.aspx?DocumentTypeID=1854:1826:1925:1825:1924:2481

Related Resources:
1) This one shows Rep. Foxx’s statement in support of competency based, federally supported innovations in education, as well as Rep. Kline’s ties to Sen. Alexander, along with how Lumina and other CCSS Machine members are involved:
https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/08/23/weekend-news-hea-higher-ed-act-and-the-common-core/

2) The Skills Act article: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/09/29/ftf-more-tracking-the-workforce-aligned-society/ (*Note, it will show you how the SKILLS Act was embedded in not only WIOA, but will link you to my article where it was also embedded in the House/Senate versions of what was to become ESSA! In case you do not spot the link (will be in ‘Related Articles’ at the bottom, here is the link: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/09/27/weekend-news-tracking-the-ccsscteworkforce-aligned-society/)

3) WIOA and HEA embedded into ESSA articles (has page numbers to the Final Conference Report version):
a) https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/09/27/weekend-news-tracking-the-ccsscteworkforce-aligned-society/
b) https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2016/01/05/essa-ties-to-wioa-2014-and-new-citizens/

4) ESSA and WIOA, along with HEA and STEM mean to have every citizen, regardless of age or school choice, somewhere in the ‘talent supply, workforce based education pipeline’.
https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2016/08/23/local-schools-open-for-wioa/ (*Note: this is also the article where you will find the featured image.)

5) How ‘local’ can a State be with ESSA aligned national leadership (P3s,  public private partnerships)? These articles expose what Ed/Workforce didn’t.
a) https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2016/03/22/essa-aligners/
b) https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2016/02/04/essa-and-digital-overload/
c) https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2016/02/05/weekend-news-the-ies-and-the-essa/
d) https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2016/02/18/essa-and-teacher-pay/
e) https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2016/03/01/warriors-guide-to-essa-and-private-education/
f) https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2016/03/28/principled-leadership-in-the-essa-era/

6) Just one of the HHS articles I have which directly relates to ESSA and fed ed overreach:
https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2016/10/23/sure-fire-disaster-fed-ed/

7) The ‘affordable’ post-secondary education myth can be tied to the CCSS Machine in these articles. One of the most vocal selling points for HEA re-authorization will most definitely include student debt load and taxpayer burdens. While it is true these need addressing, must they be tied to the CCSS Machine to achieve them?! NO!!!
a) https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2016/05/28/affording-ccss-higher-ed-reform/
(*Note: takes a look at federal and state (NC) legislation meant to help ease student debt, but with a ton of CCSS Machine strings.)
b) https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/06/11/tech-thursday-more-alexander-hea-and-the-next-america/ (*Note: written in 2015, this one shows you Sen. Alexander leading the bandwagon for higher education reform. Since he’s ruined K-12, we know he’ll ruin higher education, too.!)
c) Since we’re already in the fiscal year of 2017, you may wish to see how the ‘savings’ for higher education is to occur in this article. https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2016/02/13/big-bucks-for-post-secondary-ed/ (*Note: if you like, skip to the “Next Up: It’s All in the Name of Savings” portion.)

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Congress Loves CTE

congresscteAnti CCSS/ESSA Warriors, it’s one thing that Congress is in its recess right now, but have you seen what they did just before leaving D.C.?  Look above. Both of these, HR5587 AND S3271 made their debut in July 2016.

If you have followed my research and writing for long, you know that one of my specialties is ‘Common Core’ after high school, regardless of where the PreK through High School is completed.

If you haven’t followed me long, then you haven’t seen how, in the fall of 2014, I exposed the Adult Common Core State Standards, or how, I exposed how the Career and Technical Education was changed to Career Tech Education. You haven’t seen where I tied Career Clusters, Career Pathways, The American Apprenticeship Initiative, STEM, and STEM to STEAM, back to Common Core. To keep the focus on what is current, I will not be sharing the links to each of these juggernauts. However, if you need the information, please, let me know.

 

The Purposed Legislative Scramble ( more background before we tackle the ‘latest’ news):

In one of my articles published not long after the ink was dry on ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act), I told you the WIOA (Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act) was embedded in ESSA about 65 times. WIOA is also linked to HEA (Higher Education Act) via the Carl Perkins funding.

WIOA also ties back to the American Apprenticeships and STEM (along with the STEM to STEAM). ESSA has STEM embedded too. Most citizens have been shocked when I share with them that STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math; the ‘a’ was added later and embedded the Arts in STEM to create STEAM) is NOT separate from CCSS (Common Core State Standards) but is in fact a product of the interaction between the PCAST (President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology) and the President USING CCSS as a detractor from what was really happening! Just as CCSS is no friend to education reform, the way STEM has been rolled out, is not a friend either. Why? The goal of STEM is not education, but a ‘workforce nation’. Does this sound familiar?!

Think of it this way:

workforcenochoice
Warriors, there has been NO mistake about the workforce shift. There has been no law related (in any way, shape, form, or fashion) to education without it. These have been  carefully plotted moves in the making for YEARS. As other researchers have also shown you, the movement is global, not exclusive to America.

So, it shouldn’t really be a surprise to find our Congress creating MORE legislation along the streamlined workforce path already in place.

What’s a Warrior to do?! Speak up to your Congress members. Especially if they are sponsoring either HR5587 or S3271. Spread the knowledge, many citizens in America are convinced that CCSS (and now ESSA) is ONLY K-12 and in traditional type schools. THIS IS A LIE, regardless who tells you!

ESSA has birth to first grade readiness, special needs alignment, dual and concurrent enrollment, AP or IB classes/courses, and every conceivable education choice ensnared. Either through the digital assessments (to take place inside and outside the home), funding (not just education funds, but health/human services, labor, commerce, etc.), FASFA forms, and/or wrap around services for entire communities.  ESSA is written to conform, not to free States.

 

HR 5587, Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act:

Link to the Press Release: http://edworkforce.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=400923

Here’s what we need to know as Warriors Against Fed Led Ed:
1) Being championed as a ‘bipartisan’ piece of great legislation, 5587, passed the Ed and Workforce (U.S. House of Representatives) by a vote of 37-0.
2) 5587 was introduced by Rep. Thompson of PA and Rep. Clark from MA.
3) Press release is dated July 2016, Congress is in recess until early September.
4) The purpose of 5587? “reauthorizes and reforms the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act to help more Americans enter the workforce with the skills they need to compete for high-skilled, in-demand jobs.”
5) Be sure to read the other Representatives who are featured in the Press Release. Take note of Rep. Kline’s. He was a huge backer of ESSA before it was called ESSA. Speaking of such, remember when you step into the voting booths in November that the House of Representative’s education bill (HR5) went on to become key in ESSA’s language. Also remember the voting record of HR5..it had not a single “No” vote.
6) You will also see several bullet points about the great flexibility States will have to streamline work and education (there is even a shameless plug for how it will help taxpayers). As we have proven with ESSA, State and local flexibility is not true.
7) 5587 is 88 pages long. It takes effect 7/1/17. Subtle shifts in language (just as in ESSA) pack a powerful punch. How so? See for yourselves, “(A) by striking ‘‘academic and career and  technical skills’’ and inserting ‘‘academic knowledge and technical and employability skills’’; (B) by inserting ‘‘and programs of study’’  after ‘‘technical education programs’’;  (2) in paragraph (3), by striking ‘‘, including  tech prep education’’;  (3) in paragraph (4), by inserting ‘‘and programs of study’’ after ‘‘technical education programs’’; and  5  (4) in paragraph (6), by inserting ‘‘or programs’’ after ‘‘education schools’’ ”
8) You’ll also see other big shifts in the language, like ‘in demand’ occupations, regionally based education, competency based education, etc.
Get the download Act 5587:
strengthening_career_and_technical_education_for_the_21st_century_act
(*Note: I will be doing a more in-depth article about 5587 in the near future, as I will with
S3271)

S3271, Workforce Advance Act:

The Press Release from Sen. Bennet (CO)‘s website: https://www.bennet.senate.gov/?p=release&id=3742
Again, bipartisanship is being heralded.
Again, ‘more choice’ in learning (a very false positive statement). See how Sen. Bennet’s website stated it, give more high school students the opportunity to take career and technical education college courses that can help prepare them for success in the 21st century. The Workforce Advance Act will help strengthen and expand dual and concurrent enrollment and early college high school options as part of Perkins-supported career technical education (CTE) programs. Strong CTE programs can provide vital access to the knowledge and skills needed for job and career success.”

But that’s not all S3271 will do. Check out what teachers have to look forward to, “The bill would allow schools to use a portion of the funding they receive through the Perkins Career and Technical Education Act for tuition and fees for CTE college courses. It would also allow school districts to use funding to support teachers pursuing the credentials needed to teach these courses in their high schools, helping to remove a barrier to providing access to college credit. Finally, the bill would allow the Department of Education to use national CTE activities to help identify successful methods and best practices for providing dual or concurrent enrollment programs and early college high school career and technical education opportunities.”

Warriors, ‘region specific education’ is already written into ESSA. Teachers being trained to teach post-secondary readiness (for college and career) is already written into ESSA! ‘National activities’ and CTE activities’ are also already written into ESSA!

Other tentacles of WIOA, HEA, STEM, and ESSA in S3271:
1) apprenticeships
2) public-private partnerships, especially in businesses
3) data mining and sharing of data between U.S. Dept. of Ed, U.S. Dept. of Labor, U.S. Commerce Dept., and all of these at the State levels, too.
4) more use of students as ‘lab rats’ for ‘evidence based research’.
5) how those in rural areas will be encompassed
6) special needs tracks for CTE will also increase

See the S3271https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/senate-bill/3271/text
Presently, the U.S. Senate’s HELP (Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions) Committee has S3271. This is also the same group headed by Sen. Lamar Alexander. HELP is also charged with checking up on how ESSA is progressing.

Where did the backbone for S3271 come from? According to the Senate’s supporting documents for S3271, the State Directors for CTE  and the Assoc. for CTE created a document of principles for S3271. See: Senate Principles Crosswalk_FINAL

What you see below is the evidence to verify what my research has already shown,
1) that WIOA is, in fact embedded in ESSA.
2) that school counselors (per a White House led Initiative) are to influence students
(related will be the counselors at the one-stop-job/career-centers where non traditional students and those seeking a job will be influenced)
3) that ANY school receiving Perkins funding will be impacted (this includes the proprietary (for profit) schools and virtual schools.

essawioa

Closing:

Reach out and contact a Congress member soon. If you Tweet, use any of the info above to create appropriate messages of dissent. If you have access to them in other social media, use whatever you need to make your points. Here is a list of the Congressional Twitter accounts: https://twitter.com/verified/lists/us-congress/members?lang=en

Can we stop Congress from passing these? I believe we can. Both have only been introduced. Both haven’t cleared their respective Chambers, much less crossed over. Neither has been signed into law yet. Let’s get busy, Warriors!

What you see below is from Dec. 2015, when Perkins Funding received an extension to continue funding across the nation for all those in CTE courses. It was signed just days after ESSA was passed into law.

The rope is tightening, Warriors, but we can break that rope with massive amounts of teamwork!

heaext

Full Steam Ahead

stempbl1
Make NO mistake: it has been a calculated plan for STEM and Common Core to be directly related. Thanks to the ESSA, it will be even more embedded in education via College and Career Readiness.

For this edition of my Weekend News, I will be diving into STEM, STEAM, College and Career Readiness and how these connect to not only education, but a top-down Washington, D. C. led agenda to make our nation a STEM one.

How I know STEM is a Top-Down Agenda for the Nation:

1) The first article I wrote exposing the PCAST (President’s Council on Advisors of Science and Technology will give you the full Report laying out how STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) was to be quietly implanted in the (then) about to be released Common Core State Standards. The Report will state (in so many words) that the agenda was for a STEM nation, a STEM workforce, and we would be STEM citizens. This agenda is meant for everyone, not just students in traditional schools. If you haven’t read it: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/09/02/from-the-files-pcast-stem-and-common-core/
Here you will find out how STEM was embedded in your RttT funding and has been extended via education waivers:
https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/12/02/wybi-wednesday-rttt-stem-ed-waivers-and-more/

If you would like to access the current activities of the PCAST, where STEM will certainly be a huge factor of:
https://www.whitehouse.gov/administration/eop/ostp/pcast (*Note: Be sure to read their ‘Future Cities Report’ as well as the ‘Smart Cities’ Imitative from the White House.) You can access both here: “Smart Cities”: https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/09/14/fact-sheet-administration-announces-new-smart-cities-initiative-help
The PCAST Future Cities: pcast_cities_report___final_3_2016

2) Further evidence was revealed here on my blog about the connections of Common Core, STEM, and STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, and Math).
a) https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/05/27/wybi-stem-to-steam-ties-to-common-core-pt-1/
b) https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/05/28/tech-thursday-pt-2-stem-to-steams-ties-to-common-core/
c) https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/05/28/tech-thursday-pt-2-stem-to-steams-ties-to-common-core/

Where to Find the Above in the ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act):

For the Data portions, as featured in my previously published article directed to those seeking school board positions: “Data (and all that goes with it), Technology, and the In Home Assessments:
Page 123; 138; Page 255; Page 363; Page 450/451; Page 463/464; Pages 485-488; Page 508; Page 630; and Pages 943/ 944.”

For a very detailed look at the Digital/Data/Transformation, see:
https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2016/02/04/essa-and-digital-overload/

For some of the ways our communities will be transformed via Promise Neighborhoods which qualify as Future Cities: “Section 4624, titled “Promise Neighborhoods” specifically.” See this article for all the other information connected. It is HUGE! https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2016/01/04/meet-your-new-neighbor-essa-seriously/ ”

Another of my articles will show you more on how our communities will face education transformation where you will be able to find STEM/STEAM, etc:
https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/12/05/weekend-news-essas-untold-ties-to-hea/

As featured in my previously published article about ESSA and Teacher Pay, the way in which the STEM Master Corps is involved, “Page 406 Enter the ‘STEM Master Corps’! “State-led effort to elevate the status of the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics teaching profession  by recognizing, rewarding, attracting, and retaining outstanding science, technology, engineering, and mathematics teachers, particularly in high-need and rural schools.”

This article gives you a state specific example of the STEM overreach in education:
 https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2016/03/10/update-ccss-cte-stem-and-connect-nc-bond/

Visual Evidence of the Overreach of STEM/STEAM  in our communities:

Here, where I live, in NC, the daily media is stepping up the STEM offerings for our community. I first showed you this effort last year, 2015 in my article titled ‘Aligned Summer’. In it you will find a short You Tube video, as well as links to check out for  yourselves to see where and how STEM is being quietly implanted.
 https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/05/09/sic-em-saturday-aligned-summer/

From a local charter school (click on the picture to enlarge it):
CharterSTEM
From an NC University:
WCUSTEM
From the Charlotte Observer, an entire listing of community STEM offerings:
http://www.charlotteobserver.com/living/health-family/moms/article9134246.html
CharlotteSTEM

From the Boy Scouts of America:
BScoutSTEM

From the Girl Scouts of America:
GirlsSTEM

From a Christian Camp near my home:
ChristianSTEMTo find the camp: http://www.charlottechristian.com/page.cfm?p=981, to find the descriptions like you see above, select dates/descriptions, then choose a week.

To find out how Legos is aligned to Common Core, see: https://education.lego.com/ru-ru/lesi/elementary/lego-education-wedo/curriculum/standards-correlations

Another upcoming camp for Girls and STEAM:
STEAMCamp

If you want to know what those who implant STEAM in our schools do, read this excerpt from ‘How to Start a STEAM Program’, “The approach to STEAM varies from school to school, depending on each district’s appetite for integration. Some schools fully immerse the arts in STEM subjects, developing a full year’s STEAM curriculum to accompany
every lesson unit. Other schools pick and choose projects to integrate throughout the year.
Many schools are creating physical spaces, often called “makerspaces,” as a home base for STEAM. Similar in vibe to a lab or studio, these makerspaces are often converted storage closets or computer labs. Students can work in these makerspaces on STEAM projects independently, in small groups or with a whole class. Typical materials and devices in a makerspace run the gamut: 3D PRINTERS, LASER CUTTERS, ROBOTICS KITS, ELECTRONIC INVENTION KITS SUCH AS THOSE FROM LITTLEBITS AND MAKEY MAKEYCOMPUTERS,  CRAFT SUPPLIES, HAMMERS, NAILS AND SAWS, SEWING MACHINES and FABRIC.”
For more about Little Bits and their STEAM connections, http://littlebits.cc/
For more about Makey Makey from JoyLabz and their alignment: http://blog.makeymakey.com/2014/09/24/jay-silver-stem-everywhere/

To see the entire document (where you can see how more actions are taking place for STEM/STEAM Communities), WP-littleBits–How_to_start_a_STEAM_program

Related to the very first picture above,  where you see PBLS, CCSS, and STEM:
For PBLs (Project Based Learning) and their connections to STEM:
https://21centuryedtech.wordpress.com/2011/10/06/connecting-pbl-and-stem-40-free-engaging-resources-to-use-in-the-classroom/

For PBLs and their connections to Common Core:
http://www.edutopia.org/project-based-learning-common-core-resources

For PBLs and College/Career Readiness (which is one of the phrases used in the ESSA in place of Common Core):
http://www.p21.org/news-events/p21blog/1593-project-based-learning-and-other-college-readiness-tools- (*Note: P21, Partnership for 21st Century Learning is heavily involved in the total community makeover we are being set up for via ESSA. You can also access their views about how great STEAM in from the main page. Just look to your right hand side menu.)

For the State Level legislation embedding STEM in our lives (NC as the example):
http://www.ncga.state.nc.us/enactedlegislation/statutes/pdf/bysection/chapter_116c/gs_116c-5.pdf and http://www.ncleg.net/Sessions/2009/Bills/Senate/PDF/S1198v4.pdf

For a State Level Dept. of Education’s overall STEM plan, again with NC as the example:
http://www.dpi.state.nc.us/docs/stem/overview/education-strategic-plan.pdf

STEM in the Workforce from a state level (NC is the example state):
Education and Workforce Innovation Program Legislative Report 4 30 15

The federal level of STEM in education as a law:
https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/house-bill/1020/text

For the look into WIOA (Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014 and how it ties STEM to not only our workforce on a national level, but ties to the HEA, Higher Education Act.): https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/07/30/tech-thursday-part-two-of-the-hea-stem-the-workforce-and-america/ (*Note: Part One is embedded in this article.)

Closing:

Anti CCSS/Fed Ed Warriors, make no mistake, our nation is being STEAM rolled! Use the above information and visuals to investigate what is happening locally and state wide in your states! Don’t forget the local public libraries, the museums, after school programs, your cities parks/recreation departments, even your churches upcoming VBS programs.
Check out this 16 minute STEM Vacation Bible School held in VA back in 2014 (the website page: http://nsbepotomacriver.org/event/vacation-bible-school-nsbe-stem-initiative-workshop/)

School Board Special, Part Two

belike

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!)

1233416_726644914053517_244803995707399755_n

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!

PipelineR10
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.
Smokey3

Weekend News: ESSA’s ‘Untold’ Ties to HEA

How the Initiative behind all that Common Core encompasses SEES your students like this.
How the Initiative behind all that Common Core encompasses SEES your students like this.

Warriors Against the Common Core, as you know I’ve devoted much of my research to finding where the CCSS Machine (my name for the all encompassing agenda and parts of the Common Core State Standards Initiative) is lurking in post-secondary education, as well as the other non traditional educational choices of public K-12 schools. In my last article I promised you I would reveal MORE ties between the ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act, formerly Every Child Achieves Act or S1177) and the HEA (Higher Education Act). The biggest connection which I shared with you in that article was WIOA (Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014).

WHY this matters: As I have stated in previously posts and publicly, NO educational choice will escape the alignment embedded in WIOA, ESSA, or HEA! ANY student seeking a post-secondary education (regardless of public colleges, universities, community colleges, for-profit (proprietary) schools, on-line courses, some Christian colleges, or some private colleges/universities) the CCSS (Common Core State Standards), CTE (Career Tech Education), CP (Career Pathways), STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and, Math), STEM to STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, and, Math), CC (Career Clusters), and, AAI, (American Apprenticeship Initiative) will be there! These programs will not respect your natural talents or intelligences; they will not respect those with special needs. Too much misuse of Title 1, 4, and 9 funds; Perkins Funding; and other state funding formulas has already been committed to the joint union of the U.S. Departments of Education, Labor, and Health/Human Services to ignore the purposed alignment, yet, many have…especially the legislators (both on federal and state levels).  We need to also consider that since the labor aspect in woven in to include anyone seeking a job, those looking for employment will also be impacted!!

If you wonder how I’ve been able to connect the CCSS Machine to higher education, please refer to my previously published articles (please note, these are just 3 of the many like them; if you would like more proof, do not hesitate to let me know, I will be happy to provide you with as much evidence as you need):

1) This one gives you a detailed history of how the U.S. Dept. of Education AND the U.S. Dept. of Labor joined forces to align a workforce based education long ago and how the CCSS Machine fits into it:
https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/10/23/tech-thursday-blast-from-our-workforce-past/
2) This one is a detailed look from this past summer (complete with page numbers and groups helping align our schools for workforce, post-secondary CCSS/CTE):
https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/09/21/monday-musings-the-boys-are-back-in-town/
3) How the HEA fits right into the UNESCO global agenda of aligned citizens/workers. This one also shows you how the ESSA will do the same:
https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/09/08/ftf-human-capital-the-new-name-for-citizens/

So, Where’s the HEA in the ESSA?

For a short answer, ties to WIOA and the HEA appear at least 168 times! How did I get this number? Since the ESSA is well over 1,000 pages, I used a keyword search of the document. I used the educractic buzzwords I’ve come to learn from the documents are the key words for CCSS/CTE, Workforce alignment. Below are my results:

Keywords of ‘Perkins Funding’ (for CTE): a total of 8 references to page numbers 38, 123, 132, 516, 677, 939, 993, and 1026.
Keywords of ‘Higher Education’: a total of 64 references to page numbers 33, 35, 137, 167, 208, 302, 304, 315, 318, 338, 372, 387, 393, 397, 402, 431, 437, 439, 460, 470, 473, 478, 594, 598, 599, 608, 611, 625, 628, 637, 639, 685, 687, 692, 694, 728, 730, 731, 780, 781, 802, 847, 848, 898, 952, 971, 972, 991, 1018, and 1043.
Keyword of ‘Career’: a total of 63 references to page numbers 33, 38, 48, 123, 132, 137, 138, 163, 165, 167, 171, 264, 265, 266, 268, 271, 273, 274, 275, 297, 318, 320, 324, 337, 338, 344, 358, 425, 428, 474, 490, 503, 516, 545, 575, 579, 600, 601, 615, 677, 684, 685, 695, 716, 726, 728, 870, 880, 892, 903, 939, and 993.
Keyword of ‘Workforce’: a total of 33 references to page numbers 33, 39, 128, 132, 165, 266, 273, 293, 325, 344, 464, 497, 509, 516, 601, 611, 659, 695, 708, 734, 813, 913, 945, 949, 1049, and 1057.

While I’m slowing working my way through each of these pages, I want you to know that I’ve been able to find out how (pages 32- 36) LEAs (local education agencies) and funding states receive will be used. Note how the funding is used, what groups are to receive it, which groups are targeted.

“(c) LOCAL USE OF FUNDS.—A local educational agency receiving an award under this section—
 ‘‘(1) may use not more than 1 percent of its  award for outreach and communication to parents  about available direct student services described in  paragraph (3) in the local educational agency and  State;
(2) may use not more than 2 percent of its  award for administrative costs related to such direct  student services;
(3) shall use the remainder of the award to  pay the costs associated with one or more of the following direct student services
(A) enrollment and participation in academic courses not otherwise available at a
student’s school, including—
(i) advanced courses; and
(ii) career and technical education
 coursework that—
(I) is aligned with the challenging State academic standards; and
(II) leads to industry-recognized  credentials that meet the quality criteria established by the State under section 123(a) of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (29
 U.S.C. 3102);
(B) credit recovery and academic acceleration courses that lead to a regular high
school diploma;
(C) activities that assist students in successfully completing postsecondary level
instruction and examinations that are accepted for credit at institutions of higher education (including Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate courses), which may include reimbursing low-income students to cover part or  all of the costs of fees for such examinations;
(D) components of a personalized learning approach, which may include high-quality
 academic tutoring; and
(E) in the case of a local educational  agency that does not reserve funds under
section 1111(d)(1)(D)(v), transportation to allow a student enrolled in a school identified for comprehensive support and improvement under section 1111(c)(4)(D)(i) to transfer to another  public school (which may include a charter  school) that has not been identified by the State  under such section; and
 in paying the costs associated with the direct student services described in paragraph,
 shall—
(A) first, pay such costs for students who are enrolled in schools identified by the State
 for comprehensive support and improvement under section 1111(c)(4)(D)(i);
(B) second, pay such costs for low-achieving students who are enrolled in schools
implementing targeted support and improvement  plans under section 1111(d)(2); and
(C) with any remaining funds, pay such  costs for other low-achieving students served by
the local educational agency.
(d) APPLICATION.—A local educational agency desiring to receive an award under subsection (b) shall submit an application to the State educational agency at such
 time and in such manner as the State educational agency  shall require. At a minimum, each application shall describe how the local educational agency will—
 provide adequate outreach to ensure parents can exercise a meaningful choice of direct student services for their child’s education;
 ensure parents have adequate time and information to make a meaningful choice prior to enrolling their child in a direct student service;
 in the case of a local educational agency  offering public school choice under this section, ensure sufficient availability of seats in the public schools the local educational agency will make available for public school choice options;
 prioritize services to students who are lowest-achieving;
 select providers of direct student services,
 which may include one or more of—
(A) the local educational agency or other  local educational agencies;
(B) community colleges or other institutions of higher education;
(C) non-public entities;
(D) community-based organizations; or
(E) in the case of high-quality academic tutoring, a variety of providers of such tutoring
that are selected and approved by the State and  appear on the State’s list of such providers required under subsection (e)(2);
 monitor the provision of direct student  services; and
 publicly report the results of direct student  service providers in improving relevant student out comes in a manner that is accessible to parents.”

Warriors, if ever there is a time to let D.C. know THIS kind of alignment, abuse of our tax dollars is NOT the best for education or America, it is NOW! The Senate has yet to vote on the ESSA!! Use this kind of proof to alert them we WILL not be conformed to the CCSS Machine’s Workforce agenda!

Remember, there will be more information, proof I will share with you from the pages of the ESSA (which I have renamed for our purposes to mean “Erroneous Socialist Streamlined Agenda”) in the coming days! Remember as well that Sen. Alexander and Sen. Murray (as well as other Congress members in D.C.) have made it clear that what was laid out in the ESSA would be completed in the HEA re-authorization!

WYBI? Tying STEM to CCSS…Again

For my return to “Would You Believe It?!” Wednesdays,  I’ll share with you how the STEM Education Act of 2015  ties back to Common Core Standards. If you’ve followed my blog long enough, you are aware of the numerous times I’ve given you documented evidence of how STEM, STEM to STEAM, are all   aligned with CCSS. (Did you know there’s now a STEM to STREAM? (It stands for Science, Technology, R______, Arts, and Math).

STEM, by way of Common Core..and not in a distant galaxy.
STEM, by way of Common Core..and not in a distant galaxy.

So, What is the STEM Education Act of 2015?

If you haven’t heard of this new federal law, it became such on October 8, 2015. In a nutshell, the law states that STEM must now include computer science. While that sounds perfectly innocent, there’s more to this law than a simple course addition. You wouldn’t need a federal law for that.

Here’s one of the ‘there’s more’ statements: “to support existing STEM education programs at the National Science Foundation.” Now, before I go on, let me clarify that this statement is only a short version, or a summary of the law. If you were to stop there, again, you’d think ”this doesn’t sound bad”.
But, let’s look at the Act itself. Here are the other organizations this extends STEM to. “For purposes of carrying out STEM education activities at the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and the Environmental Protection Agency.”  These cover STEM in formal education settings, but wait..the new law covers STEM in informal settings as well. As in museums, camps, or anywhere else you can have an informal learning environment. Here’s the direct language, “improve STEM  learning outcomes and increase engagement for K– 12 students, K–12 teachers, and the general public,  including design and testing of the scalability of  models, programs, and other resources.” You’ll also want to read how the Master Teaching Fellows are included. Read the new law:
http://docs.house.gov/billsthisweek/20150223/SMITTX_1020_xml.pdf
To read how the Gates Foundation funded EdNews broke the story, see: http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/curriculum/2015/10/new_law_includes_computer_scie.html?cmp=eml-enl-cm-news2-RM

 


So, Where are the CCSS Connections?

Back in June 2015, I wrote an article after attending an education conference. Here is the one sentence expert from that article that ties NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) not only to STEM, but CCSS, as well: “NASA’s CCSS/STEM statement: http://spacemath.gsfc.nasa.gov/media.html 
If you’d like to read the rest of the article and where I found more CCSS/STEM ties:
https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/06/16/terrific-tuesday-anti-ccss-news/

NOAA: When I searched the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration website, I was able to find an entire library of NOAA, CCSS resources. See: http://search.usa.gov/search?affiliate=oceanexplorer.noaa.gov&query=common+core+state+standards
If you want to see their STEM resources, http://search.usa.gov/search?utf8=%E2%9C%93&affiliate=oceanexplorer.noaa.gov&query=STEM+&commit=Search
NOAA even has the Next Generation Science Standards! See: http://search.usa.gov/search?utf8=%E2%9C%93&affiliate=oceanexplorer.noaa.gov&query=Next+Generation+Science+Standards

 

EPA, The Environmental Protection Agency:

Their website is on you should certainly check out. Why? This agency is not only ‘big’ in education, but its ‘big’ into our communities as well. See their ‘students’ page.
http://www2.epa.gov/students If you visit there, notice how they are classifying their offerings for education. It’s called ‘Environmental Education’. See that page: http://www2.epa.gov/education

What might be of particular interest is their rather dated pdf on aligning EPA issues with those of educational standards. As they put it, ‘Aligning EE Resources to National and State Curriculum Standards’. In this document (from the days of NCLB), you will find the FCAT assessment, the ASCD (Gates Foundation funded educational company), and more! Please make note the EPA used the 1983 “Nation At Risk” report, and Americans questioning education as reasons to align their resources with education. The report concludes with how the EPA planned on continuing to align with education in the future. Get the document, EPAalign
You may find the Washington Post’s article about the EPA CCSS aligned reading materials a bit ‘snarky’. After all, who wouldn’t want to replace classic reading materials with insulation guides? See: https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/compost/wp/2012/12/07/the-common-cores-70-percent-nonfiction-standards-and-the-end-of-reading/

 

 

The PCAST Report:

Rather than continue on with how each of the named federal agencies are tied to CCSS, I want to go back to when I first began to blog about fighting CCSS. After years of in-depth research, and sharing in among a few people also fighting CCSS, I was encouraged to go national with the sharing. Hence, the blog. One of the first articles was the original tie between STEM and Common Core. Since then, I’ve referred to it a lot. Why? Because that PCAST report laid out how the need for a STEM nation would use the, then, new ‘common standards’. Here’s an excerpt you might appreciate, “Nuggets of information include clear bipartisan support in the need for education reform in general (page vi); on page v, increasing federal involvement in education and a presence of public private partnerships is also brought into play. I found it interesting that the P3s were mentioned before the states.”
Be sure to read this one, warriors. You’ll especially want to see point #3, where the 2 prongs and 5 overarching priorities are laid out. Read: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/09/02/from-the-files-pcast-stem-and-common-core/

If that’s not enough ‘evidence’, be sure to go back and read the 3 part series I wrote about the STEM, STEAM, and CCSS.
a) https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/05/27/wybi-stem-to-steam-ties-to-common-core-pt-1/
b) https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/05/28/tech-thursday-pt-2-stem-to-steams-ties-to-common-core/
c) https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/05/29/friday-special-post-part-3-stem-to-steam-ties-to-ccss/

Then there’s is the article about the STEM Affinity Network, The Race to the Top Funding, and Educational Waivers. Read, https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/12/02/wybi-wednesday-rttt-stem-ed-waivers-and-more/
For how CCSS/STEM devoted the NSF (National Science Foundation) is, read: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/02/18/wybiupclosewithnsf/

 

 

What About the Computer Science?

Notice in the new law it specifically adds computer science. How is computer science aligned to CCSS now? I found the Computer Science Teachers Association‘s map of each course in computer science and  its place in the CCSS. Get the map,
CSTA_Standards_Mapped_to_CommonCoreStandardsNew
You might be interested to know that the CSTA has ‘completed crosswalks’ with Google, Linux, Oracle, and Tech Corps. See: http://www.csta.acm.org/Curriculum/sub/CompletedCrosswalks.html
You can also see the CSTA map of the Computer Science courses aligned to STEM.
Get that map: CSTA_Standards_Mapped_to_STEM_Cluster_Topics-2
If you’d like to see the CSTA sponsors, see:
http://www.csta.acm.org/Sponsorship/sub/MeetOurSponsors.html
You shouldn’t be surprised to see Google and Microsoft among the sponsors, but you may be surprised that the College Board is also a sponsor. Warriors, remember, the College Board is funded by each state!

 

 

STEM to STREAM?

Above, you can see I have given you much information about the STEM to STEAM shift. But STREAM??  If we look at the EdWeek article, notice the ‘R’ could stand for ‘religion’, or ‘reading and writing’, etc. Is there a more non-Gates funded perspective to what the ‘R’ subject may be?
The National Writing Project has their opinion, ‘ agencies also realized that adding the arts to STEM is not enough. We also need to add the thinking skills embodied in reading and writing. STEAM may condense into STREAM!’ This project also states how the National Endowment for the Arts, the NSF helped with the ‘A’ in the “STEAM”. Refer back to the above STEM to STEAM articles to see how CCSS aligned both these groups are.
In 2014, Huffington Post shared their take on STREAM. Reading took the ‘R’. This article also shared how essential to the ‘core’ ELA (English Language Arts) has been. Read the article, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rob-furman/stem-needs-updated-to-str_b_5461814.html

In my researched opinion, it appears the STREAM, just like the other standards based education reforms, needs proper vetting BEFORE they are made into law, but more importantly BEFORE they are EVER introduced into our classrooms!!

Monday Musings: Who’s Responsible?

If HR 5, S117, and HEA pass AS IS, we can expect more of this scene above.
If HR 5, S117, and HEA pass AS IS, we can expect more of this scene above.

Warriors fighting to end Common Core and all that goes with it, if you’ve been following my blog in the past week, you’ll know that I’ve been following much of the concerted efforts aimed at our post-secondary students.

If you’re anything like me, you are beyond disgusted with the unabashed claims to all the federal overreach; all the P3 meddling; all the teachers being blamed; and all the students being sacrificed in the name of ‘education reform’, ‘global competitiveness’, and ‘the good of the national economy’.

We have corporations blaming everyone except themselves for the mess education is in. We have legislators creating education  bills where they have absolutely no jurisdiction. We have different parts of the federal level of government so busy pointing the finger at each other that it is absolutely childish.

In this game of ‘educational dodge ball’, we have our students right in the line of fire. Enough!! The game of dodge ball can be quite viscous. Yet, daily, we’re seeing the public-private partnerships pummel our kids of all ages with the initiative surrounding Common Core and all its related parts.

Daily these groups line up on opposite sides and throw educational landmines at our teachers, too. Yet, through it all, things remain mostly the same. Each state still has illegally based education reform via either the Common Core, American Apprenticeships, Career Pathways, Career Technical Eduation, STEM, STEM to STEaM, AP classess, IB Schools, Next Gen Science, C3 (the CCSS aligned replacement for civics), Workforce Education, and any other connected program.
Each state has received some sort of incentive in a variety of ways, from a variety of federal/state agencies that seemingly are helpful, yet, when researched, the ties to further constrain us are found. It can be enough to make one weary beyond belief.

However, I’d like to encourage us to in spite of the pain, the weariness, we KEEP informing others. We KEEP protecting our students! We KEEP those in authority in check. We KEEP exposing the corruption.

While the false arguments, the trumped up worded phrases which are double speak are being flung at us left and right, we have folks willing to speak up and share their personal experiences about living the CCSS Machine’s nightmare in education. For example, as a result of my recent articles exposing the post-secondary undermining, a brave former student reached out and shared the following:
“As for STEM, I am a STEM graduate, and am one of those who can’t find a job now. I found that 1/3 STEM jobs are going to foreigners now and 1/2 that go into STEM field are not ending up in it as a career.
My personal feeling is that STEM companies are partnering with Common Core so they can DELIBERATELY dumb down the kids and then use that as an excuse to hire more cheap labor foreigners.”

At least 2 post-secondary educators have also commented via other social media outlets about the horrors of alignment they are having to adhere to. One of these educators, who wishes to not be featured here, shared how the lies about the skills gap has been so overplayed it is a sham! Here’s a pro CCSS perspective on the responsibility of who we should be holding accountable. http://shop.mheducation.com/ideas/educator/prepare-students-workforce.html  An anti CCSS warrior’s response: ‘poppycock’!

Trace the educational failures back to NOT the people currently in the classrooms, but the switch from academics to outcome based education! Note how, since competency based models have been implanted in our schools,  education has taken a nose-dive! As long as the supporters of the CCSS mess are allowed  to keep producing ‘research’ which states the need for more of the same, we’ll not be free of it! Here’s an example of the ‘skills gap’ based on ‘research’. See: http://diverseeducation.com/article/76145/ (*Note: students are referred to as ‘human capital’)

Education has become so incestuous with the agenda behind the CCSS Machine’s work, it has polluted not only traditional schools (public schools of all kinds), but private schools (including homeschools and faith based schools), and our post-secondary institutions (including for profit ones). Please take the time to read this article by long time education watchdog, Charlotte Iserbyt, “The Death of Free Will, Parts I and II”. (http://www.deliberatedumbingdown.com/MomsPDFs/Death%20of%20FreeWill_12_11_2010.pdf)

Closing:
In my researched opinion, the responsibility of who’s to blame in the realm of all this educational is a red herring. Why? With so many pointing the finger at others (and they, in turn, point out even more folks), the REAL issue gets lost. What’s the REAL issue?! Eliminating the illegally based education reform from our nation! Stay informed about the REAL issue. Do not allow the red herring above or any of the others which are being served up almost daily to throw you off course. Help stop the senseless educational dodge ball ‘game’ the CCSS Machine has forced upon us.

Tech Thursday: Pt. 2 STEM to STEaM’s Ties to Common Core

Make NO mistake: it has been a calculated plan for STEM and Common Core to be directly related.
Make NO mistake: it has been a calculated plan for STEM and Common Core to be directly related.

Welcome back, anti CCSS Warriors, for Part 2 of my “STEM to STEaM: Ties to CCSS” article. In yesterday’s portion, you got the basic foundation of how STEM and Common Core became united. Today, we’ll dive into the “STEaM” portion of the mix. If you recall, we were using the analogy of a vehicle (CCSS), a driver (STEM), and the gas (STEaM) in our ‘engine’ yesterday. I’d like to continue to use that analogy.

The Gas,  “STEaM”:

In closing yesterday’s article,  I left you with the concept that no overreach from the federal level of government into education is proper. In order for the current p3 led overreach (aka: ‘Common Core’) to succeed, it’s going to need a lot of fuel..a propellant of sorts to keep the momentum up. While we’ve seen some of those new propellants pop us (Next Gen Science, C3 Civics, and others), none is as welcome (or needed) for STEM to carry on it’s ‘STEM citizenry’ than ‘STEaM’. As I shared yesterday, ‘STEaM’ is “Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, and Math”. The CCSS Machine has even cranked out a catchy phrase for the ‘gas’. “STEM to STEaM”. Who’s on board? Ahh…we’ll soon find out.

More STEaM, Less Americana:

Using the same PCAST Sept. 2010 Report from yesterday’s portion in this series, take a minute to look back at the 5 main agenda points. Using those 5 points, STEaM is the newest angle in the ‘national standards’ movement in American education. In our recent past, there’s been a “STEM to STEaM” movement which has involved not only a post-secondary school acting as headquarters for the movement, but U.S. Congress members, corporations, and elementary, secondary schools chiming in as well. Caucuses have formed in Washington, D.C. to seek federal funding for this newest ‘college and career readiness’ power. The post-secondary school wasting no time in being a cheerleader for the nation about “STEM to STEaM? Rhode Island’s School of Design.
( see: http://stemtosteam.org/about/ ) *Note: when I first learned about STEM to STEaM, it was spelled as I’ve been spelling it: where only the “a” is lower case, however, it appears that even that has been changed so that all the letters are now upper case. I’ll do my best to reflect this makeover from here forward.

According to “STEAM’s” website, our 21st century economy depends on it (Steam, that is).
Here’s their description, “In this climate of economic uncertainty, America is once again turning to innovation as the way to ensure a prosperous future. Yet innovation remains tightly coupled with Science, Technology, Engineering and Math – the STEM subjects. Art + Design are poised to transform our economy in the 21st century just as science and technology did in the last century. We need to add Art + Design to the equation — to transform STEM into STEAM. STEM + Art = STEAM STEAM is a movement championed by Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) and widely adopted by institutions, corporations and individuals. The objectives of the STEAM movement are to: transform research policy to place Art + Design at the center of STEM; encourage integration of Art + Design in K–20 education; and influence employers to hire artists and designers to drive innovation.”

Pause here for a moment and ponder how this fits with those 5 main agenda points in STEM. Refer back to the pages around 12 in the PCAST Report where it’s revealed that in order for the 5 agenda items to thrive, the need to embed them in Common Core had to be met. Now, let’s proceed, shall we?

June 2014:

For the STEAM folks, this is an important month. Why? It was in this month that a group from the NAfME (National Association for Music Education) went to Washington, D.C. for a Congressional event. Two days of “music in the 21st Century STEaM education” was held. As per the press release, 63 Congressional members were ‘on board’ with the concept. The goal? A better prepared 21st Century workforce population. Here’s the excerpt:
“Supported by Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici (OR) and Congressman Aaron Schock (IL), since its creation in 2013, the bipartisan Congressional STEAM Caucus has grown to include 63 members of Congress. The STEAM movement focuses on the inclusion of the arts in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) curricula, as the arts play a unique and critical role in helping students develop the kind of innovative and creative skills that they will need to succeed in the 21st-century workforce.” This was followed by NAfME’s purpose for being involved, “NAfME’s objective for the briefing is to explore the role of music in STEAM curricula, and to discuss how music helps students develop the workforce skills they will need to succeed after completing their studies.” To see the entire press release, http://www.nafme.org/press-release-nafme-congressional-briefing-explore-the-role-of-music-in-a-21st-century-steam-education/

Here’s a You Tube video of one of the NAfME’s Congressional Briefings. It’s from 2014. It is related to the press release above. Why I’m including it is due to the content. In this video you’ll see  and hear how the STEAM curricula (was at that point) still being developed. You’ll notice that in this arena, STEAM standards were still being fleshed out. But, you’ll want to note when and where in the video the efforts to make everything align to the current ‘common’ standards in place. The briefing is just one of the instances to seek more government funding (via research grants) to have music cause education to dig deeper and wider. Much of the very same CCSS language we’ve heard will be used in the STEM/STEAM presentation. All have the same goal: Orchestrated student lifetime success. To pull all this off, we’ll need MORE STEM/STEAM teachers (think of those 5 original goals). Note how only STEAM teachers will be able to teach STEAM topics. (does this sound familiar?) Expect to hear how data will follow the students (just like CCSS, STEM, Workforce). Oh, be sure you note what CCSS supportive corporation is also present at this briefing.

Simply put, all this is a bridge to connect one education reform aspect to another. And, it’s one the government is heavily banking on that we’ll embrace.

Related Sources:

A related resource you may like: NAfME’s call for aligning teachers to the (then) new CCSS aligned Art Standards: http://www.nafme.org/coalition-launches-call-for-benchmarking-teachers/

Another related resource: NAfME’s Congressional attention getting “Bubbles” CCSS aligned program.
See: http://www.nafme.org/teachers-spoke-nafme-listened-congress-got-the-message/


*Note: I bring up these both, as I’ve written on both of them in a previously published article. I  detailed for you HOW aligned to Common Core they both the Art Standards and the “Bubbles” are.  Both are included in the published post from Feb. of this year. See:  https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/02/15/rmt-ccss-hits-the-sour-notes/

Closing:

In the third portion, I’ll be showing you that STEAM is much older than it appears. How STEM has even more up its sleeve for America. It is my hope you’ll be able to see just how encompassing all this is and what it means not only for education, but for our country.

WYBI: “STEM to STEaM”, Ties to Common Core, Pt. 1

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

Some months ago, I shared with you that I’d dug into how STEM and Common Core are related. It’s not a popular subject. Why? Most folks don’t want to see how the two are directly hinged together. However, if we’re going to effectively FIGHT CCSS, we must know all the places it lurks!
Did you know the CCSS Machine has rolled out yet another ‘new’ portion of education reform? Yes, it’s called “STEM to STEaM”. In the first of multi day installments, I’ll share with you what else I’ve been able to uncover.

“STEM to STEaM”, What Does It Mean?:

We know STEM is short for “Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math”. Those supportive of Common Core aren’t content (are they ever?) to leave education alone. No, it appears a constant barrage of ‘new’ standards is always upon us. So what does the “STEaM” portion of the above phrase mean? “Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, and Math”. I’ve also shared with you, in the past, how the Arts have already sold out to Common Core via the National Arts Common Standards (see:
a) https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/02/15/rmt-ccss-hits-the-sour-notes/ and b) https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/04/12/rmt-national-humanity-common-core-style/ )

Enter CCSS: a Vehicle for Education Reform:

According to the publication I’ve referred to many times, “Common Core: A Global Education” by Berit Kjos, the roots of what we now know as CCSS began about 100 years ago. Then, in 2004, an agreement between Bill Gates and UNESCO was entered into. The purpose? Global curriculum. (See: http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/blog/?p=13825) Contrast those few facts with these following nuggets I found in the PCAST (President’s Council of Advisors for Science and Technology) Report from Sept. 2010.

1) What we know as STEM now, in their report, came alive in the 1980s and its purpose was to have aligned and benchmarked education standards. 2) To ensure this happened, as well as securing a way for the other agenda items PCAST had laid out, it was decided the BEST way to accomplish ALL of this was by inserting them into the CCSS as it was just getting off the ground. (remember, this report is from 2010, and the Common Core was just being unleashed in the States via Race to the Top funding.) To access the 2010 Report:
pcast-stemed-report

Enter STEM, the Driver of the Vehicle:

Using this same Report, let’s look at some of the exact words from page 12. These 5 items will lay out the agenda hiding behind what we’ve always had in education: science and math. We’ve also had engineering and technology. But, when you take these subjects and filter them through national standards, the ‘engine’ begins to grind down to a halt.

STEM-capable citizenry, a STEM-proficient workforce, and future STEM experts, the Nation must focus on two complementary goals: We must prepare all students, including girls and minorities who are underrepresented in these fields, to be proficient in STEM subjects. And we must inspire all students to learn STEM and, in the process, motivate many of them to pursue STEM careers.”

It is on this same page and the ones immediately following that you will see the Council’s plan unfold: use the Common Core Standards, train STEM certified teachers who will be the ones teaching STEM subjects, create more federal programs, initiatives that encompass the entire community (such as “Inspire”, “21st Century Community Learning Centers”, etc.)
Here’s an excerpt: “Stronger leadership, coherent strategy and greater coordination are essential to support innovation in K-12 STEM education. Toward this end, the Federal Government should (i) create new mechanisms, with substantially increased capacity, to provide leadership within each of the Department of Education and the National Science Foundation; (ii) establish a high-level partnership between these agencies; (iii) establish a standing Committee on STEM Education within the National Science and Technology Council responsible for creating a Federal STEM education strategy; and (iv) establish an independent Presidential Commission on STEM Education, in conjunction with the National Governors Association, to promote and monitor progress toward improving STEM education.” Funding for STEM (the federal government has earmarked billions of dollars)  and the number of programs connected (at least 220) is staggering. The public private partnerships participating, not only in the classrooms, but in the lesson planning, STEM related contests, community outreach programs, and including even our public libraries,  all are part and parcel of the federal plans for our students. Something else  you need to know about STEM: ‘The National Science Foundation is the only federal agency whose primary mission includes supporting education across all fields of science and engineering. As such, funding for STEM education at the NSF impacts not only, but also the entire federal STEM education effort.’ See the resource for the Funding: stemfund

The question I’m sure you have by now is ‘why’? Why is all this attention being paid to STEM? In a short and simple phrase, ‘the American greater good’. From the viewpoint of the Common Core, ‘the global economy’ and ‘being career and college ready’.

By participating in STEM programs( which are made available to every educational choice out there: public, private, charter, parochial, homeschool), we are in essence allowing an agenda that is not our own to be a part of our family, our school, our curriculum and lesson plans. STEM extends well beyond 12th grade and does, in fact, present itself in community colleges, proprietary post secondary schools, public and (some) private universities and colleges. In short, as we’ve seen with CCSS, if the school receives federal money, STEM is there.
Related resource: http://www.districtadministration.com/article/helping-stem-take-root (an article detailing federal overreach into education via STEM)
Related resource:

The website to access the data for STEM from pre-K to Workforce. http://www.nsf.gov/nsb/sei/edTool/explore.html
The website to access the data for STEM from pre-K to Workforce.
http://www.nsf.gov/nsb/sei/edTool/explore.html

Federal, top down control of any choice in education is not only wrong, it’s illegal. In case you missed it, not only is the Dept. of Education mixed in this, so is the NGA (National Governors Association)…half owner of the CCSS copyright.

Here's the CCSS pipeline. The NGA and the CCSSO have ensured our students are put through this. Notice the similarities to the STEM one above?
Here’s the CCSS pipeline. The NGA and the CCSSO have ensured our students are put through this. Notice the similarities to the STEM one above?

Closing:
Coming in the next installment: the ‘gas’ for the vehicle (CCSS) that’s needed for the driver (STEM) to succeed…STEaM. It will be packed with ‘can’t miss’ information!