Tag Archives: Teach for America

Back Door Alignment

Greetings, my fellow Anti Fed Ed Warriors! As we’ve known for quite awhile the alignment facing our nation’s schools is no longer hanging back in the shadows. No, since ESSA’s passage (Every Student Succeeds Act), it has been very easy to see even more alignment being flaunted in our faces.

While I’ve been away from my home taking care of a family crisis, I’ve been  keeping up with most of the education news.  Warriors, as you know,  I’ve shared with you the moves of  the NC Dept. of Public  Instruction (NC DPI). You’ve also seen my evidence where the NC DPI and the NC SBE (NC State Board of Education) unite forces to  project the grinding down of our educational system. 

Since it’s a new year,  new faces are popping up in the NC DPI/NC SBE. Among these faces are their ties to  CCSS Machine member groups which have posed as groups with only the best of intentions concerning your child’s education. The stark reality is that  these groups do NOT have the best of intentions at all concerning education. Their feigned interest is propelling the CCSS Machine’s alignment for workforce based  training to every school in America, regardless of choice. 


Meet The New NC  SBE Attorney:


, that’s right Eric Snider, a former
Teach for America member will now be the attorney for the State Board of Education. While this may not seem like a big deal, consider that our current State Superintendent, Mark Johnson, is also a Teach for America alumni.  When you access Snider’s LinkedIN profile, notice he also is involved with the NC Business Committee for Education. The sole goal for the NC Business Committee for Education is aligning workforce training to the CCSS Machine’s grasp on education in the name of the economy. To see how the American Bar Association (which includes the NC Bar Snider belongs to) is helping promote the CCSS Machine, go here. If you missed how much the NC Chamber of Commerce is on board with the CCSS Machine, here it is. *Warriors, remember the Gates Foundation has given millions to the national level Chamber of Commerce to divide up and distribute money to each State for the express intent of alignment between jobs and school based education.

Helping Widen The Back Door Approach:

Warriors, you should be able to find the Joint Education Oversight Committee in your State. For NC, 2 of the Co-Chairs are virtually CCSS disciples. Rep. Craig Horn and Rep. Linda Johnson.  To see the entire list of serving legislators, go here.

Among the Joint Committee’s 2017 Reports received includes quarterly documents from Teach for America. From the introduction of one of the reports comes what you see in this screen shot:


To access the Oct. 2014 Report, go here. To access the NC Joint Report the screen shot exposes, go here. From my archives, the researched article where I exposed how the Consortium for Educational Research and Evaluation (CERE) is tied to the NC Teacher Corps as well as how CERE uses the national GEAR UP program for CCR (College and Career Readiness). In that article, you’ll see the numerous States involved in GEAR UP.

Enter NC’s 2017 Education Report:

Warriors, even if you do not live in NC, you can use this as evidence to look for what’s afoot in your States. This recently released publication details not only the laws and bills concerning education, but dollar amounts the taxpayers will need to cough up to support the back door alignment. For example: the DLP (Digital Learning Plan) will need over $2 million in funding so there can be an increase in how much time is spent on a computer. Then the Workforce and Education Innovation Commission will need big bucks to move from it’s current State level position to the NC DPI! Then there’s legislation and funds for specialized high schools (more workforce training institutions), CTE (Career Technical Education) for 6th and 7th graders. Alignment for early education, ‘future ready’ students, and so much more!


Warriors, while we are seeing more and more overt moves in education, we MUST continue to see, speak, and, act on what is exposed. No State is exempt. No child will be excluded. How do I know this? ESSA’s chilling language that ALL education MUST align to workforce based industry credentialed standards.

Metallic robot androids one with human eyes
The Common Core Machine loves to create minions to do its bidding.



Anybody Got a Fan?!

My fellow anti CCSS/Fed Ed/ESSA Warriors. I’ve recently finished combing through the NC Draft ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act) Plan. I’m not a fan of what I read. If your State has released a draft, please get your hands on the information! NC’s is a whopping 145 pages of anything and everything connected to education…and the workforce. I looked up our neighboring State (SC). Theirs is 84 Pages.

I did try to find some other neighboring State’s ESSA Plans as well. Why? I was curious to see just how unique each Plan is shaping up to be. After all, we’ve been told time and time again, ESSA returns control of education back to the States. (*Note: if you’ve followed my blog for a long time, you know how full of BS what we’ve been told is.)

I did see some of the same things in SC’s Plan that I saw in NC’s. Coincedence, no!
Both contain the federal level requirements each State must adhere to.

For example, what type of graduates each State will have. Below is SC’s:

You can find the legislation which made this Profile a SC State Law:

To see and study SC’s ESSA Planhttp://ed.sc.gov/newsroom/every-student-succeeds-act-essa/draft-consolidated-state-plan/

By contrast, here is NC’s Graphic:


If you have wondered why BOTH NC and SC have the 4Cs (Critical Thinking, Collaboration, Creativity, and Communication), it’s because the P21 (“Partnership for 21st Century Learning Skills”) has both NC/SC  as ‘member States'(along with several other States). *Noteworthy: The “Partnership” has been a CCSS Machine member group for quite a while.   On the http://www.P21.org website, you can find 50 College/Career Readiness resources. CCR (College and Career Readiness) is also another name for Common Core State Standards. CCR is embedded in ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act) ) Find the resources here  **Be sure to look for the ‘grit’, ‘workforce readiness in middle school’, and, more.

From Page 25 of NC’s ESSA Draft Plan:

ncessaplan1By July of 2015, NC had a “The Constitutional Mandate to Provide an Opportunity to a Sound Basic Education: An Update and a Recommendation”. Oddly enough, this 2015 Mandate is NOT all that different from the current NC ESSA Plan which will be submitted to the U.S. Dept. of Education later in 2017. To see the mandate, click here. If you’d like to see NC S561, click here.  To see NC’s ESSA Plan

What We Can Learn From Both NC And SC To Apply Elsewhere:

1) Both had the 5 or 6 federal mandates of ESSA laid out in their Plans.
{These will all be consistent with the Secretary of Education’s authority}:
a) Long-Term Education Goals
b) Consultation/Performance Management toward Long-Term Goals
c) Academic Assessments
d)  Accountability and Support for School Improvement
e) Supporting Excellent Educators
f) Supporting All Students

2) Both will continue education which aligns to College/Career Readiness (aka Common Core, Career Tech Education, etc.).

3) Both will continue to update OR create State-level laws to support the educational shift FROM academics to skill based workforce.

4) Both appear to have no plans to cut the ties with the CCSS Machine member organizations we find so entrenched in our lives. (Example: Pearson, P21, Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), etc.)

5) Both will continue to include non-educators in the education process.

6) Both will continue to see Workforce Education efforts and legislation.

7) Both will more than likely continue their membership statuses in P21, CCSSO, and the other CCSS Machine member groups steering the shift in education.

8) Both will continue to workforce skill based assesssments like ACT Aspire, WorkKeys, etc.

**BOTTOM LINE: None of the State ESSA Draft Plans will differ MUCH from what is in place now. What’s in place now IS CCSS/CCR/CTE aligned. It will stay that way, but be called “Challenging State Academic Standards”.

Other Things Of Note From NC’s Plan:
 I wanted to leave you with some other key items of interest.

1) U.S. Dept. of Education’s Date Stamp: 12/22/16 (NC’s ESSA Draft Plan expires 11/30/19).

2) From Page 2, ESEA’s (Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965) Section 8302 sets out in that the U.S. Secretary of Education is permitted to establish procedures/criteria after consulting with the State officials. Our State Education Agency then submits the Plan. The Secretary must establish every program in Section 8302 including the State’s materials and resources for education. (*Note: ESEA’s Section 8302 is Optional Consolidated State Plans or Applications. ESSA’s Section 1005 is simply titled “State Plans”. Do not be fooled by the simple title.)

2a) Also on Page 2, every State’s Consolidated Education ESSA Plan must create 1 comprehensive way to improve ‘outomes’ for students.

2b) Included in Page 2’s language is that all State Plans must meet the requirements of Section 427 of the General Education Provisions Act. (See a screen shot below)

3) From Page 3 of NC’s ESSA Plan, Only after the U.S. Dept. of Education approves a State Plan, will these Plans be made public. The preferred method for publicity is to be in a published form.

4) Page 4 reveals our State’s Director of Data, Research, and Federal Policy.

5) Page 17 shows the Federal Program for Monitoring and Support Division of the U.S. Dept. of Ed. From this Division, $463,000,000.00 in federal funds for annual grants are available to school districts. (Watch for an increase in data collection). Here in NC, a Senior Leader Council is used to determine which districts/schools receive our portion of these grants. Based on 3 prongs: i) our Comprehensive Continuous Improvement Plan; ii) to be used by LEAs, charter schools, and non-government organizations to receive competitive federal funds, and iii) the NC Equity Plan (from the NC Dept. of Public Instruction) for data collection.

6) Page 25 tells what is considered as ‘academic indicators’. These are also known as ‘measures’. In order: Academic Achievement, Academic Progress, Graduation Rates, English Language Proficiency, School Quality, and Student Success. Page 28 will show you how the ‘meaningful differentation’ used in these indicators simply means ‘distinct and discrete levels of school performance’. (*Note: the shift from student to the entire school being measured.)

7) Page 29, points you to the School Quality or Student Success indicators. They are, in order: chronic absences, attendance, student engagement, student’s participation in co-curricular activities, physical activity, student participation in the arts, suspensions, teacher engagement, parent involvement, End of Grade exams (or End of Course exams) only in science, the CCR Index (College and Career Readiness Index includes AP Courses, IB Courses, WorkKeys Assessments, ACT, and (here in NC) 5 Diploma Endorsements (these are Career and College, UNC College, NC Academic Scholar, and Global Language). From the bottom of Page 29 to the top of Page 30, this “all schools must be included in the accountability system.” What NC hasn’t figured out yet is HOW to update the indicators above for every school type. How well each State does with this determines the weight of the Success Indicator. Federal education code lays this out, NOT a State’s law!

8) Page 30 goes into the 95 % assessment participation rates as mandated in ESSA. How will the States factor this? What data mining/gathering procedures will be used? How will all the schools without sufficient data gathering, or alternative schools (K-12th) be accountable?

9) Page 33 uses a word we’ve all come to loathe: “rigor”. Yes, we’ll see more of it! However, it’s interesting that once again, it’s the ESEA cited here, NOT the ESSA. Related is Page 38 with its mention of NC’s love for UDL (Universal Design for Learning). According to NC, UDL helps ensure all students will be College and Career Ready.

10) Skipping ahead to Page 97 are the “Challenging State Academic Standards for Math” in NC. They will be the EXACT ones used in the 2016-17 academic year!! “Challenging State Academic Standards for English Language Arts”? They haven’t been released yet, as they are still being ‘written’.

A Bonus Item!! Way back in the pages of the NC ESSA Draft Plan is the gold mine of all those CCSS Machine friendly ‘stakeholders’ in education we have wondered about. Pages 137-140 reveal the ESSA external stakeholders in education. Some we know about (example: Teach for America). Some are a bit surprising to see (example: Americans for Prosperity, NC Branch).


Warriors, I’ve laid large chunks of evidence before you to illustrate how much of a farce it seems to be that our States will get to control education in the manner in which it has been explained since ESSA was signed into federal law December 2015.

Please take what you see here, start looking at what your State is doing. How similar is it to what you see here? What has remained the same in your State’s education sytem, what has been updated? What groups are involved?


Monday Musings: More Parent CCSS Alignment

Anti CCSS Warriors, we’ve seen time and time again, especially in the past month, how the CCSS Machine has been cranking out the “parents checklists”, the ‘parents toolboxes’, and the like. However, did you know there’s a new “Parent/Community Checklist” by the U.S. Dept. of Education? Yes! The Gates Foundation even helped them pull it off. But wait, so did the Scholastic Books Company! I’ll be sure to include the link to the checklist, but to see the Gates/Scholastic mentions, you’ll need to see the footnotes.


As far as the U.S. Dept. of Education’s suggested resources to help you become a better aligned parent/community? Great Schools, National PTA, and the federal government. Need I mention that each of these ‘resources’ are subjective about Common Core and not objective?!

There are a couple of other groups which helped create the aligned guide to the ‘high standards’. They are the UNCF and NCLR (UNCF stands for “United Negro College Fund”/NCLR stands for “National Council of La Raza”) So are these groups also sold out to the Common Core State Standards Initiative? Let’s see!


UNCF, United Negro College Fund:

Their website: http://www.uncf.org/
Their CCSS/CTE ties include the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation via the scholarship program set up between the two. (See: http://www.gmsp.org/publicweb/aboutus.aspx)
See this screen shot from the webpage and note that the now CCSS aligned GED is included as a qualifier for the scholarship. Note that the abbreviation CCR stands for “College/Career Readiness”, CTE stands for “Career Technical Education”, and, CCSS stands for “Common Core State Standards”.


Another tie to help fuel the CCSS Machine’s agenda? The support of the “America College Promise Act” which includes free community college tuition (community colleges are sold out to the CCSS/CTE alignment), data mining, universal design for learning, and that continues the grinding down of our communities and their citizens.
See their supportive statement: http://cqrcengage.com/uncf/app/write-a-letter?6&engagementId=117276

Another tie? This tie includes two other pro CCSS financial backers. The Walton Foundation and the Koch Foundation. Walton’s program is targets ‘reform’. Helping them out with this agenda? See this excerpt about the Summer Intern Program, “One of the principal elements of the paid summer internship program that exposes Fellows to professional careers at leading K-12 education organizations and schools focused on education reform. Specifically, Fellows are deployed as interns to organizations and schools located in such cities as the District of Columbia, New York, Boston, New Orleans, and Atlanta. Examples of internship host organizations included: Teach for America, New Schools Venture Fund, Paul Public Charter School, BUILD, Black Alliance for Educational Options, Thomas B. Fordham Research Institute, and Stand for Children.” If you’d like more evidence about the Walton/UNCF: http://uncf.org/sites/Walton/index.walton.asp  As far as the Koch Foundation’s interaction, $25 million for scholarships (began in 2014 and will end in 7 years). The scholarships are targeted to those students in post-secondary education and concerned about their communities. There are other parameters. To see more: http://uncfkochscholars.uncf.org/

Now, are you ready for a bit of irony? Even the UNCF has noticed that College/Career Readiness isn’t improving at all, in fact, their July 2015 reports a lag. See: http://www.uncf.org/sections/News/SS_PressReleases/pressrelease_details.asp?prID=420

NCLR, National Council of La Raza:

Their website: http://www.nclr.org/
Their CCSS/CTE ties include so much Common Core and College Career Readiness support, there’s an entire section of the website devoted to it. Complete with the fallacy of the ‘state led’ CCSS. There are plenty of resources on this page, including two You Tube videos. One is from a charter school using CCSS, the other is how the ‘global economy’ is involved. Gee, can we tell where we’ve heard THAT fallacy before?  To see the entire page, complete with the videos, http://www.nclr.org/index.php/issues_and_programs/education/common_core/

From their NCLR blog, here’s the fifth reason they claim teachers love the CCSS:

“If you want your kids prepared for college and career, then you’ll love Common Core State Standards because…They are aligned to higher education standards that demand the skills students need to be successful in college and in their careers. The Common Core State Standards are our best hope for ensuring our kids are well-served and college-ready, but we’ll need all our teachers on board for this effort to be truly successful.”

To see a webinar from 2014 concerning the “Step Up, Step In” (their name for the NCLR campaign in support of CCSS and CCR), set aside at least one hour.

The NCLR also has it’s own type of “Career Pathways” programs, too. Oh, no questioning the CTE ties with this effort! Their support stretches all the way to the WIOA (Workforce Investment and Opportunity Act) as well. See it all for yourselves: http://www.nclr.org/index.php/issues_and_programs/economic_policy/workforce_development_programs/ Be sure you look at their in-depth blog articles about how the community needs to weigh in on education/workforce efforts. Below you’ll find the corporations which advise the NCLR.      ” AT&T; Bank of America; Chevron; Citi; The Coca-Cola Company; Comcast/NBCUniversal/Telemundo; ConAgra Foods, Inc.; Ford Motor Company; General Mills, Inc.; General Motors; JPMorgan Chase; Johnson & Johnson; Kraft Foods; McDonald’s Corporation; MillerCoors LLC; PepsiCo, Inc.;Prudential Financial; Shell; State Farm Insurance Companies; Time Warner Inc.; TOYOTA;  UPS; Verizon; Walmart; and Wells Fargo”

To see the many, many funds the Gates Foundation has granted the NCLR, visit:

To see the U.S. Dept. of Education’s new checklist, visit: http://www2.ed.gov/documents/family-community/parent-checklist.pdf

Note that every group you, as a parent, are pointed to in this checklist is somehow tied to CCSS/CTE/CCR. Note the IB and AP (International Baccalaureate and Advanced Placement) are also tied to the CCSS/CTE/CCR and the UNESCO ‘Education for All’ agendas.

FOM: Chamber’s Pot of Lies for CCSS

It's Friday, you know what that means! Time to measure what's truth, what's fallacy/fib or what's in between.
It’s Friday, you know what that means! Time to measure what’s truth, what’s fallacy/fib or what’s in between.

For today’s “Fib-o-Meter” article, the pro CCSS U. S. Chamber of Commerce is  up for examination! What? You didn’t know the U.S. Chamber of Commerce loves the ‘Core’? Does that mean my state level chamber is pro CCSS, too?? Does that mean ALL the state level chambers are supportive as well?

The ‘Total Truth’ short answer is YES for each of the questions above!

Why I’m Bringing This Up Now:

First of all, it has been well reported and documented that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is not only supportive of the CCSS,  they are an integral part of the CCSS Machine. However, if you’re new to the fight against Common Core, you may not know that. So here’s a brief
“Total Truth” set of facts:

1) Nov. 2013, the Gates Foundation gives the U.S. Chamber of Commerce over a million dollars to support the implementation of the Common Core Standards. (see: http://www.gatesfoundation.org/how-we-work/quick-links/grants-database/grants/2013/11/opp1081590)

2) March 2009, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce receives over $2 million dollars from the Gates Foundation to train business leaders dedicated to education reform, especially in the capacity of workforce for the 21st century.
(see: https://www.uschamber.com/press-release/us-chambers-institute-competitive-workforce-receives-26-million-grant-gates-foundation)

3) From 2004: The Chamber and Gates become partners to ‘close the digital divide’.
(see: https://www.uschamber.com/press-release/chamber-joins-gates-foundation-close-digital-divide)

4) From just days ago, the Washington Post reported that the Gates have given even more to the U.S. Chamber. Here’s an excerpt, “In the last seven months, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has poured more than $10 million into implementation and parent support for the Core, according to grant details on the foundation website (see below). That includes $3.7 million to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to support the Core at a time when it has come under increasing attack across the country, for both educational and political reasons.” (the entire article: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2015/05/12/gates-foundation-pours-millions-more-into-common-core/)


While this cartoon was depicted a U.S. Congress run by monopolists, it can easily resemble the 'CCSS Machine' running  education.
While this cartoon was created to depict a U.S. Congress run by monopolists, it can easily resemble the ‘CCSS Machine’ running education.

The State Level Chambers of Commerce:

As an example, I’ll be giving you the “Total Truth” about NC’s Chamber of Commerce supporting CCSS. As I always do, you’ll be able to use what I share to ask the same questions of your state’s Chamber. By seeing where to look, it’ll be easier to ‘snoop’ out the “Total Truth” in your neck of the country.

NC’s Chamber of Commerce website address: http://ncchamber.net/

The top issue for the NC Chamber? Oh, that’s easy: Education and Workforce Development! Yes, they are all excited for that “Talent Supply Pipeline” (aka our students of all ages). They are very proud of the “21st Century skills” rhetoric..complete with assessments (aka high stakes standardized tests), aligned education (aka CCSS, CCR/College and Career Readiness, CTE/Career and Technical Education), and digital devices for everyone (aka data mining) from K-post-secondary schools, too!

To discover more “Total Truths” about NC’s Chamber,  see their page on Education and Workforce, visit: http://ncchamber.net/issue-advocacy/education/ (*Note: be sure to see what they classify as victories) Oh, you’ll definitely want to see the Chamber’s letter of support for CCSS: 2014-4-24-North-Carolina-Chamber-Opposes-Reducing-Standards-for-Future-Workforce
(I’ll spare you just how ugly the fight was here in NC when this letter was sent out. This was about the time we, the citizens were fighting like mad to get the General Assembly to repeal CCSS.)

The NC Chamber’s even got a ‘new set of education standards’…they’re called “Hire Standards”!! No, I’m not joking.  Where they believe we’re going to be misled is by the name they chose. Nowhere in “Hire” do you see “Common Core”, however, click a few times on “Hire Standards” and guess where you land?? That’s right the “Common Core” website! To access the “Hire Standards”, visit: http://hirestandardsnc.org/ To find out how easy it is to go from there to the CCSS website, first, click on “NC Standards”, then click the embedded “Math and English Standards” link, once the screen loads, you’ll see the dreaded logo and the top of the page. Note what you see (it’s a great opportunity to create your own ‘fib-o-meter’). Click on the “read the standards” balloon and Boom, you are at THE CCSS website! Below is a screen shot from the NC Chamber’s website where “Hire Standards” is included in the educational workforce agenda pipeline propaganda.

To see the entire "education talent supply pipeline' agenda: http://ncchamber.net/2015-jobs-agenda-education-talent-supply/
To see the entire “education talent supply pipeline’ agenda:

So, what to ask about in your state? Does my state Chamber have similar documents as shown here? Does my state’s Chamber attend any CCSS related legislative meetings or hearings? What businesses in my state have signed a pro CCSS letter? How much of the state funding for a pro CCSS agenda trickles down to my town? (For us in NC, we have a NC Chamber Federation which unites local chambers with the state level..and the national level. Visit the page: http://ncchamber.net/member-involvement/local-chambers-of-commerce/ (*Note: be sure to watch the embedded 1 minute video) )

Lastly: the U.S. Chamber Thinks Itself Funny:

Knowing the Higher Education Act AND the Elementary and Secondary Education Act are both up for re-authorization (it doesn’t hurt that both are in the midst of being discussed in D.C. or that hearings and much work on both is on-going). The Chamber got a bit ‘smarmy’ on their blog Thursday. In comedy, timing’s everything, right? Yeah, so’s an agenda’s timing, too. What do I mean? Take a look at the screen shot below:

Click to enlarge this, if you like.
Click to enlarge this, if you like.

Fib-o-Meter’s rating the “Top Ten Milestones in Education”. Why you ask? Just wait until you see what the U.S. Chamber deems ‘successful’ (Please remember, these are business people NOT educators)

10) A lawsuit from CA about tenure and ineffectiveness in the classroom. Fib-o-Meter’s call? “Neutral”  How did FOM get ‘neutral’? Not enough facts. Besides, I wonder how many of those teachers were blamed when the CCSS should be to blame instead?
9) MOOCs (Massive online open courses). Fib-o-Meter’s call? “Total Fallacy” Why? online anything in education means automatic data mining…hardly a ‘success’ for the students. Besides, what’s being counted for ‘credit’ isn’t free of CCSS/CTE/CCR.
8) Common Core Standards.Is the US Chamber  serious?? “Total Fallacy” 100%!
7) Commission on the Future of Higher Education. “Total Fallacy” Why? Look who is in charge, a Gates Foundation US Program Advisory Panel member! (see: http://www.gatesfoundation.org/Who-We-Are/General-Information/United-States-Program-Advisory-Panel)
6) NCLB (No Child Left Behind) Act…again, is the US Chamber serious?? “Total Fallacy” Thanks to NCLB (an updated version of the original ESEA ) we got saddled with more groundwork for CCSS completed.
5) A historic moment for the US Dept. of Ed, it’s first leader of African-American descent. “Neutral” At least this leader had some educational background. The current one doesn’t.
4) A state passes the first charter school law. “Total Fallacy”, not all charters are successful nor free of all things CCSS. Besides, if you look at many of the 21st Century educational models, charters are the vehicle for more reform.
3) TFA (Teach for America) is formed. “Total Fallacy”, this corps of educators is 100% sold out to the CCSS Machine.
2) Perkins Funding begins. “Neutral”. While the funding at one point was CCSS/CTE/CCR free, it’s since been used to hold states to more alignment to all things Common Core. IF states would exercise their sovereignty, Perkins funding could be free again.
1) That “Nation At Risk” report..“Total Fallacy”. It’s been used as a guidebook to the educational mess we find ourselves in now!

Fib-o-Meter Friday: Even More State Superintendents and Common Core!

It's Friday, you know what that means! Time to measure what's truth, what's fallacy/fib or what's in between.
It’s Friday, you know what that means! Time to measure what’s truth, what’s fallacy/fib or what’s in between.

This is the 3rd post for FOM Friday dedicated to you, my followers, who’ve requested a look at your state’s superintendents of education. I’m honored you continue to seek out my help in your quest for the truth. Today’s post has a look at 5 states. In alphabetical order: AZ, FL, LA, MS, NY.

Arizona’s John Huppenthal:

Currently, Mr. Huppenthal is serving as the top educational official in AZ, however, he recently lost a primary election to continue at the helm. Until the new person (who remains to be known) takes office, it’s pretty much business as usual. Since Mr. Huppenthal’s job is pretty much out of his hands, we’ll not look at too much of his truths/lies. Yes, he did lay the ground work, however, it will be the next person elected who will pick up the torch and either carry it on or put it out. However, before we look at the contenders, let’s look at some of the ‘legacy’ Mr. Huppenthal leaves behind: http://www.arizonadailyindependent.com/2014/08/12/huppenthal-sends-over-60000-teachers-a-campaign-emailvideo-in-possible-violation-of-law/

While in office, he actively supported the Common Core, yet on the campaign trail he didn’t. According to the website above, he did some other things that do not lead anyone to believe his words. If you missed the debate between Mr. Huppenthal and his opponent, Ms. Douglas, here’s the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T6Zr-q-ThXE  Mr. Huppenthal leaves office ‘Total fallacy’ rated.

The current race, Douglas vs. Garcia:

Ms. Douglas, thinks CCSS is”top-down government control of our education system.” ‘Total truth’! Race to the Top funding is the controlling arm the feds used to give us Common Core. Here’s her next statement, “The federal government has no role in local education whatsoever — they’re using our money to coerce us to do things.” Again, ‘total truth‘. More from the debate between she & Mr. Huppenthal has her sharing this quote, “It (CCSS) tells us what we must teach and how we must test our children, which will control curriculum. It tells us how we must evaluate and compensate our teachers. It tells us how we how we must grade our schools. And it has a data collection system on children that rival communist Chinese.” Now, I cannot speak to the comparison between countries (several searches have turned up very little), I can share this article about the data mining being intrusive from a user friendly viewpoint, http://www.corpwatch.org/article.php?id=15951 This article talks about global companies & the data they collect. As to the rest of Ms. Douglas’ comment, ‘total truth‘! We’ve seen many examples of curriculum with the copyrighted name/emblem. Her campaign website is under construction. Her challenger, David Garcia. Mr. Garcia is a professor with AZ State, a known Common Core supporter (see: https://education.asu.edu/resources/accrs), developer (see: http://commoncore.pearsoned.com/index.cfm?locator=PS22B1 Be sure to look at the section ‘outside resources’ and click ‘view’ when you see ASU, then notice how it takes you to UA). In Mr. Garcia’s short video for his campaign, he states, “There’s no excuse for our race to the bottom.” For this statement, I would say he is speaking ‘Total Truth‘. However, that’s where he stops.  I congratulate him on his former service to our country via the military & his honesty as a candidate. But that’s where my respect ends. Look at his words his from his website, “Let’s be clear, Common Core is not a federal curriculum but a set of more rigorous academic guidelines. Arizona has had standards for more than two decades. As a rule we should continually seek to improve our curriculum and advance our educational standards. The problem is not the standards but rather how we hold our schools, teachers and students accountable to those standards.” So disappointing, ‘Total Fallacy‘ on what Common Core is & isn’t. Oh, he’s all for more assessments, AP courses, STEM and CTE as well. (website: http://dg4az.com/issues/common-core/)

Florida’s Pam Stewart:

Well, knowing how instrumental education leaders and politicians from FL have been in not only Common Core, but PARCC as well, this commissioner is fairly transparent. Selected by the State Board of Education, Ms. Stewart is the current office holder in the ‘hot seat’. “Hot seat” is well deserved, as the position has been filled, vacated at least 5 times since 2011. See: (http://stateimpact.npr.org/florida/2013/09/17/state-board-picks-pam-stewart-as-education-commissioner/In her interview on “Florida Newsmakers”, she states that those Common Core Standards ARE more rigorous (trips over the phrase while speaking it) and will prepare students. “Total fallacy!” Another fallacious statement, “They (the CCSS) do that through teaching our students how to think critically, problem solve, and think analytically.” Sorry, I have to ask here, since when did ‘standards’ teach? I thought it was the teachers who taught! (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IbvgZ9lLKPI) Before the interview is over, Ms. Stewart shares that the first step needs to be public input when it comes to how to best serve students. That ‘Total Truth‘ is a few years too late! Had public input been taken BEFORE Common Core, we wouldn’t need a ‘Fib-o-Meter’! Ms. Stewart is also ‘fallacious’ for all her references to pro CC groups, assessments.


Mr. John White, a former Teach for America alumni. Right off the bat, Common Core friendly! He’s been successful in helping NY get started on the Race/Top road, before heading south. Oh, I almost forgot, Mr. White was chosen to lead LA. Mr. White is also a member of the “Chiefs for Change” non profit group that adores the Core! (see: http://chiefsforchange.org/members-page/) The ‘love letter’ written by Mr. White is here: http://chiefsforchange.org/letter-from-supt-white-and-bese-president-chas-roemer-to-louisiana-educators/ My favorite ‘Total Fallacy‘ he stated, “Not only is continuing the state’s multi-year plan the right thing to do for our children, but also it is the legal path forward.” There are many other statements of Mr. White’s we could measure, but with his hand already exposed, we can easily see where his bets are placed. Mr. White should be in advertising, he’s doing a banner job in selling the CCSS!


The current Superintendent, Dr. Carey Wright hasn’t been in office very long but she’s already come out swinging in the fight for Common Core Standards. Her predecessor, Dr. Tom Burnham was also pro Core. In fact, the U. S. Dept. of Education, considered him a courageous educator. Dr. Burnham helped usher in CC in MS, but it’s Dr. Wright who has promised to continue to usher the Standards in. Since one Doctor started this in MS and one is continuing to support the efforts, I thought a look at this statement by Dr. Burnham would be worth measuring, ” Common Core’s shift from “What’s Taught” to “What Students Need to Be Able to Do.” This initiative emphasizes that to be successful in the 21st century, college and career students should to be able to:
Solve problems, Communicate, Adapt to change, Work in teams, Analyze and conceptualize.”  Pardon me, Dr. Burnham, but qualified teachers CAN teach students ALL those things WITHOUT the CCSS! ‘Total Fallacy‘ Now, keeping this statement in mind, measure Dr. Wright’s, “I have said repeatedly across the state and I will say it to you. I fully support the Common Core State Standards. These are very rigorous standards that will better prepare students and your future employees. You need employees who can think critically, solve problems, work in teams and communicate well. That’s what you do each day, and that’s what Common Core is designed to help our students do.” The rest of her address is quite interesting. When I read it I wasn’t sure if I was in MS or TN. Dr. Wright gets extra ‘fallacy points’ for all the references to CCSS friendly groups.  ‘Total Fallacy’  See:  http://www.mde.k12.ms.us/state-superintendent-of-education 

New York:

Our last state for today finds us in NY & measuring the current Commissioner, John King. He’s been in office since 2011. Before him, was David Steiner from 2009-11. We’ll get to Mr. Steiner in a minute, but look at the email Mr. King sent out not long ago: (http://myemail.constantcontact.com/News-and-Notes–Teaching-is-the-Core.html?soid=1110847617454&aid=l23enSVw_ZY ) He’s not only thrilled by CC, he’s announcing Social Studies is also aligned, “The Social Studies Framework has drawn support from social studies teachers, professional organizations, and other state and national education organizations. It includes key ideas and concepts for each grade level and incorporates Common Core skills in literacy, writing, speaking and listening, as well as social studies practices.” I’m giving Mr. King a ‘Total Fallacy‘ for this because we all know how well Math & English are preparing our kids, so I’m sure Social Studies will be wonderful, too! By the way, how does a person ‘practice Social Studies’?! From this archived video, Mr. King tells us there’s “no perfect plan to dramatically change standards.” (http://archive.lohud.com/VideoNetwork/3096793101001/Education-Commissioner-John-King-on-Common-Core) ‘Total Fallacy‘, Mr. King! By the way, count how many times he tells you 45 states did this. So, we know the current NY commissioner is a supporter (hey, remember the headlines of how WELL all those NY students fared on assessments?), let’s look for a moment at Mr. Steiner, who was in office when the Standards were adopted in NY. “How delighted I am to be with David Coleman and all of you.” He goes on to extol the great uniting wonder of Common Core. See: (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UeeT1_P1hAIWhile Mr. Steiner shows his alliance right off the bat, I will thank him for exposing the ‘triangle’ of CCSS in this video. So, he gets ‘Total Fallacy‘ for the Core & ‘Total Truth‘ for helping confirm what many have wondered…’just Standards’ or more?!


Well, not one ‘neutral’ statement from any of the leaders in the 5 states we’ve looked at. Most of the leaders are very vocal in their support of Common Core. How sad. Well, we have work to do, fellow citizens..let’s do it!