Tag Archives: TFA

FTF Update: CCSS, Teaching or frustrating?

Today’s post originally was published on 8/31/14 and addressed the levels of frustration that appear to be the goal with Common Core. I wanted to do an update on the organizations reported on in the original post.

To access the original writing in its entirety:

For our purposes today, however, I’ll be taking excerpts from it to compare with what’s happened since first reporting it. My first excerpt tells you how I stumbled upon the Teach.org (our first update)

“While listening in on the radio, I overheard an advertisement from the organization “Teach.org”. I was sitting there happy as can be when what do my ears hear, but , the voice over the airwaves proclaim that frustration is to be considered a new tool in the classroom! Really?! It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out natural frustration is one thing, but to seek to provoke it?!”  When I first dove into researching them, I shared with you to ties to Common Core, as in what organizations, funding, etc. So has anything changed? Let’s see..

The Teacher Pathway personalization tool:

To help fill the desire number of teachers, 1 million in the next 10 years, you can create a pathway.
To help fill the desire number of teachers, 1 million in the next 10 years, you can create a pathway.

Teaching is one of the 16 career clusters we’ve seen in the Career Clusters/Career Tech Education. What’s a bit different on this website, is that you can’t get any information about the teacher pathway until you supply data like email, etc. Here’s a cutesy video Teach.org has featured on YouTube about WHY becoming a teacher is great in this modern CCSS aligned age:

Not sure about where you live, but I can tell you the teachers in NC currently having to teach CCSS have their own Top 7 reasons why they are frustrated, not feeling called or creative at all. Oh as if a Top 7 reasons why teaching in today’s educational realm isn’t enough, maybe Arne Duncan’s call will be!! Check this out:

Maybe we should call this student in a few years and see how she's faring.
Maybe we should call this student in a few years and see how she’s faring.

Then, there’s TED:

Part of my original post, ” In all, 52 different speeches that somehow connect CCS to TED. No thanks, I’ve seen pigs dressed up before. Looks okay, but the stench is still there. Trust me, if you have ever been on a farm with pigs, the smell of poop is unforgettable. But, being the Diva I am, here’s the link so you can see for yourselves: http://www.ted.com/search?q=common+core+standards ” *Note: TED stands for ‘Technology, Entertainment and Design’. So, has anything changed with TED? Let’s see…

Pared down:

Oh, TED no longer has 52 different speeches connected to CCSS, but ‘he’ does have more contributors working for ‘him’ with CCSS ties. Should you care to see who they are, http://www.ted.com/search?q=common+core+

100K in 10, the next group:

The original post shared much, but I want to look at the funding groups. Please be sure to read the original to discover what other revelations there are. Here’s the excerpt, “Funders for 100Kn10: The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Carnegie Foundation, New Schools Venture Fund are just 3 among a list of many. Why I offer a look at these is simple. We have already established the connection between Gates, UNESCO and Common Core Standards. The Carnegie Foundation is connected to Common Core Standards so much so that….” Has there been an update since this post first appeared??

A fresh video, same agenda:

On the 100Kin10 website, you’ll find a short video on the “About Us” page. Be sure to watch it, BUT, if you haven’t read the original post before watching it, you won’t be capturing the full message of the ‘collective’, the ‘aligned’, the ‘conjoined’ that STEM and CCSS really are. However, take into consideration, some of the same folks funding CCSS, fund STEM as well. See the video at, http://www.100kin10.org/page/aboutus

Finally, New Schools Venture :

In my original writing, here’s a tidbit of what I shared, “So, about that ‘frustration’ factor as a tool? If it were me, as a teacher, I wouldn’t seek to create frustration in students. Life naturally stirs our emotional pots as it is without our help. I offer this psychology view of frustration: Frustrations can create aggressive inclinations even when they are not arbitrary or aimed at the subject personally.”

Changes? Here we go! On their website, http://www.newschools.org/ventures, it appears more partners have been added. At least one partner is one of the groups listed above (100Kn10). Teach for America is also one of the Ventures. If you aren’t aware of how CCSS friendly TFA is, be sure to look it up. Another change? The original white paper I referred to has been removed. However, since our topic is frustration, here’s an excerpt that can give you a glimpse as to why students are frustrated with CCSS, “Common Core standards are aligned with college and work expectations, and include rigorous content and skills. The standards are benchmarked to those of other top-performing countries to guarantee that our students are competitive in the global marketplace” What I did find were several pro CCSS articles. Among them, a slam against an opponent of CCSS. In the blog article it appears to be the same old, same old. As is “CCSS are JUST Standards”, etc. Read it for yourselves and then ask who has the more vested interest in your students, you or New Schools Venture? http://www.newschools.org/blog/mowing-down-the-mistakes-of-confused-common-core-opponents

Students, Parents, and Teachers who are frustrated:

From Spokane, WA: http://youtu.be/HijPJKmzmTY

From TJ LibertyBelle, a classic for those who oppose CCSS: http://youtu.be/FHetioUW4lI

From my readers: 11/14 commenter said this about CCSS, “I recently had to complete a comparative education project for a graduate level education course. The country I was assigned was Germany. If you study the educational history of Germany, you will discover that Germany has a dual track system. In elementary school, students are tested and the results of those tests of ability and aptitude determine the type of secondary school the student will attend. The type of secondary education the student receives determines if the student will enter into a vocational track or a college track. Basically, this type of system maintains the status quo and limits upward social and economic mobility. I see the very same thing happening in American education. It is quite disturbing to see this happening in country that once had a well-respected and high achieving educational system. It seems to me that the type of changes the “centrists” as they call themselves are implementing are intended to keep the poor in poverty and maintain the wealth, status and power of the rich and elite. We are moving more and more towards a socialist/fascist ideology that will do away with the freedoms and rights we were granted in the Constitution.”

12/14 teacher said this about not only CCSS, but my speaking out against it, “I am all for what you have been doing!! I teach and can verify what you are saying. There is great upheaval in the schools, teachers, students. The admin is being asked to pass info to teachers( test data, collecting data) everyone is worried about new testing and results. Teachers are scrambling to find ” practice” even though they know not what to practice!! Teachers are having trouble making sense of the math, it’s wrong they know, but feel they are being told to teach it!! I will keep reading your info and I try to tell teachers they are confused for a reason. I tell them this is illegal, but most just follow orders.”

12/14 veteran shared this resource for warriors, as well as wrote:

“You, as anti CCSS warrior, you HAVE to watch this over 1 and a half hour You Tube video that details for you much about not only the “Core Ready Schools”, but information about the in-depth goings-on of Aspen Institution as well as their partners.”



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!