Tag Archives: third parties

Achieving States

Anti CCSS Warriors, it is ‘Tech Thursday’, which means we take a look at the latest in Common Core beyond high school. If you have followed my blog long, you know I have connected the dots between the Common Core and Career Tech Education (CTE). If you are new to the blog, then know that, yes, there is an ‘adult version’ of Common Core aka College, Career Readiness.

CTE is embedded in the ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act), the WIOA (Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014), the STEM Act of 2015 (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math), and the HEA of 2008 (Higher Education Act which will be re-authorized  in the near future). In December 2015, just a few days after ESSA was signed into law the HEA received an extension so that CTE funding could continue on until the HEA is re-authorized.

To learn about the ties between ESSA and the HEA (where you will find CTE and WIOA):
https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/12/05/weekend-news-essas-untold-ties-to-hea/

To learn about the HEA Extension:
https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2016/02/02/ftf-an-extension-for-higher-ed-act/

To learn about STEM and its connection to CTE:
https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/11/12/tech-thursday-update-on-ccsscte-for-adults/

achievecte

The Latest News:

In the screen shot above, you may not be able to see the date this Tweet was shared, but it was May 3rd. You can plainly see Achieve, Inc. is the group which sent this out. Achieve, Inc. is a huge member organization in the CCSS Machine (Common Core State Standards Machine). Much research has been conducted and shared about this fact. You can easily find the information, here on my blog, and elsewhere. For the remainder of this article, I will be focusing on what is the latest CTE news.

The website you will need: http://www.achieve.org/publications/how-states-are-making-career-readiness-count-2016-update

The partnership you should know about: Achieve, Inc. and Advance CTE. As with so many of the CCSS Machine organizations,they love to gather together and create these reports detailing their continued work in aligning education to workforce based learning, not academic prowess.  This one appears to be proud of this fact. Shameless, isn’t it?
We know what Achieve, Inc. is, but what, or who, is Advance CTE? It is the new name for the previously known NASDCTEc (National ASsociation of State Directors of Career Tech Education Consortium). To learn more from their website:
https://www.careertech.org/who-we-are (*Note: if you would like to learn what my research has proven out about NASDCTEc, use this link for all the articles:
 https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/?s=NASDCTEc)

The recently released Achieve, Inc./Advance CTE Report: Twenty-eight pages long, accessible: http://www.achieve.org/files/CareerReadiness2016.pdf  OR download from here (before it mysteriously disappears, as much of the CCSS Machine documentation does):
CareerReadiness2016

The most need-to-know points of the Report:
1) Thanks to the ESSA, accountability requirements for the States must not only change, but include career readiness components. These components will be used as leverage by the federal government against the States. Here is an excerpt, “As states continue to evolve and implement their accountability and public reporting systems, they have an opportunity to select indicators that inform continuous improvement, guide decisions about resource allocation, inform policies, capture progress, and factor into accountability determinations. More specifically, through school-level public reporting on these indicators, states may make college- and career-ready (CCR) data more transparent, understandable, and useful to parents, educators, and policymakers. The indicators that states build into their accountability formulas may be used to differentiate and classify schools and districts for support and intervention and/or may be used as a way for schools and districts to earn bonus points or rewards for meeting specific benchmarks.”

2) Thirty-four States have been championed as ‘leaders’ in this field. How? By providing career-readiness indicators. Of the 34, 32 have anywhere between 1-6 career-readiness measures. Of the 34, only 20 have a bonus point/reward system in place for career-readiness.

statecteachieve3) The school reporting and information sharing mentioned in Point #1, includes undisclosed third parties. From Page 4, this excerpt, “These public reporting levers, in addition to third-party reports with school-level data hosted on the state’s website, are included in the counts below. States can strengthen reporting by disaggregating data further by student subgroups so as to shine a light on performance disparities that may be masked by “all students” reporting.”

4) The most popular career-readiness indicators? a) dual enrollment (which includes homeschool students, AP course students and IB students); b) post-secondary enrollment (which includes any citizen seeking a higher education); c) CTE courses (includes apprenticeships or work-based learning); and d) students earning industry credentials (again, any citizen involved in this)

In the screen shot below, SC is displayed as a leader in this indication system. Note the P3 (public private partnership) between education and business; the involvement of the SC Chamber of Commerce, and the use of WorkKeys; note the unabashed use of gold/silver/platinum in reference to people’s success.

SCCte
Why this should concern everyone, these levels of success are NATIONAL credentials and are designed with the mantra, ‘no credential, no job’! See my article:
 https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/09/03/tech-thursday-just-say-no-to-nocc/)

From an INTERNATIONAL credential standpoint, we should also note that there are 6 levels of success (colors are used). Since the agenda of the education reform where CCSS/CTE and career-readiness is geared for global citizens, education, economy, our anti CCSS Warrior radars should be in full use! See: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/01/27/ftf-tuesday-iassc-universal-certification/

To see the WorkKeys promotional video where the mantra I mentioned is used:

5) In the Achieve, Inc./Advance CTE Report, page 7 will tell you the meta-indicators States are using. These will only increase as the ESSA implementation process marches on. In the following pages, be sure to look for the values placed on these, the denominators to be used in calculating rewards/bonuses.

6) Beginning on Page 11, the public data reporting is detailed. Then use the Appendices to learn the programs used.

Closing:

Warriors, as you can see, the education reform is not set aside for any ONE group of people. It is not exclusive to one educational choice, at present. As the ESSA, the WIOA, and the HEA are continued to be mandated, updated, and implemented in their full fashion, we will see choices in education reduced. We will see national and international adherence for workforce increased. What can we do? Inform those who need to know! Share this alignment agenda with those at the local level in education AND job creation. More than likely they only have the PRO side of the CCSS/CTE message.

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Credentialed Transcripts?

cementblock
The modern education transformation is treating our students like blocks of ‘stackable credentials’, not humans!

‘Tech Thursday’ is the day I usually focus on the overreach in education to the post-secondary level. Today is no exception. If you have followed me for a while, you know I have consistently laid out the evidence and resources so you can follow the CCSS Machine’s march from high school and beyond.

So what can I share with you today?  A look inside the transcripts-turned-credentials for our students under the guise of quality education.

 

Parchment Transcript Services (PTS):

I first heard of PTS, from a dedicated anti CCSS Warrior who is doing much work to protect student data. We know how much is collected, shared, sold, and used against our students, so naturally finding a school (or State) which uses PTS is worth knowing more about.
The website: http://www.parchment.com/
The advertised mission: “Parchment’s mission is to turn credentials into opportunities.  We help learners, educators, associations and employers securely send and receive education credentials online, in simple and insightful ways.”
The zippy 2 minute sales pitch:

 

Did you notice how hidden in plain sight the data mining is? Did you see who shares it, has access to it? Did you notice the use of the fallacy tactic known as ‘Bandwagon’? (bandwagon is where you are enticing to do what everyone else is doing so you don’t miss out) Something tells me there is much more to find out about!

 

The Folks in Charge:

CEO, Dr. Matthew Pittinsky is certainly connected to the CCSS Machine. How can I know this before we even go any further? Two clues: Blackboard and ASU (AZ State University) I have written before about both. To see what else he is doing connected to the transformation of post-secondary education: http://www.parchment.com/matthew-pittinsky/
(*Note: his short video reveals how he feels about data mining.)

Other Leading members include former members of other CCSS Machine member organizations, like Learn.com; there are other former Blackboard personnel; non-profit education advocacy; former military; Honeywell; ISU (Iowa State University); and global education IT (information technology.)
To find out more: http://www.parchment.com/leadership/ (*Note: be sure to check out the Board of Directors. You will find even more ties to the CCSS Machine.)

 

Parchment Partners:

Since Parchment deals with student data, we need to know who they work with in the sharing. Two of the biggest CCSS Machine members which jumped of the page? Herff Jones and Pearson Power School! There are others, as well. See all the partners:
http://www.parchment.com/partners-and-associations/

While Pearson’s membership in the CCSS Machine is known extensively, I will share with you how Herff Jones is also a member.

Most folks think of high school class rings and high school yearbooks when they hear Herff Jones, but the company is more embedded than you know. See:
http://www.socialstudies.com/pdf/CommonCore_SS.pdf (look for footnotes #5, 8, and 9)
Related is my in-depth look at the C3 Social Studies where you will see CCSS, post-secondary CCSS, and global agenda intersect:
https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/11/09/rtm-sunday-common-core-and-civics/

From the  Herff Jones yearbook information, this excerpt, “It’s easy to see how yearbook aligns with the Common Core’s emphasis on research, reflection and revision, and the four C’s touted by the Partnership for 21st Century Skills (critical thinking, collaboration, communication and creativity) are naturally a part of the yearbook process. Talk about cross-disciplinary learning!”
To see the rest:
https://www.herffjones.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/WhyYearbook_2015.pdf

How the Service Works on a Local Level:

From the parent of a Senior (Class of 2016), this personal account. “Seniors are required to state what college or university they will attend. All final transcripts will be sent electronically through Parchment. You must sign up via their website before graduation. After graduation, you will be charged $8.50 per transcript. My student must contact their Career Center Counselor/Office for more information.” This parent goes on to share that the Parchment presence in school is a school district promoted decision. Supposedly the only data collected isn’t too personal, but we Warriors know ANY data about our students is up for grabs! Parchment’s service also has you answer on-line questions for specific schools you might want to attend to see IF you can become a qualified applicant.

What I found out about the transcripts is that each is given a unique code (DID or Document Identity Number). For students to access or verify if their information has been transmitted or received, they must use that DID. Hmm.. think UID (Unique Identifier Number) currently used for all those assessments your students think. We have evidence how ‘secure’ those are! If you would like to know, Parchment stands by the FERPA policies (again, we know how FERPA was weakened to allow MORE data mining!) Check out all their related topics:
 http://support.parchment.com/link/portal/30029/30032/ArticleFolder/171/FERPA-security-privacy

Parchment’s latest Press Release shares more about the data collection/sharing. This particular Release details the State of Georgia’s partnership:
Parchment, a leading academic credential management service, works with more than 65 high schools and 72 college admissions offices across Georgia to create a robust network that helps to simplify the college application process for Georgia learners. By delivering and processing electronic credentials with Parchment, member schools are breaking down barriers in the college access process. For more than a decade, Parchment has worked with high schools and colleges across the United States to aid in the application process, making academic credentials, like high school transcripts, digital, often resulting in more timely admissions decisions. Schools in Georgia have already begun to improve efficiencies, provide transparency to learners and reduce overall costs by partnering with Parchment, following the success many other states have long used to their advantage. In 2015, Georgia high schools relied on Parchment to exchange more than 41,000 digital credentials, an increase of 48 percent over the previous year. Parchment has enabled our students and parents to expedite the college application process by sending transcripts electronically to almost any school across the nation,” said Tessa Barbazon, Coordinator, Office of School Counseling with Fulton County School District. “In addition, the tracking tools available to students through Parchment fill a gap in communication that can exist when less advanced services are utilized.” The Fulton County School District is comprised of 18 high schools with 94,000 students.” (see the entire Press Release: http://www.parchment.com/press-releases/parchment-provides-georgia-students-with-improved-college-access/)

To read Parchment’s Privacy Policy, see: http://www.parchment.com/privacy-policy/
While all looks secure, there are a few things to note: 
1) Parchment sends you information they think you want based on how you answered those qualifying questions.
2) Data is shared with ANY partner or group designated as an Academic Institution. While this may look like it means schools, remember the ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act) and the current version of the HEA (Higher Education Act) include the academic institutions in a much broader context. (*Note: the current HEA even embeds the use of Digital Promise as the  data collection method on all students. Also, the ESSA has Digital Promise funding INCREASED embedded in the language.)
3) Note the Asset Transfer clause. Even your parents information about finances is up for all to see (or at least whomever Parchment deems worthy of knowing.)

 

 Closing:

I thank the parent who shared their story. Our anti CCSS War Against the Core, is made so much stronger when these brave men and women speak up. I hope this information has caused you to question much when it comes to the transformed high school to post-secondary school state we find ourselves in. While we must champion our students data (and ours as well). we must investigate every company we can. Since it appears the school districts are promoting and choosing this, make sure you let your district know your concerns!

Other Previously Exposed High School Credentialing/Transforming Articles: 

From 11/15, a compendium of information on the subject: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/11/12/tech-thursday-update-on-ccsscte-for-adults/

From 05/15, a look at reducing our students to gold, silver, bronze worthy:
https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/09/03/tech-thursday-just-say-no-to-nocc/

From 01/15, a 3 part look at those credentialing either our students or post-secondary learning institutions:
a) https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/01/28/wybi-wednesday-ice-chilling-our-education/ (USA specific)
b) https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/01/27/ftf-tuesday-iassc-universal-certification/ (International Credentials)
c) https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/01/26/monday-musing-an-interview-you-must-hear/ (will reveal some hidden places you need to look for where credentials are needed)