Tag Archives: U.S. President

ESSA and Digital Overload

ccssattribute

It’s a virtual (digital) overload out there!

For today’s ‘Tech Thursday’, we will look in the ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act) for all the digital parts of education via College and Career Readiness (the new ‘Common Core’ name). (*Note:  in the ESSA, ‘Standards’ is innocently stated as “Challenging State Academic Standards”). Why do I point this out? The law (ESSA) uses both phrases for education!

Why is digital learning a topic worth looking into? An Initiative called ‘Digital Promise’, fits oh-so-nicely into the CCSS Machine’s plans for education overhaul. As we have seen with top-down initiatives in America, where there is a plan, there are P3s (public private partnerships) who stand to profit BIG. Education is the new cash cow!

Where the Digital References Are:

The following list is from the ESSA Final Conference Report. They will also be in the Final Law Version, but the page numbers will be different.
Page 138: Your LEAs (local education agencies) will assist in the development of digital learning skills to improve academic achievement.
Page 363: Students via literacy instruction will be able to navigate, understand, and write about complex print and digital subject matter.
Page 450: States, communities, schools, and LEAs must work together:
a) to provide a well rounded education experience
b) to improve school conditions for students to learn more
c) improve the use of technology for academic achievement and the digital literacy of all students (*Note: ‘blended learning’ quickly follows this portion)
Page 451: Some element of on-line or digital learning must be included in education.
(*Note: further down the page is the ESSA’s definition of what this means)
Page 463: Rural access to high quality digital learning opportunities must be in place.
(*Note: the parameters are on Page 464)
Pages 485-488: The consortia for digital learning and state funding. What the uses of the funding mean and how they tie to digital overload.
Page 630: Preschool and ‘Ready to Learn’ digital content, especially via PBS (Public Broadcast Stations).
Page 943 begins Section 9210 of the ESSA Law. This is the biggest overreach of all!
Why? “Student Home Access to Digital Learning Resources”! To find out how successful students are at HOME, a Study conducted by the Director of the Institute of Educational Sciences (IES) no later than 18 months AFTER all portions of ESSA are in place! Details of the Study will be found on Page 944.

What This All Means:

First, the ‘Digital Promise Initiative’. Back in 2011, from the White House came this report,
Digital Promise is a new national center created by Congress with bipartisan support to advance technologies that can transform teaching and learning. It is being launched today with startup funds and support from the Department of Education as well as the Carnegie Corporation of New York and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. Answering the President’s call to action, a number of prominent leaders in education and technology will help lead Digital Promise. Board members, who were appointed by Secretary of Education Arne Duncan based on recommendations from the House of Representatives and United States Senate, include John Morgridge (Chairman Emeritus of Cisco), Larry Grossman (former President of NBC News), Irwin Jacobs (co-founder of Qualcomm), Gilman Louie (founder of In-Q-Tel), Eamon Kelly (President Emeritus of Tulane University), Mark Dean (IBM Fellow and Vice President), Shae Hopkins (Executive Director and CEO, Kentucky Educational Television), Vince Juaristi (CEO & President, Arbola, Inc.), and Shirley Malcom (Head of the Directorate for Education and Human Resources Programs, American Association for the Advancement of Science).”
To read the entire report of facts, https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2011/09/15/fact-sheet-digital-promise-initiative
Be sure you note the other related initiatives for Digital Promise. I would like to point out two names I saw which jumped out at me and are also very heavily tied to the CCSS Machine. NSF (National Science Foundation) and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math). Why this two? I have researched both extensively and have shared with you in previous articles just how embedded in the CCSS Machine’s agenda they are.
To see the Digital Promise website: http://www.digitalpromise.org/
(*Note: be sure to read the Manifesto.)

Next, the Digital Promise League of Innovative Schools. See their webpage:
http://www.digitalpromise.org/initiatives/league-of-innovative-schools
Here is the number of students/schools, League members represent more than 3.2 million students in 73 districts and 33 states. Their experiences reflect the diversity and shared challenges of public education in America.” (*Note: Be sure to look at the initiatives the League has. You should be able to spot another huge  CCSS Machine member: Verizon. Also, note the adult level of activity.)
One of the featured schools? (*Note: you can find more of them, as well as the school I am about to feature in the League’s News category.)
Right in my town of residence: Mooresville, NC! This was the President’s (as in the U.S. President) ‘school of choice’ for the national address he gave about the success of digital technology. What he didn’t share is that the Superintendent of the MGSD (Mooresville Graded School District) was hand picked by Pearson Publishing for his success in Project Red (digital technology and data mining all in one slick program.) Anti CCSS Warriors, he was picked to come to a small school district to implement this digital shift in education! How do I know all this? See: http://ladyliberty1885.com/tag/project-red/ and the follow up article,
http://ladyliberty1885.com/2014/07/26/more-about-project-red-and-nc-ties/

(*Note: Digital Promise is also written into the HEA (Higher Education Act, 2008) in Section 802)

Next, Rural Education is something to dig a bit deeper into. Let me point you back to the U.S. House’s version of the re-authorization of the ESEA (Elementary and Secondary Education Act), known as HR5. Why? The recently passed into law, ESSA, is in fact, a big compromise of the House and Senate. Certain portions of the House’s wish list for education AND portions of the Senate’s found their way into the ESSA. Rural education was brought into the mix back on Page 280 of the HR5! I wrote about it,
https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/03/05/tech-thursday-workforce-gunning-for-hr5/
This article will show you how Rural Education via the New Schools (another CCSS Machine member) will be all about College and Career Readiness,
https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/11/19/tech-thursday-post-secondary-champs/
(*Note: The U.S. Dept. of Agriculture will surface in this one.)

What about the consortia for digital learning and the state use of funds for digital learning?
First, the consortia members include any number of groups involved in education, especially your communities, but, secondly, it is the language used which is alarming.
“ensuring that all service and  community partners are aligned with the  academic expectations of a community school in order to improve student success…” Then a bit further down the page you find this, “USES OF FUNDS.—Subject to section 4106(f),  each local educational agency, or consortium of such agencies, that receives an allocation under section 4015(a) shall use a portion of such funds to improve the use of technology to improve the academic achievement, academic growth, and digital literacy of all students, including by meeting the needs of such agency or consortium that are identified in the needs assessment conducted under section 4106(d) (if applicable), which may include….”.
You need to read Pages 486 and 487 for yourselves to see what those inclusions are. Let me just summarize that those including are students, teachers, and school leaders; that funds are to used in not only assessments, but purchases of digital technology; and more!

Those PBS broadcasts are our last area of focus.
When I wrote about the PBS presence among the Board members of the Urban Institute (a CCSS Machine member), it was in regards to early learning research and how it will encompass immigrant children as well. The catch? CBE or Competency Based Education. See: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/11/10/ftf-prek-research-ccss-cbe/
Then there was their involvement in higher education, ‘American Graduation Day’.
See: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/09/28/monday-musings-national-graduates/
Then the PBS characters from Sesame Street surfaced in another early learning program where the reading books had been aligned to the CCSS. See: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/11/02/monday-musings-alignment-for-wee-ones/

 

Closing:

The IES and their upcoming Study?
That, my Warriors Against the Core, is the next article to be written.

Related:
For my look into STEM and how it is tied to CCSS Machine:
https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/09/02/from-the-files-pcast-stem-and-common-core/

For my first look into the NSF:
https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/02/18/wybiupclosewithnsf/

To read the ESSA Final Conference Report for those pages you should see for yourselves:
ESSA FINAL CONFRPT_112915

 

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Tech Thursday: STEM/CCSS Push, Making it American?

For this “Tech Thursday”, I’d like to share with you fellow anti CCSS Warriors, how STEM (also tied to Common Core) is pushing more and more for “American Made”.

Is STEM really tied to CCSS? Absolutely! In the recent past I shared with you how the STEM Act of 2015 is tied to it, as I have repeatedly in other past articles.

If we are to fight EVERYTHING about CCSS, we MUST include STEM. We MUST acknowledge CCSS is more than just ‘standards’,  it includes “Career Tech Education”, “College and Career Readiness”, “STEM”, “Career Pathways”, “Career Clusters”, and more.

The D.C. Push:

Federal level education efforts and the legislation created to support those efforts is nothing new. It is however, against the U.S. Constitution! The power to create education reform is reserved, per the U.S. Constitution, for the states. ‘State sovereignty’ is the phrase used.

In my previous article revealing the PCAST report given to the U.S. President as efforts to be taken via a federal level, made embedding STEM into Common Core State Standards! Since that 2010 Report, millions of dollars have been spent, as well as millions of fallacies have been spun about American education. Sadly, those efforts and the resulting pieces of legislation aren’t slowing down anytime soon.

To read the article about the STEM Act, which will also give you the PCAST Report article,
https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/10/21/wybi-tying-stem-to-ccss-again/

So, what’s some of the latest dribble D.C. is spewing? I’m so glad you’re curious! Below is a screen shot from Twitter. The event causing the ‘tweet’? Read on, Warriors!

This U.S. elected official is not alone in her belief. What a waste of citizen representation.
This U.S. elected official is not alone in her belief. What a waste of citizen representation.

If you noticed one of the hash tags above, it says “#MakeItInAmerica”. What is “Make It in America”? It’s tied to the Export-Import Re-authorization. In a nutshell, another U.S. elected official (Bryan Higgins of NY) announced yesterday (10/28/15) that the U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation to re-authorize the Export-Import Bank. What does this mean for education? Per Rep. Higgins, “The Export-Import Bank levels the playing field, allowing for American businesses and workers to remain internationally competitive.”

Can you tell where this is going? How many times have we heard from the CCSS Machine that our students need ’21st century skills for 21st century jobs’, or that ‘to be globally competitive’, and so on? ‘Businesses need skilled workers’, as well. That too, is another yarn the CCSS Machine has spun. It helps support all the P3 (public, private partnerships) meddling in education. I know you’ve noticed it.

To see Rep. Higgins’ full statement, http://higgins.house.gov/media-center/press-releases/higgins-announces-house-passage-of-bill-reauthorizing-the-export-import
To find out all the different groups a positive export-import bank behooves, see:
http://www.exim.gov/authority-has-lapsed/
Anti CCSS/STEM takeaway point, the more positive the relationship, the more jobs. The more jobs, the more educational reform we will continue to be subject to!
(*Also worth noting, if you’d like to see all the supporters involved in this #MakeItInAmerica campaign, check out the Twitter feed. You can see all kinds of tweets about tying education to jobs. This particular hashtag is for the Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives)

 

If you are interested in hearing the House Democrats hearing on HOW to “Make It In America”, (be sure to use the ‘show more’ feature on You Tube, you can see what topics and which members of Congress will be addressing those topics) Education is certainly among them.

 

 

 

In case the ‘show more’ feature isn’t working, here is a screen shot to show  you which members spoke:
DemsAmerica

Rep. Higgins’ announcement said there was bipartisan support in the House. So what did the Republicans say or do toward ‘Make It in America’? There are at least 3 media reports from 2014 which state the House Republicans blocked the bill. (‘Huffington Post’, ‘Daily KOS’, and ‘Our Future’. Google it, you should see those 3 on the first search results page) As far as 2015’s stance, see the Congressional Record, https://www.congress.gov/congressional-record/2015/9/29/house-section/article/h6700-4

 
Bring on the STEM, CCSS, Please:

As you know, if you’ve read my blog long enough that I normally do not cover the political ups/downs in DC EXCEPT when it deals directly with CCSS/CTE and all the other names it hides behind. So far, you’ve gotten a pretty good idea where the Congress is taking aligned education, but, as a Warrior Against the Core, you want to know where the CCSS/STEM I’ve referred to so far is actually showing up.

It will continue to show up in the appropriations (money). It will continue to surface wherever there are conversations about ‘closing the skills gap’ or ‘getting more businesses in education’. It will continue to be thrust upon our states, schools, and everyone in education participating in Career Tech Education/Career Clusters/Career Pathways.

To prove this, consider the evidence I showed you when I wrote about the STEM Affinity Network, where Race to the Top funds were devoted to STEM education/careers. There I showed you how STEM was tucked away in the state levels of education using federal money! If you haven’t read it, it is, indeed an eye opener. See: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/12/02/wybi-wednesday-rttt-stem-ed-waivers-and-more/

Need more CCSS/STEM evidence? Here’s an entire set of my articles with embedded documents and links (this was previously published in my “Recap Special”; the entire article: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/09/30/special-wybi-ccss-recaps/)

“CCR/CTE/CCSS/STEM for all educational choices:
https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/02/11/wybi-jhuy/
https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/02/18/wybiupclosewithnsf/
https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/03/25/wybi-job-development-grants-and-ccss/
https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/04/15/wybi-whats-in-a-word/
https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/05/27/wybi-stem-to-steam-ties-to-common-core-pt-1/

 

 

The 2015 Fed Budget:

Go back and look at the articles I wrote in Dec. 2014 about the (then) upcoming Federal Budget. There you can see exactly where our tax dollars were being funneled. A huge chunk went to the CCS Machine (which includes STEM) Use it as a tool to hone in on your state’s CCSS/STEM expenses. You should see CCR (college/career readiness), CTE (career tech education) or it might be CP (Career Pathways) or CC (Career Clusters). Look for a line by line state budget first, then access a local school board or district’s budget and look at the line by line figures. You should see a distinct pattern of where these funds are going. Make note of how many involve activities including the community (will encompass after school enrichments, camps, field trips, etc.)

To show you what I mean, see the excerpt below from the Part 1 of my “Fed Budget” articles:

Where our taxes are going to help support the CCSS Machine:
$300 million for a new Race to the Top (student longitudinal data system on a state-wide platform); $14.4 billion for Title One College/Career Readiness; $1.1 billion for those 21st Century Community Learning Centers (think cradle to grave agenda); $100 million for “Promise Neighborhoods” (cradle to career initiative); $70 million for Statewide Longitudinal Student Data System; $200 million for ConnectED (trains teachers to be CCSS and college/career readiness aligned, assessments, digital aspects, and more in the classroom); $5 billion for incentives (RESPECT) teachers who’ve completed College/Career Readiness training, building like-minded network; $1.3 billion in mandatory preK for everyone; $165 million for “Investment in Innovation” (i3) which will use a best-practices approach to education while affording the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Education a whopping $49.5 million to transform technology; $150 million to redesign high schools so they become college/career ready centers; $170 million for STEM revitalizing (of that, $110 million goes to LEAs to create a STEM network; $40 million to create a teacher STEM Pathway, $20 million to create a National STEM Teacher Corps;$1.1 billion to reauthorize the Perkins Act (means even more Career Tech Ed that’s aligned to CCSS).”


To get the entire article, https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/12/12/fom-friday-2015-fed-ed-budget/
To access Part 2: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/12/13/sic-em-saturday-more-fed-budget-watch/

Oh. one last STEM figure for you: $3 billion plus for 2016. See the President’s pdf:
stem_fact_sheet_2016_budget_0

As we’ve seen in D.C. before, I’m sure, once again anti CCSS Warriors, we’ll see D.C. push for MORE CCSS/STEM in the coming election period. Watch for it, fight it, and help STOP it! The noise we make, the actions we take are certainly “American made”!

Monday Musings: CCSS Subjective/Objective

CCSS: Using subjective groups to appear objective to us.
CCSS: Using subjective groups to appear objective to us.

Let me ask you a question, my fellow anti CCSS warriors. When it comes to objective critiques, do you ask yourself or someone very close to you for the help? If you’re like me, you determine to ask someone who ISN’T in your immediate circle of influence. That way I know I can better rely on things I didn’t take into consideration. I also know when I do this I can spare my close family/friends any fallout that may occur over whatever needed critiquing in the first place.

However, like we’ve seen with the CCSS Machine before, objectivity gets blown out the door when it relies on its own resources to APPEAR ‘on the level’.  Let me give you the recent announcements that surfaced late last week as evidence about CCSS’s lack of objectivity.

The Washington Post’s article:

Many of us rely on this famous newspaper for objectivity. This article (link is below) appears to be no exception. The writer tells you there’s a new “Consumer Report” like non profit called “EdReports”. It tells you the group found several CC aligned materials, including textbooks,  lacking (gasp, say it isn’t so!) in their ability to successful meet the CC Standards. If you’d like to read the entire article for  yourselves, http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/new-consumer-reports-for-common-core-finds-learning-materials-lacking/2015/03/04/3153d264-c1f6-11e4-9ec2-b418f57a4a99_story.html?postshare=6321425571619494

The author even goes on to share that the following Foundations which GAVE to CCSS to help create it, push it on us are the VERY same ones funding THIS ‘non profit’, “Consumer Reports” like group!!

Here is what the EdReports ‘About Us’ page stated, “EdReports.org is funded by Broadcom Corporation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Helmsley Charitable Trust, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Samueli Foundation, the Charles and Helen Schwab Foundation, and the Stuart Foundation.”

Now, while I couldn’t be happier to see real evidence that the CC aligned textbooks and other resources didn’t measure up, I have to wonder HOW truly objective EdReports can be. We know the CCSS Machine grinds out rhetoric, materials, and more lies than you can keep up with BUT to also state their own stuff stinks?? While on one hand this tactic can be consider brave (as in “I’ve made a discovery about myself and I can change it for the better.”), I am leaning more toward the side of ‘they’re up to something’. Think about it…too much time, energy,  and money has been poured into CCSS! In my researched opinion this move is more like placing a screen door on a submarine and hope it doesn’t sink!

How EdReports Made Up It’s Mind:

Website: http://www.edreports.org/ According to their March 4, 2015 Press Release, much help was sought out in creating these ‘first ever, free reviews’. When did ER begin? Who was there? ER was a think tank creation from the ” Annenberg Retreat at Sunnylands by a Design Team of the nation’s leading minds in math, science, K-12 and higher education in response to fill this gap by reporting on the alignment and quality of instructional material programs.” Then, there’s this,  “Instructional materials that claim to be Common Core-aligned have saturated the market. Yet we know many of those claims have not been verified by a reliable source. Without an independent review to identify quality materials, the promise of Common Core cannot be realized.”

Notice in the above, who created ER is somewhat identified, but there’s no date. Why the Annenberg spread? Why not the local schools or civic meeting houses? I think we warriors might be able to guess when you read what level of leaders meet at Sunnyland.
(see: http://www.annenbergfoundation.org/) The website tells you world leaders meet here, top educational folks, diplomats, and many others convene here to shape many things which impact us all.
Annenberg’s Ties to CC:

The website for the Foundation has much evidence that we anti CCSS warriors know connects more dots in the puzzle of all things CCSS related.
When I looked at some of the grants that the AF has given I noticed something we need to know.

Annenberg Foundation has given several millions to well documented CCSS supporters/creators of initiatives. For example, one of the biggest recipients is Harvard University. Oh, Harvard hasn’t created CCSS initiatives or resources, you may say. However, they have done exactly that. If you’ve heard of the Pearson/Harvard “Pathways to Prosperity” initiative, that’s adult level CCSS via Career Pathways. Many of our fellow warriors (including myself) have written about the efforts of Harvard and how CC was the recipient. (for one example, see the “What is CC” blog’s 2013 article, https://whatiscommoncore.wordpress.com/tag/harvard/

You can see some of the other grantees when you look at the “Milestones and Moments” timeline. (see: http://www.annenbergfoundation.org/about/milestones-and-moments) See if you can immediately spy any other CCSS tied groups.

More Ties from Annenberg to the Core:

Annenberg Learner Express (http://www.learner.org/series/modules/express/) Has STEM and CCSS modules

This 2013 EAG News article lays out how Coleman (aka “CC architect”),  and the Annenberg Challenge, which tie him to Billy Ayers and the sitting President. See: http://eagnews.org/common-core-architect-david-colemans-history-with-the-ayers-and-obama-led-chicago-annenberg-challenge/  You can also see “Before It’s News” and their 2013 article about the Coleman/Anneberg/Ayers relationship,

 http://beforeitsnews.com/opinion-conservative/2013/06/david-coleman-common-core-rewriting-psats-sats-coleman-connections-obama-bill-ayers-chicago-annenberg-challenge-2667402.html

The Annenberg Institute for School Reform (housed at Brown University) is a big time champ of changing not only public education, but impacting charter school, college and career readiness, etc. See the link for all the resources CC related from their website:

http://annenberginstitute.org/?q=search/node/common%20core%20standards

As far as education dollars spent, look at the screen shot of the Annenberg’s Interactive Grant Locator. You can click on the bubbles with figures to get more information. When I clicked on some, not information was available at all. Two of the CA grants was for EnCorp Teachers. That’s a group to increase the number of science and math teachers in the state. To see the grants, use this link and click on ‘interactive grant map’. http://www.annenbergfoundation.org/grantmaking

No telling how much of this $$ is for CCSS.
No telling how much of this $$ is for CCSS.

Let’s Go Back to EdReports, Shall We?

While the Annenberg tie is key to our anti CCSS fight, let’s go take a look at HOW EdReports graded CCSS. Here’s the pdf of methodology, EdReports Methodology

What was measured was ONLY the student text and the teacher text. So, if there are homework resources, for example, those DIDN’T get the EdReport “Consumer Report” like treatment. So, while the one page says they critique quality materials, anything OUTSIDE of the text books isn’t being measured. Remind me, how’s THAT objective? You have to look at all the resources, otherwise it’s a false positive! C’mon, does the CCSS Machine think we’re really that fallible?

If the CCSS material or resource got at least a 10% market share, it was critiqued by the over 20 hours of ER training those who perused the resources received. If at least 2 state level educationally minded groups approved or has suggested the resources for use, it was critiqued.

See this screen shot of the ‘quality control’ model for finding out if the CCSS materials/resources are up to their task.

edreptrain

According to the report for quality and measuring, the following excerpt, “The tool builds on the experience of educators, curriculum experts and leading rubric developers and organizations – such as Achieve, Inc., the Council of Great City Schools, the Dana Center, Illustrative Mathematics Project, the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics and Student Achievement Partners, among others – that have conducted reviews of instructional materials, lessons and tasks. To create the evaluation tool, EdReports.org conducted research into the use of more than 11 commonly-used rubrics, observed review process.” In the footnotes were the names of other groups. Brookings Institute, Cambridge, and Harvard received special notice. See the entire document, EdReports-Quality-Instructional-Materials-Tool-K-8-Math

Now It All Makes Sense:

It wasn’t until I watched the short video provided by EdReports that I understood WHY those in support of the Core created this ‘Consumer Reports’ like non profit. It’s to ensure that if a product says CC aligned, it better be aligned 100%. See the video for yourselves and see what you take away from it.

Oh, by the way, EdReports calls Durham, NC home. That was buried on the ‘Contact Us’ page of ER’s website.

 So while we don’t know when exactly ER was crafted, we at least know which way the CC wind is blowing.

Closing:

I can’t help but be reminded of whom ever leads our leaders, is in control. If we look at the CCSS Machine’s creation of a supposedly objective task, add the CC subjectivity and then glory in the fact that a collaborative group gave it the pass or fail, we can then somehow rest than all is well in CCLand. What a load of crap, CCSS Machine! What an insidious thing to do to your country.

The amount of CCS projects, programs, initiatives, and propaganda equals the level of floor decorations in this trailer!
The amount of CCS projects, programs, initiatives, and propaganda equals the level of floor decorations in this trailer!