Tag Archives: US Chamber of Commerce

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?



Tech Thursday Update: Aligned Work, Thanks, CCSS.

For today’s Tech Thursday post, I’ll be giving an update to my original article titled, “Aligned and Employed” , which looked at Common Core extending from high school to community college.(see: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/09/13/sic-em-saturday-aligned-and-employed/)

Nothing beats a trained mind, right?
Nothing beats a trained mind, right?

Before we look at what’s new about this subject, please note when you access the original one, it is specific to NC, however, like anything I write featuring NC, I do keep in mind that I have readers all over the world who are using this information to fight federal overreach in education. So, let’s see what’s new so that your fight against post-secondary CCSS, can be a fully armed one.

Here’s an excerpt from the original, “What you should know that’s revealing about this? Commerce in the state of NC, just as in most US States is all about businesses and economy. Most of the time, one organization is their common bond…Chambers of Commerce. In case you didn’t know it, the NC Chamber of Commerce is so supportive of the Common Core Standards, they formed their own CC Coalition…” 

Now, you may consider the fact the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s vested interest in Common Core old news. Have you checked with your state or local level chambers? They receive funds from the U.S. Chamber. Think of it as a passing along of a basket containing tasty biscuits. The U.S. Chamber received its money from the Kitchen, where the biscuits were baked (Gates Foundation contributed millions), then being a sharing sort, the U.S. Chamber gave each state’s Chamber of Commerce some biscuits. Then the state level chambers got busy promoting CCSS at the more local level. Finally, the biscuits run out upon reaching your local Chambers. So, let’s see what is new in the realm of Chamber of Commerce Common Core movements.

First stop, The Kitchen (aka Gates Foundation):

Straight from the Gates Foundation Grant Database:

Date: November 2013
Purpose: to lead the effort to engage and educate state and local chambers to support Common Core State Standards
Amount: $1,383,041
Term: 15
Topic: Global Policy & Advocacy
Program: United States
Grantee Location: Washington, District of Columbia
Grantee Website: education.uschamber.com (this link is no longer viable)

Also from the Gates Foundation to use for ‘post secondary success’ by the U.S. Chamber’s Institute for a Competitive Workforce, Sept. 2012 was $143,296.00. (see the Grant Database entry, http://www.gatesfoundation.org/How-We-Work/Quick-Links/Grants-Database/Grants/2012/09/OPP1067251)

Here’s a short video from the Institute for a Competitive Workforce, titled “Talent Pipeline Management”

The above is a cutesy video to address the ‘skills gap’. Somehow, Common Core aligned workers will solve this ‘dilemma’.

Lead, Hunt, or Get Out of the Way?

New updated information about where each state is in, not only education reform, but Workforce training, 21st Century Teacher Force and more can be found at the U.S.Chamber Foundation’s website called “Leaders and Laggers” (way to be encouraging there, US CofC). The website, http://www.leadersandlaggards.org/ Since the Chamber is so concerned with a ‘talent pipeline’, here’s a resource you’ll definitely want to use in your state. It’s titled, “Preparing Students for the World of Work: The Need for Career Readiness Data” Wow, more need for our students data. Here’s how they are selling this angle, States have recognized the challenge and taken proactive measures to help students better prepare for their futures by adopting more rigorous college- and career-ready standards. Included in this mix are more than 40 states and the District of Columbia that have signed on to the Common Core State Standards, which “are designed to be robust and relevant to the real world, reflecting the knowledge and skills that our young people need for success in college and careers.” Common Core provides the baseline for all students to be ready for careers or college, leading to their eventual participation in the workforce.”
Read the article, http://www.leadersandlaggards.org/report-card/preparing-students-world-work-need-career-readiness-data

Out of the Kitchen and into Your State:

Here’s an excerpt from my original article about the NC Chamber of Commerce’s Common Core action, “Commerce in the state of NC, just as in most US States is all about businesses and economy…. so supportive of the Common Core Standards, they formed their own CC Coalition, send out a very suggestive communication (as in negative reaction) to any legislature who didn’t stick up for Common Core earlier this year when our state was in the early stages of trying to pass ‘repeal’ legislation.” So, let’s see if they have updated their efforts where Common Core is concerned.

The NC Chamber of Commerce's Common Core Coalition homepage looks like this now..no more nasty letters, I guess.
The NC Chamber of Commerce’s Common Core Coalition homepage looks like this now..no more nasty letters, I guess.

Wait, There’s More!

In the opening pages of the 2014 Annual Report for the NC Chamber of Commerce come these words, To empower the business community, the NC Chamber Foundation is leading initiatives to  provide solutions-oriented policy recommendations and to track North Carolina’s progress on the four Pillars of a Secure Future – Education and Talent Supply, Competitive Business Climate, Entrepreneurship and Innovation, and Infrastructure and Growth Leadership. ” Did you catch the ‘talent supply’ reference? Almost word for word what the U.S. Chamber said in their video. Yep, keep passing those biscuits, folks.

Here’s another excerpt, I’m sure the anti-CCSS warrior in you will love, Protecting HIRE Standards:
The NC Chamber Foundation led the Hire Standards, NC coalition to educate North Carolinians  on the
importance of high academic standards – joining the voices of our state’s military, teachers, business
leaders, police chiefs, parents, and local chambers of commerce. Coalition members steered many initiatives including a website, digital and print ad campaigns, local events, and others to create greater understanding around higher standards. Ultimately, Senate Bill 812 was signed into law, which brings greater predictability and certainty to North Carolina teachers, students and job creators by keeping the current higher standards in place while a standards review commission researches and provides revisions, which can retain elements of the Common Core State Standards, in part or full, as a basis for future standards.” Sorry, NC Chamber, this is SO not what Senate Bill 812 was to do at all or accurately states the process our educational system is in at all!

As far as the aligned employment? NC’s got us covered, I bet your state does too! Here’s a bit more from the 2014 NC Annual Report from the Chamber of Commerce, ” the NC Chamber Foundation has joined
the Office of the Governor, the Department of Public Instruction, Community College System Office and
the Department of Commerce to launch a statewide initiative to certify communities and counties as NC
Works Certified Work Ready Communities..” Remember, this is all thanks to CCSS, or those “Hire Standards” AND our state’s Chamber of Commerce. But, thanks also needs to be given to the providers..the U.S. Chamber’s Foundation AND the Gates Foundation. Yeah, right. If you’d like a copy of the NC Chamber 2014 Annual Report, see: http://ncchamber.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/NC-Chamber-14-01-Annual-Report-2014-LR.pdf


I hope that your state isn’t as sold out to an aligned employment system, but then again your state may be even moreso than mine. Either way, the move is on to ‘marry’ education and labor, no matter what, we the citizens say. Think about yesterday’s article updating the Workforce Quality Data as well as the Education Data? I urge you, look at what your Chamber of Commerce are up to. Use NC’s boon doogle as an example!