Tag Archives: Vanderbilt University

Learning from Our Neighbors?

When it comes to education, how much are we truly learning from each other?
When it comes to education, how much are we truly learning from each other?

 

For this edition of my From the Files Tuesday, I want to begin by posing the question you see above in the caption. With the passage of the ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act) it is important we consider it. Why? Let’s see what we can learn from the relationship between the State I live in (NC) and our neighbor to the West, Tennessee.

The Flyer:

Here in NC, our Primary Election was March 15, 2016. Just before it, I received a glossy, colorful flyer for an organization titled, Our Schools First (OS1).
(see their website: http://www.ourschoolsfirst.com/ ) The flyer instantly got my internal radar up because it stated which candidates running were ‘pro education’.
Now, as an anti CCSS Warrior and researcher, I know that just because  candidates are supportive of education, it needs to be revealed exactly HOW they are supportive. As we have learned together in this War Against the Core, many members of the CCSS Machine are also ‘pro education’, but it is an aligned and agenda filled education. None of this type of information was given on the flyer.

So what did I find on the OS1 website? Why wait until now to share this? Two reasons. First, life has been a whirlwind. Second, had I shared the news then, I wouldn’t have had the entire story, or what appears to be the entire story.

From the OS1 website, I found this is the group which really pushed for a local school bond package back in 2014. (*Note: The bond was to support massive school building changes in 7 of the county’s schools. Knowing from research that bonds are deferred loans future generations usually have to pay off; that the school buildings changes are part of the purposed redesigning of our schools to align to the overall education reform, I didn’t support the bond. It passed anyway. As usual, the bond has proven to be not enough for the changes we were told.) The OS1 website is not very transparent on lots of information, they do ask you for your money and tell you whom you should support, however.

All this said, I did find one useful resource: the call to halt an upcoming bill currently in the NC General Assembly. The bill will basically close any failing school here in NC, take it over, and restructure it as a charter school. The worst part? The bill is written to model the failure of this very thing in TN! Click on  the screen shot below for what the group shared:

savencschools
This is what the ‘pro education’ group shared, however, it also links its information (the blue highlighted phrase ‘considering a bill’) to a very left leaning policy watch group here in NC. When you access their website, you see another story about the fiscal responsibility aspect of closing schools and restructuring them. (Article link is below)

True, we need to consider this, but it is WHOM they asked that sets off yet another anti CCSS Warrior red flag. Rep. Craig Horn! If you don’t know who he is, let me briefly state that he is 100% in favor of the CCSS Machine’s takeover in education. He is also the chairman of the NC House of Representatives Education Appropriations Committee! While Rep. Horn thinks the bill will not pass, the Representative who has introduced the bill, Rep. Rob Bryan, is said to be a huge supporter of the change in education. (see:
http://pulse.ncpolicywatch.org/2016/03/30/house-leader-questions-fiscal-feasibility-of-achievement-school-districts-in-north-carolina/)

What IS the Change NC Wants that TN Flubbed Up?

Simply put, it is known as ASD (Achievement School Districts). Currently, NC has a Select House Committee on ASDs. Who chairs it? Rep. Bryan. Other Representatives include Rep. Horn and 10 others. Fighting the War Against the Core in NC, I can tell you almost everyone of these Representatives are in favor of the CCSS Machine’s education reform.
To see the entire Committee member list,
http://www.ncleg.net/gascripts/Committees/Committees.asp?sAction=ViewCommittee&sActionDetails=House%20Select_174

To see the ASD Committee Actions (which include the Race to the Top 2013-14 School and District Transformation Report2013-14 RttT 118 Data Longitudinal-RB 6-30-15 )
http://www.ncleg.net/gascripts/DocumentSites/browseDocSite.asp?nID=302

To see the actual ASD Bill: NCASDbill

The TN ASDs:

Nashville Public Radio featured the entire disaster:
http://nashvillepublicradio.org/post/researchers-deem-tennessee-s-achievement-school-district-ineffective-so-far#stream/0
In their article, they reveal one fact we should know: ASDs were part of the Race to the Top!

The research on TN’s ASDs includes “A number of states and districts have adopted bold strategies for turning around low performing schools. Some of these initiatives have been modeled after Louisiana’s Recovery School District (RSD), which, in some cases, took over and directly ran failing schools or, in other cases, turned these schools over to charter management organizations (CMOs). Inspired by Louisiana’s example and the potential of Race to the Top (RTTT) funding, Tennessee passed legislation called First to the Top in January 2010 which created the Achievement School District (ASD). With this legislation in hand, the state applied for RTTT funding, and, in March of that year, Tennessee was awarded $500 million to carry out the proposed initiatives including the ASD.” To read the entire 10 page research report: ASD_Impact_Policy_Brief_Final_12.8.15
(*Note: Vanderbilt University was granted money from the part of the TN’s RttT funds,  U.S. Dept. of Education, and the Walton (WalMart) Family Foundation to conduct this research.)

To learn more about the TN ASDs, see their website:
 http://achievementschooldistrict.org/about/
To see the “Why I Choose to Achieve” promotion video:

Closing:

The big question is why is NC going down this path when TN showed the system is a disaster? A couple of obvious answers: 1) RttT Funded States have turning around the lowest performing schools as one of their strings. 2) To embed the ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act) mandates and plans of turning around schools and creating more charter schools.

Related Resources:
Rep. Horn’s activities to support the Jeb Bush run Foundation for Excellence in Education:
https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/10/25/weekend-news-ccss-rumors-abound-at-least-in-nc/ (*Note: Rep. Blackwell was also featured in this article as an attendee. Blackwell is also on the House ASD Committee.)
NC area schools set to close and be consolidated:
http://www.wsoctv.com/news/local/parents-to-rally-over-closures-in-rowan-salisbury-school-system/216982593

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Weekend News: The State of CCSS’s SEL

During this busy time, anti CCSS Warriors, we have much distracting us in this War Against the Core (Common Core, that is). For today’s “Tech Thursday”, I’d like to draw your attention to the Gates Foundation funded ASCD (Association for Supervision of Curriculum Development) and their push for SEL (Social Emotional Learning). SEL is a HUGE part of the CCSS Machine’s effort to indoctrinate our students, teachers, school leaders, and, legislators.
We MUST know all that we can about the legislative moves in each of our states to truly combat this portion of the CCSS!

Why is SEL such a big deal? Consider this:
Our emotions were created in us to help us express ourselves. We are to rule them, NOT have them rule us. However, when you take the agenda behind the CCSSI (Common Core State Standards Initiative), you find the gist is to alter our emotions and MOLD them to fit the social issues (ie: social justice). This is a dangerous goal, anti CCSS Warriors. When you alter the mind in any way to fit someone or something else’s agenda, you are no longer your own person living your life as you see fit. You become a easily manageable cog in the CCSS Machine’s parts. So what is SEL? It stands for social, emotional learning. In short, it is everything connected t our attitudes, values, beliefs, and how we use them. Common Core has already proven out in many ways just how it is purposefully manipulating subjects taught, so imagine what it is doing to our minds?

Enter the ASCD:

This is not the first time I’ve written about this pro CCSS group. If you’d like to see what other aligned aspects of theirs I’ve written about, please refer to:
1) https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/10/08/wybi-wednesday-ccss-and-the-altruism-movement/
2) https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/11/21/fib-0-meter-friday-as-heard-in-committee/
3) https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/02/13/fom-friday-ccss-cant-be-wrong/
4) https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/04/01/wybi-crystal-clear-common-core/
5) https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/05/30/sic-em-saturday-ed-leaders-aligned-standards/
6) https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/08/18/ftf-ccss-education-community-alignment-reaction/
7) https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/10/21/wybi-tying-stem-to-ccss-again/

On 11/18/15T, ASCD helped host a SEL webinar. The same day the hearings to continue re-authorizing the ESEA (Elementary and Secondary Education Act) began. If you’ve not been made aware of it, SEL is a HUGE portion of the combined bills (HR5 and S1177; Student Success Act and Every Child Achieves Act) that are to replace the ‘outdated’ ESEA!
What group was also hosting this webinar? The Rennie Center. Have you heard of them, anti CCSS Warriors? You should get to know this Center, if you haven’t.
Before we move on to the Rennie Center, I want to leave you with one quote from the ASCD’s author Mike Anderson,The Common Core State Standards give us a golden opportunity to teach social-emotional skills and academic skills together.” Want to see more of what he wrote about CCSS and SEL lessons?

“Here are just a few examples of connections between the Common Core standards and the five core social and emotional competencies outlined by the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL):

Self-Awareness

  • Use context to confirm or self-correct word recognition and understanding, rereading as necessary. (Reading/Foundational Skills/Grade 5)
  • Introduce a topic or text clearly, state an opinion, and create an organizational structure in which ideas are logically grouped to support the writer’s purpose. (Writing/Grade 5)

Self-Management

  • Develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach. (Writing/Grade 5)
  • [Mathematically proficient students] monitor and evaluate their progress and change course if necessary. (Math Practice Standard 1)

Social Awareness

  • Describe how a narrator’s or speaker’s point of view influences how events are described. (Speaking and Listening/Grade 5)
  • Engage in a range of collaborative discussions with diverse partners on grade 5 topics and texts, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly. (Speaking and Listening/Grade 5)

Relationship Skills

  • With guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed. (Writing/Grade 5)
  • [Mathematically proficient students] justify their conclusions, communicate them to others, and respond to the arguments of others. (Math Practice Standard 3)

Responsible Decision Making

  • Come to discussions prepared, having read or studied required material. (Speaking and Listening/Grade 5)
  • Follow agreed-upon rules for discussions and carry out assigned roles. (Speaking and Listening/Grade 5)”
    Source: http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational_leadership/oct15/vol73/num02/Social-Emotional_Learning_and_Academics@_Better_Together.aspx

Enter the Rennie Center:

This Center is yet another ‘education and research policy’ group. Their website address is:
http://www.renniecenter.org/
Below is a screen shot I got from their website:

Among the other focal points are college/career readiness, equity in education, and more!
Among the other focal points are college/career readiness, equity in education, and more!

If you didn’t know it, this Center is based in Massachusetts. Boston to be exact. From their website page titled “Our Impact”, read the following excerpt,The Rennie Center seeks to foster thoughtful public discourse and informed policy making through non-partisan, independent research and constructive dialogue on key education reform issues.”
What follows this statement is the impact of their work in key education areas.
a) family and children educational services
b) youth readiness
c) Massachusetts Teaching, Learning and Leading Survey (TeLLS) where all the ‘stakeholders’ weighed in.Here’s the link to the description of the 2008 event. Notice what group of ‘stakeholders’ was not included. http://www.renniecenter.org/events/090115_event.html
d) higher education
e) use of data to mold student outcomes
f) English language learners.
See all of the impacts: http://www.renniecenter.org//impact.html

What groups support and fund the Rennie?

Barr Foundation; Carnegie Corporation of New York; Hyams Foundation; IBM Corporation; Irene E. and George A. Davis Foundation; Nellie Mae Education Foundation; Noyce Foundation; United Way of Pioneer Valley; and the United Way of Central Massachusetts

Board members: http://www.renniecenter.org//board.html

Rennie Center presented an SEL event in co-operation with MassInc and Transforming Education on 10/26/15. Below is a screen shot from that SEL presentation.

"Academics", as we know via CCSS, are not true academics at all!
“Academics”, as we know via CCSS, are not true academics at all!

Below is what the Transforming Education’s definition of SEL looks like:

Where are the true 'academics' in this description?
Where are the true ‘academics’ in this description?

Anti CCSS Warriors, you should view the entire presentation to know what else, and, which educational groups are being targeted! See: 151026_SELpresentation
Other Rennie Center items you need to know:
If you’d like to see how The Rennie Center crunches students and teacher data to reform and align education: RennieMassData
To see how The Rennie Center has reported the use of Title One Funding in MA to align and reform education, RennieTitleOne
How does Title One Funding play into SEL? The re-authorization of the ESEA? Portability of funds or funds which are being proposed to follow your child throughout their education. (ie: Education Savings Accounts, tax credit scholarships, vouchers)

The ASCD and Rennie Center’s 11/18/15 SEL presentation handout notes: social-emotional-learning-webinar-handouts-111815
The ASCD/Rennie Center webinar:  http://www.ascd.org/professional-development/webinars/social-and-emotional-learning-policy-and-practice-webinar.aspx
There are several in-depth things you MUST listen for during this almost hour long webinar! If you don’t have time now to listen, below I have provided some of the high points, but trust me, there is SO much more. I have notes I will be happy to share with you, just contact me via the comments section.

 

What We Need to Know to Look for in Our States Concerning SEL:

1) re-purposing school budgets, combining funds and resources so they are open to all involved

2) college and career readiness departments or committees, especially on the local level and often embedded in community projects.

3) developing a SEL program or initiative (or refreshing an existing SEL program)
ASCD has a ‘how to launch a SEL program article you should read, see:
http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/may97/vol54/num08/How-to-Launch-a-Social-$-Emotional-Learning-Program.aspx

4) Ethic, moral, or, sex education courses and curricula (all parts of the ‘social issues/justice’ portion of CCSS). With the whole community is in this approach, note that means any group seen as invested in education will have access to your students via ‘educational opportunities’.

5) community wide SEL programs or initiatives (ie: 21st Century Community Learning Centers or Strive Together cities (part of KnowledgeWorks) I’ve written about both of these several times, if you’d like the articles, let me know.

6) How higher learning institutions and other LEAs(local education agencies) are helping align our students, SEL, and Positive Behavior Interventions (also a big part of the Title One Funding, and is set to impact every student via the re-authorized ESEA). (ie: The NC Dept. of Public Instruction’s SEL Foundation’s 2013 newsletter for early education. See: NC-DPI SEFEL newsletter_4-3-13_0 ; Vanderbilt University’s SEL Center for Early Education, see: http://csefel.vanderbilt.edu/resources/states.html)

7) Youth Development Initiatives (ie: after school programs, mentors, ‘real world’ preparation)

8) state level SEL indicators such as:

From 2011 and the National Center for Children in Poverty
From 2011 and the National Center for Children in Poverty (to see the rest of this eye opening report: SELstateindicators

Closing:

With the rush job Congress is giving the re-authorization of the ESEA, the upcoming vote, and the fact the public will NOT have access to the voluminous bill, we have much we need to be preparing for! SEL will NOT go away anytime soon, like everything else connected to the CCSS Machine, it will continue to grind away at not only our educational system, but everyone involved until they become a manipulated version of whom they used to be!