Tag Archives: Virtual Schools

iNACOL Comes to Home Education?!

onlinehsccssEspecially for the anti CCSS Warriors who have chosen home education as a way to escape the CCSS Machine. If you don’t home educate, then this news can be of use to you as well in seeing just how far overreaching the P3s (public private partnerships) have become. Continue reading iNACOL Comes to Home Education?!

RMT: Don’t Look Now, NC! CCSS/CTE Overload!

The CCSS Machine's rolling over every state in its path to do WHATEVER it can to align our students!
The CCSS Machine’s rolling over every state in its path to do WHATEVER it can to align our students!

While all our heads were turned toward D.C. this past week, our states kept rolling on in their CCSS/CTE ways. The ‘riddle’ today (since it is “Riddle Me This” Sunday) is “What did NC get while while ESEA re-vamping was happening in Washington, D.C.?” In short, the answer is ‘CCSS/CTE Overload’! As always, if it’s going on in one state, it’s going on in the rest of them.

NC DPI’s Announcement:

First, on 7/9/15, how NC’s proficiency rate is one of the best in the USA. Here’s an excerpt from Dr. Atkinson, NC’s State Education Superintendent (AND the president of the Chief Council of State School Officers; 1/2 owner of the CCSS copyright), ““North Carolina has set high expectations for our students,” said State Superintendent June Atkinson. “We know that today’s competitive economy requires more in order for our students to be well-prepared for success. The challenge before us is to ensure that our schools are equipped and staffed to help students reach these goals.””

To see the entire press release which reveals NAEP’s (National Assessment of Education Progress) figures for NC: http://www.ncpublicschools.org/newsroom/news/2015-16/20150709-02
To have the NAEP’s graphic for NC: mapping-factsheets

 

Then, a Newsletter Highlight:

As we’ve noticed in all things CCSS related, the timing is precise. While one CCSS related activity is going on, others to support it are either in the works or just appearing. Case in point, NC’s ‘new’ Academic and Digital Learning upgrade. An avid reader of my blog and fellow anti CC warrior sent me a tip and requested I look into this. Here’s the tip, “I get the various DPI updates , this was in the July Web highlights.” Then, my contact shared what you see below:

4. Academic and Digital Learning Launches New Website Academic and Digital Learning recently launched a new website that provides easy access to its divisions that include: Career and Technical Education, Digital Teaching and Learning, Exceptional Children, Home Base, K-12 Standards, Curriculum and Instruction, and the NC Virtual Public School. To learn more about Academic and Digital Learning and how it prepares students beyond graduation for work, further education and citizenship, please visit  http://www.ncpublicschools.org/academic-digital-learning/.​” (*NOTE: NC’s Virtual Schools are accessible by all educational choices, including homeschool students)

 
So, How “Recent” is Recent, NC DPI?

In trying to access the rest of the July 2015 news items from NC DPI, I stumbled upon a January 2015 newsletter where some of the ground work for this appears to have been announced. What do I mean? Here’s a ‘sample’,

Coming in July 2015!  Logging into Home Base with the IAM Service The IAM Service will be replacing the “PowerSchool Login” after the 2014/­2015 End­ of­ Year processing, July 6. With this change, all North Carolina K­12 students and employees will login to Home Base applications using their NCEdCloud username and password. The accounts are currently available and LEAs and Charter Schools can begin providing students and employees their accounts at any time. Employees can follow the “Claim Account” process described in For Teachers and Staff on the NCEdCloud IAM Website (ncedcloud.mcnc.org). Students’ accounts will be issued by their teachers, who have access to their students’ usernames and initial passwords. Parents will continue to use the PowerSchool Parent Portal for access to their student’s information. Identity and Access Management (IAM) is one of the NCEdCloud initiatives for the K­12 community of North Carolina and provides LEAs and Charter Schools a tool to help manage the authentication and authorization needs of students, employees and guests (and eventually parents) in accessing cloud­based resources. It provides self­ service capabilities to all end users, and delegated administrator capabilities to LEA and Charter School technology leadership. The actual service is being provided by Identity Automation and the IAM infrastructure is hosted in Amazon’s AWS, a robust environment providing expandable capacity as well as increased stability. “

What’s more is that in the same Jan. 2015 newsletter, an effective digital teaching course was being offered (course began in Feb. 2015). Here’s the screen shot, the website to access the Jan. 2015 entire newsletter is included.

http://www.ncpublicschools.org/docs/homebase/updates/biweekly/2015/20150108.pdf
http://www.ncpublicschools.org/docs/homebase/updates/biweekly/2015/20150108.pdf

 

From That July 2015 Website Address:

From the website provided in the tip my anti CCSS buddy sent, I was able to find all kinds of information about Career Tech Education, Common Core, and more.
First, the website address: http://www.ncpublicschools.org/academic-digital-learning/

On the website’s main page, you’ll read this ‘lovely’ information, “This area of the agency encompasses Standards, Curriculum and Instruction, Digital Teaching and Learning, Career and Technical Education, Exceptional Children and the NC Virtual Public School. Area functions address all State Board goals but focus primarily on preparing students beyond graduation for work, further education and citizenship” Among the major tools to cause the preparation> NC’s Standard Course of Study (code name for CCSS) and Home Base (data mining). Assessments will be in BOTH Standard Study/Home Base.

If you’d like to see the 2009 NC, Career and Technical Education’s Strategy and thus, makeover to align to CCSS, strategic-plan

If you’ve followed my blog very long, you know I’ve provided scores of facts, documents, and other related information into NC’s total CCSS Machine alignment. My warriors, NC is far from the lone participant in this, as you can well attest to. I know it’s in every one of our states of residence. It has to be. The workforce/economy components of the reshaping of America are to encompass ALL 50 states, territories, and military posts.

Supporting all this alignment? “Programs that support digital teaching and learning are reinforced by legislation and policies for implementation of legislation.” Source: NC DPI’s Digital Teaching and Learning Policy page. (http://www.ncpublicschools.org/dtl/policy/ )

One of the main laws requiring adherence? The ESEA (Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965), which is currently in a state of re-vamping. Which leads us back to the current events in D.C. ESEA is ‘boss’ in every state of the United States.! What other laws support the alignment of America? NC’s Digital Teaching and Learning page, offers links to all the federal agencies involved: http://www.ncpublicschools.org/dtl/policy/regulations/ (*Note: NC’s DPI didn’t provide the state legislation, only the federal level)


One last note, the funding to help support the digital teaching and learning? E-rate! (see: http://www.ncpublicschools.org/dtl/resources/funding/) Related resource you can use, my previously published look into what some of those ‘pesky fees’ on your phone bill actually do in regards to all the digital education: http://preventcommoncore.com/?p=1223

The path that leads in a circle soon gets you nowhere.
The path that leads in a circle soon gets you nowhere.

 

RMT: Connected to the Core?

AdvancED leading NC straight to more CCSS.
AdvancED leading NC straight to more CCSS.

Today’s “Riddle Me This” is all about a new effort accredited by AdvancED (so CCSS friendly it’s downright shameful) and growing in NC. We’ll also delve into which other states are involved.

The Context:

Many of us who are fighting CCSS, have already been able to connect the dots between AdvancED and CCSS. However, I know many of us may need a refresher OR may be so new to fighting CCSS, they haven’t made the connection. To help you establish what AdvancED does, here’s an excerpt from my guest post I wrote on LadyLiberty1185’s blog in mid 2014: AdvancEd is an online company dedicated to helping your school be the best. Just look at their Common Core Standards page. My personal ‘favorite’ is the reinvention of the report card into digital badges. Read it for yourself. Note: the author is from NASA — as in the guys who went to the moon.” Access the report:  http://www.advanc-ed.org/source/reinventing-report-card
If you’d like to read the entire article on Lady’s site, http://ladyliberty1885.com/2014/07/07/guest-post-common-core-in-charters-private-homeschools/

Here’s what AdvancED has to say about themselves: “AdvancED is the largest community of education professionals in the world. We are a non-profit, non-partisan organization that conducts rigorous, on-site external reviews of PreK-12 schools and school systems to ensure that all learners realize their full potential. While our expertise is grounded in more than a hundred years of work in school accreditation, AdvancED is far from a typical accrediting agency. Our goal isn’t to certify that schools are good enough. Rather, our commitment is to help schools improve.”

What you need to know about AdvancED:
1) They fully support the re-authorization of ESEA (as in the HR5 federal legislation).

2) To support their position of the re-authorization, their report on ‘Diagnostic Review’ explains how they will use school data to an extreme. Get the report: Diagnostic-Review

3) In AdvancED’s latest Annual Report, the non profit shared many vital details we, as anti CCSS warriors need. FYI, the organization is worth over $16 million dollars and is purposed to reinvested everything into continuing to change education. Get the report: AE-AnnualReport2013-14

4) Partners of AdvancED include quite an extensive list of faith-based schools as well as State Boards of Education. Partners link: http://www.advanc-ed.org/services/partnerships State Boards link: http://www.advanc-ed.org/services/state-departments-education (*Note: among the State Boards is CCSSO, as in the Council of Chief State School Officers–you know, half owner of the copyright to Common Core Standards)

The New Push:

Now that you have that information, here’s how AdvancEd is pushing their CCSS support into NC via a ‘new’ school….

Called “North Carolina Connections Academy” (website: http://www.connectionsacademy.com/north-carolina-virtual-school/home.aspx) How did I discover this new school? I received a colorful flyer in my regular mail. The big banner at the top of the mailer states that the school is a ‘tuition-free virtual public school’. All the in-person, ‘get-to-know-all-about-us’ meetings are held in nearby locations (here in NC). However, the return mailing address gives me a Maryland location. Hhmm….not surprised. Here’s the website address for the home office in MD (it’s called “Connections Education, LLC”): http://www.connectionseducation.com/

Because it's virtual, this school can reach anywhere--any state, country, or school which is willing to sign up.
Because it’s virtual, this school can reach anywhere–any state, country, or school which is willing to sign up.

 

The first clue to CCSS allegiance is ‘public school’. Virtual public schools in NC are still rather new, therefore, not totally understood. Here’s an excerpt from an article by UNC’s WUNC. “The General Assembly required last year that the state create a four-year pilot program for two virtual charter schools. Only two schools applied: North Carolina Virtual Academy, run by K12 Inc.; and Connections Academy, to be managed by Connections Education.” (entire article: http://wunc.org/post/virtual-charter-schools-coming-nc)

The second clue is the curricula publishers list. (Pearson, MacGraw-Hill, and many others) Every page of this “NC” school has Pearson’s logo of “Always Learning” at the bottom.

The third clue: Talent Networks (includes STEM)

The Board of Directors:

It won't take long to research how each of these people are connected to CCSS.
It won’t take long to research how each of these people are connected to CCSS.

“Connections Education” was a 2013 “Best Places to Work” winner. See: http://www.connectionsacademy.com/news/ce-named-among-2013-best-places-to-work

Pearson’s Connection Education is not only in NC, but the following locations:
International Connections Academy, AZ, CA, CO, FL, GA, IA, ID, IN, KS, LA, MA, ME, MI, MN, NM, NV, OH, OK, OR, PA, SC, TX, UT, WI, and WY. Here’s the link to see what the names of the schools are (most are the state’s name followed by “Connections Academy”, however, “Nexus” and a couple of other names are used as smoke screens): http://www.connectionsacademy.com/online-school/availability

The Pearson run entity also offers CTE (Career Tech Ed) courses, so those Career Clusters/Pathways can occur in the virtual student’s life as it does in the students’ lives in the brick and mortar schools. (look under the ‘curriculum’ page for proof).

Of course, with Pearson in charge, you know your student’s information will be data mined all over the globe.
See a related news announcement: http://www.connectionslearning.com/connections-learning/news/advanced-academics-acquisition.aspx

Closing:

While it’s no secret how tied to CCSS North Carolina is, I do wonder if the NC General Assembly did their digging into finding out what organization is behind Connections Academy before they approved the educational experiment with not only our students, but, our tax dollars. If you live in NC, pass this information to your legislator. IF you live in any of the states listed above, share this with your legislators. Hold them accountable! No CCSS in our states MEANS No CCSS, CTE, CCR, or other sly rebrand, rename dreamed up.