Tag Archives: Washington Post

CCSS/CTE BS Alert!

Anti CCSS Warriors, Fed Ed Warriors, and everyone in between…
Are you fed up with the lies about education from educrats?!

I am! My article today is a response to the Vice President’s education remarks during the recent CPAC event.

Talk is cheap. I feel mocked…again. Some educratic buzz phrases we’ve heard SO many times showed up in Pence’s words. I am so tired of people in power who think they can mutter what sounds good or popular and be trusted. The one statement which really ticked me off?! “We’re in the promise keeping business.”  Before I go any further, here is the link to his speech.

From Pence’s Time In IN:

His work, in education, did not  keep his constituents happy. Just ask the anti CCSS/Fed Ed Warriors in IN. They KNOW he’s a CCSS Machine member. I know it from previous research. Our entire nation needs to wake up and see he is an EDUCRAT!

From the Washington Post’s article, Pence, as Governor ignored the voice of the People in IN many times when it came to education. So, how are the American Citizens supposed to believe anything Pence says about education as VP?!
(Below is a screen shot showing Gov. Pence’s signature on a Race to the Top document for IN.)

inrttt
Source of the screen shot can be accessed here.

Back to the CPAC Words:

Anyone given the right words can whip up a crowd. Especially when you leave out key facts. Pence near the 13:32 mark that no State should ever be forced to adopt ‘Common Core’. The crowd cheered loudly.

Of course cheering would happen when you preempt your ‘adoption’ comment behind how the Trump Administration is on board with education reform which wants to give more school choices and that recognizes education is a local function. Pence didn’t appear uncomfortable one bit when saying these things. However, let’s look at WHY these statements ARE supportive of ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act).

First off, neither the President or Vice President should be on board with education reform in its current state of top-down, bottom-up; anti teacher; anti parent;  and willingly selling out our students. They should not be supportive of any of the educational federal laws which are illegally based and contridict the U.S. Constitution! Secondly, ESSA has been sold by the CCSS Machine as education is given back ‘locally’. False!  By acknowledging the ‘local control’ yet doing nothing to end the illegally based reform is double speak. Lastly, ESSA lies have been spread that ‘school choice’ will somehow give you more in education, when it reality it is more of the same! Look below. (My thanks to Michele K. for the work on the image below.)

michelesversion**********************************************************
In a fairly recent article, I showed you how the Trump/Pence Education Plan was about expanding fed ed, not lessening it. Since that publication, it appears Trump STILL doesn’t know what’s Common Core and what isn’t. Since Pence likes to claim he balances the President, apply that concept here.  Pence isn’t clueless about CCSS or CTE (Common Core State Standards/Career Tech Education). Suddenly, now that he’s the second most powerful man in America, he wants us to believe he is among our best allies in fighting the CCSS Machine. A quick internet search shows Pence is closely tied to CTE.

pencecte

IF all this wasn’t enough, add Pence’s claims about school choice and his alliance with Betsy DeVos. Research which shows her family’s friendships with Pence. One could even point out these ties may have swayed him, especially in his vote for DeVos as Secretary of Education.  Pence has a close relationship with DeVos’s brother, Erik Prince. Here’s proof of campaign donations. This link shows you the Prince family donations to the Trump/Pence “Make American number 1”).

As Far As The Reality of “School Choice”:

Recently, Alice Linahan asked me to guest appear on the Women on the Wall National Conference Call. It is imperative the Trump Administration listens. Why?

School Choice’ via ESSA is exposed to be exactly what we, the anti CCSS Warriors know: an unadulterated farce. You sure haven’t heard Mr. Pence share THAT truth with anyone, especially when appearing before adoring fans.


If You Want to Speak The Truth:

After absorbing all this information, use the #KeepYourPromise on Twitter and help tweet on Feb. 27th that the Trump/Pence campaign promised  “No More Common Core!” For there to be NO ‘Common Core’, it MUST be destroyed in ALL its forms, even Pence’s champion cause, CTE!!

From the White House:

President Trump’s “National School Choice Week” Proclamation included this excerpt shows us just how effective the CCSS Machine’s propaganda has been. At almost every turn, since Trump/Pence’s inauguration, their ears have been plugged to our consistent truths about the CCSS Machine. If they’d listened, they would know the Proclamation was a victory for the CCSS Machine, NOT a blow against it. Here’s an excerpt:
“By expanding school choice and providing more educational opportunities for every American family, we can help make sure that every child has an equal shot at achieving the American Dream.  More choices for our students will make our schools better for everybody.”
****************************************************************

From VP Pence’s official White House biography, “As Governor of Indiana, Vice President Pence increased school funding, expanded school choice, and created the first state-funded Pre-K plan in Indiana history. He made career and technical education a priority in every high school.”

A painful truth I found on the White House’s website, education is not listed among the ‘top issues’.

What is top among the Trump/Pence Administration? Energy (the U.S. Dept of Energy is in the CCSS Machine via CTE.), Foreign Policy, Jobs Returning to America and Job Growth (will most definitely encompass STEM and CTE), Military and Law Enforcement (tied to the CCSS Machine), and, Trade Agreements (will definitely tie to global economy).

********************************************************************

My Last Thoughts, Comments, and, Responses to Pence’s Speech:

1)The friendship between so many in the Administration is giving off the attitude of greatness and shaking the established system up, especially in education. BS! You CANNOT possibly have greatness or beating the Establishment as long as you deceive the nation with ridding us of CCSS when you have so much firmly embedded to carry it on.

2) ‘Government for the people, by the people, and, of the people’ would be more believable when the People speak by the millions to not confirm the worst Secretary of Education to date. Somehow, though that message got blocked. Very much like when Pence, as IN’s Governor ignored the will of the citizens there.

3) Pence said Trump was already delievering results for American citizens, so far, I must disagree on education. If you really want America  to buy into the “Promise Keeping Business”, Mr. PenceSTOP the misinformation! STOP the CCSS Machine in ALL its forms, NOT just Common Core! Do not tell us (the anti CCSS/Fed Ed Warriors) education reform begins with MORE SCHOOL CHOICE. ESSA kills ‘school choice’. If you’ve not read ESSA like I have, you would know this and not spread the lie that ‘school choice’ is the answer.

4) Pence said (CPAC Speech) the States should not be forced to adopt CCSS. Is he serious? Does he not remember that the ‘CCSS forced acceptance’ happened back with Race to the Top?!  States had no choice when it came to CCSS being in their educational system thanks to the federal funds and the strings which came with them.

What Should Be Said:

1) “States shouldn’t have to CONTINUE to be forced to adhere to CCSS or anything connected to it.” (my words)
2) “I will uphold the U.S. Constitution and recognize all that goes with Common Core violates it.” (words to be spoken by Pence, Trump, and the entire Congress)

 

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FOM: CCSS, Aspen, and You

When did 'reinventing education' become code for Common Core?
When did ‘reinventing education’ become code for the Common Core Standards?

Hi Anti CC Warriors! Back in June 2015, I published a ‘tell all’ article about Sen. Lamar Alexander, the CCSS Machine, the re-authorization of the HEA (Higher Education Act), and how Common Core, along with Career Tech Education, is involved. So, since the Senator publicly stated the HEA was next in being ‘next’ on the CCSS Machine’s agenda, (see: http://www.c-span.org/video/standalone/?c4545511 )

we know where anti CC efforts need to be aimed. THIS IS IMPERATIVE, Warriors!
See the June article: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/06/10/wybi-sen-alexander-the-hea-and-next-america/

Why Aspen?

Why am I taking an updated look at the Aspen Institute (aka Aspen)?
After all it was barely mentioned in the June article by way of indirect association to the Alexander/HEA/Alignment effort.
If you’re new to the CCSS War and don’t know much about Aspen, I’d like to introduce you. If you’ve been in the War awhile, you may know about Aspen’s involvement. However, do we know the latest? Do we have time to learn about the latest CCSS Machine alignment efforts for post-secondary education? We ALWAYS have time to learn about fighting the CCSS Machine!

Before I get to the absolute latest information, here are the other Aspen articles I’ve written:
From May 2015: How Aspen Institute is working with NCICTE (National Center for Innovation in Career and Technical Education) to re-invent a Common Core post-secondary world: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/05/21/tech-thursday-career-tech-education-federal-style-update/

From February 2015: How Aspen Institute, “Be the Change“, “Opportunity Nation“, the Boy Scouts, community colleges, United Way, and many others are involved in re-inventing career alignment. See: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/02/16/monday-musings-opportunity-or-ultimatum/

The Danger about CCSS Machine’s career alignment isn’t so much the post-secondary portion as is the entire process begins well BEFORE a student’s admittance into post-secondary education.

Remember, post-secondary education has many choices: community college, public or private 4 year schools, for profit trade schools, on-line classes, etc. ANY citizen who enters these will be CCSS aligned via the courses.

The Latest on Aspen:

For one. there’s the “Presidential Fellowship  Program ” for Community Colleges. See: http://www.aspeninstitute.org/policy-work/college-excellence/presidential-fellowship/program-overview The danger, as I’ve pointed to before is, that community colleges are already aligned to Common Core. So any effort to continue to support such a continued effort to align is playing right into the CCSS Machine’s hands! (*Note: just do a general search of my blog for “community colleges’ and you’ll see what I mean.)  
Aspen Institute knows what we’re overlooking, or, taking for granted: that a tremendous amount of students–of all ages, attend community colleges. If ever there was a ‘back door’, nobody’s-watching-mindset, community colleges are ” perfect”.

Think about it, a widely accepted institution in our backyards, yet full of CCSS alignment!
Here’s a CCSS Machine reality, community college leaders aligning to CCSS/CTE right under our noses. How, you ask? The ‘New Community College Leaders”! See: http://www.aspeninstitute.org/policy-work/college-excellence/new-college-leadership-project  You, as an anti CCSS Warrior, will especially ‘love’ the rhetorical line about community colleges being forced into re-thinking how things are done. Why are they being ‘reinforced’ to take another look? The public, private partnerships which involve businesses..especially, those Chamber of Commerce member businesses! To see the Aspen Institute’s new leaders sales pitch, http://www.aspen institute.org/policy-work/college-excellence/new-college-leadership-project  Be sure to take note there’s a new curriculum being developed for leaders in community colleges, as well as pointers on WHO  is being hired to run these educational institutions! You can’t have a compliant CCSS run school if you are manipulating who is hired. One of the agenda points we’ve heard repeatedly from those supportive of Common Core is how our leaders will be measured as ‘successful’ based on student achievement. See: http://www.aspeninstitute.org/policy-work/college-excellence/tools-hiring-leaders

The bait for alignment via a community college? One million dollars. See: http://www.aspeninstitute.org/policy-work/college-excellence/overview

Helping lead all this alignment between community colleges, workforce, Career Tech Education, Common Core, and more?  “education and workforce imperatives facing our country, the Aspen Institute, the Bank of America Charitable Foundation, the Joyce Foundation, the Kresge Foundation, and Lumina Foundation have partnered to support the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence.” See the link directly above.

In Case You Need a Reminder:

How is Aspen Institute tied to Common Core?  Below, are a few articles, you may understand.
1) http://www.aspeninstitute.org/publications/implementation-common-core-state-standards-transition-guide-school-level-leaders
2) http://www.aspeninstitute.org/publications/tools-teachers-implementing-key-shifts-common-core-state-standards
3) http://www.aspeninstitute.org/events/2013/09/19/what-how-leading-common-core-success-school-level
4) http://www.aspeninstitute.org/events/2013/12/09/evolving-role-federal-policy-education-rd-dissemination
5) http://www.achievementnetwork.org/common-core-transition/ (*Note: how Aspen and anther group are working as one to align your schoools.)


A last NOTE:

As you’ve read before here on my blog, Career Tech Education IS Common Core on an adult level, which just happens to also start at a much younger, than adult age. It also involves Career Pathways. An example? The State of NC’s Community College’s CTE programs (and again, search my blog for other articles)
See: http://www.nccommunitycolleges.edu/search/content/career%20tech%20education

Closing:

Know that there’s so much more to the Senator’s moves in higher education, Common Core, and all it’s Career readiness. In case you’ve not already noticed a direct tie between Aspen and Common Core, see:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2013/05/12/gates-gives-150-million-in-grants-for-common-core-standards/

I’ll be covering MUCH more on this, so stay tuned. Please remember, HR5, S1177, also will connect to the re-authorized version of the HEA. Why? A united, trained workforce.

Today’s the Day! Will ECAA Survive?

The rewrites for ESEA are like fool's gold. Yeah,they look like gold on the surface. But they are a mockery to American citizens everywhere.
The rewrites for ESEA are like fool’s gold. Yeah,they look like gold on the surface. But they are a mockery to American citizens everywhere.

Anti CCSS Warriors, the U.S. Senate is set to begin again for the week, today. The “Every Child Achieves Act” will be in the proceedings at some point. Will the Common Core laden legislation survive? Only time will tell. I know all eyes will be on Washington, D. C.

As always, C-Span2 will be carrying the broadcast. When the Senate adjourned Thursday evening, the time stated to begin on Monday was 3 pm.  If you’d like to go ahead and sign up to receive an alert when the Session begins, C-Span2 will be happy to set you up. See: http://www.c-span.org/video/?327050-1/us-senate-morning-business (*Note: this is the same channel which you’ll need if you watch the Senate’s business)
So, those 100 Senators? You’ve still got time to call them, 202-224-3121; text them (you can use the website “Open Congress” to search for your Congress members using you zip code. Once you’ve found your members, use their contact information provided.) See:
https://www.opencongress.org/people/zipcodelookup 
; or you can use the Patriotic Network’s Action page to tweet your Senators. Each day this past weekend, I’ve been able to easily reach all 100 in less than 10 minutes. See: http://patriotjournalist.com/CommonCoreAction.php?v=6

In Case You Missed It:

Held Sunday, July 12th, a Roundtable Discussion on the rewriting of the ESEA (Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965) was held by the Washington Journal. It’s about 40 minutes in length if you watch it. If, you don’t have 40 minutes and you’d like to know some of the key points brought up during the discussion, here are a few of them from the transcript version of the broadcast. NIna Reese with the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools and Phillip Lovell of the Alliance for Excellent Education Policy and Advocacy were the guests, who along with the host, answers callers questions.

On assessments: “MATH AND NOW IN ELEMENTARY, MIDDLE SCHOOL, AND SCIENCE — HIGH SCHOOL IN SCIENCE. THESE PROVISIONS WILL STAY IN PLACE IN THE HOUSE VERSION..” (meaning assessments will be in HR5)

“TESTS THAT ARE NOW BEING PUT IN PLACE IN MOST STATES THAT MEASURE THE SKILLS NEEDED FOR THE 21ST CENTURY ECONOMY.”

On obtaining great assessment results: “TEACHING TO THE TEST EVERY DAY. THE CHALLENGE BEFORE US IS BETTER TEACHER TRAINING” (meaning more ‘teaching to the test and professional development)

Oh, there’s lots more, bunk about states being able to create their own accountability, money following the students, acknowledging the Senators Alexander and Murray banding together for ECAA, etc.

To access the roundtable: http://www.c-span.org/video/?327036-5/washington-journal-roundtable-child-left-behind-rewrite

National Alliance for Public Charter Schools:

Just in case you’re curious about this group’s stance on CCSS, you don’t have to guess. The funders are a ‘Who’s Who” in the CCSS supportive Machine.

Be sure to take a look at this group's research and publications. You'll find some very interesting topics to investigate.
Be sure to take a look at this group’s research and publications. You’ll find some very interesting topics to investigate.

The Alliance for Excellent Education Policy and Advocacy:

This group’s name is actually the Alliance for Excellent Education. They have a Policy and Advocacy Department. (see: http://all4ed.org/)Here’s their CCSS friendly funders:

'All for Ed' is all for CCSS and CTE.
‘All for Ed’ is all for CCSS and CTE.

Be sure to check out their upcoming July 23rd webinar about whole school reform. They, too, have some very interesting publications you should check out later. I’ve written about this group before.
Here’s the article where they are involved in aligning school leaders to CCSS: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/05/30/sic-em-saturday-ed-leaders-aligned-standards/
Here’s an article featuring them in Career and Technical Education CCSS alignment:
https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/09/25/tech-thursday-cte-career-technical-education-workforce/
Here’s another one where you’ll find them working with AIR (American Institutes of Research) on massive amounts of data mining. See:
https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/06/02/ftf-anti-ccss-files-recap/

So, I’m guessing their comments about the rewriting of the ESEA will be pro CCSS, don’t you agree?

Lastly, Just Hours Before the Senate Meets Again:

If you’d like to leave a comment of two for Senator Alexander, here’s his tweet to us:

While the first tweet I've highlighted is one we need to prepare for, it's the second tweet we can respond to NOW.
While the first tweet I’ve highlighted is one we need to prepare for, it’s the second tweet we can respond to NOW.

FTF: CCSS Frying Pan into the Fire

A recent round of supposedly good news for us anti CCSS Warriors, deserves a closer look. As we’ve seen in the past, what’s reported as victories for defeating the CCSS Machine, we’ve learned the news is always bittersweet. It’s like 2 steps forward, one step back; or jumping from the frying pan into the fire.

A look at the news behind the latest CCSS headlines.
A look at the news behind the latest CCSS headlines.

TX and AR’s “Ditched Assessments”:

In recent news both TX and AR have ‘ditched’ their high stakes assessments contracts.
At least those are the headlines. There’s even been some celebrating. However, when you take a closer look at these types of stories, you’ll find that while it’s apparently those well known high stakes assessments are on their way out, what is replacing them is ALSO just as toxic.

1) Texas announced in May of this year that it was ending its contract with the high-stakes assessment company, Pearson Publishing. (See: http://www.centerdigitaled.com/k-12/Pearson-Loses-Bulk-of-Texas-Student-Testing-Contract.html)

While those of us who are familiar with how Pearson is involved in the USA’s national assessments ‘game’, it appeared at first to be quite a blow in favor of  those opposed to CCSS..until you look at what entity is to replace Pearson.

That is ETS (Educational Testing Service). I’ve written about ETS at least two other times. The man behind the helm of ETS is also the head of the Marzano Institute.  Marzano Institute which is heavy into the social emotional end of CCSS. I have a ‘tell all’ article about the whole convoluted jumble which connects “MI” to many other groups…all intent on amassing as much information on our students as possible. See: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/03/02/monday-musings-purposed-embedding-for-the-core/
For my other article on ETS (which will detail how ETS is tied to an international competency based group), see: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/03/01/rmt-why-is-the-deck-still-being-stacked-to-serve-ccss/

2) Announced just yesterday, AR was another one which supposedly struck a blow to the CCSS Machine by ending its’ ties with PARCC.(See: http://governor.arkansas.gov/press-releases/detail/governors-council-on-common-core-review-makes-testing-recommendation)..only to replace it with the ACT Aspire (See: http://www.arkansasbusiness.com/article/105408/arkansas-to-pull-out-of-parcc-use-act-for-standard-tests).

ACT Aspire is used in the Career Pathways, Career Clusters, Career and Technical Education alignment to set a path for students. Again, when you peel back the surface, you’ll see just as much data mining and CCSS as with PARCC. See my fellow anti CCSS Warrior’s article about Aspire: http://ladyliberty1885.com/2014/07/02/common-core-aligned-act-replacing-tests-with-aspire/
I also wrote about ACT and their Career alignment. See: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/01/27/ftf-tuesday-iassc-universal-certification/

If you’d like to learn more about the “ACT Aspire” straight from their website, here’s the link:
http://www.discoveractaspire.org/ Just know where “Aspire” is, ACT will be and where ACT will be, so will the CCSS Machine waiting to unleash the “WorkKeys” assessment, where even more CTE and data mining wait. (I’ve got an entire set of Workkeys articles, as do some other anti CCSS Warriors. You can access mine:
https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/?s=WorkKeys+
)

Special Needs and a ‘New’ U.S. Dept. of Ed Official:

Also happening in the past day or two was Arne Duncan swore in a ‘new’ member of the U.S. Dept. of Ed team. While this may not be such epic news, we need to look beyond the headlines to see who was sworn in and what he will be responsible for. Here’s the link to the Flicker account where you’ll see Arne Duncan and Michael Yudin. (https://www.flickr.com/photos/departmentofed/sets/72157654245709205 )

So, who is he? Let’s find out. The Washington Post (on June 5th, 2015) reported Mr. Yudin had been cleared by the Senate to serve as Asst. Sec. for Special Education and Rehab Services. But, he’s been at this position since 2012. (See: http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/personnel-changes-at-us-department-of-education/2015/06/05/50c91182-0b8d-11e5-a7ad-b430fc1d3f5c_story.html ) *NOTE: look for the last paragraph of the article.

So, just who is he? The Post article said almost nothing.  I did find, however, that according the the U.S. Government’s bio of Yudkin, if it has to do with Special Education, he’s involved. If you read the entire biography you’ll notice his involvement with all kinds of education activities which we know (now) are impacted by CCSS. Also consider this, he’s been given a rubber stamp to carry on. See the entire bio: http://www.allgov.com/news/appointments-and-resignations/acting-assistant-secretary-of-education-for-special-education-and-rehabilitative-services-who-is-michael-yudin-121020?news=845999

Why or how does this tie to CCSS? Think about the ways in which the funding for the students with special needs are factored into state education budgets; how scores of parents have shared how awful anything CCSS is for their children. Then consider the following. From my article about CCSS and alignment, I was able to find this document from the NCLD (National Center for Learning Disabilities), National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD): Their website, http://www.ld.org/ , has a tab ‘Advocacy’. You’ll want to access that to see the 4 pages of policy statements the organization has on their stance in education for those with special needs. Among them?Workforce, Career Tech Readiness and Higher Education;  Competency Based Outcomes. (see: http://www.ncld.org/action-center/where-we-stand/?page=3)” (If you’d like to see the entire article:
https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/01/06/ftf-more-evidence-for-aligned-ccss-higher-education/

 

Data Mining and Teacher Assessments (by Way of AK):

I love the warriors in Alaska who fight CCSS. They are so far in distance from those of us in the lower 48, yet every bit of CCSS evidence I’ve seen from them has been tremendous.
Case in point: from their Facebook page, just yesterday, was a stark revelation about how the teachers are held under the ‘effectiveness’ microscope. We’ve seen teachers almost everywhere take a bad rap, thanks to CCSS and the CCSS Machine. The report that was shared by the AK Warriors shows the 3 levels of data mining happening to teachers.

AK assess

The image is from the Alaska Comprehensive Center website: http://alaskacc.org/node/882

Also on this site is a recent study about how the 3 levels of data is collected and used. The CCSS tie? WestEd, Linda Darling-Hammond, the Gates Foundation, the AACTE (American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education), the New Teacher Project, and others.
Get the report: aacc_teacher_quality_report

If you’d like to read my published article about the AACTE and CCSS, see:
https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/03/24/ftf-tuesday-aacte-and-common-core/

 

Closing:
Well, there you have it. Lots of news about CCSS from around the nation. I hope you’ve been able to find out something informative AND useful for your state.

Related resources:

See my article exposing even more high stakes assessment consortia across the USA. If your state backs out of SBAC or PARCC (or they were never in them) , there are others ion charge or waiting to step in. NO matter which consortia or service it is: if it’s tied to CCSS, it’ll be the same old business, just a different company.
https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/12/17/wybi-wednesday-summative-testing-task-force/

For an article I’ve published about the IEPs special students need and how CCSS is rewriting them, see: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/03/10/rmt-ccsss-present-to-special-needs/

For an article about WestEd and its ties to CCSS:
https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/03/18/wybi-the-elephant-in-the-ccss-room/

Tech Thursday: More on the HEA (Higher Ed Act)

Will CCSS/CTE (Common Core State Standards/Career Tech Ed really become embedded in the re-authorization of the HEA? Let’s take a trip back in time to see if our answer lies there.

The U of P/New America Effort:

Back in November of 2014, the University of PA and the New America Foundation hosted a panel discussion centered around the efforts to re-authorize the HEA (Higher Education Act). I recently wrote about it and how it can be tied to CTE/CCSS (Career Tech Ed/Common Core State Standards). Today, we’ll focus on this discussion. However, before you watch the video,  you may appreciate a bit of background on each of the hosts.

New America:
A non partisan think tank..funded by Gates. Just this year, over $2 million for ‘post secondary success’. See the GF grant information: http://www.gatesfoundation.org/How-We-Work/Quick-Links/Grants-Database/Grants/2015/01/OPP1125829

If you’d like New America’s policy brief on CCSS and college, you can visit their website: http://www.newamerica.net OR you can access the pdf here, NewAmericaCC

Now, what’s interesting is that, in the brief it’ll tell you there’s ‘no standard’ for higher education. Then, I’d like them to explain away this: CCRStandardsAdultEd (*If you ‘d like to see the original article I published about these “Adult Standards”, see: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/09/04/common-core-after-high-school-reality-check/ ). This is just one of the many documents I’ve included with my articles about CC beyond high school, yet time and time again, it is denied by those who know the truth, but don’t want to acknowledge it.

How does New America feel about CCSS? Look at the screen shot:

cccollegebound

One more thing, The Foundation has a Post-Secondary Policy branch, but the website page was inaccessible. So much for accountability and transparency. I wrote about New America earlier this year (Jan. 21, 2015). The mindset of New America? ‘Pre K to High Pay’. There is SO much more you need to know about this group, so here’s the link to the original article, https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2015/01/21/wybi-new-america-ed-central-pre-k-to-high-pay/

University of PA:
Specifically, it was the College of Law which partnered with New America. So, what does the U of P have in connection to CCSS besides influencing those who will be helping uphold and or shape our laws? Let’s see if we can find out.

I can share with you that the Graduate School of Education at Univ. of PA is considered a world leader in the field. In fact their GSE Faculty portion of the website has an entire page full of Common Core opinions, studies, findings, and more. This is the institution where you’ll find Dean Andy Porter, who is considered an expert on NCLB. Oh wow! What a leap from NCLB to CCSS. Here’s the link to the ‘experts’: http://www.gse.upenn.edu/pressroom/faculty/common_core

You’ll also want to know that Univ. of PA is part of a Consortium for Policy Research in Education (CPRE). Other members? Teachers College, Columbia; Harvard University;
Stanford University; University of Michigan; Northwestern University; and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Each of these universities has been in some portion of CCSS and/or CTE at some point. The funding sources? Oh, you’ll love the list, here’s the excerpt:
“CPRE has received funding from many sources. These include: U.S. Department of Education, National Science Foundation, William T. Grant Foundation, Spencer Foundation, Atlantic Philanthropies, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Carnegie Corporation of New York, Goldman Sachs Foundation, William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, Joyce Foundation, Merck Institute for Science Education, National Center on Education and the Economy, Pearson, Pew Charitable Trusts, Rockefeller Foundation, Student Achievement Partners, General Electric Foundation, SRI International, and others.” 

The Consortium’s mission? Preschool to age 20 improvement in education. Among their publications is a guide about British education and how it can impact America; how CCSS was present in 2014 elections, how education should be top/down built, and more. (*NOTE: you can find these and more on their website under “Publications”.)

The Video, Will Reauthorizing Save the Higher Education Act:

The video is about 1 hour long. Thirty minutes or so is devoted to a panel of ‘experts’, while the remaining time is devoted to Q and A with the audience. Below, I have the key concerns for you. However, be sure you listen on your own to hear the exact words each ‘expert’ utters. The Panel consisted of Ted Mitchell, the U.S. Dept. of Ed Undersecretary (also was a former New Venture Schools Fund employee); Laura Fern of the PA Higher Ed Alliance, specializing in state policy; Kevin Carey of New America Foundation, and considered an education expert; finally, Nick Anderson of the Washington Post who has authored several education based articles.

1) The host shares that the reauthorizing of HEA will be a change from within over the next 10 years. Listen for how he says connecting with policy makers in Washington plays into all this.

2) The panel was unanimous in wanting the new HEA to pass. Listen to Mr. Mitchell’s description of what the proposed Higher Education Act is and can do. “Garden project”, streamlines all; will simply or eliminate FAFSA; will encourage all to think about college earlier; we must be all about accelerating the completion of school. Oh, and that the states (meaning the 50 of them) need to make stronger efforts.

3) An interesting set of comments will center around the value of the constituency (meaning us as citizens). Somehow, in all this we can’t be overlooked. REALLY? What about before now? We’ve been overlooked plenty thanks to the CCSS Machine! But now, we can’t be ‘minimized’?

4) The new Federal Rating System for Education is focused mainly on outcome based results, not quality. Again, the goal of education is attainment, not a desire to learn more or even well.

5) People haven’t been given enough guidance to figure out the higher education system, so we must have more classes or ways to teach us to figure it out. It was heavily suggested that the reason so much student debt was around is because we’ve not given good enough guidance into which post-secondary option is just right for our students. Yet, we landed a man on the moon without CCSS or CTE!

6) Incentivize the states. Make sure students graduate 12th academically ready for college.

7) A national federal higher education policy needs to be strengthened.

8) Pipelines in degree or credit bearing classes.

9) High quality schools mean something to the labor markets, that’s why more are partnering with community colleges. I believe the exact phrase was ‘credit bearing pipeline’.

10) The 2014 WIOA (Workforce Investment Opportunity Act) in regards to students not on a 4 year college path is ‘truly vibrant’.

11) WIOA is an enabler of people.

12) The Dept. of Ed. basing all their actions on outcome based education and expansion of the federal role. (HR5 will accomplish much of this as well as increase the power of Local Education Agencies (LEAs) or SEAs (State Education Agencies)). Between WIOA and HR5 our school districts will have almost no say!

13) Questions, while not appearing to be staged, might of well have been given the very specific material of them. In other words, you’d have to know the HEA’s language very well to ask such detailed questions. The first up dealt with CCSS and its political football status. Watch and listen to the answers this one gets. During the questions, the reporter heralds Sen. Lamar Alexander’s bill (referring to HR5). He stated higher education would be a ‘quieter discussion’ in Congress. He appeared to be confident that our Congress would go for the ‘hot issue’ of K-12 education, which hasn’t been updated in quite some time.

14) A helpful tip from all the questions was look at the appropriations bills coming through Washington. Plausible policy changes (in education ) will be embedded in these. Why? Money! The Dept. of Ed. will be watching and cheering on any bill which focuses on the ‘big prize’..the student’s best.

15) Lastly, and this is what I want to leave you with. At about 44 minutes into the video, the New America ‘expert’ really shows his colors. Listen for the new federal program he discusses about student loans. Basically, if you have student loan debt, set payments can be made. Then go to work in the public sector and in 10 years whatever debt is left is forgiven! So far, the students signing up for this are a disappointment.

Closing:

Warriors, I hope you can see the dangers the re-authorization of the HEA is not what’s best for America. It’s what’s best for the agenda. Look at the similarities between what you know about the Student Success Act (HR5) and the HEA (Higher Education Act). Help raise awareness, folks! Is CCSS/CTE there in the Acts? Yes..both of them!

RMT: CC Education and Marriage?

Recently, I was looking through my social media feeds and I stumbled on a known CCSS supporter’s blog which shared that in the modern aligned educational world, our marriages can be fixed by our local schools! Have you heard anything so bizarre?! I must say, of all the CCSS aligned things out there, the last thing we need aligned is marriage!! So, the riddle before us is:

CCSS Education Can Save My Marriage?! 

Divorce

The Blog Entry:

Written by the well known pro-CCSS man named Michael Petrelli, his article dated 3/11/15 is titled “What Schools Can Do to Address the Marriage Crisis, Part 2”, see:  http://edexcellence.net/articles/what-schools-can-do-to-address-americas-marriage-crisis-part-ii  It seems the folks at Mr. Petrelli’s employer are focusing on education and the family. Geez…seriously?

In reality the article is a shameless plug wrapped in something resembling concern. What do I mean? His plug for post-secondary Career Tech Education! To add insult to injury he cites Harvard as credible on this subject. Now, if I’d not conducted so much research into how embedded with Common Core, Career Tech Education is OR the fact that Harvard’s had a huge hand in helping this effort along, I might be impressed. However, I’m not..neither should you. How many times and ways must we hear yet another avenue that seeks to take over our lives as Common Core is so doing?!

Enter Other CCSS Supporters:

Not content to leave Harvard alone in the CCSS related ‘shout out’,  the author adds to the mix Brookings Institute..another group not bashful of their love for the Core.

The Original Reports:

In the blog, a pair of original articles is referenced to (even linked in the blog for you). So, being the researcher I am, I clinked on the embedded link and was taken to yet another website for a group which was formed by P3s (this is getting to be a broken record in CCSS land, don’t you think?!). P3s, or public-private partnerships; we’ve seen, read, and experienced the harm P3s has caused in modern education. We also, see it growing, especially with efforts like the Petrelli blog article mentioned above.

The organization responsible for the reports Petrilli is bringing up is called MDRC..and they’re in the social justice business. Yep, like we’ve not seen what too much social justice in CCSS is doing to our educational system as well. (If you’ve not been reading the news lately, some of the other anti CCSS warriors are sharing how social justice is turning up in physics classes or similar classes where it’s inappropriate. If you must teach social justice, do it in anthropology, civics, or more well suited classes). So, who is behind MDRC? What else does MDRC accomplish? Let’s find out…

From MDRC’s “History” page, I give you the following excerpt, “Created in 1974 by the Ford Foundation and a group of federal agencies, MDRC is a nonprofit, nonpartisan education and social policy research organization dedicated to learning what works to improve programs and policies that affect the poor. MDRC is best known for mounting large-scale demonstrations and evaluations of real-world policies and programs targeted to low-income people. We helped pioneer the use of random assignment — the same highly reliable methodology used to test new medicines — in our evaluations. From welfare policy to high school reform, MDRC’s work has helped to shape legislation, program design, and operational practices across the country. Working in fields where emotion and ideology often dominate public debates, MDRC is a source of objective, unbiased evidence about cost-effective solutions that can be replicated and expanded to scale.”

The CCSS Significance of the Ford Foundation’s Involvement:
Excuse me, but did you catch the “Ford Foundation” in the above excerpt?? Yes, the very same Ford Foundation which has contributed much in support for all things CCSS. See the following links:
http://www.fordfoundation.org/grants/grantdetails?grantid=112954 (where Ford gave money to “Common Core, Inc.”)

This article from the Washington Post, where it not only gives us that Ford Foundation, has given millions – but other big spenders are named, too. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2013/12/10/millions-in-private-money-poured-into-common-core-promotion/ 

If you’d like a visual version of a basic overview of Ford’s involvement, the classic 2013 OptOut video is excellent. For the specific mention of Ford Foundation, advance the video to about 5:30 minutes.
http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/18442-flow-chart-exposes-common-cores-myriad-corporate-connections You might also find the depth of the Ford Foundation’s involvement in CCSS Career Pathways interesting as well. See my published article from “Prevent Common Core”, http://preventcommoncore.com/?p=1187

Back to MDRC:

Knowing the heavy influence Ford has in MDRC, finding the CCSS support was very easy, here’s the link to the general search I did. Note how many of these relate to workforce, CTE (Career Tech Ed). See: http://www.mdrc.org/search/gss/common%20core%20standards

In MDRC’s original article about marriage/education, http://www.mdrc.org/publication/effects-marriage-and-divorce-families-and-children, it won’t take long before you can begin to see why ‘marriage education’ is a bit concerning.

Put the puzzles pieces together, my warrior friends:

1) supportive groups for CCSS

2) redesigning education and the schools education takes place in to ’21st Century Community Learning Centers’

3) add social justice, conduct classes that ‘extend’ our education in the community

Results? A more CCSS aligned community..including your family and your marriage. Think I’m dreaming this up? See the screen shot below:

Think this is alignment? Wait until you read the fine print in their publications.
Think this is alignment? Wait until you read the fine print in their publications.

The publications I’m referring to in the above screen shot are available for you to access on the KnowledgeWorks website. You must read them! 2020 Forecast: Creating the Future of Learning, published in 2008 and the KnowledgeWorks Forecast 3.0: Recombinant Education: Regenerating the Learning Ecosystem, published 2012.

By the time you finish these, you should have a much great understanding of why it’s important to look beyond the triteness of the Petrelli article. Why? Because while all the fast talk, slick words, and look at ‘all the good this will do’ is being shared, it is what is going on behind the scenes we must learn about.

If an aligned marriage courtesy of CCSS, 21st Century Community Learning Centers, tax reform or even prison reform (yes, Petrelli was politically correct) is what is in store for our students, then we have many miles to go before we can stop the CCSS Machine.

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!

Monday Musings: Opportunity or Ultimatum?

In the realm of all things Common Core, what's offered as opportunity is often not all it's supposed to be.
In the realm of all things Common Core, what’s offered as opportunity is often not all it’s supposed to be.

Happening just days from is the “National Opportunity Summit” in Washington, D.C. How this connects to Common Core is about to be revealed. Join me as we learn all we can. Clothed as ‘opportunity’, it smacks of ‘ultimatum’.

The Nation:

Website: http://opportunitynation.org/the-opportunity-summit/  Known as “Opportunity Nation”, this group is part of the “Be the Change, Inc.”, a 501(c) 3 organization. We’ll look at “Be” in a bit, but first let’s look at what the “Opportunity Nation” does.

The Participating Members:

As part the Nation, there are several known pro-CCSS schools, organizations. You’ll need to see the entire list for yourselves, however, here’s a screen shot you can click on to enlarge.

This coalition includes the Boy Scouts, community colleges, and many more.
This coalition includes the Boy Scouts, community colleges, and many more.

The Index:

What nation would be complete without a way to compare each state to others? You’ll note when you enlarge this picture that the Index uses the unemployment rate. If you’re not aware, the unemployment rate has been misused to support Common Core.

Here's a sample of what you can find out about your state's opportunity levels.
Here’s a sample of what you can find out about your state’s opportunity levels.

The Solution?:

Opp Nation has a solution to all this disconnection/unemployment it says we are experiencing. What are some of the pieces to the solution? Career Tech Education! (Adult Common Core) Workforce legislation (aligns labor/education), education savings accounts (which have been reported to be another way to ensnare families in CCSS). You really NEED to see the entire solution plan.
http://opportunitynation.org/our-solution/the-shared-plan/

The Summit:

While you look over the Summit’s planned workshops, consider the politicians involved. Note the businesses. Do you see Business Round Table? Huge CC supportive group. See: http://opportunitynation.org/opportunity-summit-agenda/

The YouTube Channel:

You’ll really want to access the Nation’s videos. All the rhetoric you’d expect from the CCSS Machine’s drive to disguise ultimatums with opportunities. See: https://www.youtube.com/user/OpportunityNation

“Be the Change”, Inc.:

Website: http://www.bethechangeinc.org/  This nonprofit is devoted to the memory and mission of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Currently, they also have other initiatives going on besides OppNation. Be/Change is also devoted to Workforce as opportunity. To see who serves on the Board, visit: http://www.bethechangeinc.org/pages/who-we-are

To see the Gates Foundation’s contribution to Be the Change:

Yes, Gates Foundation has given money to Be the Change.
Yes, Gates Foundation has given money to Be the Change.

Listen and Watch the Be the Change’s founder from 2008.

More About Mr. Khazei:

The internet search I used called Mr. Khazei a ‘social entrepreneur’. “Echoing Green” named him a Fellow back in 1991. (See: http://www.echoinggreen.org/fellows/alan-khazei ) His social justice campaign got a shout out a few years ago, see: 

http://www.fastcompany.com/38937/social-justice-alan-khazei-and-vanessa-kirsch

Mr. Khazei’s other Common Core tie? The Aspen Institute! That is according to his LinkedIn profile. See: https://www.linkedin.com/pub/alan-khazei/15/75b/4a8

Aspen Institute’s Common Core pages: http://www.aspeninstitute.org/search/content/common%20core%20standards (*Note: Be sure you see the right hand menu of the latest news. You should see David Coleman’s face there.)

Aspen, Gates Foundation, and CCSS: The Washington Post has a great article connecting all three of these. See: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2013/05/12/gates-gives-150-million-in-grants-for-common-core-standards/

aspengates

Closing:

Well, the original musing I posed was all this opportunity or ultimatum. It is my researched opinion that opportunity is a farce in the realm of Common Core. Ultimatums are a distinct possibility when you factor in all the amount of controlling strings the CCSS Machine has for us.

FTF Tuesday: The “Core” is “Ready”, Are You?

This is the cover of a series of books by Pam Allyan available through Pearson, Amazon, and Barnes/Noble.
This is the cover of a series of books by Pam Allyan available through Pearson, Amazon, and Barnes/Noble.

Like we need a reminder about Common Core and the ridiculous question, “Are you ready for the Core”?! Notice how whimsical the above picture is made to look. Almost like a storybook. From what we’ve all learned about the inappropriateness of the Standards for students, it ought to be a horror tale. However, where our files will be pulled from today isn’t in a storybook setting.

“Core Ready Schools”, http://corereadyschools.org/:

From their overview, “The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) articulate inspiring, ambitious goals for student learning. The CCSS elevate what educators have always known to be good instruction, including development of critical thinking, collaboration, and communication skills. But in most schools, translating these goals into results for students will require significant shifts in instruction, professional learning, and school leadership.” Before we get too far into more about CRS, you need to know that this is a project of the Aspen Institute. A HUGE CCSS supportive group. (more about Aspen in a bit)

According to the CRS (Core Ready Schools) the purpose is quite simple, have all schools ready not just for the “Core” but for College/Career Readiness. Published back in 2013, the Implementation Guide to help schools become CRS stated this:
“The Aspen Institute Education and Society Program, along with Education First, Insight Education Group, Student Achievement Partners, and Targeted Leadership Consulting, have developed clear advice, planning tools, and metrics to help schools accomplish this significant transition.” 

Built into the implementation “high-impact actions, measures, and tools”. Are we sure we’re talking about schools where students are taught OR a military strategic maneuver? Of course to be totally successful at being CRS: time and money..lots of both. ‘Highly skilled instructional coaches’ are the ones to make sure your student’s school is “Core Ready”. Now, you’ll love this next part. Only a team very knowledgeable about the Common  Core Standards can determine the plan of action for the school desiring to become CRS. Are you beginning to sense the theme here? I hope so!

Other “Core Ready” moves: ‘Ensure the alignment of instructional resources used by teachers and students with the goals and expectations of the CCSS.’  Then there’s the showing-teachers-how-to-use-data taken from assessments to align everything following to CCSS. You’ll ‘love’ the added bonuses of making parents and other ‘stakeholders understand how CCSS is success for your student.

According to the publication, a further bit down,  the leadership team accomplishing all this. This is where, we as citizens, need to be looking. Who are the leaders? How did they obtain that leadership? Is it transparent to you, the citizen/parent? At which turns will all the measuring, high impact plans, and tools be used–will they be many or few? How in-depth? What recourse as a parent do you have? The file I’m providing has many links embedded to direct you to just what those knowledgeable CCSS leaders must do, what data is used, how the measuring is to occur, and other key things you need to use as information. (remember, every bit of this will be from the ‘pro’ side of the CCSS). See: corereadydoc

An update to the CRS from November 2014:

You, as anti CCSS warrior, you HAVE to watch this over 1 and a half hour You Tube video that details for you much about not only the “Core Ready Schools”, but information about the in-depth goings-on of Aspen Institution as well as their partners.

Notes:

1) ‘Curmudgucation’ also has written about CRS.  You may know that, you may not. Here’s a link to that article: http://curmudgucation.blogspot.com/2014/11/core-ready-schools-aspen-and-achieve.html

2) The You Tube video above refers to the ‘corereadydoc’, also located  above.

3) Of interest to my fellow NC anti-CCSS fans, the Aspen Institute and Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (back in March of 2012 when Peter Gorman was still the School Superintendent) worked together. Also working with Aspen: Ann Clark (who currently is serving on the NC Academic Standards Review Commission). Here’s the excerpt, “Thank you to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Public Schools teachers, principals and central officestaff who participated in this study. Special thanks to Pete Gorman, Ann Clark,Andy Baxter, Vanessa Benton, Mary Martin, Susan Norwood, Sam Sipes and Tom Tomberlin. Thank you also to Ross Wiener, Erin Hammond and Ariel Jacobs of the Aspen Institute Education & Society Program for guiding the development and production of this case study.” {for those outside of NC, Char-Meck is the largest school district in the state.} Why is this note worthy? Great question! Here’s a bit more directly from the published study, “CMS is developing a system that will measure teacher performance and linking compensation to
it by 2014. The district began to develop its own value-added formula in 2009, with the goal of ultimately being able to provide a value-added score for every teacher. In 2010, CMS adopted the new state teacher evaluation standards, augmenting them with indicators aligned to the district’s priorities and beginning to use it to assess teachers’
classroom practice. The system tackled the issue of developing value-added scores for teachers whose classes are not included in the state assessments by piloting summative assessments in non-tested grades and subjects in the spring of 2011. This work on summative assessment will be expanded in 2012, working in collaboration with the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction and its Race to the Top plan. The district is also exploring other metrics it will use in measuring teacher effectiveness, such as student surveys, leveraging what it is learning through implementation of its Teacher Incentive Fund grant and as a partner district in the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Measuring Effective Teaching (MET) study.” 

4) I wrote about the MetLife connection to Common Core on the website “Prevent Common Core” a few months ago. You can access that article with all kinds of information about CCSS, http://preventcommoncore.com/?p=1154 

5)Even if you don’t live in NC, you’ll benefit from having this publication because it is laying the ground work for how not only teachers, but principals are to be measured with high stakes assessing. Which we all know now is a vital part of CCSS. For my warriors in NC, it’s great because it details Superintent Gorman’s plans and how the NC DPI overrode them. (see: aspennccharmeck) You might be interested to know that Mr. Gorman now works for “Amplify”, a company knee deep in not only CCSS curricula materials, but assessments. Its partners are well connected to CCSS as well. (to see Amplify’s leaders, Mr. Gorman’s one of them: http://www.amplify.com/leadership) Oh, before I forget, Ms. Clark is the acting CMS Superintendent due to the hasty resignation of Mr. Gorman’s replacement, Dr. Heath Morrison.

6) Aspen’s ties to Common Core? That’s easy. The Washington Post reported the Gates Foundation ‘investment’ into CCSS with Aspen among those groups which benefited. See http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2013/05/12/gates-gives-150-million-in-grants-for-common-core-standards/) Among the Board members of Aspen Institute? David Koch (of THE Koch Brothers); Condolezza Rice; a United Nations expert who specializes in humanitarian advocacy; Salman Khan (of Khan Academy, another Gates Foundation CCSS recipient), and others who are connected in some way to CCSS. (see the Board of P3 members (public, private partnerships): http://www.aspeninstitute.org/about/leadership

So, folks, ready or not..the ‘Core’ is coming for your students. Question is, what will we do to kick the “Core” to the door?

Monday Musings: What’s in a Name?

Recently, the Washington Post published an article about the U.S. States renaming ‘Common Core’ for their own purposes. (Here’s the link to the article: http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/common-core-20-common-core-by-another-name/2014/09/09/9d2ed458-3857-11e4-bdfb-de4104544a37_story.html) Now, while the article appears to give ‘just the facts’, my intent is to take a more ‘tongue in cheek’ approach to the states choices of ‘renaming’ the CCSS.

First up, why would you rename something, especially if it’s so great? Psychologists have varying reasons for why things are renamed. Here are just a few:   to express control; to show a striving for the good of a society; to escape association with someone or something; to deny or cover up; collateral damage repair. In the Bible, people were renamed to represent a new beginning. Since I’m from the Southern US, we have a name for this sort of thing no matter what the intent: ‘shuck & jive’. Let’s move on so you can see why I’d say that.

I’m almost certain, however, if each state were asked WHY they went with a new name for the same thing, different reasons would be given. I’m not sure if those in charge of those decisions think the citizens of each state are that gullible, won’t notice, or just don’t care about what’s going on in education. My guess is a lot more citizens care than those in charge bargained for!

‘A horse is a horse, of course’:

AL, AZ, KS, MD, MS, NH all chose to use “College and Career Ready” Standards.

To each of your states, I hope that works out well for you considering one of the people who helped write Common Core admitted the Standards WOULDN’T have you ready for a 4 year college! Read this: “Jason Zimba, one of the three main Common Core Math standards writers described “college readiness” by stating: “We have agreement to the extent that it’s a fuzzy definition, that the minimally college-ready student is a student who passed Algebra II.” The only math covered under the Common Core Standards, at the high school level, aside from a snippet on trigonometry, is material from Algebra I, Algebra II, and Geometry. Moreover, the Algebra II component does not describe a complete course. Zimba continues by saying, “In my original remarks, I didn’t make that point strongly enough or signal the agreement that we have on this- the definition of college readiness. I think it’s a fair critique that it’s a minimal definition of college readiness.”

Oh, yes, there’s also the GED Fair Test article that exposed how the entire phrase, ‘college/career ready’ is a fake! How? The CCSS machine has had us looking at the wrong data to support their agenda. (http://restoregedfairness.org/latest-news/31-career-and-college-ready-is-fakeAll this coupled with the fact that there’s not really been any human being truly ready for what their future holds, I give this re-name the award for ‘this dog won’t hunt’ (for those not well versed in Southern meanings: it means ‘no good’).

Next, we have the AR, CA, CT, DE, D.C.,GA, HI, ID, IA, KY, LA, MI, NJ, NY, ND, OR, PA, RI, SC, SD, UT, VT, WA, and WI all chose to keep “Common Core” in the title for their states. For those who chose these titles, I’m simply shaking my head. For each of these ‘creative folks’, they are being awarded the K.I.S.S. award (for those unsure of what K.I.S.S. means, it stands for ‘keep it simple, stupid’). Status quo seems to work well for them in this case or maybe they missed the parts about CCSS breaking 3 federal laws and violating the 10th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. If that’s the case, then the award for ‘most conformist’ seems to fit well.

The remaining states did ‘try’ to get a bit more creative in their choice of names for renaming the Core. For each of them, they receive the ‘something from nothing’ award.

FL went with “Next Generation Sunshine Standards” (I guess they believe inserting sunshine in places not usually gifted with light would benefit the most); ME & MO went with ” Learning Results” (this sounds more like an open sentence, I guess we’ll need to stay turned for the report of what, in actuality each state did learn); MA, their chosen re-name is about as lengthy as their state’s name when not abbreviated. Good grief, “Massachusetts Curriculum Framework for English Language Arts and Literacy; Mathematics”; MN uses ‘K-12 Academic’ and then further qualifies it with “using CCSS for ELA only (since it’s been researched and documented that CCSS is in post secondary schools, I won’t ask what those schools use for standards); CO, IA, MT, NV, NC, OH, TN,WV, WY each used a variation of the same theme: dull, boring, average with the choice of ‘standard, perform’, etc. inserted. Somehow, I do not believe those in charge were really thinking about imagery much. Who wants to grow up and become ‘standard, common, performance’?

I will point out that, while I cannot speak for each state, here in NC, I do know, depending on which website you visit, you’ll find some other title for CCSS than the “Standard Course of Study” mentioned in the original article above. From the Dept. of Public Instruction’s page: http://www.ncpublicschools.org/acre/standards/new-standards/, Common Core is called “NC Essential Standards”. However, look to the left hand menu where this title comes up and you’ll see “Common Core State and NC Essential Standards” (we won’t even mention the website address has yet another name, ‘new standards’) But wait…there’s yet ANOTHER name in NC for ‘Common Core’!!

“Hire Standards” is what the NC Chamber of Commerce markets in an effort to throw you off the track that it’s CCSS with a new name! Think I’m making this up? See this statement: http://ncchamber.net/take-action-legislation-reduces-standards-ncs-future-workforce/

Excerpt: “….repeal the Common Core State Standards as of July 1, 2014, putting us back at standards that are not acceptable for North Carolina’s competitive position…… North Carolina must remain committed to high levels of learning that prepare each student with critical thinking and problem solving skills for the workplaces of tomorrow. Learn more about the importance of HIRE learning standards at hirestandardsnc.org.”  

Here’s a ‘litmus test’, click on the ‘Hire Standards’ link, then you’ll see a page about college/career readiness. Look at the top and click on ‘NC Standards’, then one more click where you see read the ‘Math/English standards’.. My point, in only 3 clicks of a mouse you are taken from ‘Hire’ right back to ‘Common Core’!! For a state known for its pig production, that’s a lot of ‘silk purse, sow’s ear‘ approach for one purpose: throwing, you, the citizen a bogus line about education.

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So, in closing for today, what ‘slick Willy’ moves has your state made when it comes to the levels of disguising Common Core? Learn them all, then help others learn them as well! You just may save someone from crimes against education.