Tag Archives: Workforce Legislation

WYBI Update: Amping Up the Common Core

For today’s “Would You Believe It” Wednesday post, I’m updating my original article from Sept. 2014 that delved into Common Core Standards via Amplify…and a few others.

Aiming to align to Common Core, that's Amplify!
Aiming to align to Common Core, that’s Amplify!

Here’s the link to the original post: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/09/10/will-this-be-delivery-or-dine-in/

As I did yesterday, I’ll only be using excerpts from the original and contrast them with what’s happened since then. I encourage to access the link above and read the article in its entirety, as it has useful links, facts, and a ‘guest check’ you have to see.

First up, order up!

“Just announced yesterday via an email I received, Amplify now offers Common Core Standard aligned lessons, assessments on the go! Yes, as in, on your mobile device. In other words, ‘delivery’. Just ‘order’ what you want to learn & Boom..instant delivery..minus tipping your delivery driver.”

Changes to the ‘order’? Let’s see. Of course, when I first wrote this is was mid-September, so it can’t be ‘yesterday’ anymore.
There’s an article about early childhood assessments that I don’t recall seeing the first time around. The article features Amplify partners, Roland H. Good, III, and Ruth Kaminski, who over 30 years developed Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS). When asked about DIBELS and Common Core for early learners, here’s what Good had to say, (author’s question is in bold print) How is DIBELS particularly relevant today in this Common Core world? Whether or not you actually adopt the Common Core, it has a huge impact on the teaching profession. The Common Core resonates with us in how it focuses on being a proficient reader, reading for meaning at an adequate rate (fluently) with a high degree of accuracy. Those three things (meaning, fluency and accuracy) are represented in the DIBELS composite score and measures in a powerful and robust way.” When asked about DIBELS popularity in relation to CCSS, here’s the response, “We see an awful lot of interest in DIBELS. I don’t know if that’s because of the Common Core or along with the Common Core, but I’m continuing to see major steps forward in the level of interest and level of adoption, and our mentor network [a network of educators who are certified DIBELS experts, able to train other educators] becomes larger and larger every year.” * Note: if you’d like to see the number of assessments Amplify has in store for all ages (K-12th), http://www.amplify.com/assessment

Here’s another new feature from Amplify, a short, pro-data use promotion by the Data Quality Campaign:

Who owns Amplify? NewsCorp (which is owned by Rupert Murdock) Nothing appears to have changed on this front, but be sure to read the articles referred to in the original post by noted authors. Then, consider these other writers who’ve uncovered information about Amplify.

From NC, LadyLiberty1885’s article concerning textbooks also reveals how a NC state Statute was created for Amplify’s use. (see: http://ladyliberty1885.com/2014/07/20/about-that-textbook-commission/)

From MO, Missouri Education Watchdog ‘s article featuring not only news about even MORE data for dollars, but also links you to another writer who’s written about Amplify (among other data miners). (See: http://missourieducationwatchdog.com/the-wild-west-of-education-and-the-common-core-gold-rush/)

From 2013, Modern Education blog featured Amplify’s ties to not only Murdock, but Bill Gates. While the article talks about the now defunct inBloom , the information for Amplify is a nice thing to use in fighting CCSS. (See: http://modeducation.blogspot.com/2013/03/is-bill-gates-data-mining-your-children.html

From the FL Stop Common Core Coalition, their post about the public/private partnership of data mining sensitive student data. (it too mentions inBloom, but remember, Amplify has survived) (See: http://www.flstopcccoalition.org/collection-of-data-and-loss-of-privacy/)

About the Data Quality Campaign:

Well, let’s just say that an ‘up-to-the-minute’ watch is being kept on which state is making strides in the 10 point data collection actions. Each action centers around not just K-12 data collection, but, P20 data (as in Preschool to early college age), Student Data Longitudinal Systems, sharing data for Workforce purposes (yes, there’s a Workforce Quality Data Initiative, too. See the links in ‘closing’). Below, find a screen shot of what the state I live in has successfully put in place in the scheme of data collection on students. Out of the 10 Actions, NC has completed 7. Shameful.

Find out where your state is, as far as data collection efforts. Compare states, too.
Find out where your state is, as far as data collection efforts. Compare states, too.

Among the Board member for DQC (Data Quality Campaign) are members of the Education Trust (the member representing this group also serves the Hunt Institute, New Teacher Project, and Carnegie’s Education Foundation),  Dutko Worldwide (this member used to work for Gates Foundation Education Policy, federal education policy, state level education policy, as well as served the U.S. Dept of Ed), CCSSO (Council of Chief State School Officers) has a place at the Board table. See these people and others: http://dataqualitycampaign.org/who-we-are/board-of-directors/ I really don’t think we need to have a map of how DQC is connected to CCSS at this point, but to be accurate, I am supplying you with a screen shot of their ‘action’ items (could also be ‘agenda’ items, in my opinion).

Read all about these 'action items' at:  http://dataqualitycampaign.org/action-issues/
Read all about these ‘action items’ at:
http://dataqualitycampaign.org/action-issues/

Closing:

Hopefully after reading the original post AND today’s, you and your team of anti-CCSS warriors will have a much better idea of where to focus your efforts in regards to student data mining. I’ll leave you with the links to the Workforce Quality Data articles from 2014:
1) https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/10/23/tech-thursday-blast-from-our-workforce-past/

2) https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/10/28/ftf-tuesday-align-and-mine-part-2/

THESE 2 are extremely important in the fight against federal overreach into our lives via education/our jobs.

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Tech Thursday: Workforce Commissions, Education, and Common Core

Now you know, CCSS is most decidedly post high school.
Now you know, CCSS is most decidedly post high school.

Thank you for joining me last night as I went in-depth on the topic of a CCSS aligned work force. It is my hope you were able to glean helpful information to aid your battle in your state. ‘Women on the Wall’ archives each call, so if you missed anything, you can access it from their website.

NC, Bound for “Workforce Destiny”:

Commission on Workforce Development Strategic Plan 2014-16 I’m leading off my post for today with my state’s Report for how it is planning on carrying out Workforce training. Yes, involved in the thick of it, is Common Core, Career Pathways, and lots of other connecting ties. In this report, you’ll learn the name of the Commission which makes the Workforce related decisions THEN advises the General Assembly and our Governor. You’ll discover their ‘master plan’ which includes data mining.

You’ll get to see which groups at state level are partnering to align NC. Those involved according to this report? The Dept. of Administration(NC DOA), the Dept. of Commerce(NC DOC), the North Carolina Community College System, the North Carolina Dept. of Health and Human Services(NC DHHS), and finally, the North Carolina Dept. of Public Instruction.

What’s interesting is that the NC Dept. of Public Instruction is under the authority of the General Assembly which is contained in our Legislative Branch. Contrast that with those private schools, and homeschools which are under the guidance of the Dept. of Non Public Instruction(NC DNPE), which is in the Dept. of Administration. Community colleges, public colleges and universities are also housed in the Dept. of Administration. What about the Dept. of Commerce? It too, is in the Dept. of Administration. As far as the proprietary post secondary schools(for profit schools such as Nascar Tech, DeVry, etc.? They are housed with the NC Community College System(NCCCS). Charter schools depending on their status us ‘public’ or ‘private’ would be respectively, NC DPI and NC DNPE.

Note where Career Education is housed. The NC DPI (Dept. of Public Instruction). Which answers to the NC General Assembly, in the Legislative Branch.
Note where Career and Technical Education is housed. The NC DPI (Dept. of Public Instruction). Which answers to the NC General Assembly, in the Legislative Branch.

According to the Report from our Workforce Commission, lots and lots of money from the federal level and the state level has been poured into aligning. (see page 4 of the Report).

Monies featured cover things like:

  • career tech education (DPI) $430,661,949.00;
  • Post Secondary Career Tech/Vocational Ed (NCCCS), $372,928,057.00;
  • Basic Skills (NCCCS), $89,175,304.00;
  • Workforce Investment Act (NC DOC), $79,691,240.00;
  • Wagner Peyser (NC DOC), $19836,199.00 {Note: Wagner Peyser Act was from 1933 and address workforce, the 2014 Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act not only keeps this Act going, but amends it.}
  • Apprenticeships (which are a ‘new’ hot item for aligning workforces) will also be receiving big bucks and are in the NC DOC, $1,604,447.00;
  • Workforce alignment money is also under the Displaced Homemakers, $289,670.00;
  • the American Indian Workforce Development Program, $247,991.00 (both in the NC DOA);
  • Veterans (NC DOC), $5,446,000.00
  • Customized Training (NC DOC), $23,587,840.00

So, why would I share all these figures? Simply put, they all involve post secondary instruction. Instruction that will be provided by vocational schools, community colleges, vocational schools, proprietary schools, colleges, and universities.

So where’s the ‘Common Core’?

Excellent question. In my opinion, because CCSS is such a toxic brand name, we’ve seen how companies, states, and others have rushed to re-brand it. However, in most of the items I’ve seen connected to the Workforce legislation, your key words are NOT ‘Common Core’, BUT Career Pathways or Career Clusters. It’s assumed you, the citizen, wouldn’t know the difference, nor would you be interested. How wrong those powers that be are! One of the guiding principles for NC’s Workforce Commission is:

“The workforce system will focus on target industries and career clusters.”

Goal #1: Streamlining must occur!

“The commission recognizes that North Carolina’s public workforce development system is a key part of the state’s economy. It is comprised of a variety of programs with a broad range of activities that serve a diverse group of people. It includes a group of interactive and interdependent entities, programs, and services. Activities range from self-service activities online, to staff assisted services in a workforce office, to multi-year training programs at a public school or community college. In addition, programs serve people with varying levels of education, employment experience, and barriers. Individuals may participate in a single program or activity or may be eligible to receive services through a variety of programs and entities. The system exists to help businesses find qualified workers to meet their present and future workforce needs and to help individuals gain the skills and training they need to obtain and maintain employment.” How  is all this to be accomplished?

 ‘Align partner services and strategies.
 Develop a common brand to be used across workforce programs that is recognizable to all customers.
 Increase awareness of and accessibility to workforce services.
 Develop shared marketing strategies that promote the talent in North Carolina.’

Goal #2: More of Goal #1, but leading up to Goal #3. Basically we MUST have economic (the Great Recession of 2007) prowess again. Workforce will get us there.

Goal #3: Education, our Way, Not Yours:

How it will be done:

 ‘Strengthen career development services and ensure consistency across programs.
 Enhance programs and enrollment in critical career clusters by targeting resources.
 Strategically coordinate programs among workforce partners to develop skill and education pathways.
 Become a national leader in providing structured work-based learning.’

Also included was more about the desperate need to streamline (Goal #1), to be relevant (part of Goal #2) and

‘it is essential for the state’s workforce programs to target its limited resources to careers in high-growth and emerging industries. Providing consistent information to individuals and strong programs in critical career clusters will not only help individuals find good-paying jobs, but it will also help businesses find the talent they need to growth their business.
One of the best ways to help individuals gain skills and learn more about a career is through work-based learning. These programs combine classroom education with on-the-job experience and individuals gains valuable work experience while learning new skills.
The commission recognizes the need for consistent information, a focus on high-growth and emerging industries, work-based learning opportunities, and it supports policies that shift our culture to one that embraces life-long learning.’

Goal #4: Data, You Got It, We Mine It:

This is the last of the 4 goals the NC Workforce Commission published. By far the most compromising..at least for the students who end up in the Workforce. The Report shares with you, the reader, that it used to the U.S. Department of Labor was the only one receiving Workforce data. But, as we know, that’s about to change. The U.S. WIOA 2014 (the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014), as I’ve written about will take the U.S. Dept. of Ed’s Student Longitudinal Data System and merge with it. In some states it’s already happening. In others states, it’s just taking off, and in some states, it hasn’t begun yet. Workforce will be in all 50 states.  So, if you state didn’t adopt CCSS, you’ll get in via Career Pathways or those Career Clusters.

Here’s the plan for pulling this off:
 ‘Develop a consistent and coordinated approach of identifying critical career clusters that workforce system partners will use to target resources to meet the needs of the economy.
Gather, evaluate, and utilize information on the usage and quality of services.
Measure and report on the effectiveness of the workforce development system.’

Justification for all this data? Accountability. Being accountable means rigorous measuring. Because if we can’t measure rigorously, how will we know that the Workforce is going to fit the agenda?

The last paragraph or two details how it’s the Commission who will plot, plan, and begin the chain of implementation in NC. They have the Governor’s ear. They have the General Assembly’s attention. It also involves Common Core.

So What About Your State?

Find out what the name of your Workforce Commission is. Find out who serves on it.

Discover their plan by finding their report. Do they answer directly to a particular branch of government or person?

Is there any voter say in the matter or is all this assigned? We, here in NC, get told what is up, there isn’t a vote about it.

Has your state gotten their WDQI ( Workforce Data Quality Initiative) grant money to ‘align and mine’? (see my earlier posts about the WDQI)

If you need a refresher on HOW Career Clusters and/or Career Pathways are Common Core Standards for Adults, here are some links:
From Achieve, Inc. 2012, http://www.achieve.org/files/CCSS-CTE-BridgingtheDivide.pdf (look at page 22 and beyond)

From CTE (Career Tech Education), where you’ll find the “Career Clusters” as well as the page that links CCSS to Career Clusters:
http://www.careertech.org/common-core-state-standards For the Clusters: http://www.careertech.org/career-clusters

WorkKeys (which is job profiling, CCSS aligned and is part of ACT, Inc. which is part of College Board) My fellow anti CCSS warrior’s blog article about the alignment of WorkKeys/CCSS: http://ladyliberty1885.com/2014/06/23/common-core-aligned-workkeys/

Career Pathways, those Dept. of Labor programs that will force the alignment of education and workforce, my post from 10/02/14: https://commoncorediva.wordpress.com/2014/10/02/tech-thursday-ccss-career-pathways-and-workforce/

From the U.S. Dept. of Ed, Career Pathways Aligning to CCSS 101: http://ctecenter.ed.gov/training_center/training/pathway-curricular-design-and-instructional-practice

Finally, remember, each Thursday, since I began my blog, there has been an article each week about CCSS post high school. I’ve got a brand new report to share next week that will undeniable confirm what some still deny…that CCSS isn’t post high school!

FTF Tuesday: “Align and mine”, Part 2

Last week I shared with you detailed information about the U.S. Dept. of Labor’s grant awards given in rounds to help align data mining with the U.S. Dept. of  Education. The connector? CCSS aligned Workforce. For a reminder of last week’s post, see this picture.

Click to enlarge to see which round your state receive 'align and mine' money. IF you do not see a color on your state, you've not been awarded money yet.
Click to enlarge to see which round your state receive ‘align and mine’ money. IF you do not see a color on your state, you’ve not been awarded money yet.

In the past few days, Missouri Education Watchdog (as well as a few other anti CC warriors) has posted information about global connections in education via India. As a result, a ‘new’ resource was revealed. “Connectallschools”. What struck me, was the year the program is using as its goal: 2016. Then, I remembered, in researching the first article, I saw a page on the “Workforce” website about big changes in 2016. Coincidence? Let’s find out.

“Common Measure”:

On the DOL’s (Department of Labor) website,  http://www.doleta.gov/performance/guidance/tools_commonmeasures.cfm, {“ETA”, this stands for Employment and Training Administration. ETA is a part of Dept. of Labor (DOL)} Before we get too far, don’t read the top portion of the page just yet, I want you to understand FIRST, the foundation for what’s written at the top. Why? Because, if you only read the top, it sounds so normal, so innocuous, you may not catch the true meaning of what’s in store.

For our purposes, let’s start at the section that’s titled “Common Measure”. At the beginning of this section are the changes being made OR those which WILL be made. Don’t go there just yet.. It is the attachments you want to start looking into. Go to “Attachment D” (Workforcemeasure). This pdf goes into detail about which groups of people have been measured since 2005. Why is this important in the context of CCSS? Because one of the largest groups measured is the Youth. It’s so big, it is broken into 2 subcategories, Younger Youth, 14-18 and Older Youth, 18-21. You’ll find this age group at the bottom of page 15 and ending at the top of page 21. The document also tells you 3 funding streams from the federal government are used with not only the Youth, but Adults (those 22 and older) and the Displaced Workers. For brevity’s sake, we’re focusing on the Youth, however, since by the time all the changes are in place, it appears everyone will be impacted, you should go back and read the entire document.

From pages 15-21, notice how many times the different youth age sub categories are being measured, how many ways they are measured. Note when the measuring begins (age 14 in most cases). Okay, so you didn’t see CCSS in there by name did you? No, it’s not there. However, knowing what we know now about all the job assessments, Career Pathways, etc. is it coming together for you where this is connecting? I hope so. However, if you’re not quite sure, that’s okay too.

There’s even more to help us connect the dots.  For instance, “Attachment C” should help.  (see: workforceeddescript) These, my friends are the parameters the federal government is using to gauge how competent we are. Notice when you access the document, the assessments used at the bottom of each page. You should see “WorkKeys” in there. Well, what’s so bad about “WorkKeys”? 1) It’s from ACT, Inc., owned by the College Board; 2) it’s being used as a job profiler for students AND a ‘you want to work, you have to have been assessed and matched for your job’ for adults; 3) Because it’s owned by College Board, it’s 100 % CCSS aligned; 4) massive amounts of data collection that is shared all over the globe.

As far as those other measures? CASAS, or Comprehensive Adult and Student Assessment Systems. In other words, they measure basic skills. Here’s where they are employed: “CASAS is a nonprofit organization that focuses on assessment and curriculum development of basic skills for youth and adults. CASAS is used by federal and state government agencies, business and industry, community colleges, education and training providers, correctional facilities, and technical programs.” They, too are aligned to the hilt with CCSS. (See how: https://www.casas.org/product-overviews/curriculum-management-instruction/CCCS) ABEL, or Adult Basic Learning Examination, is owned by Pearson Publishing, Inc. Pearson is one of the most CCSS profitable companies in existence. Here’s who’s measured on their assessments: ‘ABLE™ is appropriate for use with adults in a variety of adult education programs, including Tech Prep programs, GED programs, and adult literacy programs. The content is appropriate for adults and accommodates the non-reader. Level 1 – Adults with 1-4 years formal education, Level 2 – Adults with 5-8 years formal education, Level 3 – Adults with 8+ years formal education.’ (want to read more about ABLE? http://www.pearsonassessments.com/learningassessments/products/100000311/adult-basic-learning-examination-second-edition-able-able.html#tab-details)

Let’s move on:

Okay, you, by now, hopefully have the full understanding of why I wanted you to go these places BEFORE you went to consider those new changes. Remember, all of the above has been going on for a while.

Where we are now:

With the passage of the 2014 WIOA (Workforce Investment and Opportunity Act)  it has embedded Workforce training and education to align with Career Pathways. Career Pathways are CCSS aligned via middle schools, high schools and stretch into CTE or CT (College Tech Career CCSS or College Transfer CCSS). I hope you see the pattern. Get everything to align via education, assessments, then put them to work. Here’s an excerpt from the DOL’s WIOA website, “DOL, in coordination with the U.S. Departments of Education (ED) and Health and Human Services (HHS), is working diligently to ensure that states, local areas, other grantees, and stakeholders are prepared for implementation of WIOA.” One date the trio of U.S. Federal Departments is holding out for: January 18, 2015 is when the 3 Depts. reveal the proposed rules for WIOA and January 22, 2016 is when the 3 get to publish the final rules for implementing the WIOA. A full 1 and 1/2 AFTER the Act was signed into being.

Now that you know all this, go back and re-read the changes to be made with this new knowledge. Then, go back up to the to and read the introductory paragraph again.  Are you able to better grasp what is being accomplished? If you would like to see the other key dates for the Workforce plan. http://www.doleta.gov/wioa/pdf/WIOA-Key-Implementation-Dates.pdf

A “Unified Plan”:

Have you already looked at the WIOA timeline? If so did you notice a ‘deadline for state Unified Plan submission? While we’ll get to the ‘state UP’, let’s look at the federal one first.

Yes, the ‘good ole’ WIOA includes a “Unified Plan”. Here are a few of the highlights:

  • Requires States to Strategically Align Workforce Development Programs: WIOA ensures that employment and training services provided by the core programs are coordinated and complementary so that job seekers acquire skills and credentials that meet employers’ needs.
  •  Every state will develop and submit a four-year strategy – in the form of a single unified strategic
    plan for core programs – for preparing an educated and skilled workforce and meeting the workforce needs of employers.
  • Promotes Accountability and Transparency: WIOA ensures that Federal investments in employment and training programs are evidence-based and data-driven, and accountable to participants and tax-payers.
  •           Core programs are required to report on common performance indicators that     provide key employment information, such as how many workers entered and retained employment, their median wages, whether they attained a credentials, and their measurable skill gains.
    Core programs must measure the effectiveness of services to employers for the first time.
    DOL and DoED, with input from stakeholders, will establish a common performance accountability system for the core programs.
    • Negotiated levels of performance for the common indicators will be adjusted based on a statistical model that takes into account economic conditions and participant characteristics.
    • Performance reports for states, local areas, and eligible training providers will be publicly available.
    • Programs will be evaluated by independent third parties at least every four years.
    Fosters Regional Collaboration: WIOA promotes alignment of workforce development programs with regional economic development strategies to meet the needs of local and regional employers.
    • States will identify regions within their state.
    • Local areas in regions will have coordinated planning and service delivery strategies.
    Improves the American Job Center (AJC) System: WIOA increases the quality and accessibility  (to see the rest of the overview: http://www.doleta.gov/wioa/pdf/WIOA-Overview.pdf)

My State’s Unified Plan is called “NCWorks!”:

As aligned to CCSS as NC is, I really didn’t think we WOULDN’T have a plan, I just was a bit surprised who has the document. NC Dept. of Commerce! (see: http://www.nccommerce.com/Portals/11/Documents/Commission/Commission%20on%20Workforce%20Development%20Strategic%20Plan%202014-16.pdf) In this report, it is shared that no less than 6 State level departments have aligned to streamline our NC Workforce. Leading the charge? Our governor and the General Assembly, according to the Dept. of Commerce. The State and the Community Colleges according to the Governor’s Press Release from April 2014. Either way, it’s further proof that more and more of a dragnet is being readied for our citizens.

Key Words: 

Have you noticed in each of these files, or each of the resources that the same words are being used to make everything sound so positive? For example, data will be collected, but only for accountability purposes. The unifying is for speed and ease of use by all.
“ConnectAllSchools”:

How this ties in? Partnership for 21st Century Skills. Now, you wouldn’t guess if all you saw was the cute video:

To access Connect/Schools, http://www.connectallschools.org/about/overview Partnership for 21st Century Skills can be found at: http://www.p21.org/

Partnership? 

Straight from the P21’s website, P21 Members: American Camp Association, Apple Inc., Bahcesehir K-12 Schools, Cable in the Classroom, The College Board, Common Sense Media, Crayola, Destination Imagination, EdLeader21, EF Education, Education Networks of America, Fisher-Price, Ford Motor Company Fund, Gale Cengage Learning, Goddard Systems Inc., Intel Corporation, JP – Inspiring Knowledge, Learning.com, LEGO Education, National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, National Education Association, PBS, Pearson Foundation, People to People Ambassador Programs, Project Management Institute Educational Foundation, U.S. Fund for UNICEF, VIF International Education, and The Walt Disney Company. The U.S. Leading states: Arizona, California, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Vermont, Wisconsin and West Virginia.

There will be nothing very American about any school by the time the Global 6 anchors are in place. No more USA education standards, no, these will be replaced by global ones..for students AND teachers. Language learning will be revamped, schools will get made over to become ‘whole child’ (don’t get me started), school districts will regulate and align even more, and tons of global competitions. The framework: P21_State_Framework_on_Global_Education
How did P21 feel about the recent passage of WIOA? They were thrilled. Here’s the press release, http://www.p21.org/news-events/press-releases/1463-p21-applauds-bipartisan-action-on-workforce-innovation-and-opportunity-act

Last but not least: 

The National Governor’s Association, half of the CCSS copyright owner, back in 2013, had this to say about a trained Workforce, “For Americans to stay competitive in the global economy, it will take bold transformation and modernization of our nation’s education and workforce systems and a stronger federal-state partnership.   Every member of the workforce must be given the opportunity to realize their full potential over the course of their careers in order to keep pace with the ever- evolving demand for new skills and knowledge.” This is from the Preamble to their Policy Position on Workforce. The document is called, “Building a World-Class Workforce”.

Conclusion:

Not only did we prove “ConnectAllSchools” and Workforce are connected, look how many other entities we picked up along the way. {Note: If you wish to look back on my blog entries for any of the related topics mentioned here, please do. If you would rather access more information elsewhere and would desire my help in pointing you in the right direction, please leave me a comment. Thanks for your support.}

Sic ‘Em Saturday: Aligned and Employed?!

“Want to implement a seamless pre-K through college educational pathway? Drive education and training off business needs? Address skills gaps? Package workforce board and community college offerings to help businesses hire “right-fit” employees?”
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The above quote is from a workforce collaboration between the NC Dept. of Public Instruction, private corporations and NC Community Colleges. “Key partnerships” is what #Align4NCWorks, the strategically designed initiative, can give, you the student, as well as you, the business. The apparent goals?? “Alignment”, “Engagement”, and “Responsiveness”. What does that look like in plain English?  Let’s look at one of the featured Community Colleges, Caldwell Community College located in Hudson, NC (not too far from the Blue Ridge Mountains of Western NC). This particular #Align4NCWorks encompasses middle school through community college. Why?  A ‘seamless transition in education’. Here’s the link to the 2 page handout that was given during one of the Workforce Learning Summits: http://www.nccommunitycolleges.edu/sites/default/files/a4ncw/caldwell_proven_partnerships_that_work_handout.pdf

What’s noteworthy about the PDF? Two things, Career & College Promise and NC New Schools Project. See if you can guess which one has received Gates Foundation funding and which one is Common Core Standards aligned?! (We’ll get to C & CP, NC New Schools in a bit)

August 2o, 2014:

“At a historic joint meeting between the Commission on Workforce Development and the Education Cabinet that focused on the new NCWorks system, NC Community College System President Scott Ralls offered examples from Align4NCWorks Summits of ways local partners are already working together to meet the needs of businesses, students and job seekers. The meeting on August 20 rebranded the Commission as the “NCWorks Commission” and involved active participation by Governor McCrory and the state’s top leaders in workforce development, education and economic development. As Commerce, the Public Schools, the Community Colleges and other state and local partners work to implement NCWorks, innovations from the Summits will inform State action and offer ideas for communities to adapt to their needs.” Dept. of Public Instruction. NC Community Colleges are connected to the Dept. of Public Instruction via the “Career and Technical Education” (see this graphic below) Here’s the document prepared to highlight the joint effort: http://www.ncpublicschools.org/docs/cte/curriculum/clusters/nc-career-clusters-guide.pdf
dpihouse

The Chamber of Commerce wants your students for their ‘talent supply’

What you should know that’s revealing about this? Commerce in the state of NC, just as in most US States is all about businesses and economy. Most of the time, one organization is their common bond…Chambers of Commerce. In case you didn’t know it, the NC Chamber of Commerce is so supportive of the Common Core Standards, they formed their own CC Coalition, send out a very suggestive communication (as in negative reaction) to any legislature who didn’t stick up for Common Core earlier this year when our state was in the early stages of trying to pass ‘repeal’ legislation. For a much more in-depth look at all this, I’m linking the previously published post from Lady Liberty 1885’s June 2014 blog: (http://ladyliberty1885.com/2014/06/05/chamber-watch-nc-chamber-of-commerce-fear-mongers-on-hb1061/)

mismatch

Career & College Promise and NC New Schools Project

More Common Core Standards, just without the name. How? NC New Schools (http://ncnewschools.org/uploads/resources/resource-the-third-way-bridging-the-divide-between-preparation-for-college-and-career.pdf) Yet another document stressing the need for trained workers to impact the global economy. More skills gap pleas for help. Career & College Promise (from 2012,  “Success NC”. You really need to see who funded this, too. http://www.successnc.org/initiatives/common-core-alignment) A bit more current: http://www.successnc.org/initiatives/career-college-promise-0

Sic ‘Em!

Saturday’s posts wouldn’t be complete without some action steps, so here’s what we CAN do to stop the aligned workforce Common Core Standards machine:
Live in NC? Attend any one of the remaining Workforce Learning Summits! The remaining dates are between 9/24 and 10/15. Each begins at 8 am and ends at 12 noon. Complete schedule: http://www.nccommunitycolleges.edu/workforce-learning-summits. Live outside NC? See what your state is up to in these areas. I’m sure NC isn’t alone in their ‘streamlined talent supply’ efforts.

Go armed with Common Core fact sheets! Don’t know where to find one? For those followers NOT in NC, Truth in American Education has a FREE Stop Common Core Tool Kit: http://truthinamericaneducation.com/action-center/tool-kit/ For those followers in NC, Stop Common Core in NC has a great FREE fact sheet: http://stopcommoncorenc.org/common-core-toolkit/common-core-fact-sheet/

Go to the local schools, chambers of commerce and communicate your concerns!

Fight the overreach of public private partnerships in education. Schools should be institutions reserved for learning, NOT businesses to be run like companies. (Business Round Table, the US Chamber of Commerce and several other business groups are pushing CCS alignment) Give education back to the parents, the local school boards and let Wall Street, Main Street and all the cronies get back to their business.
One last resource to help in this fight against P3s (public private partnerships) College/career readiness is FAKE! See: http://restoregedfairness.org/latest-news/31-career-and-college-ready-is-fake