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Common Core Stealing American History and Good Science

Deceit once again falls upon those behind the implementation of everything related to the Common Core Standards. Most recently released information about the new SAT test rules and the AP History and Science classes to be taught have some of this country’s highest ranking professors hair standing on end.

The fact the textbooks are already brushing over any American History prior to 1865 is disgusting enough. Ever since we learned about this I have said their objective in doing this is to “remove” our upcoming generation’s loyalty to this country. How can you have any loyalty to a country you know nothing about or what you are told is all negative in relationship to the founders and how and why things were carried out as they were.

Peter Wood, president of the National Association of Scholars, calls the new AP U.S. history framework “a briefing document on progressive and leftist views of the American past,” one which “weaves together a vaguely Marxist or at least materialist reading of the key events with the whole litany of identity group grievances.”

David Coleman and Sue Pimental were the writers of the Common Core Standards for English Language (ELA). They are actually called “The Common Core Standards for English Language Arts & Literacy in History, Social Studies, Science, & Technical Subjects.” This covers everything except Math and the Common Core Math Standards takes care of that.

David Coleman 3David Coleman, the non-educator and the man Bill Gates (eugenist) found to use as the lead dummy in the push for the Common Core Standards is once again out there to take credit for not actually doing any work. No one is really clear as to what Coleman’s role was in the writing of the Standards since we know the actual lead writers were Sue Pimental (ELA) and Jason Zimba (Math). Coleman was on the team and seems to for some reason or other, to have been given the honor of being in name only “the architect” of the Common Core State Standards Initiative.

Having never taught a day of any type of education classes in his life, he has also taken a page from Obama’s book and never produced curriculum vitae for public viewing, but he does like to address the teaching of our children as if it is a very minor issue. While Bill Gates, Jeb Bush and their cronies continue to tell parents we need to give our children an education for the 21st century, they continue to give us trash curriculum and individuals who know nothing about education.

Jason ZimbaZimba to his fame, in 2008 co-authored a paper with David Coleman about standards for the Carnegie Commission.

Pimentel’s name to fame is in 2006 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2011, Achieve paid Pimentel’s company, Sue Pimentel, Inc., Hanover, NH 03755, for “consulting.” Pimentel’s presence on the CCSS ELA committee and her close relationship with Achieve raise questions about the exact process for selecting work group members (and who did the selecting). Given that Achieve has an established set of “common benchmarks” for framing CCSS dating back to 2004, and given the presence of those “leading governors” on Achieve’s board, one can conclude that there was no objective (much less publicized) means of selecting CCSS work groups.Sue Pimentel 2

Pimentel is also the Vice-Chair and on the Executive Committee of the National Assessment Governing Board of which meets quarterly to make decisions including the subjects NAEP measures and the frameworks of assessments that students eventually take.

Anitere Flores(It might interest my Florida readers that Florida Senator Anitere Flores is also serving on this board. Flores seems to be popping up everywhere as she is the Chief Executive Officer/President of Doral College, a private university run by the state’s largest for-profit charter school management company, Academica Charter School Consortium (Rep. Fresen).  Senator Flores had initially stated in accepting the position at Doral she would not run for re-election in 2012, but I guess she changed her mind because she is still in both positions along with sitting on Jeb Bush’s foundation FEE.)

I see a great deal of manipulative cronyism going on.

Unfortunately it appears giving our children an education in the 21st century entail’s  using Hitler “outcome based education” to dumb them down and at the same time take away all true and correct History information regarding America and filling their heads with Global Warming lies through Science. As parents we are supposed to just sit back quietly and accept these lies and distortions which are being taught to our children and all by the lead of men and women who have no idea what they are talking about except as “yes” men. Non Educator’s All!

Coleman, Ann-Margaret Michael (Coleman’s former assistant and current operations manager for Student Achievement Partners), and Jason Zimba were the founding board members of Michelle Rhee’s StudentsFirst, a lobbying advocacy organization for “standards driven” educational reform. Coleman’s tenure on the board of StudentsFirst ended when he joined the College Board in October 2012.

Michelle Rhee’s group after having caused the testing scandal in D.C. while she was serving as the superintendent of schools went on to support Jeb Bush and his push in the total endorsement of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) through Student’s First.

Student Achievement Partners was founded by Coleman’s friend’s Sue Pimentel (leader of the ELA team) and Jason Zimba (leader on the Mathematics writing team).

Don’t you just love these “touchy feely” names they give these organizations to make you think they are really smart and care about your children? StudentsFirst, Student Achievement Partners, and Step Up For Students. And the way they all circle around to being on all these boards together.

We already know that polls increasingly show that as more Americans learn about the Common Core standards, they don’t like what they see. Hopefully, Americans will feel the same way as they learn more about how the new Advanced Placement (AP) U.S. History exam will decimate the teaching of traditional American history, turning it into a leftist view of an America that is based on identity politics rather than a Constitution meant to protect the rights of individual freedoms.

Conservative commentator Stanley Kurtz, a contributing editor for National Review Online, wrote about the secretive manner in which the AP U.S. History exam was rolled out as well as the significance of this new exam.

“We are witnessing a coordinated, two-pronged effort to effectively federalize all of American K-12 education, while shifting its content sharply to the left,” Kurtz states.

He explains that while the College Board under Coleman has put on a public display of a lengthy “framework” for the new AP U.S. History exam, that framework actually contains only a few sample questions.

“Sources tell me, however, that a complete sample exam has to be released, although only to certified AP U.S. History teachers,” Kurtz continues. “Those teachers have been warned, under penalty of law and the stripping of their AP teaching privileges, not to disclose the content of the new sample AP U.S. History exam to anyone.”

WHAT?  Why all the secrecy if everything pertaining to the CCS are so good and are going to create the world’s top 21st century technical guru’s. But then again, this is the same type of behavior we saw prior to the original release of the CCS with a blackout of all information relating to them.

Coleman’s major achievement of keeping Common Core from public and media scrutiny is extraordinary considering that the standards were developed by three private D.C. organizations: the National Governors Association (NGA), the Council for Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), and progressive education company Achieve Inc. All three organizations were privately funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, along with your tax dollars and none of these groups are accountable to parents, teachers, students, or taxpayers in general.

In a March, 1997 article published by Dennis L. Cuddy, Ph.D. it states, “in March 1996 then N.C. Gov. Hunt and five other governors along with six CEO’s adopted a policy statement at the National Education Summit then calling for the states to establish internationally competitive standards, assessments tools and accountability systems within two years”. (Notice the presence of “leading governors” on the Achieve, Inc., board allows one to call Achieve a “state-led” organization and by the same token, one might also call Achieve a “business-led” organization since its board is also comprised of “business leaders.”)

It went on to say “the policy statement also indicated an entity called “Achieve” would be established to “measure and report each state’s annual progress in setting those standards.” Although the Standards would be “voluntary”, one of the CEO’s, IBM’s Lou Gerstner, Jr., said his company is the largest in North Carolina and companies could easily threaten not to open plants in states that didn’t comply”.

CORPORATE EXTORTION OVER EDUCATION STANDARDS? Well, we saw that come true in 2013 with the letter from CEO Tillison of ExxonMobil to the governor of PA Tom Corbett. Play our game or we’ll pull up our pants so to speak and leave your state. Goodbye!

In 2001, the Achieve board of directors included six governors and CEOs of six corporations. All six corporations were connected to the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a group now known for its model legislation in favor of the privatization of public education and its decision to reverse its anti-CCSS stance.

It certainly serves pro-CCSS purposes to conceal the “business-led” element of the governor-CEO, Achieve. Achieve is nothing more than a little ALEC and we certainly could have and should have called the CCSS “business-led”, but that would certainly not have been as effective as deceiving the populous with “state-led”.

In 2004 Achieve, Inc. created ADP, American Diploma Project which stated they had done two years of research to create the groundbreaking report entitled “Ready or Not:  Creating a High School Diploma That Counts. This is where benchmarking came from and with only 2 years of research but – ADP was formed and published this 2 years of research the same year.  ?????

PawlentyQuick note:  Be careful when seeing former Governor Pawlenty’s name up for President or VP – he has been knee deep into the NGA (2008 Chair), CCSS, Achieve and ADP from their inception. In 2006, Pawlenty made the statement “the era of small government is over… I’m a market person, but there are certain circumstances where you’ve got to have government put up the guardrails or bust up entrenched interests before they become too powerful …the government has to be more proactive and more aggressive.”

In 2008 then Gov. Pawlenty led the National Governors Symposium in N.C. with former N.C. Gov. Jim Hunt. The NGA produced that year:

  • High, rigorous standards are the foundation of a strong education system. Content standards specify the knowledge and skills that students need at each grade level. These standards must be supported by an aligned and clearly articulated system of curriculum, assessments, teacher preparation and professional development, textbook selection and appropriate supports for students.

And by the way, Pawlenty in 2008 was also the vice-chair of the Achieve board of directors and in 2009, he became co-chair. In 2009, Achieve received $20.9M from the Gates Foundation, $2M from the Carnegie Foundation, and a combined $2.6M from five ALEC corporations (GE, Prudential, Nationwide, Lumina, and State Farm). There are many questionable actions on this one’s part.

And if you know nothing about Jim Hunt, Jeb Bush’s new best friend, go here and scroll down to “Truth About Former Governor Jim Hunt.

There is still no official information about who selected the individuals to write the Common Core standards. None of the writers of the Math and English Language Arts standards have ever taught Math, English, or Reading at the K-12 level. In addition, the Standards Development Work Groups did not include any members who were high school English and mathematics teachers, English professors, scientists, engineers, parents, state legislators, early childhood educators, and state or local school board members.

“This is clearly an effort to silence public debate over these heavily politicized and illegitimately nationalized standards,” writes Kurtz. “If the complete sample test was available, the political nature of the new test would become evident. Public scrutiny of the sample test would also expose potential conflicts between the new exam and existing state standards.”

Another deception observed by Kurtz is the College Board’s claim that the highly controlled new framework for AP U.S. History can be adapted according to the preferences of individual states, school districts, and teachers. Of course, if they want their students to pass the Common Core-aligned tests, their best bet is to choose Common Core-aligned textbooks and lesson plans, which mean content will be coming from those.

As I have mentioned previously, even Charter schools are Common Core aligned. Charter schools supported by Hillsdale College and Great Heart Charter Management will tell you they are providing your child with a Classical education. Now how can that be since the curriculum and textbooks they are using are Common Core aligned?

You just cannot have it both ways. Seems everyone has gotten adapt to “double-speak”.

While it is true that the new AP framework allows teachers to include their own examples, the framework “also insists that the examples must be used to illustrate the themes and concepts behind the official College Board vision.” Now we are back to square one.

Kurtz observes:

Geo Washington 1The upshot is that James Madison, Thomas Jefferson, and the other founders are largely left out of the new test, unless they are presented as examples of conflict and identity by class, gender, race, ethnicity, etc. The Constitution can be studied as an example of the Colonists’ belief in the superiority of their own culture, for instance. But any teacher who presents a full unit on the principles of the American Constitution taught in the traditional way would be severely disadvantaging his students. So while allowing some minor flexibility on details, the new AP U.S. History framework effectively forces teachers to train their students in a leftist, blame-America-first reading of history, while omitting traditional treatments of our founding principles.

In regard to the Science Standards, John Casey, former White House space program advisor, consultant to NASA Headquarters, and space shuttle engineer has written an article “Teaching Our Children Bad Science” and gives five negatives to the CCS Science:

  • These areas for teaching our children are so deeply flawed as to raise concerns about how other sections in the proposed curriculum standards were developed.
  • Use of Invalid and Disproved Science
  • Standards Are Based on False Assertions of Mankind’s Impact on Climate Change
  • Specific Standards Sections on Climate Should Be Removed Completely
  • These Climate Standards Do Not Reflect the Most Important Factors in Climate Change

At the end of 2013, Citizens for Objective Public Education, Inc. (COPE) filed suit in federal court against the Kansas State Board of Education and the Kansas State Department of Education to enjoin implementation of science standards designed for all students in the US.

The Complaint alleges that the Kansas Board’s adoption on June 11, 2013, of A Framework for K-12 Science Education and the Next Generation Science Standards (the F&S) “will have the effect of causing Kansas public schools to establish and endorse a non-theistic religious worldview” in violation of the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution.

Rather than objectively informing children about these questions in an age-appropriate manner, the Science Standards lead them “to answer the questions with only materialistic/atheistic answers.”

This indoctrination is driven by the use of a concealed Orthodoxy (or doctrine) called methodological naturalism or scientific materialism.  The Orthodoxy requires that explanations of the cause and nature of natural phenomena may only use natural, material or mechanistic causes, and must assume that teleological or design conceptions of nature are invalid.

Gaia 3Just the very fact that ever since our children began being filled full of “Global Warming” a common practice has been to refer to nature as Mother Earth or Gaia. If you remember two years ago Earth Day was changed to Mother Earth Day – they are teaching our young children to worship the earth and that the earth and animals are more important than humans. Brainwashing!

The Gaia hypothesis, named after the Greek goddess Gaia is also known as the Gaia theory or Gaia principle, which proposes that organisms interact with their inorganic surroundings on Earth to form a self-regulating, complex system that contributes to maintaining the conditions for life on the planet. Topics of interest include how the biosphere and the evolution of life forms affect the stability of global temperature, ocean salinity, oxygen in the atmosphere and other environmental variables that affect the habitability of Earth.

Gaian’s of which they call themselves have infiltrated every level of power within the  United Nations. This is part of the UN’s Sustainable Development planned teaching –   “The goal aims to have the UN recognize the Earth as a living entity that humans have sought to “dominate and exploit” —” The direct opposite of what the Bible  teaches, namely, that man is to dominate the earth and all creatures on it.

If you go to this link you will see Gaia is depicted all the way from a monstrous woman covered in greenery, to a sexy woman laying in the forest, to a medieval goddess floating on air to a pregnant women showing the earth in her womb – let your imagination fly when you are depicting lies.

Absolutely nothing about the Common Core Standards, College Board, NGA, CCSO, Achieve, United Nations, Bill Gates, Jeb Bush, Bill Clinton, Al Gore and all their cronies is good for our children.

And don’t forget the changes to the SAT’s! The College Board has chosen to release information in a less than straightforward manner, as usual. David Coleman has learned well how to “double-speak” information especially when it pertains to our children. The “sleight of hand” statements are carefully stated using those politically correct words, but there does exist a document entitled, “Specifications for the Redesigned SAT.” I guess we will just have to wait until March 2015 for all the gory details. To understand some of the things going on with the SAT’s you can go here.

Two last things – always remember the actual motives behind the implementation of Charter schools – they carry a large share of lies and scandals themselves.

And lastly maybe this should be a requirement for all state and local school board members BEFORE they are elected to office – make them have to take whatever tests are presented in their states that the children have to take whether they are from PAARC, SBAC or AIR and publish their scores. I bet over 90% of them would fail.

It might interest the reader’s to know that almost every person noted here or serving on these Corporations/Foundations/Association’s not only support the Common Core but they highly support Charter schools and Vouchers. Have you heard or understood a word I have said to you about the meaning behind those two?  There are coming after your children!

CCS I Am Here

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Orlando CCSSO Common Core Secret Meeting Part 2

Pam StewartFor Florida (you can fit your state in here) it is very obvious the powers to be intend to go ‘forward’ with ‘no changes’ to the CCS as Commissioner Stewart has stated. I just wish she would be an ethical person and remove herself from the Jeb Bush Foundation or let him pay her salary since most of us feel that is where she gets her instructions from.

My mother taught me a long time ago you can never serve 2 masters at the same time, at least not effectively or ethically. Which master are you serving Commissioner, the children of Florida or Jeb Bush? Do you have children? Have you read the Common Core Standards?

Let me be clear – no changes are in the wind other than the changing of the Florida CCS name and Stewart claiming she is coming up with 40 changes to pacify the objectors. The problem is the objectors to the CCS know that by agreement no one can offer more than 15% changes and even then they will not be included in the testing portion – so what is the point other than phony appeasement?

Stewart is on the hot seat with the Florida Legislature because she told them she could get this under control and she has not. She is out of her league, the FL DOE are do nothing chair setters and the legislators have no intention of doing away with the Common Core Standards for Florida.

You see in Florida our current and past 2 Commissioner’s of Education were serving multiple masters or at least they were supposed to: the governor, legislature, District Superintendents, State and District School Boards and most of all JEB BUSH – least of all the parents and children. Tough role to pull off!

It appears Stewart has carried through with fulfilling Scott’s Executive Order regarding PARCC testing. It does however leave Florida operating within the consortium since nothing has been mentioned about leaving PARCC altogether. Florida has turned over its fiscal agent (money manager) responsibilities is all.

The next question should be “who is going to put together our tests to replace the PARCC test this spring? Pearson? Heaven help us! Maybe ALEC can do it! And why hasn’t there been a review panel with parents included in this process? Teachers?

I find it interesting that this country has focused so much on continual ‘teach to the test’ and constant testing when a good share of the countries we are supposed to be aligning to don’t test for years at a time.

This writer believes that so much of this is centered on money – using our children as Human Capital for their profiteering game.

They continue to talk about STEM so why not schools just for STEM students and leave the rest of the kids to pre 1965 Classical education? Which by the way got us to the moon and back along with being at the top of the heap in education at the time. What happened? The Federal Government got involved in education and everything was downhill from then on.

We don’t need more money for education – we need a curriculum that is right, teaches what our children need to know and is out from under the will and authority of the Federal government.

You see our country has become so focused on that college piece of paper, yet the graduates still don’t have anything in their heads because they have turned to mush. A large majority are going to college for the ‘fun’ not the education – they don’t have the basics.

I have found over the years “hands on training and respect” get you farther and make you smarter than thousands of $$ to the college loan rackets – money again! In fact if you want to make money today start a business around education.

And Rex Tillerson (ExxonMobil) – with his threats – most parents who love their children believe he should take his ExxonMobil threats and go back to Texas and swirl in their oil with the Bush’s who also seem to be making a good deal out of the business of Education. Never forget, it was Daddy Bush as president who really got his hands into education and laid out the groundwork for Bill Clinton along with Marc Tucker and their Communist education takeover.

Our state legislators need to begin thinking about our children, use their heads instead of their wallets and get our children out of bed with the Federal government for as we all know anything the Federal government touches turns to _ _ _ _! The legislators and school officials might even try reading the standards if they can read!

At the FL School Board meeting announcing the appointment of Pam Stewart things were not all rosy. Discord among board members as to the implementation of the CCS were very apparent. I for one don’t understand why if implemented, CCS are not being done on a gradual 1st grade in 2014, 1st grade in 2015 and so on – not plunk it down right in the middle of their education.

Outgoing board member Kathleen Shanahan blasted department leaders for not giving clear direction on the new Common Core State Standards and delaying a decision on what exams will replace the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Tests.

“The commissioner (Stewart) is fully in support and not wavering at all,” added Chairman Gary Chartrand. “I think we move forward.”
Chartrand
The debate led to a tense exchange between Shanahan and Chartrand, who defended Stewart. “Do you see the timeline issue?” Shanahan asked.
“We can’t go back in time,” Chartrand replied. “We had a commissioner change, unfortunately.”

The new timeline troubled Shanahan, who pointed out that the education department would have just six months between making the decision and the start of the 2014-15 school year, when the tests would be launched.

Board member John Padget: “Those of us on the board that have had the privilege of having large private organizations realize that with a change of this magnitude, there are always hiccups.” Our children’s futures are a HICCUP?

Chartrand himself is dancing to his own tune with his involvement in the Kipp Charter schools.

And of course the Madam of the Jeb Bush Foundations Patricia Levesque, who always has something to say for job justification stated, “the organization was speaking up now in part because of where the state stands in putting the standards in place”. Now? The Jeb Bush Foundations have been running all over the country for years pushing the CCS agenda.

“This year is when every student at every grade level is going to be exposed to Common Core,” she said. “Exposed” – do you mean like a virus?Rick Scott 5

Here is another question for you to ponder. Why do you think Jeb Bush is pushing the CCS and Charter/Choice/Vouchers all at the same time when all public school students are supposed to be taught under the CCS?

Florida’s Governor Scott, Commissioner, Legislators, State School Board and District Superintendents are dancing to the tune of Jeb Bush, along with those having a seat at the Bush Foundation, plus the likes of Chester Finn (Fordham), George Soros, Sen. Lamar Alexander (cradle to grave control), Craig Barrett (Intel), Rex Tillerson (ExxonMobil) Achieve , Edward Rust (State Farm), Condoleezza Rice, Carnegie Foundation, GE, and far too many to list. Oh, and let’s not forget David Coleman and Arne Duncan along with the president of the CFR Richard Haass who also sit on the Bush Foundation.

Time to clean up our state – to start supporting officials by actions not party, or being led around by a leash.

Floridians Against Common Core Education (F.A.C.C.E.) has ask the Gov. Scott on more than one occasion to take a further step in cleaning up the legislative apparatus in Tallahassee to include insisting that Pam Stewart, Mary Ellen Elia (Hillsborough Superintendent of Schools), and Fl. legislators John Thrasher, John Legg, Joe Negron, Erik Fresen, Anitere Flores, Don Gaetz, Kelli Stargel, and Will Weatherford remove themselves immediately from serving on the Jeb Bush Foundation for Excellence in Education. Never, ever a response from his office.

One last thing! For you to read and ponder The Republican Party of Florida ‘Oath of Party Loyalty and Ethical Conduct’ statement! I believe they are basically the same in all states. Do you believe our elected officials show you the same respect they do to the PARTY?

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Orlando CCSSO Common Core Secret Meeting Part 1

Many anti-Common Core parents, teachers and others were very disturbed about this “in your face” SECRET meeting to discuss our children’s futures.

Holiday KY CCSSO PThe Council of Chief State School Officers felt the need to meet behind closed doors to discuss Common Core non- State Led Standards and ways the states can provide assistance for an education system that “supports principal leadership” throughout the country.

The introductory paragraph on the meetings page made the following statement: ‘CCSSO meetings are closed to the public and attendance is by invitation only unless otherwise denoted’.

WOW! What is it they have planned for our children that even the parents aren’t be aware of?

Of course, the states don’t have enough knowledge to do whatever needs to be done on their own – it’s the CCSSO and National Governor’s Assoc. (NGA) along with Achieve and the Carnegie Foundation who have brought our children into this mess in the first place, now maybe they are actually coming in for the kill.

Common Core is not only expected to change the way students learn, but change the way teachers teach in the classroom and the way principals lead their schools – so they say.

It was apparent from the beginning this event was going to look like a larger version of Governor Scott’s Education Summit with no parents present, but instead flooded with superintendents, a few teachers and then add in the governors and legislators from around the country. The difference – Scott would be there.

The secrecy around discussions about our children’s futures is a big deal to parents. The governor, his staff, legislators and members of the state DOE seem to continually forget they work for us, you know, the taxpayers. Not the NGA, CCSSO, Jeb Bush Foundations, Gates, ExxonMobil or anyone else.

One other thing they are forgetting – like with Obama Care, the dislike, disapproval, whatever you want to call it crosses party and racial lines –
from the mountains to the prairies, and to the oceans – parents, educators, psychologists and others are smarter than all of you put together and we see into your plan of indoctrinating our children into mindless robots.

Common Core, International Baccalaureate, United Nations schools and all the other out-come based education schools in this country are not about leading our children into the 21st Century. It’s about money for the supporters and creating mindless idiots to follow them without question to take us all quietly into the NWO.

News for you all – we are NOT going to go quietly!

Arne DuncanArne Duncan blocked into the center of his Communist shell angered Mothers all over the country when he stated, “It’s fascinating to me that some of the pushback is coming from, sort of, white suburban moms who — all of a sudden — their child isn’t as brilliant as they thought they were and their school isn’t quite as good as they thought they were, and that’s pretty scary. You’ve bet your house and where you live and everything on, ‘My child’s going to be prepared.’ That can be a punch in the gut.”

These people have no idea how many real Americans see through them and are very, very angry.

I would like to add here a statement to Mr. Boehner – all the objections to back door secret meetings and messing with our children’s futures is not coming from JUST Tea Party groups – shows your lack of leadership not to see that!

It is very apparent the governors, and all these other organizations including Achieve, Thomas B. Fordham Foundation, Broad and Walton Foundations, along with many others believe they are holding the control stick in this fight.

Upon reading the “Supporting Principal Effectiveness in Leading Teacher Evaluation and Supports and Common” handout (some title)listing the two day event agenda it became very apparent it was all about everything but the children and how “rotten” the Common Core Standards are. This I suppose was covered in another closed door secret meeting and to be expected.

This is not going to go away! Neither are the objectors to this insanity!

The official explanation of the event agenda was: ‘The Implementing the Common Core Standards (ICCS) and State Consortium on Educator Effectiveness (SCEE) are hosting a joint meeting titled Supporting Principal Effectiveness in Leading Teacher Evaluation and Supports and Common Core Implementation. This meeting will focus on ways that states can provide technical assistance for a coherent system that supports principal leadership.’

Sounds like “Double-speak” to this writer. I have long contended these people” and I use the term loosely, have either drank some kind of foreign ‘sour dough mash’, are smoking ‘wacky tobacky’ or both!

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Achieve: Mini ALEC

More on the Common Core: Achieve, Inc., and Then Some

I hesitate to publicly confess that I find reading tax forms interesting, but it is true– especially as concerns the many nonprofits that are imposing their wills upon the American classroom. The IRS 990 offers much information on a nonprofit in a concise format, not the least of which are a nonprofit’s salaried individuals, board members, primary expenses, donors, and solvency.

I have written a number of posts related to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). In this post, I examine a key organization in the creation of CCSS: Achieve, Inc. Whereas my reading Achieve’s tax documents served as the launch for this post, it certainly did not stop there.

Allow me to show you.

“State-led” Achieve

According to its website, Achieve, Inc., was founded in 1996 “by leading governors and business leaders.” The effort was well financed, with Achieve registering $2 million in total assets in 1997. By 2001, Achieve’s total assets increased to $9.4 million.

Note that the presence of “leading governors” on the Achieve, Inc., board allows one to call Achieve a “state-led” organization.

By the same token, one might also call Achieve a “business-led” organization since its board is also comprised of “business leaders.” However, calling Achieve “business-led” is not as effective a term as “state-led” for the promotion of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS).

In 2001, the Achieve board of directors included six governors and CEOs of six corporations.

All six corporations were connected to the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a group now known for its model legislation in favor of the privatization of public education and its decision to reverse its anti-CCSS stance.

Yep. It certainly serves pro-CCSS purposes to conceal the “business-led” element of the governor-CEO, Achieve hybrid.

Why, Achieve is nothing more than a little ALEC: Half electeds, half privatizers with the money to influence electeds.

Furthermore, “state led” is a manufactured term designed to falsely connote the “grass roots emergence” of CCSS.

CCSS is anything but.

Achieve and Its “Common Benchmarks”

In 1998, Achieve began benchmarking standards; in 2001, it joined Education Trust, the Fordham Institute, and National Alliance of Business to launch the American Diploma Project (ADP) referenced in the Common Core Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) governors and state superintendents signed as part of the Race to the Top (RTTT) application.

According to the Achieve, Inc., website, the purpose of ADP was “to identify the ‘must-have’ knowledge and skills most demanded by higher education and employers.”

It appears that the CCSS skeleton– the ADP benchmarking– was created in 2004, the direct result of a “groundbreaking report” from ADP:

2004: The American Diploma Project releases “Ready or Not: Creating a High School Diploma That Counts.” This groundbreaking report – the result of over two years of research – identifies a common core of English and mathematics academic knowledge and skills, or “benchmarks,” that American high school graduates need for success in college and the workforce. Education Week later named “Ready or Not” one of the most 12 influential research studies. [Emphasis added.]

“Over two years of research” might be sufficient to determine a set of benchmarked outcomes for high school graduates; however, such paltry research would be little more than a thrown-together, drive-thru empirical effort upon which to base a comprehensive set of K-12 English and math standards.

Perhaps this is why CCSS Validation Committee Member Sandra Stotsky never could seem to get anyone to produce the “research” upon which CCSS English Language Arts (ELA) is supposedly based. Perhaps the only “research” is that which is connected to ADP.

A methodical research effort for a set of K-12 standards should at least follow a cohort of students through the set of standards in question.

At least thirteen years is needed. Otherwise, one might argue that the research was hastily conducted in order to advance another agenda– such as the ASAP privatization of public education.

So, in 2004, Achieve, Inc., already had a set of ”common expected outcomes for high school graduates.” The CCSS MOU refers to Achieve’s ADP. Thus, the framework for the ”common standards” had already been determined.

Achieve would also be principally involved in translating ADP benchmarks into CCSS standards.

Classroom teachers were not included among those principally involved in the development of ADP benchmarks.

Neither would classroom teachers be among those at the CCSS development table.

Tim Pawlenty: “Leading” Both NGA and Achieve

In June 2008, National Governors Association (NGA) Chair and Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty led the National Governors Symposium in North Carolina with former North Carolina Governor Jim Hunt. Among its determinations, the Symposium produced the following:

High, rigorous standards are the foundation of a strong education system. Content standards specify the knowledge and skills that students need at each grade level. These standards must be supported by an aligned and clearly articulated system of curriculum, assessments, teacher preparation and professional development, textbook selection and appropriate supports for students.

As it happens, in 2008, Pawlenty was the vice-chair of the Achieve board of directors. In 2009, he became co-chair.

Also in 2009, Achieve received $20.9 million from the Gates Foundation; $2 million from the Carnegie Foundation, and a combined $2.6 million from five ALEC corporations (GE, Prudential, Nationwide, Lumina, and State Farm).

GE also donated $1 million to Achieve in 2010 and 2011.

Pawlenty represents a connection between both NGA and Achieve in this well-financed, “state-led” push for “common standards.” The Achieve website refers to “leading governors.” Pawlenty is apparently one of these.

How few governors does it take to “lead” a democracy right out of its own democratic processes?

Possibly only five– the number of governors on the board of Achieve in 2008– or seven– the number of governors on the Achieve board in 2009.

The CCSS MOU actually tells the two signators– the governor and state superintendent– that by signing, they are “agreeing to be state led.” Thus, “state led” means, “You will follow the lead of the ‘leading governors and business leaders.’”

And why are these governors and state superintendents signing this CCSS agreement?

For RTTT money– and not nearly enough to implement CCSS.

The Real CCSS Workers vs. The Window Dressing

According to Stotsky, NGA was reluctant to reveal the members of the Standards Work Groups. In July 2009, it did so. The members of the “work” groups chiefly represented three agencies: Achieve, ACT, and College Board:

The initiative is being jointly led by the NGA Center and CCSSO [Council of State School Officers] in partnership with Achieve, Inc, ACT and the College Board. It builds directly on recent efforts of leading organizations and states that have focused on developing college-and career-ready standards and ensures that these standards can be internationally benchmarked to top-performing countries around the world. [Emphasis added.]

CCSS is not a set of standards that were negotiated by stakeholders. CCSS is the modular home of standards; its frame was prefabricated in 2004 by Achieve. The resulting “work groups” add two testing companies to the mix in order to “develop” standards based upon the ADP frame. Thus, CCSS development was chiefly a corporate enterprise. No wonder the reluctance to publicize work group membership.

The July 2009 NGA announcement also includes information on the feedback group membership, and it mentions the validation committee. These two groups are little more than window dressing. In short, it “looks good” for NGA and CCSSO to “involve experts.” However, the “experts” did not develop standards:

The final step in the development of these standards is the creation of an expert Validation Committee comprised of national and international experts on standards. This group will review the process and substance of the common core state standards to ensure they are research and evidence-based and will validate state adoption on the common core standards. Members of the committee will be selected by governors and chiefs of the participating states; nominations are forthcoming. [Emphasis added.]

Recall that Stotsky asked for the ELA research and never received it.

However, she did get the runaround.

Sue Pimentel

An interesting member of the CCSS English Language Arts (ELA) work group is Sue Pimentel. In 2006 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2011, Achieve paid Pimentel’s company, Sue Pimentel, Inc., Hanover, NH 03755, for “consulting.” Pimentel’s presence on the CCSS ELA committee and her close relationship with Achieve raise questions about the exact process for selecting work group members (and who did the selecting). Given that Achieve has an established set of “common benchmarks” for framing CCSS dating back to 2004, and given the presence of those “leading governors” on Achieve’s board, one can conclude that there was no objective (much less publicized) means of selecting CCSS work groups.

Pimentel is considered “a chief architect” of Achieve’s ADP benchmarks.

Pimentel’s CCSS presence also provides a bridge between Achieve and the unidentified “partner” on the CCSS work groups: David Coleman’s Student Achievement Partners (SAP).

In this brief Education Nation speech (http://vimeo.com/76725406) on the supposed development of CCSS, Pimentel is introduced as a “founding partner” of SAP, the national-standards-writing company founded by David Coleman and Jason Zimba. Pimentel’s introduction as an SAA ”founding partner” contradicts the information released by the NGA on its work group composition. In that 2009 release, Coleman is identified as SAP “founder,” and Zimba, as SAP “co-founder.” However, Pimentel is identified as being “co-founder” of StudentWorks and associated with Achieve.

The SAP website has recently rewritten its history to include Pimentel and to even overtly state that the three were “lead writers” in CCSS:

Student Achievement Partners was founded by David Coleman, Susan Pimentel and Jason Zimba, lead writers of the Common Core State Standards.

SAP cannot rewrite all of its history and insert Pimentel. Consider this 2011 announcement of a CCSS presentation by Coleman:

David Coleman is founder and CEO of Student Achievement Partners, LLC, an organization that assembles leading thinkers and researchers to design actions to substantially improve student achievement. Most recently, David and Jason Zimba of Student Achievement Partners played a lead role in developing the Common Core State Standards in math and literacy. [Emphasis added.]

No mention of “founding partner” Pimentel, though she was present for CCSS, and in a “lead role” as a CCSS ELA work group member– with her affiliation listed is as “co-founder” of StandardsWork and as an ELA consultant with Achieve.

The Pimentel-SAP connection is also absent from this 2011 GE Foundation bio:

…Susan now works closely with fellow authors of the Common Core Standards David Coleman and Jason Zimba of Student Achievement Partners in supporting the faithful implementation of the Common Core.

Before her work as a lead writer of the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts/Literacy, Susan was a chief architect of the American Diploma Project Benchmarks designed to close the gap between high school demands and postsecondary expectations. Since 2007, Susan has served on the National Assessment Governing Board, an independent, bipartisan board that sets policy for the national assessment. In addition to several articles, Susan is co-author with Denis P. Doyle of the best-selling book and CD-ROM, Raising the Standard: An Eight-Step Action Guide For Schools and Communities. [Emphasis added.]

Again, no mention of Pimentel as a 2007 founding partner of SSP.

However, as previously noted, she was a “chief architect” of the ADP benchmarks– yet another place where classroom teachers were not.

Back to Pimentel and SAP:

Why alter history to include Pimentel as an SAP “founding partner”? Why not just state that she was with Achieve and later joined SAP?

I believe it is to give a female face a founding leadership role to a predominately-male-led CCSS effort. I think that declaring Pimentel as being associated with SAP is an effort to legitimize SAP’s (NGA-undeclared) place at the CCSS table. Pimentel is a female speaking to an audience from a profession that is primarily female, and that is good public relations for selling the CCSS product.

2011, Sue Pimentel, and Student Achievement Partners

In examining Pimentel’s consulting history with Achieve, I noticed that Pimentel is not listed as a consultant on Achieve’s 2010 990 (classed by the IRS as 2011 for tax year 07-01-10 to 06-30-11).

That same year, SAP “became” a nonprofit and filed a 990– in order to process a $4 million grant from the GE Foundation– the purpose of which is (of course) the advancement of CCSS:

Student Achievement Partners work is designed to ensure successful implementation of the Common Core Standards in classrooms across the country. Student Achievement Partners will work closely with teachers to develop tools that will help them be more effective. Student Achievement Partners will make all resources available at no cost to educators at our website: achievethecore.org.

“Tools” and “resources” are carefully chosen words. Sure sounds like SAP is offering the only missing piece in the standards–>curriculum–>assessment process that the NGA declared to be its full intention in June 2008: curriculum “assistance.”

And GE is willing to foot the bill so that SAP can offer this “help” for free.

(In 2011, SAP actually filed the 990 twice: Once on 01/17/13, with Amy Briggs listed as COO, and a second time, on 02/01/13, with Celeste Hogan listed as CFO. It appears that the second filing was necessary since Briggs neglected to sign the last page of the return.)

Pimentel’s Education Nation Speech

Throughout her Education Nation speech (http://vimeo.com/76725406), Pimentel refers to a standards-writing ”we” whom she defines as six individuals, three in ELA and three in math. She continues by saying that these six individuals had advisory groups and that in the end, 48 states had “state teams of teachers” involved in CCSS. Pimentel attempts to paint a picture of teachers nationwide coming together and exercising meaningful influence over CCSS development, but this directly contradicts the CCSS MOU and the designation of Coleman, Zimba, and Pimentel as CCSS “lead writers.”

Pimentel insists that teachers were consulted and heard in the development of CCSS. However, any teachers involved in CCSS were clearly on the fringes of the CCSS process. Teachers could form state groups and advise all that they wanted. So what? Is this “48-state teacher ‘involvement’” supposed to somehow offset the inner-circle influence of NGA, Achieve, SAP, College Board, and ACT upon CCSS?

Please.

Coleman, Zimba, and Pimentel are clearly three of the six CCSS ”chief architects.” All three are supposedly “founding partners” of a national-standards-writing company offering a set of inflexible standards licensed by NGA and CCSSO and tied to corporately-created, high-stakes tests.

Whatever Happened to Those CCSS Math “Anchors”?

In her Education Nation speech, Pimentel refers to a deadline of November 2009 to produce standards, and she notes that these standards were poorly received. Based upon this timeline, she must have been referring to the College and Career Readiness Standards (CCRS)– a smaller set of standards supposed to “anchor” the larger CCSS.

It seems that only the CCRS for math were made public; here are two drafts of the proposed math anchors, one from July 2009, and another, from Sept 2009.

The anchors were supposed to precede CCSS– in order to “anchor” CCSS. However, CCSS math has no anchors on the CCSS website.

It’s as though CCRS for math never happened.

In contrast, the CCSS website does include ELA anchors. However, the ELA anchors were not offered to the public for review.

So. The CCRS (anchors) for math were publicized and found wanting. Therefore, they were simply abandoned. End of discussion and lesson learned by the CCSS “lead architects”: No public comments allowed for the ELA anchors. Just post them.

Bringing It to a Close

The contents of this post reinforce the reality that CCSS is the result of a few attempting to impose a manufactured standardization onto the American classroom. At the heart of CCSS are a handful of governors, millions in philanthropic and corporate dollars, and a few well-positioned education entrepreneurs handed the impressive title of “lead architect.” The democratic process is allowed entrance into this exclusive club, but only for show. The place for democracy in CCSS development is standing room only, and that near the exit.

Fortunately, democracy gets edgy when relegated to the cheap seats. Achieve, NGA, Pimentel, Pawlenty, and other CCSS peddlers might deliver their best sales pitches; however, the truth is that CCSS is in trouble in statehouses and boardrooms across the country.

Future generations of educators will study CCSS as a colossal education blunder.

Names like Achieve, NGA, and SAP will be forever connected to the CCSS humiliation.

by Mercedes Schneider December 2, 2013