Archive for the ‘Sir Michael Barber’ Tag
I am fascinated with the increasing convergence of honest right-wing thinkers and honest left-wing thinkers in the context of protecting legitimate, locally controlled education and fighting Common Core and its data-mining tentacles. Professor Singer points out in his article not only what Pearson is doing in England and in the U.S., but how these “curious connections” that form alliances between “exceedingly rich men” whether socialists or capitalists, who, together with government boards, are taking over education, literally all over the globe.
People on both sides of the political aisle are feeling similar alarm at the partnershipping of governments and private corporations that is taking away the voice of the voter as it hands over the keys of the American (in this case, also the British) school bus –to that wild and crazy driver known as Sir Michael Barber, CEA of Pearson, self-proclaimed revolutionary.
The article below is reposted with permission from Alan Singer of Hofstra University, and it’s been posted at the Huffington Post. I actually prefer and recommend reading it at the Huffington Post, where helpful links are embedded, so you can fact-check the article for yourself.
For more information about Pearson’s CEA, Sir Michael Barber, and what he stands for, there are several articles I’ve posted previously here and here and here.
Beware! Pearson’s Plan for Education Is Coming to a Country Near You
By Alan Singer, Hofstra University Social Studies Educator, New York
In the United States school districts are traditionally organized and funded locally. Parents, teachers, and school and district administrators usually only think about state and national issues when they feel pressed from above by state imposed budget cuts or federal demands for curriculum change and new assessments. Much of the opposition to Common Core and Race to the Top arose because parents, teachers, and administrators felt local prerogatives were being undermined by unwarranted pressure from above. But an examination of the Pearson publishing mega-giant’s plan to control public education in Great Britain makes clear, the greatest threat to local initiatives in public education may be from powerful global corporations. Beware! The Pearson Plan for education in the United Kingdom may be coming to a country near you — unless we can stop it now.
In March 2013, The Guardian, one of the leading British daily newspapers, published an opinion piece charging that “unelected oligarchs” and “private sponsors” were taking over the British school system. The academy schools discussed in this article sound very similar to the charter school movement in the United States.
“All over England, schools are being obliged to become academies: supposedly autonomous bodies which are often “sponsored” (the government’s euphemism for controlled) by foundations established by exceedingly rich men. The break-up of the education system in this country, like the dismantling of the National Health Service, reflects no widespread public demand. It is imposed, through threats, bribes and fake consultations, from on high.”
The “academy” alternative was supposed to be reserved for failing schools, but according to the article, the reality in Britain is much different. A Department of Education memo makes clear “it is our ambition that academy status should be the norm for all state schools.” Another memo recommended transferring academies out of the state-run school system into the private sector. To achieve these goals, “academy” sponsors appear to be targeting good schools with temporary problems that they can claim to have turned around.
For example, from 2007-2012 the Roke primary school in the community of Croydon in south London was rated “outstanding” by the British government’s quality control department known as OFSTED (Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills). However, after several senior staff retired and a computer failure caused a delay in reporting data to inspectors, the school received a “Notice to Improve.” Although the school subsequently met the required standards, it was notified by the British Department for Education that it would be turned into an academy.
In September 2012, the British Department for Education held a closed meeting with school administrators and reportedly told them that if they did not immediately accept the demand to become an “academy,” they would be fired by the local school authority. They threatened that if local school officials did not carry out the order, it would be replaced by an interim board of governors that would. They also warned school administrators not to inform parents about the meeting or the decision.
School administrators at Roke acquiesced and selected the local secondary school as its partner. However, on the last day of the fall term, the Department of Education rejected the plan and paired the school with the “Harris Foundation,” a group founded by the chairman of a large retail store chain with close ties to the ruling Conservative Party. When parents learned of these events they rebelled and unanimously voted to partner with the secondary school. But the community was overruled by the British schools minister, who happens to be a wealthy businessman, a major donor to the British Conservative Party, and a sponsor of the academies plan.
In many ways the strategy for promoting academies in Great Britain is similar to the strategy for promoting charter schools in the United States. Working class and poor families are told the academies are a solution to educational inequality. The academies are also exempt from following national curriculum and are not answerable to local governments. According to one British commentator who has carefully documented the history of the academies, “When threats don’t work, the department resorts to bribery. Schools receive up to an extra £65,000 or over $100,000 in state funds, if they become academies. As a result, the academies program exceeded its budget by £1 billion ($1.6 billion) from 2010 to 2012.
The Guardian is especially concerned about the influence of Pearson, the educational publishing giant, over the so-called educational reform movement in Great Britain. Pearson, originally based in Great Britain but with most of its current revenue from the United States, is at the center of the academy movement. In partnership with the Royal Society of Arts, Pearson funded a study the Guardian suspects will be used to demonstrate the success of the academies scheme.
In addition, Pearson, through its Edexcel subsidy, is the largest testing company in Great Britain with sales totally over £317 million in 2010. It also has a contract to grade achievement tests for English 11-year-olds. Not surprisingly, Pearson sponsored another study to show how the exam system promotes “high standards.” Other Pearson ventures designed to shape educational policy and maybe also boost Pearson corporate profits include “Pearson Think Tank,” funding Oxford University’s Centre for Educational Assessment, and the “Pearson school model.” The “Pearson school model” includes a computer-based curriculum that can be sold to schools, dubbed “the Always Learning Gateway.”
The “Pearson Think Tank” is an excellent example of the way Pearson’s not-for profit policy and research programs and its for-profit corporate activities intersect. According to its website, “Although the Pearson Think Tank is funded by Pearson, it is independent from its commercial activities. We are conscious of any conflicts of interest and operate accordingly, and final decisions about what and when we publish reside with us.” However, “Where possible we try to draw on Pearson’s networks, knowledge and expertise to gather new evidence about educational quality and access that is of interest to the wider sector.”
But the reality is that the Pearson Think Tank is actively promoting Pearson corporate interests. The think tank is working in partnership with the British Academies Commission to examine the implications of the “mass academisation,” or privatization, of Britain’s state run schools. Between May 2010 and November 2012 the number of academized schools increased from about 200 to almost 2,500. As with other Pearson supported “studies,” it somehow aligns with corporate goals. In this case its goal is “to develop a practical but compelling vision for the future of UK academisation” so that “young people experience the benefits of academisation.” The Commission’s report is titled, “Unleashing greatness: Getting the best from an academised system.”
The Pearson Think Tank has also conducted “research” to support the use of Pearson high-stakes tests in the United Kingdom; to promote the type of “enterprise and entrepreneurship education” provided by the Pearson UK online university; and to support “Pearson’s Teacher Training and Certification Programme.”
In praise of Pearson for-profits high-stakes testing programs, the Pearson Think Tank quoted Michael Gove, Great Britain’s Conservative Party Education Secretary who defended the tests as “tools of social mobility” based on human nature because “humans are hard-wired to seek out challenges”; sources of “satisfaction and contentment” for students on “a job well done”; and the basis to “ensure that a solid base of learning is complete before progressing on to further learning.” The tests are great because they “drive creativity” and “signal that a person is ready to take on greater challenge and responsibility.” Unfortunately, there was no research cited to support these over-the-top claims.
The Guardian article quoted Stephen Ball, a professor of the sociology of education at London University’s Institute of Education and an expert on education business, on Pearson’s “educational” ventures. According to Ball:
“They want to offer products and services in all areas of school practice: assessment, pedagogy, curriculum and management, and they want to create the possibility for that through policy work. They want to have indirect influence in policy to create opportunities for business expansion. It’s a very well thought-out business strategy.”
As we know from recent revelations by the Attorney General of New York State, Pearson operates the same way in the United States blurring the lines between its not-for-profit Foundation and its for-profit company. As a penalty and to avoid prosecution the Pearson Foundation agreed to pay $7.5 million into a fund managed by the Attorney General to support education in high-needs schools. When I posted a Huffington Post “Pearson Caught Cheating, Says Sorry, But Will Pay” on the Pearson Foundation Facebook page, Foundation officials responded:
“Pearson and the Foundation maintain we have always acted with the best intentions and complied with the law. However, we recognize that there were times when the governance of the Foundation and its relationship with Pearson could have been clearer and more transparent. The Foundation has adopted a number of reforms to enhance operations and programs and further its charitable mission.”
In the United States, Pearson donates to the Center for American Progress, a think tank with close ties to the Obama White House. John Podesta, Founder and Chair of the Center for American Progress, was Chief of Staff in the Clinton White House and is an important advisor to President Obama. Reports issued by the Center for American Progress have advocated in favor of the national Common Core Standards, changes in teacher preparation programs including alternative certification routes, and the validity of high stakes student assessments, all areas where Pearson for-profit is marketing products and services. While the Center for American Progress is considered a “liberal” think tank, it has some curious conservative and business connections. For example, Ulrich Boser, a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress where he analyzes education issues also serves as research director of Leaders and Laggards, a joint project of the Center for American Progress, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and Rick Hess of the American Enterprise Institute.
I do not think Pearson’s problems in New York State were related to unclarity at all. What is happening in Great Britain makes it perfectly clear, Pearson’s not for-profit activities serve the global profit making goals of the Pearson company. If parents, teachers and students do not organize to resist corporate incursions into American public education, the Pearson Plan for Education will be coming to a country, state, city, town, and school near you!
Thank you, Alan Singer.
This post is long. But I cannot “byte” these pieces apart for easier consumption. They have to be seen as a whole.
Thanks for reading –and sharing. Unpaid parents and teachers like me (and there are many of us) –have to report, because the so-called “real” reporters are failing to give us real reports with actual evidence and fact-checkable links about what is going on in education.
Today I’m reporting that the Common Core developers (in corporate and governmental partnerships) and the United Nations’ global education developers (also in corporate and governmental partnerships) are working hand in hand to deliberately take away classical education. Yep. They call it “whole system revolution.”
Actual classic literature and classic math takes up too much time that the globalists desire to use to teach environmental “education.” (Why? It sounds so nutty.)
The reason is both sneaky and evil. The one-world-government believers (U.N., Sir Michael Barber, Bill Gates, and others) want big power and big money, and that comes when they get rid of pesky things like loyalty to a country, local control and local rights, –all easily done when they circumvent the voice of the people by creating public-private partnerships. –Which is exactly how Common Core’s developers have done what they’ve done. (Links and specifics on that, below)
This puts our most basic rights and liberties at risk. If we have no actual representation, no actual say in how education is run, what is to be taught, or whether our children will have to attend these nonrepresentative systems, what do we have?
Let me bring you to some sites to show what I mean.
Did you know that there was a global monitoring report on education put out by the International Bureau of Education at the U.N.?
Did you know that last year, the U.N. launched a “Global Education First Initiative”?
What is the “GLOBAL EDUCATION FIRST INITIATIVE“?
The Global Education First Initiative is the United Nations’ Secretary General’s new program, launched last year. (See http://www.globaleducationfirst.org/ )
It states that it plans to:
1. Put every child in school.
2. Improve the quality of learning.
3. Foster global citizenship.
This might sound nice to some. But think about it.
1. “Put every child in school”? Will this pit the government against some parents? (What if the student’s physical or other circumstances mean he or she should not be in school? What if the U.N.’s definition of school differs from yours or mine? What if the school is a danger to the student?) The word “every” can be tyrannical as easily as it can be compassionate.
2. “Improve the quality of learning” ? Whose definition is meant by “quality” of learning? Newsflash: the UN’s “global” and “sustainable” definition of education is not about classical education, nor is it about teaching time-tested truths.
It’s full of politics in “environmental stewardship” lessons, an environmental focus used as a facade to teach that individual freedoms and individual property rights should be destroyed for the global, collective, environmental “good”. (But again, whose definition of “good”? See globalist/Common Core Implementation Guru, Sir Michael Barber’s international speech where he explains that “ethical underpinnings” of global education are nothing other than an intensely environment-bent focus.) So when they say “quality of learning” they are not talking, for example, about helping more students learn calculus in high school, as you might assume. –In fact, the globalist NCEE has called Algebra II “too much” math for high schools.
They are talking about teaching students to be prepared to sacrifice country loyalty, religious loyalty, and God-given rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of property– anything for the global green collective. The U.N.’s education arm, UNESCO, has endless documents which preach the same doctrine: environmentalism IS the new global education.
This leads us to #3.
3. “Foster Global Citizenship”? As opposed to what– local citizenship, national citizenship? Yep. What global citizenship really means is global law and global punishment. They talk about the obliteration of local and individual liberty. They make the United Nations a governmental god.
Don’t believe this?
Check out Article 29 of the U.N.’s Declaration of Human Rights which states that “rights and freedoms may IN NO CASE be exercised contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.”
Please read that out loud.
“RIGHTS AND FREEDOMS MAY IN NO CASE BE EXERCISED contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.”
My question is: What purposes or principles could possibly deserve more weight than human rights and freedoms?
I’ll answer the question for myself: one purpose and principle of the U.N. that the U.N. feels deserves more weight than human rights is “sustainable growth“.
But free agency is more important than the U.N.’s “sustainability” principle. Freedom is a God-given natural right that every person can claim and no person nor government has a right to steal, no matter how pretty their reasoning.
My rights should only end when I aim to destroy the freedoms of others; that’s why we have laws– to protect individual freedoms and rights. Article 29 of the U.N.’s Declaration of Human Rights is perversion.
Because the U.N. believes that it should destroy individual rights when they conflict with the U.N.’s designs, it flat out believes in tyranny. It believes that it knows better than anyone and that it has more authority than anyone.
One of my religious leaders, Elder James Faust, spoke about the United Nations’ “sustainability” phraseology, in a 1994 speech at Brigham Young University entitled, “Trying to Serve the Lord Without Offending the Devil.”
Elder James Faust said:
“Much controversy surrounded a recently concluded United Nations International Conference on Population and Development held in Cairo, Egypt. No doubt the conference accomplished much that was worthwhile. But at the very center of the debate was the socially acceptable phrase “sustainable growth.”
This concept is becoming increasingly popular. How cleverly Satan masked his evil designs with that phrase.
Few voices in the developed nations cry out in the wilderness against this coined phrase “sustainable growth.” In Forbes magazine of September this year, a thoughtful editorial asserts that people are an asset, not a liability. It forthrightly declares as preposterous the broadly accepted premise that curbing population growth is essential for economic development. The editorial then states convincingly that “free people don’t ‘exhaust resources.’ They create them” (Forbes, 12 September 1994, p. 25).
… Those who argue for sustainable growth lack vision and faith. The Lord said, “For the earth is full, and there is enough and to spare” (D&C 104:17).
That settles the issue for me. It should settle the issue for all of us. The Lord has spoken.”
Elder Faust, a man I recognize as an apostle of Christ, just said that the phrase “sustainable growth” is being used as a tool of Satan to try to curb population growth in the name of economic prosperity, and that those who argue for “sustainable growth” (U.N.) are lacking “vision and faith”.
I say Amen.
Just as I don’t believe in the assumptions of “sustainable growth” nor of the “Global Education First Initiative,” I do not believe in the U.N.’s “Academic Impact” program.
WHAT IS “ACADEMIC IMPACT“?
The United Nations is not content simply to push their version of education on children. They also mean to push it on university students via the initiative called “Academic Impact.”
What is the “Academic Impact”?
The stated purpose is to bring together “universities committed to the goals and values of the United Nations.”
Why should we oppose this?
The United Nations has a stated opposition to individual liberty if it conflicts with U.N. dogma. The United Nations places itself above countries’ and individuals’ freedom.
Why would ANY university or college join the “Academic Impact” movement? Doing so means that the institution agrees with the U.N.’s Declarations, which –I am repeating this because it’s so important– openly states:
Article 29- “rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.”
Please tell your local colleges and universities and schools to RUN from the United Nations’ “purposes and principles”. Don’t JOIN with them, for heaven’s sake.
Now, what does all of this have to do with Common Core?
You won’t see it in the text of the standards but you will find it in the network of individuals and corporations and governments that worked in harmony to develop, fund, market, implement and entrench Common Core’s power grab everywhere.
The Common Core is the globalists’ approved method for making sure students in the U.S. can be tracked and compared, and also that they will not be able to be exceptional, very easily. Everyone must be the same.
See this: http://asiasociety.org/education/learning-world/global-roots-common-core-state-standards for more evidence of the globalists fawning over the United States’ acceptance of Common Core to reach their global goals.
For evidence of this globalist-approval of Common Core, study globalist (and Pearson CEA) Sir Michael Barber who has been praising and pushing and profiting from Common Core and its alignment with globalist goals, all along.
Worldwide, Pearson’s CEA is pushing the idea of partnering governments and corporations (which circumvents voters).
Public-private partnerships (such as Pearson and Microsoft’s partnership with the U.S. Department of Education, via the U.S. Council of Chief State School Officers acting as middleman, is a case like that old song:
“The hipbone’s connected to the thighbone, the thighbone’s connected to the kneebone, the kneebone’s connected to the shinbone…”
These groups that promote Common Core, whether globally or locally, are all partnered and connected with MONEY and not by any vote by the people’s voice:
Pearson is officially partnered with Microsoft. Microsoft’s officially partnered with UNESCO. (UNESCO is the education arm of the U.N.)
The owner of Microsoft and partner of Pearson, Bill Gates, is partnered with, or the creator of, Common Core, having given millions to Common Core’s developers, CCSSO and NGA, and to its paid promoters, the National PTA and Harvard and Fordham Institute and Jeb Bush and many, many others.
“The hipbone’s connected to the thighbone, the thighbone’s connected to the kneebone, the kneebone’s connected to the shinbone…”
Pearson AND Microsoft are corporate partners of the Council of Chief State School Officers. And the Council of Chief State School Officers is officially partnered with the National Governors’ Association and have developed and copyrighted the Common Core together.
The U.S. Department of Education and the Council of Chief State School Officers are officially partnered to collect national Common Core data.
The U.S. Department of Education is financially partnered with SBAC and PARCC test creation and data collection.
No potty breaks. We’re not done.
“The hipbone’s connected to the thighbone, the thighbone’s connected to the kneebone, the kneebone’s connected to the shinbone…”
Pearson’s CEA, Sir Barber, is on the Board of Directors of U.S. Education Delivery Institute. He also has made Pearson the lead implementer of Common Core nationwide. And Pearson’s CEA is a directing force behind Common Core test creation at PARCC. Pearson’s Sir Barber wrote the book “Deliverology” for American educators to help them implement Common Core (like good little globalists.)
Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and Pearson’s CEA Sir Michael Barber are as mutually fawning as can be. Secretary Duncan quotes Barber and praises his “Deliverology” methods (which are controversial in their ruthless aim to “deliver” without regard for people). See Secretary Duncan’s Vision of Education speech to UNESCO.
And Barber is equally cozy with Duncan. He retweets Duncan’s tweets on Twitter all the time. Think about that. Our U.S. Secretary of Education is holding hands with the head of the largest educational sales company on earth.
“The hipbone’s connected to the thighbone, the thighbone’s connected to the kneebone, the kneebone’s connected to the shinbone…”
And the CEA of the world’s largest educational sales company, (who is cozy with the U.S. Secretary of Education, who, like Duncan, loves and praises Common Core) happens to believe that education reform is a “global phenomenon,” and reform is no longer to be managed by individuals or sovereign countries; education reform has “no more frontiers, no more barriers.”
Pearson’s Sir Barber shows a chart during this summit speech, displayed at 12:06 minutes, which he calls his goal of ”whole system revolution,” pinpointed as the sum of the following addends: systemic innovation + sameness of standards + structure + human capital.
–Whole system revolution? Human capital? What awful word choices, even for a global-control-freak.
Sir Michael Barber admits that he’s after your privacy, too: “We want data about how people are doing. We want every child on the agenda.” (6:05)
Who will control or protect global student data? And what if my desire to maintain my rights to privacy, conflicts with the U.N.’s article 29 “purposes and principles?”
With all your free time this summer, here’s something fun. Study the reports of the global monitoring group at the U.N.’s International Bureau of Education, and see how much of what they say aligns with, or has inspired, Common Core.
No? Okay, fine. I’ll do it.
Here’s just a peek into the International Bureau of Education and the Global Monitoring Report. These sound like something from a horror movie or a chapter in Orwell’s 1984, I know. But they are actually real.
“Education for All” is a United Nations project that uses the same catch phrases used by Common Core proponents in the United States. For instance, the stated goals of the Global Monitoring Report (GMR) –which of course, sound good on the surface– mirror recent U.S. education reforms: Emphasizing equity. Emphasizing measurability. Emphasizing finance.
Click here: GMR Proposed post-2015 education goals: emphasizing equity, measurability and finance.
But what do those three concepts mean for U.S. citizens?
Equity – Education For All promotes the redistribution of world wealth so that ultimately, no locality or individual has ownership over his/her own earnings, and global government owns all, so that global government can ensure fair distribution to all. This is not voluntary sharing; this is punishable, forced redistribution– it is legalized stealing of local taxes, by governments abroad.
Measurability – this means increased surveillance and testing of all teachers and students so that all can be compared and controlled by the global governance.
Finance – In the powerpoint presentation that was given at a Brussels, Belgium meeting last month, ‘Education post-2015: Equity, measurability and finance’, you can see that it is the United States that is being told to “donate” to make this global educational governance possible. Annually, the U.S. should “donate” 53 billion, the powerpoint presentation states.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L6O8_EjUkaU (GMR “Education for All” video link)
So when you watch this Global Monitoring Report video, you’ll hear the presenter describing the sad facts of poverty in foreign countries as if she were leading a fundraising effort for a charity.
But that’s not what it is. It is a justification for global communism, which religious leaders have been warning us about for many, many years; communism is, frankly, a captivating tool of evil. And many are falling for its lure because it beckons to the envious as well as the charitable. It asks both to give away self reliance, self respect and freedom– in favor of forced redistribution.
My point today is that a Common Core of cookie-cutter education is not just an American phenomenon. Globalists want it, too. And they don’t care if some people lose academically or financially, so long as everyone ends up the same. The very same.
One particular character who reveals the Common Core / Global Core same-same connection is British globalist Sir Michael Barber, CEA of the world’s largest educational sales company, Pearson.
Barber praises and promotes nationalized educational systems in many countries, lumping Common Core in with the rest. Watch and listen to his Council on Foreign Relations video and audio interviews. Watch his speeches on YouTube. He specifically mentions irreversible global reforms, global data collection, and the American Common Core. He says education should be borderless. He defines all education as needing to be “ethically underpinned” by the environmental movement. He says that all children in all places should be learning the exact same things. He promotes global databases to compare all people in global educational. He has written a book (“Deliverology”) dedicated to American education reformers, telling them how to force “irreversible reform”.
He also likes the terms “sustainable reform” and “revolution” and uses these in his Twitter-tweets, (along with rantings about the need for gun control in the U.S.) Oh, and his company, Pearson, has aligned all its textbooks, teacher trainings, early childhood education products and other merchandising, to Common Core. Of course.
Sir Michael Barber is highly praised and quoted by our U.S. Secretary Arne Duncan– openly, lavishly, in public speeches.
Sir Michael Barber. The man who bridges Common Core to Global Core.
Don’t let him out of your sight.
Pearson and Gates have joined forces.
Why is a Pearson and Gates combination a nightmare for America, for anyone who cares about competitive free enterprise, constitutional rights regarding education, and local control?
First, a few facts:
1. Pearson, led by Sir Michael Barber, is the biggest education product sales company on earth.
2. Bill Gates is the second richest man on earth, a man who has almost single-handedly funded and marketed the entire Common Core movement.
Gates previously partnered with UNESCO to bring a master curriculum worldwide in his “Education For All” program. Gates openly values extreme socialism and says that it’s much better than American constitutional government. Listen to Gates at minute 6:20 on this clip. Gates says, “We’ll only know this works when the curriculum and the tests are aligned to these standards.”
Pearson’s CEA is Sir Michael Barber, a man whose company colludes with governments worldwide in public-private-partnerships (soft fascism) and believes that children’s data should be gathered on a global scale. Barber pushes his version of “sustainable educational revolution,” worldwide, explaining that sustainable education reforms mean “it can never go back to how it was.” See his speeches on YouTube and his Twitter feeds.
These two mega forces for globalizing and standardizing education have now come together.
In a New York Times article on the partnership, Susan Neuman, a former Education Department official in the George W. Bush administration who is now a professor at the University of Michigan, was quoted:
“This is something that’s been missing in all the policy statements on the common core: a sequential curriculum,” Dr. Neuman said. But she worries that Pearson has few rivals.
“Pearson already dominates, and this could take it to the extreme,” she said. “This could be problematic for many of our kids. We could get a one size fits all.”
So when my state school board says that Common Core is just a set of minimum standards, not a curriculum, I will point them to this: the biggest monopolizer of textbooks, technologies and teacher training–Pearson– has now partnered with one of the wealthiest foundations on earth to create a one size fits all curriculum.
Where will private schools and others go to buy books, who don’t want Common Core-aligned curriculum? How will others stay in business with such huge competition?
I’m calling for a hogwash alert on today’s National Review article about Common Core.
The ironically titled The Truth About Common Core article cannot be taken seriously. It’s written without any links or references for its Common Core-promoting claims, and it’s written by two authors whose employers are largely funded by the main funder of all things Common Core.
Can anyone take seriously those who praise Common Core while being paid to do so?
The article makes “truth” claims that include the notion that Common Core is “more rigorous,” (where’s the proof?) and that the standards allow policymaking to happen locally. How can that be? The standards are written behind closed doors in D.C. The standards are copyrighted and are unamendable by locals. There is a 15% cap on adding to them, written into the ESEA Flexibility Waiver Request. And there is no amendment process; thus, no local control.
For anyone who has been living under an education reform rock, know this: Gates is the single biggest promoter and funder of Common Core, bar none.) So, Fordham’s and Manhattan Institute’s writers should not be expected to be objective about Common Core.
If it seems like practically everyone supports Common Core, Gates’ money is why. Bill Gates has said he’s spent $5 BILLION pushing (his version of) education reform. He’s bribed the national PTA to advocate for Common Core to parents; he’s paid the CCSSO to develop Common Core; and he owns opinion maker Education Week magazine. There’s a near-endless list of Gates’ attempts (very successful, I might add) to foist his vision of education without voter input. In 2004, Gates signeda 26 page agreement with UNESCO to develop a master curriculum for global teacher training. Robert Muller, the former assistant secretary general of the U.N. is the grandfather of the world core curriculum, the goal being to bring all schools in all nations under one common core curriculum.
The National Review writes that it is a “right-of-center” organization, as if that claim is a “trust-me” pass. This is meaningless in Common Core land because, as Emmett McGroarty of the American Principles Project, has said, “Opposition to Common Core cuts across the left-right spectrum. It gets back to who should control our children’s education — people in Indiana or people in Washington?”
But we should clarify that oodles of Democrats and Republicans sell or benefit from Common Core implementation. That is the top reason for the gold rush anxiety to promote the national standards. A secondary reason is lemminghood (misplaced and unproven trust).
Republican Jeb Bush is behind the Foundation for Excellence in Education, a nongovernmental group which pushes Common Core and is, of course, funded by Gates. Republican Rupert Murdoch owns not only Fox News, but also the common core implementation company Wireless Generation that’s creating common core testing technology. Democrat Bob Corcoran, President of GE Foundation (author of cap and trade and carbon footprint taxes to profit GE on green tech) and 49% owner of NBC also bribed the PTA to promote Common Core, and gave an additional $18 million to the states to push common core implementation. Corcoran was seen recently hobnobbing with Utah’s Republican Lt. Governor Greg Bell, business leaders in the Chamber of Commerce, and has testified in the education committee that the opponents of Common Core in Utah “are liars”. Meanwhile, Republican Todd Huston of Indiana got his largest campaign donation from David Coleman, common core ELA architect; then, after Huston was elected as an Indiana State Representative and placed on Indiana’s education committee, Coleman hired Huston to be on the College Board. They are both profiting from the alignment of and AP courses and alignment of the SAT to the Common Core. And of course, Huston’s listed on Jeb Bush’s controversial Foundation for Excellence in Education. Even my own Republican Governor Herbert of Utah serves on the elite executive committee of NGA, the Common Core founding group. He doesn’t make money this way, but he does make lots of corporations happy.
I could go on and on about the Common Core gold-and-glory rush. I have barely touched the countless Democrats who promote Common Core for gain. But I don’t want to be up all night.
So, on to the liberals and/or not-right wing radicals who oppose Common Core:
California Democrat/author Rosa Koire and respected educator like Diane Ravitch oppose Common Core as an untested academic and political experiment that increases the high-stakes of standardized testing. They see that Common Core is promoting unrepresentative formations of public-private-partnerships, and promotes teacher-micromanagement. Chicago history teacher Paul Horton says Common Core turns teacher-artisans into teacher-widgets; he also sees it as a Pearson anti-trust issue. Teacher Kris Nielsen has written “Children of the Core” and teacher Paul Bogush calls teaching Common Core sleeping with the enemy. Math teacher Stephanie Sawyer predicts that with Common Core, there will be an increase in remedial math instruction and an increase in the clientele of tutoring centers. Writing teacher Laura Gibbs calls the writing standards an inspid brew of gobbledygook. Anonymously, many teachers have published other concerns in a survey produced by Utahns Against Common Core.
Still, political funders of the standards and corporations selling its implementation try to get away with marginalizing the opposition. But it can’t be done honestly. Because it’s not a fight between left and right.
This battle is between the collusion of corporate greed and political muscle versus the individual voter.
It’s a battle between the individual student, teacher, or parent– versus huge public/private partnerships. That’s the David and Goliath here.
The Common Core movement is not about what’s best for children. It’s about greed and political control. A simple test: if Common Core was about helping students achieve legitimate classical education, wouldn’t the Common Core experiment have been based on empirical study and solid educator backing?
Did the authors of the Hogwash article really not know that Common Core wasn’t based on anything like empirical data but simply fluffed up on empty promises and rhetoric, from the beginning.
Where’s the basis for what proponents call “rigorous,” “internationally competitive,” and “research-based?” Why won’t the proponents point to proof of “increased rigor” the way the opponents point to proof of increased dumbing down? We know they are fibbing because we know there is no empirical evidence for imposing this experiment on students in America. The emperor of Common Core is wearing no clothes.
Many educators are crying out –even testifying to legislatures– that Common Core is an academic disaster. I’m thinking of Professors Christopher Tienken, Sandra Stotsky, Thomas Newkirk, Ze’ev Wurman, James Milgram, William Mathis, Susan Ohanian, Charlotte Iserbyt, Alan Manning, and others.
The National Review authors insist that Common Core is not a stealth “leftist indoctrination” plot by the Obama administration. But that’s what it looks like when you study the reformers and what they create.
First, let’s look at the Common Core textbooks. Virtually every textbook company in America is aligning now with Common Core. (So even the states who rejected Common Core, and even private schools and home schools are in trouble; how will they find new textbooks that reflect Massachusetts-high standards?)
Pearson’s latest textbooks show extreme environmentalism and a global citizen creating agenda that marginalizes national constitutions and individual rights in favor of global collectivism. The biggest education sales company of all the Common Core textbook and technology sales monsters on the planet is Pearson, which is led by mad “Deliverology” globalist Sir Michael Barber. Watch his speeches.
He doesn’t just lead Pearson, the company that is so huge it’s becoming an anti-trust issue. Sir Michael Barber also speaks glowingly of public private partnerships, of political “revolution,” “global citizenship” and a need for having global data collection and one set of educational standards for the entire planet. He’s a political machine. Under his global common core, diversity, freedom and local control of education need not apply.
Along with some of the gold-rushing colluders chasing Common Core-alignment product sales, there are political individuals calling educational shots, and these are without exception on the far, far left. And of these, the National Review is correct in saying that their goal to nationalize U.S. education has been happening since long before Obama came to power.
But they are wrong in saying that Common Core isn’t a road map to indoctrinating students into far left philosophy. Power players like Linda Darling-Hammond and Congressman Chaka Fattah ram socialism and redistribution down America’s throat in education policy, while Pearson pushes it in the curriculum.
It’s safe to say that Linda Darling-Hammond has as much say as anyone in this country when it comes to education policy. She focuses on “equity” and “social justice” –that is, redistribution of wealth using schools. Reread that last sentence.
Darling-Hammond has worked for CCSSO (Common Core developer) since long before the standards were even written. She served on the standards validation committee. She now works for SBAC (the Common Core test writer); she also consults with AIR (Utah’s Common Core test producer) and advises Obama’s administration; she promotes the secretive CSCOPE curriculum and more.
Study her further here to learn the groups she works for, what’s in the books she writes, how many times she quoted herself in her report for the U.S. equity commission, and what she said in last summer’s speech to UNESCO about the need to take swimming pools away from students.
So yes, there is an undeniable socialism push in Common Core textbooks and in the Department of Education.
The National Review’s authors claim Common Core won’t “eliminate American children’s core knowledge base in English, language arts and history.” By cutting classic literature by 70% for high school seniors, they are absolutely doing exactly that. The article says that Common Core doesn’t mandate the slashing of literature. Maybe not. But the tests sure will.
What teacher, constricted by the knowledge that her job is on the line, will risk lowering the high stakes student scores by teaching beyond what is recommended in the model curriculum of the national test writers?
And that’s the tragic part for me as an English teacher.
Classic literature is sacred. Its removal from American schools is an affront to our humanity.
Common Core doesn’t mandate which books to cut; the National Review is correct on that point; but it does pressure English teachers to cut out large selections of great literature, somewhere. And not just a little bit. Tons.
Informational text belongs in other classes, not in English. To read boring, non-literary articles even if they are not all required to be Executive Orders, insulation manuals, or environmental studies (as the major portion of the English language curriculum) is to kill the love of reading.
What will the slashing do to the students’ appreciation for the beauty of the language, to the acquisition of rich vocabulary, to the appreciation for the battle between good and evil?
We become compassionate humans by receiving and passing on classic stories. Souls are enlarged by exposure to the characters, the imagery, the rich vocabulary, the poetic language and the endless forms of the battle between good and evil, that live in classic literature.
Classic stories create a love for books that cannot be acquired in any other way. Dickens, Shakespeare, Hugo, Orwell, Dostoevsky, Rand, Marquez, Cisneros, Faulkner, Fitzgerald– where would we be without the gifts of these great writers and their writings? Which ones will English teachers cut away first to make room for informational text?
The sly and subtle change will have the same effect on our children as if Common Core had mandated the destruction of a certain percentage of all classic literature.
How does it differ from book burning in its ultimate effects?
Cutting out basic math skills, such as being able to convert fractions to decimals, is criminal. Proponents call this learning “fewer but deeper” concepts. I call it a sin. Common Core also delays the age at which students should be able to work with certain algorithms, putting students years behind our mathematical competitors in Asia.
For specific curricular reviews of Common Core standards, read Dr. Sandra Stotsky’s and Dr. Ze’ev Wurman’s math and literature reviews in the appendix of the white paper by Pioneer Institute. (See exhibit A and exhibit B, page 24.)
The National Review claims that the standards “simply delineate what children should know at each grade level and describe the skills that they must acquire to stay on course toward college or career readiness” and claim they are not a ceiling but a floor. This is a lie. The standards are bound by a 15% rule; there’s no adding to them beyond 15%. That’s not a ceiling?
The article claims that “college and career readiness” doesn’t necessarily mean Common Core. Well, it does, actually. The phrase has been defined on the ed. gov website as meaning sameness of standards to a significant number of states. I would give you a link but this week, so oddly, the Department of Education has removed most of its previous pages. You can see it reposted here:
The article insists that Common Core is not a curriculum; it’s up to school districts to choose curricula that comply with the standards. Sure. But as previously noted: 1) all the big textbook companies have aligned to Common Core. Where are the options? 2) Common core tests and the new accountability measures put on teachers who will lose their jobs if students don’t score well on Common Core tests will ensure that teachers will only teach Common Core standards. 3) Test writers are making model curriculum and it’s going to be for sale, for sure.
The article falsely claims that “curriculum experts began to devise” the standards. Not so: the architect of Common Core ELA standards (and current College Board president) is not, nor ever has been, an educator. In fact, that architect made the list of Top Ten Scariest People in Education Reform. A top curriculum professor has pointed out that the developers of Common Core never consulted with top curricular universities at all.
The article claims that states who have adopted Common Core could opt out, “and they shouldn’t lose a dime if they do” –but Title I monies have been threatened, and the No Child Left Behind waiver is temporary on conditions of following Common Core, and for those states who did get Race to the Top money (not my state, thank goodness) the money would have to be returned. Additionally, every state got ARRA stimulus money to build a federally interoperable State Longitudinal Database System. Do we want to give back millions and millions to ensure that we aren’t part of the de facto national database of children’s longitudinal school-collected, personally identifiable information?
The article states that the goal is to have children read challenging texts that will build their vocabulary and background knowledge. So then why not read more –not less– actual literature?
The article also leaves out any analysis of the illegality of Common Core. The arrangement appears to be illegal. Under the Constitution and under the General Educational Provisions Act (GEPA) the federal government is restricted from even supervising education.
GEPA states: “No provision of any applicable program shall be construed to authorize any department, agency, officer, or employee of the United States to exercise any direction, supervision, or control over the curriculum, program of instruction, administration, or personnel of any educational institution, school, or school system, or over the selection of library resources, textbooks, or other printed or published instructional materials by any educational institution or school system…”
And for those still believing the federal government isn’t “exercising direction, supervision or control” of the school system, look at two things.
1. The federal technical review of tests being mandated by the Department of Education.
2. The federal mandate that testing consoria must synchronize “across consortia,” that status updates and phone conferences must be made available to the Dept. of Education regularly, and that data collected must be shared with the federal government “on an ongoing basis”
3. The recent federal alteration of privacy laws that have taken away parental consent over student data collection.
Finally: the “most annoying manipulation tactic” award for the National Review Article is a tie between the last two sentences of the National Review article, which, combined, say, “Conservatives used to be in favor of holding students to high standards… aren’t they still?” Please.
Let’s rephrase it:
Americans used to be in favor of legitimate, nonexperimental standards for children that were unattached to corporate greed and that were constitutionally legal… Aren’t we still?
According to the Salt Lake Tribune, Utah has decided to spend $39 million on American Institutes for Research’s version of Common Core testing. http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/news/55349773-78/tests-state-system-students.html.csp
Here’s the website of AIR, if you want to see who they are. http://www.air.org/reports-products/index.cfm?fa=viewContent&content_id=2154
While I feel grateful we did not go with Pearson (Sir Michael Barber) or with ACT (David Coleman) I don’t know if this is any different –the AIR group appears to be, just like Pearson and ACT, just another D.C. global-citizen indoctrination institute.
I wish we’d chosen to spend that 39 million on real blessings to our kids: great libraries of books, wonderful basketball courts, more high quality teachers, field trips— actual learning supplies, instead of on high-stakes tests that will track and manage (and limit) our children’s futures all the way into their careers.
The AIR tests will be meshed with the tracking system (P-20) that manages children from preschool to workforce via the State Longitudinal Database System (SLDS) that the federal government paid us almost $10 million to use. (That contributed to the U.S. debt– it was ARRA stimulus money).
Interstate and intra-state agencies, and also state-fed relationships will share access to these test scores and to the citizen profiles the tests will build.
It’s a 1984-esque citizen profiling situation that can only be halted if teachers, parents and citizens stand up and say no, loudly.
Remenber, the new tests and the mediocre Common Core standards are not our local will. There’s never been a vote. These are products of the federal and globalist will that move under the general public’s radar.
The article quoted Dr. Menlove’s reference to “federal education law”– Oh, what an example of how far off we are! What would the writers of the Constitution say about states bowing to federal laws that are clearly unconstitutional, such as those which permit federal control of state education?
I do not think that the education leaders in Utah understand that they are playing directly into the hands of those who would replace freedom and the U.S. Constitution with a Collective where the individual has no say.
Think it’s too awful to believe?
It’s like the telephone game. Utah’s education leaders are whispered to by the federal educational leaders, who have been whispered to by top “Education Reform” activists: Sec. Arne Duncan, Barack Obama, Clinton, Pearson’s Sir Michael Barber, ACT’s David Coleman, Achieve Inc., SBAC, PARCC, NGA, CCSSO, Bill Gates/UNESCO, and the U.N.’s Agenda 21 Education Reform.
It is not rocket science to see where they are pushing us.
I really don’t think the Utah leaders know it. Sadly, we all –and our children– pay for their obvious ignorance of the goals of globalist “Education Reform”.
Just pasting some recent tweets from Sir Michael Barber, the Chief Education Advisor for Pearson. (FYI, Pearson is one of the big corporate groups getting rich from implementing Common Core.)
Sir Michael Barber is all about one-world indoctrination.
Check him out. He talks about revolution. He talks about gun control and U.S. politics. He quotes someone talking about ending the “promised land” of Jerusalem and turning it into a place that belongs to everyone, not to Jews. He talks about the environment. And he talks about education reform as if everyone knew what he means by the term. And most don’t.
His definiton of education reform means a one-world, top-down, global education with an emphasis away from academics and sovereignty and toward environmentalism and collectivism. IS THIS NOT CREEPY TO YOU?
Did you miss the last Senate Education Committee Meeting for the state of Utah?
Anyone can subscribe, free, to a report of the meeting’s minutes. I do.
—After I rant and rave about what the heck they’re doing at the Utah State Capitol I’ll paste the official meeting minutes, below.
1. Senator Aaron Osmond disclosed that he now works for Certiport/Pearson. If any of you know anything about Common Core and Pearson, or the CEA of Pearson, Sir Michael Barber, your spidey senses could be ringing. (For more, see http://whatiscommoncore.wordpress.com/2012/10/04/sir-michael-barber-leads-common-cores-deliverology-via-edi-and-pearson/ )
This Pearson sales employment could appear to be potential conflict for Senator Osmond; he is the Chair of the Senate Education Committee, while he is also a salesman for the company that has already set up major contracts with the Utah State Office of Education. But Osmond stated that he has recused himself from negotiating or influencing contracts in Utah and has recused himself from any interim committee votes or decisions relating to the Common Core or any topic that would benefit his employer. Osmond’s employer provides software to test and certify students in software applications.
Pearson Publishing develops curriculum and training for Common Core. For Utahns like me who hope and pray for a statewide repeal of Common Core, this is not pretty.
Pearson has a dramatically pro-Common Core marketing angle; so, this sales position of the Chair of the Senate Education Committee calls into question whether Osmond can be fair and detached in the heated pro- and anti- Common Core arguments that are happening in Utah. What do you think?
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2. Next issue: it was announced that the “Utah State Office of Education has instructional materials that may be used for parent education on health and human sexuality.“
Has anyone else detected a “de-parenting” attitude coming from the state (and federal) leaders? It really bothers me.
Perfect example of that here: Utah bureaucrats feel the need to educate parents about sex and how to explain sex to their children? Why? Parents can’t be trusted? They depend on the Utah State Office of Education? And in the nick of time, USOE swoops in to save the day from bumbling fools? Left to our own devices, we parents would not teach our own children where babies come from? What is the USOE thinking?
It reminds me of Reagan’s line: “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help.’ “
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U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan
3. Next issue:
Brenda Hales and Ms. Shumway discussed how to fund Career and Technical Education (CTE). I don’t like CTE, Career Academies, SLDS systems, P-20 tracking, or any of the pushy ways in which government tells kids who to be –and who they’ll never be.
President Obama and Arne Duncan have huge plans to make CTE take center stage in an effort to control individual choices as early as possible in each citizen’s life. And Brenda Hales and Ms. Shumway, apparently, couldn’t agree more. (To see Sec. Duncan’s white house speech and what CTE and Career Academies are about, see: http://whatiscommoncore.wordpress.com/2012/11/01/obamas-career-tracking-and-education-reforms-so-much-more-than-common-core/ )
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4. Next point: Brenda Hales also discussed Civic and Character Education. Double sigh.
If you’ve ever see her leading a state school board breakout meeting, you’ll hear the chattiest, bubbliest, won’t-let-others-get-a-word-in, but least sinister-seeming person, of the entire USOE. She’s nice, okay? Brenda comes across as very, very nice.
But “nice” is not enough. We need “valiant”.
Brenda said that she is “the most apolitical creature you will ever meet.”
1. Having no interest in or association with politics.
2. Having no political relevance or importance
I don’t know if Ms. Hales meant to categorize herself in the first or the second definition of “apolitical.” If she meant she has no interest in politics, that’s not good; we need politically valiant people leading our educational system not naiive leaders who swallow whatever the propaganda ministers (Secretary Duncan) cook up.
But if Brenda Hales meant the second definition, “having no political relevance or importance,” then she is a stranger to the truth. Nice or not!
Her own published, written assertions about Common Core are extremely political. http://utahpubliceducation.org/2012/07/10/utahs-core-standards-assessments-and-privacy-regulations/, She agrees with Obama about the supposedly improved quality of Common Core standards/curriculum and makes assertions I don’t believe, that student private data are being protected (study Utah’s IT director John Brandt, SLDS, P-20 to see why it’s not believable) and –she still says Common Core’s not under federal control and that Utah’s autonomy under Common Core is unharmed. If her claims were true, I could sleep better at night. But they aren’t correct, and part of the proof of that pudding is the fact that even though I (and others) have asked her to provide references for her claims, she never responds to that vital request. Why? If her claims are true, why won’t she reference them?
Here’s my rebuttal and her unreferenced assertion which she never did respond to, even though I asked her to, SO many times: http://www.utahnsagainstcommoncore.com/christel-swasey-responds-to-brenda-hales/
But I see now that again, I got way off topic.
Brenda Hales. Civic and Character Education. Sounds good?
According to Stanford University’s Encyclopedia of Philosophy, the difference between character education and character indoctrination is:
“Indoctrination is a form of socializing persons… to hold the“right” values. Education, on the other hand, implies some critical distance from the topics so that persons can reflect on different aspects of and on alternatives to what’s presented.”
Which will our students be receiving? The type that allows freedom to determine what is right individually, or the one that shoves an agenda down the student’s throat?
The good or bad effect of “civic and character education” depends on who gets to call the shots. Who gets to determine what will be taught? Parents? Doubtful.
If the philosophies of President Obama and Secretary Duncan lead the charge, as they have been in Utah educational circles, you know what we’ll see.
Students will be molded to hold the “right” values as defined by those “progressing” society toward collectivism and socialism, far away from the Constitution and far away from Judeo-Christian tradition.
How I wish the schools would quit going out on socialist limbs and would just teach. Teach time-tested, old-fashioned math, teach writing, teach classic literature– yes, actual academics! Leave the indoctrination to the churches and the families. (And while you’re at it, since you’ll have more time once you quit taking over the responsibilities of parents and churches, why not shorten the school day?! I miss my high school student. I want more time to teach her values and skills I know and believe in, and I don’t believe it takes thirty-five hours a week, twelve years consecutively, to prepare a human being for college.)
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I’m finished with my commentary; below are the official minutes.
MINUTES OF THE
EDUCATION INTERIM COMMITTEE
Wednesday, October 17, 2012 – 2:00 p.m. – Room 30 House Building
Sen. Howard A. Stephenson, Senate Chair
Rep. Francis D. Gibson, House Chair
Sen. Lyle W. Hillyard
Sen. Karen W. Morgan
Sen. Wayne L. Niederhauser
Sen. Aaron Osmond
Sen. Jerry W. Stevenson
Sen. Daniel W. Thatcher
Rep. Johnny Anderson
Rep. Patrice M. Arent
Rep. LaVar Christensen
Rep. Steven Eliason
Rep. Gregory H. Hughes
Rep. John G. Mathis
Rep. Kay L. McIff
Rep. Carol Spackman Moss
Rep. Merlynn T. Newbold
Rep. Jim Nielson
Rep. Val L. Peterson
Rep. Marie H. Poulson
Rep. Kenneth W. Sumsion
Rep. Bill Wright
Ms. Allison M. Nicholson, Policy Analyst
Ms. Constance C. Steffen, Policy Analyst
Ms. Angela Oakes Stallings, Associate General Counsel
Ms. Debra Hale, Legislative Secretary
Note: A list of others present, a copy of related materials, and an audio recording of the meeting can be found at www.le.utah.gov.
1. Committee Business
Chair Gibson called the meeting to order at 2:26 p.m.
Sen. Osmond took a point of personal privilege and stated that, because of his role as Chair of the Senate Education Committee and to ensure complete transparency in his public service, he would like to verbally disclose potential conflicts due to a recent job change. He described his recent job change as Vice President of Sales for Certiport, Inc., a company that provides software to test and certify students in popular software applications. He stated that he has recused himself from negotiating or influencing contracts in Utah. He noted that Certiport was acquired in May 2012 by Pearson Publishing, which owns Pearson Education, a company that is developing curriculum for the Common Core standards.
Sen. Osmond noted that he has reviewed these potential conflicts with Senate leadership, who concluded that no change in committee assignment is necessary at this time. Sen. Osmond stated that he has also recused himself from any interim committee votes or decisions relating to the Common Core or any topic that would benefit his employer or its related companies.
MOTION: Sen. Hillyard moved to approve the minutes of the September 19, 2012, meeting. The motion passed unanimously. Sen. Stevenson, Rep. Hughes, Rep. Newbold, Rep. Peterson, and Rep. Sumsion were absent for the vote.
2. Consider Draft Legislation “Parental Responsibility for Sex Education Training”
Reid discussed draft legislation “Parental Responsibility for Sex Education Training” (2013FL-0007/010), which requires the Utah State Board of Education to offer training and instructional resources to parents to assist them in providing instruction in health and human sexuality to their children.
Dr. Martell Menlove, Deputy Superintendent, Utah State Office of Education (USOE), noted that the USOE has instructional materials that may be used for parent education on health and human sexuality.
3. Consider Draft Legislation “Voted and Board Levy Program Amendments”
Ms. Steffen distributed the most recent version of draft legislation “Voted and Board Levy Program Amendments” (2013FL-0315/006).
Rep. Stephen Handy discussed draft legislation “Voted and Board Levy Program Amendments,” which requires the full amount of the state contribution appropriated for the Voted and Board Levy Programs to be distributed each year. He distributed a handout, “Voted & Board Leeway Program Amendments,” which contains a chart and a table that show the effect of fully distributing the state contribution appropriated for the Voted and Board Levy Programs. Rep. Handy stated that, in FY 2012, the value of the state guarantee for the Voted and Board Levy Programs would have increased by $1.78 per weighted pupil unit, and three more school districts would have qualified for the state guarantee.
Mr. Bruce Williams, Associate Superintendent, Utah State Office of Education, noted there may be a timing problem with one aspect of the bill. School district tax collections are not finalized until May, so the information needed to adjust the state guarantee for the next fiscal year would not be available for the 2013 General Session.
Dr. Menlove stated that the bill is supported by several districts.
Chair Gibson turned the chair to Sen. Stephenson.
4. School Performance Report
Dr. Menlove and Dr. Judy Park, Associate Superintendent, Utah State Office of Education, discussed plans for complying with statutory requirements pertaining to school performance reports. Dr. Park distributed a chart, “School Performance Report Data Reported for the 2010-11 School Year,” which indicates data that will be reported in 2012 school performance reports and data that is not available. She also distributed a chart, “School Performance Report – Components – Annual Filing,” which addresses the process for creating and delivering school performance reports, as well as a document containing suggested amendments to Utah Code Section 53A-3-602.5. Dr. Park also showed an example of a school performance report on the USOE website.
Chair Stephenson invited members of the committee to work with the USOE and committee staff in drafting legislation pertaining to school performance reports for consideration at the committee’s November meeting.
MOTION: Sen. Osmond moved to open a committee bill file regarding school performance reports. The motion passed unanimously.
5. Elimination or Modification of Reports Required by Local Education Agencies
Dr. Menlove reviewed “USOE Report on H.B. 500 – Education Reporting Efficiency Amendments,” distributed in the mailing packet, which describes reports school districts and charter schools are required to make. He noted that most reports are required by federal law or state statute and asserted that many of the reports are burdensome for smaller districts and charter schools.
In responding to committee comments and questions, Dr. Menlove assured committee members that they will be invited to join him on visits to Utah schools.
6. Career and Technology Education Funding Model
Ms. Brenda Hales, Associate Superintendent, Utah State Office of Education, assisted Ms. Mary Shumway, Director, Career, Technical, and Adult Education, Utah State Office of Education, as they distributed and reviewed a report, “Student and Course Based Funding for Career and Technical Education” (CTE), which included funding formulas for CTE. They discussed a method of funding CTE courses based on a weighting of job demand, wages, and skill level. Ms. Shumway noted that other factors may be appropriate and requested feedback from the Legislature.
A.Civic and Character Education
Rep. Christensen, Mr. Robert Austin, Education Specialist, Utah State Office of Education, and Ms. Hales reviewed the requirements of Utah Code Section 53A-13-109, which provides for civic and character education. Ms. Hales discussed some of the projects in which schools are engaged.
B.Financial and Economic Literacy
Ms. Hales reviewed Utah Code Sections 53A-13-103 and 53A-13-110, which address financial and economic literacy education.
C.New Century and Regents’ Scholarship Programs
Mr. David L. Buhler, Commissioner of Higher Education, due to a time restraint, referred the committee to the “New Century and Regents’ Scholarship Annual Report,” which was included in the mailing packet.
8. Other Items/Adjourn
Chair Stephenson adjourned the meeting at 5:48 p.m.
Question: What do Sir Michael Barber, President Barack Obama, and your own children –unless you live in “Common Core-less” Texas or Virginia– each share?
Answer: Common Core national standards.
–True, you won’t hear President Obama use the term “Common Core,” because he’s still saying Common Core is state-led. But it’s a thin disguise wearing thinner by the minute:
If you go to the U.S. Department of Education’s definitions page, you see that his (and Arne Duncan’s) oft-used code phrase for Common Core is “career and college readiness,” defined as Common Core in this way:
“standards that are common to a significant number of States” http://www.ed.gov/race-top/district-competition/definitions
Since there aren’t any other standards “common to a significant number of States,” it’s gotcha-education-reform, Obama and Arne Duncan style.
So, I keep learning more and more about Sir Michael Barber, another Common Core lover-pusher, much to my dismay.
Sir Michael Barber, Chief Education Advisor at Pearson, advises governments worldwide, including the U.K. and Pakistan, on how to nationalize education standards. He’s advised governments on how to create “delivery units”. He industrializes and streamlines things. Mercilessly.
What will Sir Michael Barber do for (or to) American education? Well, let’s look at the evidence:
- He uses cozy terms like “revolution,” “global citizen,” “human capital,” “irreversible reform,” “rightsizing,” “sustainable” and “common core” in speeches to the Council on Foreign Relations or at the British Education Summit, for example.
- He praises Common Core and says not only national, but the same global educational standards are to be sought.
- He says he wants data on every “global citizen.” (So he’ll be working to get rid of states’ FERPA and other privacy laws, I guess. Might not prove difficult with Arne Duncan on his side since Duncan’s Dept. of Ed recently changed federal FERPA without Congressional approval, to remove parental consent requirements over student data.)
- He’ll narrow things down so far as to to wring meaningfulness out of them, to “deliver” any goal.
- He’ll push for a political “green” agenda in schools that minimizes the goal of gaining knowledge. By the way– education reform is not a local matter, in Barber’s view, because it’s global, and without borders. He puts “green” training as the “ethical underpinning” that must be placed above general knowledge or the ability to think for oneself. His formula is:
- E (K + T + L) –Knowledge, Thinking and Leadership are to be combined as equal in importance, while Ethical Underpinnings (sustainable “green” environmental awareness) are of number one importance.
- His company, Pearson, is purchasing schools worldwide in “private-public partnerships” (PPP). When a BBC interviewer accused him and his company, Pearson, of trying to take over the governance of schools worldwide, his defense was that Pearson would blend with the governments: “I worked for government. I love government. I think government is a really important, a big part of the solution.”
- He congratulated the Council on Foreign Relations for getting into the education reform business, saying that education is now “an issue of national security and foreign policy.”
- Barber’s preface, in “Deliverology 101,” states that he wrote the book specifically to American educators.
- A co-author of “Deliverology 101″ is Achieve, Inc., which helped write the NGA/CCSSO’s Common Core.
- Barber previously used deliverology methods in the U.K., where he made things worse. How? By focusing on a narrow goal to the exclusion of common sense and dignity. According to Professor John Seddon, Barber’s fellow British countryman, deliverology is a management fad that harms what it touches.
In England, Seddon said, deliverology met the goal of reducing emergency room wait times in hospitals by having emergency patients sit and wait indefinitely, in ambulances, rather than emergency rooms, or in designated “other rooms” next to the emergency waiting room. –But oh, they delivered the goal.
At California State University, Seddon said, deliverology met the goal of increasing graduation rates by 8% by:
- paring down the number of classes required to get a degree
- paring down the amount of writing students must do while in college
- eliminating whole academic programs and departments
- increasing student fees sharply
- narrowing a campus’s geographical service area to restrict enrollment
- laying off faculty and support staff
See also CSU Professor Susan Meisenhelder’s “Cautionary Tale” ariticle: http://www.calfac.org/post/cautionary-tale
Let us be wise. We should politely say “No, thank you,” to Common Core, to Deliverology, to EDI, to Sir Michael Barber and to Pearson. Please watch this video, from Professor John Seddon, on the subject.
And… Sir Michael Barber has created a legitimate-sounding “U.S. Education Delivery Institute” (EDI). Sounds governmental. Well, it’s a business. The business of taking over meaningful classroom experience in favor of “delivering” whatever the government(s) mandate at any cost to teachers, students, or legitimate, meaningful learning.
EDI “hosts gatherings of its K-12 and higher education networks several times each year. We also work closely with a number of the state systems, providing training and support.”
EDI is an “organization that focuses on implementing large-scale system change in public education.” They write, “Our mission is to partner with K-12 and higher education systems with ambitious reform agendas and invest in their leaders’ capacity to deliver results. By employing an approach known as delivery, a proven methodology for effective implementation in the public sector, we help state leaders maintain the necessary focus to plan and drive reform. http://www.deliveryinstitute.org/members/sir-michael-barber
It should scare us to think that Sir Michael Barber is creating for the United States “U.S. Education Delivery Units.”
As one British newspaper put it:
“[Barber] has set up a US Education Delivery Unit (albeit as a private sector rather than government venture), co-authored books that claim to identify what makes national education systems successful, and taken the joint chairmanship of a taskforce in Pakistan to establish “national standards”. http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2011/jun/14/michael-barber-education-guru
How many thousands of American schools are already using Pearson technology, Pearson textbooks, Pearson webinars for teacher trainings? Do we realize who is the man behind this? Do we realize he is a zealot on the extreme left and he has every intention of indoctrinating our kids –what he calls his “human capital” –with his brand of global “green” citizens?
He said, he actually said these words: “we want them to have some knowledge.” Some, as in minimal, not so important. The really big thing, Barber preaches, is the green “ethical underpinning” that must override minor things like knowledge, thinking for oneself, and learning leadership.
Remember his formula.
Keeping Kids Safe is Bill Wardell’s radio show. He invited Alisa Ellis, Renee Braddy and I on his show today to discuss data privacy issues, Common Core national education, and what most parents do not know about Common Core.
Deliverology destroys service: Professor John Seddon addresses the faculty of California State University.
Why this video matters: “Deliverology 101″ was written by Sir Michael Barber for American educators implementing COMMONCORE. And Deliverology does not work. It’s top-down morale-crushing, according to Professor John Seddon, who speaks in this video.
In an ongoing quest to comprehend what (and why) Common Core is what it is, I’ve found Sir Michael Barber, Chief Education Advisor at Pearson PLC.
Sir Barber, a passionate Common Core promoter with a nice British accent, is all about top-down, global McEducation –and global McEverything, actually, from transportation to jails.
“McEverything” is not Barber’s word. His word is “Deliverology.”
His book, “Deliverology 101,” is purposed, oddly, “specifically for leaders of American Education reform.” But what motivates a British citizen to write a manual on American states’ nationalized standards?
At last month’s British Education Summit, Barber gave a speech entitled “Whole System Revolution: The Education Challenge For the Next Decade”.
He spoke as if he’d just finished reading the United Nations Agenda 21 before coming onstage. Creepy ideas, but said in such a nice way. http://youtu.be/T3ErTaP8rTA – (This is Barber’s recent, August 2012, international speech.)
Barber comes across as a nice, slightly weird, old British knight. Actually, he is a knight: Sir Michael Barber was knighted for producing education reforms in England.
Yet some (who are also repected far and wide) scorn his philosophies. John Seddon, British management guru and president of Vanguard, has a multi-part YouTube series entitled “Why Deliverology Made Things Worse in the UK.”
“I don’t go around the world bashing Deliverology, but I think I should,” said Seddon.
Seddon defines “deliverology” as “a top-down method by which you undermine achievement of purpose and demoralize people.” http://youtu.be/2sIFvpRilSc
Seddon says “deliverology” imposes arbitrary targets that damage morale. Just like Common Core.
But Barber will have none of that. He seems to feel that education reform is too big an issue to pause for things like individual morale.
In Barber’s view, education reform is a “global phenomenon,” so reform is no longer to be managed by individuals or sovereign countries; education reform has “no more frontiers, no more barriers.” Hmm.
Barber shows a chart during his summit speech, displayed at 12:06 minutes, which he calls a goal of “whole system revolution,” pinpointed as the sum of the following addends: systemic innovation + sameness of standards + structure + human capital. –Whole system revolution? Human capital? What awful word choices, even for a chart.
Sir Michael Barber adds: “We want data about how people are doing. We want every child on the agenda.” (6:05) –But who are the “we” that will control global data? That one he does not answer.
Barber’s collectivist, global-governance philosophy is everywhere.
In this clip, Barber praises Common Core (CC) at a Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) interview, calling CC among other things, “internationally benchmarked.” (That oft-repeated phrase, “internationally benchmarked” is one that Common Core Validation Committee Member, Professor Stotsky, calls false. See http://pioneerinstitute.org/pdf/120510_ControllingEducation.pdf)
In another interview with the CFR, Barber says, “Can I congratulate the CFR for getting into this issue? I think it’s great to see education as an issue of national security and foreign policy as well as economic and domestic policy.” http://castroller.com/Podcasts/InsideCfrEvents/2695637
Then there’s the BBC interview.
In this clip, on the BBC show Hardtalk, Barber outlines the benefits of “private and public partnership,” which just happens to be yet another United Nations Agenda 21 bullet point. (See http://www.un.org/partnerships/unfip_partner.html)
Pearson “invests,” says Barber, by purchasing cheap schools in developing countries in partnership with governments. (PPP)
Pearson works hand in hand with both nongovernmental agencies (NGA and CCSSO) and with governmental agencies (U.S. Department of Education) to promote global education and Common Core. Because they see global education and Common Core as one and the same.
Evidence? Look at 6:05 on http://youtu.be/T3ErTaP8rTA –the August Summit speech. Barber says that every country should have exactly the same definition of what it means to be good at “maths”.
At 4:00 he says that “citizens of the world” including every single child, “all 9 billion people who will be alive in 2050″ must know E(K+T+L) –which stands for (Knowledge + Thinking + Leadership) multiplied by “ethical underpinnings.”
Then Barber explains that the “ethical underpinning” is “shared understanding” of earth and “sustainability” that every child in every school around the world will learn. Ethics, to Barber, have nothing to do with the supreme sanctity of human life, the idea of God, of individual liberty or the Golden Rule. Nope, it’s about the collective, the earth-oneness.
So, now that we know where Barber stands, what do we do about Pearson? Keep buying what they’re peddling, of course.
Pearson is very successful in selling Common Core curriculum, online assessments, teacher professional development, and technological resources nationwide. http://commoncore.pearsoned.com/index.cfm?locator=PS11Uz
Common Core is big business. The Wall Street Journal quotes Pearson’s CEO:
“‘It’s a really big deal,’ says Peter Cohen, CEO of Pearson’s K-12 division, Pearson School. ‘The Common Core standards are affecting literally every part of the business we’re involved in.’” http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303674004577434430304060586.html
And Pearson has long been partnered with Achieve Inc., which also happens to be a co-author of Barber’s “Deliverology 101″ which happens also to partner “with NGA and CCSSO on the [Common Core] Initiative and a number of Achieve staff and consultants served on the writing and review teams”. http://www.achieve.org/achieving-common-core
These combinations of corporations, governments, NGOs and elite philanthropists (Bill Gates) appear to literally be taking over the globe’s educational decision-making.
When the BBC interviewer accused Barber of leading Pearson to take over nations’ educational systems as a huge corporation, Barber said, as a defense, “I worked for government. I love government. I think government is a really important, a big part of the solution.”
Well, yes indeed. Advising countries from the U.S. to Pakistan on how to implement nationalized education, is his specialty.
As the UK Guardian writes:
“…Barber and his graphs have gone global. As McKinsey’s hubristically titled “head of global education practice”, he has set up a US Education Delivery Unit (albeit as a private sector rather than government venture), co-authored books that claim to identify what makes national education systems successful, and taken the joint chairmanship of a taskforce in Pakistan to establish “national standards” in basic subjects. Now he’s becoming chief education adviser to Pearson, owner of Penguin Books and the Financial Times and also, in its own description, “the world’s leading learning company”, with interests in 70 countries…” http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2011/jun/14/michael-barber-education-guru
Will any of this be easy to reverse? Sir Michael Barber emphasizes the importance of what he’s dubbed “irreversible reform.” He defines “sustainable reform” as “irreversible reform” and aims to “make it so it can never go back to how it was before.”
“If you want irreversible reforms, work on the culture and the minds of teachers and parents,” Barber says. Otherwise parents or traditionalists might repeal what’s been done because of their “wish for the past.”
Heaven help us.