Common Core & The Workforce


WIOA (Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014)

Have you read the WIOA (whoa-u) legislation? I’ve skimmed it and have been amazed at what I read. I was even more amazed during the recent webinar hosted by the Department of Education, Health/Human Services, and Labor this past week. Billed as an event to promote “Career Pathways.” Maybe that phrase rings a bell. While the webinar was a day long event, I ‘attended’ the first 2 hours. I’ll share with you some of the most relevant portions, especially where it ties into the Common Core Standards.

The relationship between the 3 federal level departments is NOT new. In fact, the representatives of each department called it ‘an inter-depend’ one. One of the slides in the background read ‘Federal Job-Driven Training Agenda” as the purpose for the day long event. WIOA is being heralded as a ‘masterpiece legislation’ law. It will help pave a ‘path of prosperity’! In reality, the joint investment made in creating, passing WIOA is key in changing education and training for a groomed workforce to be able to achieve the ‘middle class income’. How will this be done? “Career Paths” – WIOA embeds them in the legislation so that not only will state level boards of education require it, so will the state level of labor departments. So far, 27 states have embraced WIOA. Part of the ‘beauty’ of WIOA is that it will align the states via a workforce designed for the American economy. I recently heard it described ‘as knocking down state lines.’

Here’s a bit more about the embedding of Career Pathways. The Department of Education spokesmen (Johan Uvin) shared this nugget that was, in my opinion, most chilling. WIOA is legendary because it will catapult Career Pathways into a ‘legacy’. To ensure this, the Career Pathways are embedded 21 ways in the law. Each of the ways are to be concrete ways to ‘tighten up the states and local levels’. He called it a “unified branding process’. All of this to fill ‘the supply and demand pipeline’. Now, 21, according to this spokesman is noteworthy not for the number it represents, but as he put it, ‘the other definition’..“an advanced state of development.”  Other ‘great things’ about CP: a developed framework to guide states to create a 21st Century trained workforce with ‘stackable paths’, ‘chunking curriculum’ in ‘clustered ways’.

If you’d like to listen in for yourself, here’s the link to the webinar. Remember, all I heard was in the first 2 hours.

Work is good!

Don’t get me wrong, I know work is a vital part of our livelihood. Without work, we might become bored. Work helps keep our nation strong. HOWEVER, if you follow much of the rhetoric of Common Core, the recurring theme is not person minded…it’s economy minded AND it’s usually connected to the global aspect.

According to one of the speakers, Kathleen Wiggins of the US Conference of Mayors, all the mayor members agreed to promote Career Pathways in order to better align education. After all, there were all these jobs available and no one to give them to. The mayors also agreed that Career Pathways made sense for all these people involved. So, which cities were all these jobs available in? Cities like Dallas, Las Vegas, Sacramento, New Orleans. Check this out –  The United States Conference of Mayors. The non partisan group is for any USA mayor of a large city. Here’s the 2012 link I found in their archives that supports Career Pathways. Go to this link and then scroll half way down the page.

That same year, 2012, the U.S. Government released a “Career Pathway” Toolkit. Involved in the entire venture? The following known Common Core Standards supporters: Gates Foundation, The Kellogg Foundation, Joyce Foundation, Kresge Foundation, Walmart, Ford Foundation, Charles Mott Foundation, NC’s Glaxo-SmithKline Foundation,  and Bank of America. There are many other private and government entities involved as well. These groups are in ADDITION to the U.S. Government Department of Labor, Health/Human Services, and Education. Not to be left out, The National Governors Association is also included. Community colleges, state level government agencies as well as private businesses are targeted as a portion of the great ’21st Century global economic workforce’ plan. Want to see the entire document? What you won’t find in the Toolkit is the brand name “Common Core State Standards”, BUT you will see hints, innuendos about curriculum, standards, lesson plans (note on some of the pages who is creating these.) You’ll also see 21st Century Community Learning Centers (Agenda 21 tie). “The cradle to grave” mindset is also presented. You’ll also need to note it the Toolkit, a certain division of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce (also CCSS supportive) shares with you, the reader “16 Career Clusters” the U.S. Department of Education uses.  “The toolkit concludes with a glossary of key terms related to Career Pathways and a list of sixteen career clusters utilized by the U.S. Department of Education.”

Sixteen Careers:

I have written extensively about Common Core beyond high school on my full time blog, Thursdays are my “Tech Thursdays” where I delve into CCSS in Community Colleges, Technical Schools, etc. So, when I say I know Common Core is there, I know. This is shared with you so you can follow along if you’d like more information about Common Core in post secondary schools.

You can see the 16 National Career Clusters here. I suggest you spend a lot of time at this website to get the full picture of the aligned pathways to Common Core. Even the brand name from the website is well thought out to NOT include the words ‘common’ and ‘core’ next to each other. The official name, “Common Career Technical Core”.

In my blog post from this past Thursday, 9/25, you can find much more out about the Clusters, CTE (Career Technical Education).

Stay tuned, because there is much more to report on this subject! Please leave a comment or question for me. I’ll do my best to dig until I find an answer.

NOTE: This article was originally published on the Prevent Common Core website [ ]

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