Hi followers, fans and anti Common Core fighters. This week, I am breaking my own schedule to bring you some of the latest breaking news I know you will not only find revealing, but vital in our fight. I‘ll be upfront, this post is long AND important!
What’s the big deal? Why are you so urgent in sharing this?:
Two days ago, I was doing my usual webinar research on a topic I know is heavily related to what I’ve been sharing with you about all the career planning, CCSS aligned post secondary events. So, when the very first slide I see coupled with the words I heard, were so “Oh my stars!”, that I knew word needs to be out NOW, so when you start to see (or continue to see) efforts ramping up, you’ll know exactly what to do!! The PDF link I’m sharing are the Power Point slides from the webinar about our school guidance counselors being in the BEST STRATEGIC position to steer our students to the CCSS, College/Career Ready path/track!! 100714presentation
What was spoken:
While you have the the Power Point slides, what you don’t have are the words which were spoken. This is what I’ll be sharing that is SO important to get out there!! leading the webinar were Dr. Trish Hatch (extremely CC
aligned friendly) and Brandy Johnson (very College/Career ready aligned friendly). Both are considered to be respected in their fields of work. I’m sure, they are nice folks. However, when it comes to Common Core/Workforce aligned, College and Career Readiness spiel..no thanks. I know too much to believe how great it is, ladies.
The picture above was the first slide shared. Yes, the push to align our guidance counselors isn’t as much US Dept. of Ed. led,as it’s First Lady and President led! The initiative is an effort to ‘enhance guidance counselors’. Why? Because, as Dr. Hatch said it, ‘They are the heart and soul of the agenda. They are uniquely positioned.’ When the school counselors are well trained, they are then in a strategically positioned place to influence both the student AND their parents.
Now, I’m not sure about you, but I remember my guidance counselor. She was a straight forward lady who wouldn’t dare to align with anyone’s corporate agenda when it came to her students. Why? She knew uniqueness. Uniqueness in the sense, each one of us would need advice, not a trained sales pitch.She certainly didn’t wield more influence over my decisions than my parents. But, of course, I’m old enough to have gone to high school before career alignment was the ‘thing’.
I am sure given an opportunity, the guidance counselors of today would like to have a choice in how they guide each student. However, from what I heard, it doesn’t really sound like it will be this way anymore. The importance of these key people being aligned to the College/Career Ready agenda is to better influence policy, politics, and ethics. When everyone in the community has lined up in their key positions, a collaborative that closes the ‘skills gap’ will occur. How ‘great’ for our PreK to post secondary students.
While the White House has this plan, agenda, and initiative for college attendance, careers, etc. stamped with their logo, know that the U.S. Dept. of Education is in mix as well. Greg Darnieder is helping this ‘systematic change’. (Mr. Darnieder is the leading voice on the President’s 2020 Goal and Sr. Advisor to Sec. Duncan. His bio: http://highereducationcompact.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/Darnieder-bio.pdf)
While telling us who Mr. Darnieder is and about his book, Place to Lead, Dr. Hatch even shared that in all this work for College/Career, ‘There’s White House funding for this!‘ She went on to say, “For training to work counselors must believe every child is college bound.” Then, the statement we’ve heard so much of up to this point that reminds me of the White Rabbit in “Alice in Wonderland”, ‘If we are training for careers in high school, we’re too late!‘ (more about our timing in a bit)
Who’s recruited and their role:
If anyone tells you colleges aren’t Common Core aligned, college/career readiness indoctrinated, remind them there’s beachfront property in Kansas for them, too! It’s documented (especially on my blog) that the community colleges have already been ‘aligned’. I’ve even shared some colleges. Harvard’s a big one into all the efforts. In fact, Harvard helped the First Lady kick this new effort off! The list of colleges aligning grows daily. WHY? Where do you think the new teachers are? Where do you think the new guidance counselors are? They are in college NOW!
So, the ‘game plan’ is: recruit those social justice students who are the ‘changers’ on campus, those who advocate any cause on campus. Dr. Hatch teaches at one of the colleges where this mantra is not only preached, but practiced. San Diego University, look up there graduate program on education/counseling. (Dr. Hatch extols the virtues of a lot of the College/Career Ready mindset on her website, www.hatchingresults.com) Again, by getting these young students trained, and set in those strategic, uniquely positioned places, more young minds can be influenced! Yippee!! Another angle for the policy, politics, and ethics to be aligned to the college/career readiness. Mrs. Johnson shared that in MI, College/career readiness is now a required graduate level course. Michigan couldn’t be more excited! (Look up Wayne State Univ. and Western Michigan University..they are ‘all in’)
Let’s say, however, I’m NOT in college, in fact I’ve been a school counselor for years. Do I have to align to the new Common Core College/Career Ready standards too? Yes. According to Mrs. Johnson, chosen counselors will be given scholarships to attend in-depth training. In fact, in her home state of MI, that’s how the program worked. She went on to share that to increase the success, the community would chose the school counselors who could attend and they would be given scholarships to go through the training/alignment. (anybody remember being chosen for ‘dodge ball’?) Now, I’d like to point out that those counselors who’ve had this job for years, like my previous one, KNOW not every student will be college/career ready by the time high school ends. However, one of the bonuses of the new initiative is changing the meaning of the word ‘college’!! College no longer means JUST 4 year higher learning institution..Oh no..get with it, folks..’college’ now means ‘ANY form of education beyond high school’!! “College is being re-defined, college is for everyone whether it’s a diploma, a certificate or work credentials.” Seriously, here’s what was said, “All students are college suited, we just need to see which path it will take to get there.”
According to the presenters, the popularity of the school counselors college/career ready training is ‘widely popular’!
Sprinkled throughout the presentation were the usual CCSS buzzwords (besides college/career ready): ‘cohorts’; ‘investing in ____________’ (fill in the blank with people, students, human capital, etc. and you get what I mean); ‘educational stakeholders’, ‘customized learning’, and a new one…“We are creating a college/career ready culture!”
Groups you should seek out to help you align all this glorious new way of life skills, mindset, and agenda? Youth based services such as Big Brothers, Big Sisters, the YMCA, and other related groups. Target those businesses which give scholarships for attending post secondary schools. In colleges, look for groups/programs like “Gear Up”, “Trio”. Remember, we are breeding ‘positive empowering’ uniquely, strategically positioned people to guide, advise, and lead our students.
As far as how early ‘isn’t too late’ for this CCS, College/Career minded folks? It was shared ‘beginning very early in life, especially elementary. Be consistent and assess all through elementary, middle, and high schools.’
By the end of the presentation, you were invited to take a survey, however, I don’t ever remember taking a survey that had a statement you were to agree to about your commitment level to the College/Career Ready initiatives being touted during the webinar. It was shameless in its vernacular. Strong words and a sentiment of only the most concerned, discerning educators, school administrators, etc. would, without hesitation, sign up for something, not just take a survey.
The group behind this you may not know about:
Have you heard of the SREB (Southern Region Educational Education Board). Their website: http://www.sreb.org/
Why you should know about them: It seems, according to the webinar that 2 years ago, they introduced the College Career Ready school counselor curriculum. Thirteen states have had it in place. Mrs. Johnson shared with us that her state of MI, was so interested, they bought the curriculum and customized it for their state.
Here’s SREB’s agenda for CCR:
“Based on years of experience with member states, SREB has developed and refined a model college- and career-readiness agenda that defines the key steps each state should take to improve students’ readiness statewide. SREB recommends that state policy should address each of these elements.
Adopt statewide college-readiness standards, that K-12 and postsecondary institutions agree on, for literacy and mathematics skills.
Assess high school juniors on their progress toward achieving the readiness standards.
Offer transitional readiness courses and require juniors assessed as underprepared to take the classes in 11th or 12th grade.
Apply the standards in postsecondary institutions, in deciding whether students are placed in credit-bearing courses or need additional learning support after they are admitted.
Hold schools accountable for increasing postsecondary readiness as an important criterion in school accountability systems.”
Now, we know Common Core lurks in college/career readiness. Too much proof is available to dispute it. However, what you may not realize about the SREB is who helps FUND their work..(I hope you are sitting down) From the latest information I could find on the website (2012): Alfred P. Sloan Foundation,Appalachia Regional Comprehensive Center at Edvantia, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Blackboard Collaborate, Connections Academy, Council of Chief State School Officers, Florida Virtual School, Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education, Lamar Plunkett Family, Lumina Foundation, Mid-Atlantic Comprehensive Center at the George Washington University Center for Equity and Excellence in Education, National Board of Professional Teaching Standards, National Research Center for Career and Technical Education, University of Louisville, National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, SAS Institute Inc., The Pearson Foundation, U.S. Department of Education. Major grant givers: Gates Foundation and the Lumina Foundation. Both with express alignment for not only students via CCSS and College/Career Readiness, but all involved in the education realm. (click on the ‘major funding’ tab) You’ll want to access their publications as well. Lots of great information. Finally, what this means for those of us in the states listed below, is the CCSS machine (with its college/career readiness arm) has been in place for a couple of years, which means our work is going to be harder to remove CCSS. Those living in states NOT seen below, means you need to dig. Remember, MI bought the curricula and tweaked it. As such, they aren’t listed as a participating state. The powers that want Common Core to succeed and have us buy into the college/career readiness are depending on the assumption we won’t know where to look, but WE DO! So, act now, start looking if you haven’t. If you are a citizen in a state listed below, start talking, start your grassroots work with renewed purpose!
States participating in the SREB’s Common Core alignment (which includes college/career readiness):
12 SREB states plus three states outside the SREB region