For today’s “Fib-o-Meter” article, the pro CCSS U. S. Chamber of Commerce is up for examination! What? You didn’t know the U.S. Chamber of Commerce loves the ‘Core’? Does that mean my state level chamber is pro CCSS, too?? Does that mean ALL the state level chambers are supportive as well?
The ‘Total Truth’ short answer is YES for each of the questions above!
Why I’m Bringing This Up Now:
First of all, it has been well reported and documented that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is not only supportive of the CCSS, they are an integral part of the CCSS Machine. However, if you’re new to the fight against Common Core, you may not know that. So here’s a brief
“Total Truth” set of facts:
1) Nov. 2013, the Gates Foundation gives the U.S. Chamber of Commerce over a million dollars to support the implementation of the Common Core Standards. (see: http://www.gatesfoundation.org/how-we-work/quick-links/grants-database/grants/2013/11/opp1081590)
2) March 2009, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce receives over $2 million dollars from the Gates Foundation to train business leaders dedicated to education reform, especially in the capacity of workforce for the 21st century.
3) From 2004: The Chamber and Gates become partners to ‘close the digital divide’.
4) From just days ago, the Washington Post reported that the Gates have given even more to the U.S. Chamber. Here’s an excerpt, “In the last seven months, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has poured more than $10 million into implementation and parent support for the Core, according to grant details on the foundation website (see below). That includes $3.7 million to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to support the Core at a time when it has come under increasing attack across the country, for both educational and political reasons.” (the entire article: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2015/05/12/gates-foundation-pours-millions-more-into-common-core/)
The State Level Chambers of Commerce:
As an example, I’ll be giving you the “Total Truth” about NC’s Chamber of Commerce supporting CCSS. As I always do, you’ll be able to use what I share to ask the same questions of your state’s Chamber. By seeing where to look, it’ll be easier to ‘snoop’ out the “Total Truth” in your neck of the country.
NC’s Chamber of Commerce website address: http://ncchamber.net/
The top issue for the NC Chamber? Oh, that’s easy: Education and Workforce Development! Yes, they are all excited for that “Talent Supply Pipeline” (aka our students of all ages). They are very proud of the “21st Century skills” rhetoric..complete with assessments (aka high stakes standardized tests), aligned education (aka CCSS, CCR/College and Career Readiness, CTE/Career and Technical Education), and digital devices for everyone (aka data mining) from K-post-secondary schools, too!
To discover more “Total Truths” about NC’s Chamber, see their page on Education and Workforce, visit: http://ncchamber.net/issue-advocacy/education/ (*Note: be sure to see what they classify as victories) Oh, you’ll definitely want to see the Chamber’s letter of support for CCSS: 2014-4-24-North-Carolina-Chamber-Opposes-Reducing-Standards-for-Future-Workforce
(I’ll spare you just how ugly the fight was here in NC when this letter was sent out. This was about the time we, the citizens were fighting like mad to get the General Assembly to repeal CCSS.)
The NC Chamber’s even got a ‘new set of education standards’…they’re called “Hire Standards”!! No, I’m not joking. Where they believe we’re going to be misled is by the name they chose. Nowhere in “Hire” do you see “Common Core”, however, click a few times on “Hire Standards” and guess where you land?? That’s right the “Common Core” website! To access the “Hire Standards”, visit: http://hirestandardsnc.org/ To find out how easy it is to go from there to the CCSS website, first, click on “NC Standards”, then click the embedded “Math and English Standards” link, once the screen loads, you’ll see the dreaded logo and the top of the page. Note what you see (it’s a great opportunity to create your own ‘fib-o-meter’). Click on the “read the standards” balloon and Boom, you are at THE CCSS website! Below is a screen shot from the NC Chamber’s website where “Hire Standards” is included in the educational workforce agenda pipeline propaganda.
So, what to ask about in your state? Does my state Chamber have similar documents as shown here? Does my state’s Chamber attend any CCSS related legislative meetings or hearings? What businesses in my state have signed a pro CCSS letter? How much of the state funding for a pro CCSS agenda trickles down to my town? (For us in NC, we have a NC Chamber Federation which unites local chambers with the state level..and the national level. Visit the page: http://ncchamber.net/member-involvement/local-chambers-of-commerce/ (*Note: be sure to watch the embedded 1 minute video) )
Lastly: the U.S. Chamber Thinks Itself Funny:
Knowing the Higher Education Act AND the Elementary and Secondary Education Act are both up for re-authorization (it doesn’t hurt that both are in the midst of being discussed in D.C. or that hearings and much work on both is on-going). The Chamber got a bit ‘smarmy’ on their blog Thursday. In comedy, timing’s everything, right? Yeah, so’s an agenda’s timing, too. What do I mean? Take a look at the screen shot below:
Fib-o-Meter’s rating the “Top Ten Milestones in Education”. Why you ask? Just wait until you see what the U.S. Chamber deems ‘successful’ (Please remember, these are business people NOT educators)
10) A lawsuit from CA about tenure and ineffectiveness in the classroom. Fib-o-Meter’s call? “Neutral” How did FOM get ‘neutral’? Not enough facts. Besides, I wonder how many of those teachers were blamed when the CCSS should be to blame instead?
9) MOOCs (Massive online open courses). Fib-o-Meter’s call? “Total Fallacy” Why? online anything in education means automatic data mining…hardly a ‘success’ for the students. Besides, what’s being counted for ‘credit’ isn’t free of CCSS/CTE/CCR.
8) Common Core Standards.Is the US Chamber serious?? “Total Fallacy” 100%!
7) Commission on the Future of Higher Education. “Total Fallacy” Why? Look who is in charge, a Gates Foundation US Program Advisory Panel member! (see: http://www.gatesfoundation.org/Who-We-Are/General-Information/United-States-Program-Advisory-Panel)
6) NCLB (No Child Left Behind) Act…again, is the US Chamber serious?? “Total Fallacy” Thanks to NCLB (an updated version of the original ESEA ) we got saddled with more groundwork for CCSS completed.
5) A historic moment for the US Dept. of Ed, it’s first leader of African-American descent. “Neutral” At least this leader had some educational background. The current one doesn’t.
4) A state passes the first charter school law. “Total Fallacy”, not all charters are successful nor free of all things CCSS. Besides, if you look at many of the 21st Century educational models, charters are the vehicle for more reform.
3) TFA (Teach for America) is formed. “Total Fallacy”, this corps of educators is 100% sold out to the CCSS Machine.
2) Perkins Funding begins. “Neutral”. While the funding at one point was CCSS/CTE/CCR free, it’s since been used to hold states to more alignment to all things Common Core. IF states would exercise their sovereignty, Perkins funding could be free again.
1) That “Nation At Risk” report..“Total Fallacy”. It’s been used as a guidebook to the educational mess we find ourselves in now!