Anti Fed Ed Warriors, as you know, I reside in the State of NC (North Carolina). If you’ve followed my research long enough, you know that I often expose what is happening here to show you where to look in your State. Since ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act) all the States have been aligned to the same education model. Page 17 of the ‘law’ clearly stated that ALL education MUST be aligned to the same post-secondary readiness standards as laid out in the WIOA (Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act).
Well, here we are in 2021, almost 6 years (Dec. 2021) beyond ESSA and the alignment hasn’t gone away. It’s increased. With the advent of COVID, we also are seeing our government (at the federal level and State level) use all kinds of programs, plans, initiatives, and everything in between to force even more alignment to a status quo, skill based/competency based education model. We’ve seen more and more assessments, which means more and more data tracking. We’ve seen schools invade families’ homes and ways of living to ensure compliance.
So, it’s no surprise that more alignment and tyranny are on the way. How do I know? I recently received an email from the NC DPI (Dept. of Public Instruction) announcing the Superintendent’s new plan for a better way of educating, post-COVID. Catherine Truitt, the current Superintendent has called the plan “Operation Polaris”. She claims that name is appropriate because all NC children need her ‘north star’ to guide them. Warriors, once you read the 32 page plan, you’ll see it’s not a ‘north star guidance’, it’s a straitjacket of data tracking, career pigeonholing, assessment crazy, social emotional landmine! Operation Polaris also aligns with the State Board of Education’s 2025 agenda.
What’s In Operation Polaris?
1) Evidence cited uses Pres. Trump’s CRRSAA (Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act) which ties to HEERF (Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund). Which has been joined by Pres. Biden’s CARE Act, the AFP (American Family Plan), and the U.S. Dept. of Education’s portion of CARES/ARP (American Rescue Plan) called ESSER Funds (Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief).
2) The CCSSO (Council of Chief State School Officers) and the NGA (National Governor’s Association) are also cited. These 2 entities own the copyrights to the Common Core State Standards which are very much alive and in place in ALL 50 States and US territories, along with military bases.
Every State and territory/base has also had to submit State Plans for eligibility to receive funds from all of the unconstitutional legislation listed in #1.
The U. S. Dept. of Education has approved almost every State’s COVID response. NC’s Operation Polaris is an extension of the approved plan.
3) Part of NC’s ESSER funding, combined with the background of #1, created a new State level administration entity called the OLR (Office of Learning Recovery and Acceleration). If you look at your State’s ESSER Funds you’ll find a similarly named office, too. I did a general search and found LA County, NJ, PA, MI, MS, MO, LA, MN, CT, OR, MA, WV, and TX also have OLRs. Several other States use a different label. However, later in the Operation Polaris pages, you’ll learn some of ESSER funds helped to bring about a rebranding of one entity and now call it the DST (District and School Transformation). So look in your State to find out the name or rebrands going on.
4) The Operation’s layout claims that due to COVID-19, PSUs (Public School Units) had to be created. These are also called hubs and pods. Your home is a type of PSU, too, under this layout. Think about all the public school activities via the on-line learning (which embeds constant data tracking/assessing). There are 4 targets of the Operation: a) literacy (uses a newly defined ‘science of reading’); b) student support services (SEL is chief among the services); c) accountability and testing (yes, more assessments for competency based, skill based education); and, d) human capital (targets teachers at the moment, but the students are included by default).
5), In the model for Polaris to be carried out begins at the Governor’s Office, the General Assembly, and the State Board of Education. From there it goes to an executive (appointed) council. Included in the 2nd layer of authority are the State Dept. of Health/Human Services and all ‘stakeholders/advocates’. The last layer is the DST and OLR components. Missing from the model are the parents and LEAs (Local education agencies).
6) As part of the Polaris ‘success’ SMART goals for each targeted area (#4). What does the SMART stand for? You can learn more about the SMART Goals, here.
7) NC Senate Bill 387 (now State Law 2021-8) is cited in the Operation Polaris. This is were the creation and definition of the ‘science of reading’ can be found. The ‘science’ will use evidence based parameters and align to the NC’s Read to Achieve program. Warriors, we need to point out that evidence based educratic parameters steeped in CCSS (Common Core State Standards) don’t work. As far the Read/Achieve program? It’s a taxpayer disaster. Several articles have been published about how badly the program has prepared young students. Here’s a news channel report on the failings of Read/Achieve.
8) WestEd (a CCSS laden regional education entity serving the Western portion of the US) is cited. It’s their Report relating to OLR that is mentioned.
You can learn more about WestEd’s school/district transformation process, here. If you want to download the Reports, go here.
9) Path Forward Collaborative is cited, too. You can find it in the Literacy ‘leverage’ section.
Since no links were available in the Operation Polaris pages, it’s not clear if the collaborative is from the ABC Science Collaborative (based in NC, but spreads to 12 other States, too) The ABC Science’s Path Forward document is all about COVID safety at schools. There’s also a collaborative from the National Alliance of Health Care Purchaser Coalitions with a Path Forward Collaborative. It centers on mental health. It’s collaborative can show up in other groups, as well. I found a Northeast business group for health using this particular collaborative. Since this surfaces in a portion of the Operation where cradle to grave alignment and a seamless transition from PreK to college, it could be both of these groups. One thing is clear, though: the direction of where this is leading is pointing to conformity and tracking.
10) The NC Governor’s DRIVE (Developing a Representative and Inclusive Vision for Education) Task Force is also cited in the Operation. The Task Force is appointed. It’s also tied to the CCSS Machine giant: Hunt Institute, which has been on the alignment of cradle to grave career based education since it endorsed and helped create the Common Core State Standards in the first place! Gov. Cooper created this Task Force with an Executive Order in Dec. 2019. Below is an image I created to show what career slotting Gov. Cooper brought about when Mark Johnson was State Superintendent. Here’s the article it appeared in.
Other Related Learning Recovery Sources From the CCSS Machine:
The NWEA (Northwest Evaluation Assoc) has a learning recovery/acceleration COVID response.
The U.S. Dept. of Education’s Volume 2 of their COVID handbook series.
The UNICEF Recovery/Education Response involves the World Bank, which loves ‘human capital’ approaches to education.
The NGA and CCSSO’s documentation on State Plans for learning recovery.
SREB (Southern Regional Education Board) is tied to Operation Polaris in several ways. SREB is a huge CCSS Machine member group, too.
Human capital is an OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) term where people are defined as a commodity, not flesh and blood. In Operation Polaris, the human capital is targeting teachers/educators under the guise of better training means better teaching, thus students will perform better on assessments. However, the competency workforce prep contained in skill based education is for the students, not the teachers. Here’s a 2018 link from the National Governor’s Association on the topic of human capital. Here’s a link for NC’s human capital roundtable from SREB.
So how long will Operation Polaris hid under the misinformation that human capital is only for teachers? To what length of deception will your State sink to in all this? Do you see this isn’t about learning recovery so much as it is control? COVID has become the biggest widget of ruining our lives and this Operation Polaris is a prime example.