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Gates Grant to “Further Hardwire the Common Core Curriculum” ??

September 1, 2014

One way to ensure permanence in the field of electronics is to “hardwire”– which means to “permanently connect.”

In electronics, “hardwiring” refers to circuitry.

For billionaire public education purchaser Bill Gates, circuitry and mass education, it’s all the same.

Bill Gates has already likened the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) to circuitry, with the moronic assertion that standardization of an American education from which he and his children are exempt will surely lead to “innovation” in this March 2014 Washington Post appeal to teachers to “defend” CCSS:

Gates said common standards could transform U.S. education, reduce the number of students taking remedial courses in college and enable American students to better compete globally.

Standardization is especially important to allow for innovation in the classroom, said Gates, who used an analogy of electrical outlets.

“If you have 50 different plug types, appliances wouldn’t be available and would be very expensive,” he said. But once an electric outlet becomes standardized, many companies can design appliances and competition ensues, creating variety and better prices for consumers, he said.

If states use common academic standards, the quality of classroom materials and professional development will improve, Gates said. Much of that material will be digital tools that are personalized to the student, he said. “To get this innovation out, common standards will be helpful,” he said[Emphasis added.]

Gates said, Gates said, Gates said. Got that?

Making all US classrooms “the same” will somehow (only the fairies really know how) *transform US education.* He assumes that since appliances operate via the same “plug,” CCSS is suitable for the American classroom for the masses.

Just plug in the children of the masses, and creativity will bloom. Standardization will lead to *digital solutions*, which apparently are the solutions for all kids of the masses, no matter their capabilities, personalities, tendencies, interests, or preferences.

Just plug ’em in.

Gates doesn’t address the fact that not everything inserted into an outlet is beneficial.

I could “innovatively” design a gadget, plug it in, and get electrocuted.

But back to that “hardwiring.”

Hardwiring is not “innovative.” It is permanent and set.

In that March 2014 Washington Post article, Gates appealed to teachers to “defend” CCSS.

March 2014 was a busy month for Bill and his CCSS campaign. He “explained” CCSS at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI)– one of many “nonprofits” he funded to “explore” CCSShe dined with 80 senators and other officials and pitched his reforms; he gave the keynote at the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) conference, and he granted Lyndsey Layton of the Washington Post an interview in which he insisted he is neither purchasing nor driving American education.

And yet…

As of July 2014, he is willing to pay for organizations to “help” teachers “hardwire”… the CCSS “curriculum??

I thought CCSS wasn’t a curriculum….

Anyone who believes that CCSS can be isolated from curriculum and tests (and professional development has not read mega-education corporation Pearson’s February 2014 earnings call.

Pearson intends to capture millions (billions?) by casting the lucrative CCSS net wide– tests, curriculum, professional development– and, of course, it will use technology.

Plug it in, plug it in.

That doesn’t mean others cannot help with the rewiring.

Gates July 2014 “hardwire” grant has been paid to the nonprofit (of course, a nonprofitConstitutional Rights Foundation:

Constitutional Rights Foundation

Date: July 2014
Purpose: To provide professional development opportunities for teachers to further hardwire the Common Core curriculum
Amount: $299,709
Term: 18
Topic: College-Ready
Regions Served: GLOBAL|NORTH AMERICA
Program: United States
Grantee Location: Los Angeles, California
Grantee Website: http://www.crf-usa.org

(For those interested in the CRF 2012 990, here you go.)

Note the “purpose”:

“Professional development for teachers to further hardwire the CCSS curriculum.”

Further hardwire?

In May 2014, Pearson was awarded the contract for one of the two federally-funded CCSS testing consortia, the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC). Before that, in February 2014, Pearson was already banking on CCSS– curriculum included. Pearson plans to “embed” itself in American education and make itself “indispensable” to the American CCSS venture.

Pearson is already planning to “hardwire” American teachers and students to their CCSS curriculum. And why not? It will complement their CCSS high-stakes PARCC tests.

PARCC is a fantastic “hardwiring” mold. And at last, PARCC begins to publicly admit as much:

In August 2014, PARCC CEO Laura Slover (one on the inside of CCSS development via Achieve and now, in charge of one of the powerful, lucrative CCSS testing consortia) admitted that the CCSS assessment will indeed drive curriculum (not news to those of us who are currently in the classroom) by way of “informing instruction.”

Of course it will.

Here it is, in Slover’s words:

“High quality assessments go hand-in-hand with high quality instruction based, on high quality standards,” said Laura Slover, the Chief Executive Officer of the PARCC nonprofit. “You cannot have one without the other.” [Emphasis added.]

The comma placement in Slovner’s first sentence is a curiosity– as though she paused to consider what exactly she was saying. Don’t want to state too clearly that the tests will drive curriculum.

Too late, Laura. We already get it. High-stakes tests drive classroom instruction. The higher the stakes, the stronger the drive.

Plug it in, plug it in.

As to that Gates “hardwire” grant to the Constitutional Rights Foundation (CRF)–

–it will only *work* if the CRF professional development leads to a curriculum that *fits the outlet* of the CCSS assessment.

And it could, based upon CCSS ELA literacy standards for grades 6 through 8.

However, CRF is located in California, which happens to be a Smarter Balanced consortium state. Thus, CRF hardwiring likely must be suited to the Smarter Balanced outlet.

Just to be safe, Bill–

–better make sure your purchased hardwiring is okay with PARCC and Smarter Balanced first.

You see, Bill, CCSS is not the outlet. The CCSS assessments are the outlets.

Plug it in, plug it in.

electric shock

 

_____________________________________________________________

Like my writing? Read my newly-released ed “reform” whistle blower, A Chronicle of Echoes: Who’s Who in the Implosion of American Public Education

NOW AVAILABLE ON KINDLE.

18 Comments
  1. It that a hardwire in your socket ∨ R U just glad to CC me?

    • TCliff permalink

      Here is my question to you…in your first article above you make the statement that those countries that do well in the PISA do so by teaching math using LESS of the math called for by so-called “common core math” and MORE of the tried and true algorithmic method. What is this based on? Although my research into what goes on in China, for example, was back in the 90’s, it appeared to me that they spent a lot more time in the early years focusing on the concepts, devoting a lot of class time addressing children’s misconceptions and confusions with the early concepts. They also gave teachers quite a lot of time to collaborate and discuss classroom math pedagogy. Maybe things have changed since then, I do not know. Maybe some of these other high-scoring countries do things differently. From what I have read, Finland does not embrace a less concepts is better approach, but maybe I am wrong.

    • TCliff permalink

      After reading the two accounts of what is expected in Finnish and Shanghai math classes, I feel they have continued mostly as they were back in the 90s. In the article about Shanghai, it is apparent that students are shown multiple ways to arrive at an answer, they are encouraged to do so. They are also encouraged to defend mathematically their answers and their observations. They are taught to try and speak out and if wrong, that is a part of learning…next time is a fresh start. The Finnish standards begin with the statements that a main goal of math education should be to develop a love of mathematics. WOW, what a concept. Not that every child should be able to calculate every answer correctly, but learn to love mathematics! It then goes on to say that the early years will include lots of hands-on manipulatives, working problems and coming up with answers using those manipulatives, leading to a use of pencil and paper solutions. Again, this is not “common core math”, but good math education (and it doesn’t hurt on the international tests, either, apparently). There is soooo much wrong with the CCSS, but this so-called “common core math” is most definitely not it.

  2. Great article…as always!

  3. Dr. Rich Swier permalink

    Great. Posted: http://bit.ly/1tWnqFT

    Rich

  4. And CCSS will also make your grass greener, pay your taxes, improve your sex life and make you more “regular”!

    brought to you by Bill and Melinda

  5. Laura H. Chapman permalink

    Shortly after releasing the Standards with much publicity about international benchmarking, the CCSSO helped to fund a study that shows the Standards are not, in fact, closely aligned with the standards of nations that score higher on international tests.

    In mathematics, for example, the nations with the highest test scores—Finland, Japan, and Singapore—devote about 75% of instruction to “perform procedures” compared to the CCSS emphasis at about 38%.

    These same nations give almost no attention to “solve non-routine problems” compared to the CCSS.

    In ELA, countries that score at the highest level also have patterns of emphasis in different grade spans that differ substantially from the CCSS, with a greater emphasis overall on “perform procedures” than in the CCSS.

    The big surprise is that a significant part of “perform procedures” in mathematics and ELA is following directions and completing highly conventional assignments, free of elaborated analysis and generalization.

    In other words, compliance with the conventions of schooling has a strong association with higher test scores. Wowzie. Who would have guessed that learning to follow directions mattered so much?

    Note also that the former president of the American Educational Research Association, Andrew Porter, was among others who did this study and made the connection of the CCSS to the “new US intended curriculum. See: Porter, A.; McMaken ,J.; Hwang, J. ; & Yang, R. (2011). Common core standards: The new U.S. intended curriculum. Educational Researcher, 40(3). 103-116. DOI: 10.3102/0013189X11405038

    • TCliff permalink

      I wonder at what grade levels were studied, in the US and in the other countries. I would be especially interested to learn what math “procedures” were being taught in K-2.

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